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Online teaching popular with Japanese students

Tuesday 22 March 2022 2:55pm

openlectureDr Craig Lee, of Otago Business School, hosted a live open lecture

The University’s English Language Centre has kick-started the academic year with an online teaching programme for a “bumper group” of Japanese students.

A total of 134 Japanese students took part in an English Language course and 31 University of Tokyo students also participated in a special online lecture series offered by Otago academics.

The English Language Centre has a long association with Japan and has hosted many groups of students from different universities over the past 20 years.

The relationship with the University of Tokyo is more recent. It began 2017 after a visit to Japan by Centre Director Paul Baker which resulted in Otago hosting study groups from Tokyo between 2018 and 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has since presented significant challenges with closed borders so Centre staff have been working hard to offer courses online.

“Otago’s English Language Centre and Japan have for many years enjoyed a very strong and positive relationship. Despite the closed borders, it’s been great to be able to continue that engagement through our online learning and virtual seminars to meet the demand from our valued Japanese partners,” Language Centre Director Paul Baker says.

tokyounimainDavid Woodfield teaches an online class

Key teachers Amilcar Oliveira Carvalho-Neto and David Woodfield have been hosting large online classes from home.

In addition, the University of Tokyo group have taken advantage of a special lecture series by Otago academics which has offered a selection of six papers covering subjects including Religious Studies, Law and Māori Studies.

“We really appreciated the support from a number of Otago academic staff who were willing and eager to share their expertise through this special virtual lecture series for Tokyo University. The content was well received by the students,” Jasmine Chu, Business Development Manager at the Centre, says.

The live open lecture hosted by Dr Craig Lee, of Otago Business School, focused on Global Hospitality Operations and was very popular.

It is hoped to build on this success by developing content for students to take part in further online programme in August/September, Dr Baker says.

“With borders opening up and Working Holiday Visas now open for applications (which allow short term studies such as English language courses), we hope to be welcoming students from Japan back to Dunedin in coming months. The outlook for 2022 is certainly looking positive.”