Akemi’s Story: From Japan to Canada

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Akemi’s school shortly after the 2011 tsunami

CLC recently launched a new scholarship program aimed at giving an opportunity for a Teacher of English affected by a natural disaster, to receive intensive language training and cultural enrichment – not to mention personal renewal.

Akemi Hashiba was the first recipient of the CLC Scholarship program. Ms. Hashiba spent two weeks at our school and told her story to countless students and staff. Now it is your turn, dear readers, to know more about this outstanding woman.

Here is Akemi’s story about the 2011 Tsunami and her experience at CLC Language School:

“Arahama, in Watari town, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan was affected by the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011. All Arahama JHS students were able to survive miraculously, but almost all lost their houses, and some of them lost their families.They also lost their school building and had to share with another school located far from sea. However, in 2014, the town built a new school building in the same place where the tsunami struck. Now the local community are able to evacuate and take refuge in case of emergency. The school is elevated off the ground. The school gym, the classroom and all other rooms start from the second floor in case of flooding. Thanks to all the support from all over the world, students can enjoy their school life in their hometown. However, this disaster is only one of many natural disasters that happen around the world. This was clear when I was at CLC Montreal and could meet people from all over the world.

I was grateful to be able to study with people from all over the world and communicate in English. It was an eye opening experience, because speaking two or three languages is normal in Montreal. Because of this diversity, I was able to learn more about different
countries and their cultures and their school systems. Korea and Taiwan are neighbors to Japan, but I learned more about them in Canada than I did in Japan.

I was also surprised at the popularity of Japanese culture in Montreal. I did not go to Montreal with the idea that Japanese culture would be embraced so strongly. A great chance to witness this was at the events held at CLC. Japanese Tea Time gave me a
better idea about their interest in Japanese language and culture. Matsuri Japan was another example of this.

I was also taken aback by the truly great ideas and teaching methods that are used at CLC. The teachers at CLC were able to reignite my passion for teaching and remind me that praise and patience are important when teaching. I was reminded of how I should be as a teacher and how I can better teach my students. Thanks to the teachers at CLC, students studied harder and tried to constantly improve their ability. This is something I will try to do at Arahama J.H.S, where I hope to promote more awareness of culture, language and connections to the rest of the world.”

-Akemi

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New school, new beginning

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