Sister City Conversations

In late August 2014, we welcomed 20 students and four teachers visiting Elwood College from the middle schools in Obu City, the Japanese sister city of the City of Port Phillip.

The Obu students were engaged in activities with Elwood students for half a day. Year 7 and 8 students helped the Obu students in a collaborative problem-solving activity around the school, learning about various aspects of our school. Year 10 students and the Obu students had rich conversations in both Japanese and English, discussing each other’s’ cities, their connection and possible collaborative project between the cities.

Languages make collaboration possible and better! Here are two student comments about the day.

Chae Thomson, Year 7: I went with three Japanese students who were from our sister city. I took them to the Year 9 area where they asked me about the quotes on the wall. The three students asked me which one is my favourite quote. I had a great experience and they learnt a lot.

Mille Daniels-Gardiner, Year 10: Earlier this term our Japanese class studied the St Kilda Penguins and the relationship they may have with Obu, in particular, a book about Alfred the penguin in Japanese language. Victoria and I worked with two Japanese students on a collaborative activity to review our work. It was exciting to use the Japanese language I had learnt in past years and apply it when trying to communicate with the students. I think the relationship between the City of Port Phillip and Obu City is truly fantastic. The exchange program is a great way to better our understanding of the language, experience another culture and take a more personal approach to learning.