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Japanese L7: Example 3

Example 3: Email from Japanese host sister

日本は 今さくらが さきはじめて、一番(いちばん)きれいなきせつだと思う。サラさんに 見せたい。私の友だちのあきさん おぼえている? 

週まつに あきさんと テニスぶの 友だちと 花見(はなみ)をしたんだ。 コンビニで買ったおべんとうを食べながら、カラオケをしたの。楽しかったよ。 サラさんは ニュージーランドのBBQのしゃしんを わたしたちに見せたね。来年、花見(はなみ)のとき サラさんたちのようにみんなでBBQ をしてみたい。 ニュージーランドでも 

花見(はなみ)をするの?

Context and text type

An email to Sara from her host sister, Akemi, in Japan.

Text type

 Informal written communication. Receptive.

Observations a student might make concerning:

Information, ideas and opinions communicated in the text

Akemi expresses an opinion, for example:

  •  一番(いちばん)きれいなきせつだと思う・見せたい。

She uses たい to express wishes for something beyond the immediate context.

She uses a relative clause construction to combine sentences:

  • コンビニで買った おべんとうを食べた。

How the writer explores the views of others

Akemi wants to try and do something new after having been exposed to a different way of doing things:

  • サラさんたちのようにみんなでBBQ をしてみたい。

How the writer develops and shares personal perspectives

Akemi refers to Sara’s time in Japan and compares barbecuing in Japan and New Zealand. She understands that you cannot do karaoke or light fires in some parks because it would annoy others.

How the writer justifies their own ideas and opinions

One of functions of ~て is to show reasons. So, in the sentence, さくらがさきはじめて、一番(いちばん)きれいなきせつだと思う, it is clear why Akemi thinks the cherry blossom season is the most beautiful season.

How the writer supports or challenges the ideas and opinions of others

Akemi’s reference to cherry blossoms reinforces the high regard that Japanese have for cherry blossom viewing. One could almost say that this is a national obsession. The cherry blossom season is so important in Japanese culture that weather forecasts track the blossoming and predict the best time for viewing in each area.

How the language in the text is organised for the writer’s purpose

Akemi follows letter/email writing conventions by starting with a reference to the seasons. In this way she demonstrates the high regard Japanese people have for nature:

  • 日本は 今さくらが さきはじめて.

Opportunities for developing intercultural communicative competence

Compare having a barbecue in different cultures – how do these different ways show hospitality and respect?

Investigate the culture of 花見 and how this relationship with nature is reflected in Japanese society. For example, in haiku, kigo 季語 are used, which can be things related to that season, such as flowers, trees, fruits, vegetables, animals, birds, insects, weather, or events. Many festivals are associated with the seasons. Make comparisons and connections with known cultures, and explore the underlying values.

Investigate the importance of club friendships at school. Compare these with the relationships New Zealand students form with the other members of their sports teams, cultural groups, or the cast of a drama or musical.

Last updated March 6, 2013



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