Academic journal article Babel

Art Speaks Japanese: Japanese Language Education Kit

Academic journal article Babel

Art Speaks Japanese: Japanese Language Education Kit

Article excerpt


From the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and produced by the Public Programs Department of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in partnership with the Japan Foundation. RRP $5500.


THE ART SPEAKS JAPANESE education kit is available for purchase exclusively from the Intext Book Company and the Languages International Bookshop and comes in the form of a folder containing

* an introduction to the kit

* sixteen [A.sub.4] cards with colour reproduction of art work on one side and information about it in both English and Japanese on the reverse

* a CD containing a PowerPoint presentation of the artworks, photocopiable worksheets for middle school and senior secondary classes, teacher notes, audio files, a virtual tour of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and useful Web links.

This beautifully presented resource offers enormous potential for introducing students to quality artwork and Japanese history and culture, while at the same time reinforcing and extending their language skills. The introduction to the kit indicates that the principles of intercultural language teaching and learning, higher order thinking skills, and integrated curriculum were all considered as major forces in the design of the resource. In particular, the themes of religion, nature, society, and history are explored and supported in detail. The realisation of these aspects is, as always, in the hands of the teacher and students, but the resource provides strong and consistent direction.

THE GLOSSY COLOUR CARDS DEPICT THE beauty and delicacy of art works ranging from painted screens to kimono to ceramics. The PowerPoint presentation on the CD goes further, providing close-ups of sections of some pieces that highlight design and action aspects of the works. This opens up the possibility for guided discussion and noticing activities in Japanese even at quite an early stage of students' language learning. …

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