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更新日:2018年07月06日

【国際学部】GSE Program “Topics in US Society”: “Now I know I MUST speak English!”(日本語訳あり)

【国際学部】GSE Program Topics in US SocietyNow I know I MUST speak English!

 

(日本語に翻訳した記事はこちら

 

Launched in 2016, the GSE Program offers students of the Faculty of International Studies a variety of courses which aim not only to intensively improve their English skills but also to enlarge their perspectives – this is what we call “transformative education” for intercultural understanding. 

In the following, we would like to introduce you one of such courses, “Topics in US Society”, taught by Professor Sarah Asada, based on one of its classes in June.

 

Class Introduction

“Topics in US” is an introductory level course that examines current social issues in the United States. It is a very active class with interactions among the professor, students, and international TAs through class discussions and small group discussions as well as short interactive lectures. In today’s class, we focused on the changing gender roles in the US and the implications of more American women becoming the breadwinners for their families.


International Student TAs

A unique feature of this class is the international student teaching assistants. They join the class for 8 sessions and help Kyoritsu students improve their English academic discussion skills and intercultural competencies. These international students studying in Japan are from US colleges, with 3 Americans, 2 Vietnamese, and 1 Chinese.  They provide unique perspectives about social issues in the US through their experiences of having lived in the US.


Class Flow

(comments below are given by one of the participating students, Y.I.)

Step 1: Defining Gender Roles



Today’s Introduction

Brainstorming with the TAs

(Y.I.) First of all, we discussed what are the roles of men and women in a family as groups.
We also asked ourselves: Are they the same as Japan or not?

Step 2: Traditional and Contemporary Gender Roles in the US



Lecture about the changing gender roles in US

Listening while comparing our ideas

(Y.I.) We were taught about gender roles in US society. The professor talked about our opinions too.

Step 3: Impacts of Working Mothers and Stay-At-Home Mothers on Individuals, the Family Unit, and Society



Advices from the TAs

Surprised by the TA’s different points of view and ideas

(Y.I.) We thought about the positive and negative points of working mothers and stay-at-home mothers and compared each points.

Step 4: America’s Mixed-Feelings about Women’s and Men’s Roles at Work and Home


Taking notes about what we didn’t know

Even the TAs took notes!

(Y.I.) We learned that there are complex situations around women in US and various opinions.

Step 5: Why are married breadwinner mothers also doing most of the household chores and childcare?


Discussing with the TAs and organizing our group opinions

Announcing each group’s opinions

(Y.I.) We imaged why men don’t do housework with the advice from the TAs. After that, we shared our opinions with the classes.


Overall comments of Y.I. after the class:

In this class, I can learn about the problems in US society that I had never known. The lectures are interesting for me, and I can get new knowledge and viewpoints.

Moreover, I want to know more about what I got interested in class. The TAs always help us organize our opinions and give advice when we have a hard time in discussions. Also, the students and TAs talk in English, so we can have chances to tell our own opinions in English. I think this situation is good for us to improve our English skills.


Other Students’ Comments

- Today, I spoke English and lead my group’s discussion. Also, I was really glad when Professor Asada and the TAs praised my opinions.

- The TAs advice helped us make more exciting ideas.

- It’s so fun to talk with the TAs and hear their interesting stories.

- Speaking with the TAs in English really motivates me to talk even more!

- Although I feel nervous talking with the TAs, I know I can speak English if I just try!

- Now that the TAs are here, I feel like it is so wasteful to speak Japanese. This class is a great opportunity to improve my English, so now I know I MUST speak English!

- While the homework was challenging, I can now fully understand today’s topic thanks to Professor Asada’s lecture and discussion with the TAs.



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