On February 1, the Japanese Language Department held the 5th traditional annual online meeting between students of MCU and Waseda University, Japan. Anastasia Sergeeva, MCU Senior Lecturer, and Akina Kobayashi, a Russian language teacher at Waseda University, arranged the meeting for 12 MCU students and 6 students learning Russian at Waseda University. The students united in groups to improve their speaking skills and discuss various topics, including tea, hobbies and interests, contemporary youth culture, politics, and religion.
MCU students shared their impressions of the meeting. Alexandra Vlasenkova, a 3rd-year student:
I was delighted to be there. You always gain much positive energy and give it back. Thus, you exchange energy, though you speak different languages. I have learned that it may be easy and pleasant to talk not only with senseis. We spoke to each other as equals, and, subconsciously, I was not afraid to make a mistake. You build your speech to unfold the thoughts — and they get understood! It is cool. Surely, you also learn more about Japanese culture in detail. Such a habitual thing as tea or coffee may provoke many questions and thoughts. Though you come from different cultural backgrounds, you may occur to be identical in some aspects, however, totally different in others.
In the beginning, I was greatly nervous because I wanted to make a good impression and create a pleasant mood. But, then, I got so engaged and forgot my worries. I believe that learning should be built as an engaging process.
I hope that such meetings will be held further to fulfill the lack of live communication due to the pandemic. On the other hand, we’ve got an opportunity to talk with each other staying in our homes, which is also nice.
Elvira Khuramshina, a 2nd-year student:
Leysian Galyautdinova, a 2nd-year student:
The mood was great, and the participants were polite and pleasant to talk to. Considering the present situation, it was a good opportunity to practice my speaking skills. When you speak a new language that you’ve just started to learn, the mind is being rearranged. Such meetings are the best idea to overcome a language barrier and for cultural exchange. I enjoyed that the meeting was casual and we discussed various topics.
Thanks to the organizers for the opportunity!