We provided support for international exchanges over the Internet that were generally one-on-one over the Internet between junior high and high schools in Japan and Thailand. This project was first promoted through DMs sent in both countries. We held orientation events across Thailand, and briefing seminars in Japan where teaching staff from Japan and Thailand taking part in the project were invited to attend, to seek participating schools. Teaching staff visiting Japan from Thailand also visited Japanese schools participating in the cultural exchanges. Once applications were received, we provided support for matching schools with one another and initiating the exchanges, etc. In addition to regularly confirming the progress and implementation status of cultural exchanges between Japan and Thailand via email and social media, we observed exchanges taking place and visited individual schools. We also conducted tours of Thai schools for interested teachers at Japanese schools participating in the program. We also held “national conference meetings” for Japanese schools participating in the program as a place to report the current status of the program and to exchange information. The context of these discussions as a basis for establishing opportunities for direct exchanges, with teachers invited to visit Thailand and come to Japan. Examples of online exchanges and reports from participating teachers were collected in Japan as a collection of reference examples, and a booklet was prepared in Thailand and distributed to participating schools. PR activities were also kept up in both countries through the use of press releases, etc. when pertinent.
- Related Countries
- Japan, Thailand
From the Organizer
The benefits of being able to participate in international exchanges regardless of one’s location, if they have Internet access, provided a massive boon to both Japanese and Thai students in their regular school lives, allowing them to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the other’s country, and fostering their confidence for English conversation. Many participants reported back on how this program gave them the opportunity to learn from, and enjoy exchanges with people of the same age using English – a language that is not the native language to either of the student groups. With additional focus placed on face-to-face exchanges as a means of further developing a mutual understanding, plans were implemented to have teachers from Thai schools and teachers from Japanese schools visit their respective culture exchange partner schools. The opportunity to see, first-hand, regional schools that do not get many visitors and regular school life that goes on in these schools provided an invaluable experience for teachers of both schools, and this can now be used as a stepping stone for further exchanges in the future. From this point of view, the combined approach focusing online and face-to-face exchanges is expected to serve as a launching pad for more diverse exchanges carried out on a continual basis, and the further deepening of relationships of trust for all concerned.