Hello. I hope this is ok to do...
Of course it is. Well done! --Sergio Mazzarelli

Anyway, I wanted to ask each of the students about the process of making these slideshows and also say that I've enjoyed watching them. I didn't want to copy and paste onto each of the girls' pages, so I decided to make a new one altogether.

Well, as for the first three questions, rather than letting each student answer basically the same thing, I will answer them myself. As for the last question, I will let the students answer it on Monday, December 17. --Sergio Mazzarelli

Some questions that I wanted to ask to all of the women are:

~Did you take the photos that you put into the slideshow yourself, or did you find them online?

The assignment required the students to take all the pictures by themselves. This was not a problem because in Japan practically all college students own camera phones. In addition, a digital camera was available upon request to any student who wished to use it. The teacher believed that letting students take their own pictures would encourage them to be original. Besides, if other people's images had been included, students would have had to deal with copyright issues. In case you are not aware of this, most images found online are copyrighted, and it is not legal to use them without permission. There are exemptions for classroom projects, but those do not apply if the project is made available to the general public as was the case with our videos, which were uploaded to the Internet so that people from all over the world could watch them. --Sergio Mazzarelli

~How did you decide upon what aspect of Japan to show us? Was it assigned to you?

The assignment was "My hometown or favorite town." How to interpret it and what to include was entirely up to the students. Moreover, some of them asked if they could talk about the college, and they were allowed to do so. -- Sergio Mazzarelli

~About how long were you given/did it take you to make these slideshows?

During the third week of the term, students had used an online class forum to talk among themselves about their respective hometowns or favorite towns. They did not yet know they were going to make video slideshows, but this activity presumably helped focus their minds on the topic. They were informed of the project on the following week, just before most of them would have a chance to return to their hometowns because there were three national holidays in a row. After they returned from this break, they were shown some slideshows available on the Internet and had a brief chance to practice with the software they would use to create the slideshows (Windows Movie Maker). In the main stage of the project, one class was used to select the pictures and begin writing the scripts, another to review the scripts, and part of a third to practice reading them. Students then recorded the narration one by one in the teacher's office, and finally a fourth class was used to put together the slideshows in the computer lab. (At our college, each class lasts 90 minutes.) --Sergio Mazzarelli

~I've noticed that your English is quite clear and well spoken. In Japan, when does the educational start teaching English as a requirement? Do you ever use the English that you learn in regular conversation, or is it usually only used in projects or presentations?


We start to study English when we are in 7 grade. First, we study grammar, and learn words. After that, we start conversation in easy English. We don't many opportunities to speak English out of class. However we students in this class all majoring in English, so we make great efforts. For example, we can speak teachers who came from other countries, or join national group activities there we can talk to many foreigner. Some of us have spend sometime abroad in English speaking countries.
Today is the last lesson in this year. I wish you have a special holiday and A Happy New Year!!

How come none of the students ever comment on this page except during the class? Is there limited computer/internet access at the Kwassui Woman's College?

Kwassui has 4 computer labs, and our usage statistics show that there is no access problem. Note, however, that students take many courses and have lots of homework to do, so they do not have much time to dedicate to this activity out of class. Even in my course, this exchange is not the only thing they are doing.
On other pages in this wiki students who were absent wrote their comments out of class later. I am sure in the case of this page my students thought your questions had been answered.
Shidzu consulted her classmates and wrote for all of them. Therefore, her answer represents the general view of all students. We are sorry that we failed to make it clear that Shidzu was answering for all her classmates.
Thank you very much for creating this page and giving us a chance to explain how the videos were made and how students learn English in Japan.

Happy Holidays!
Sergio Mazzarelli