What's new

How to help a Nepalese primary school student

cloa513

Kouhai
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
I am ALT at a primary school in Japan. Me and another Assistant Language teacher are trying to help a Nepalese student who came as part of the escape the earthquake disaster and lives with her sister who is training to be a nurse. We try to help with translations to English to help but she really needs to learn Japanese. Preferably from a Nepalese woman. What do I do?
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
May 12, 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
300
Go to the local ward office and ask about volunteer Japanese classes. The student should probably be able to get either free or low cost classes. I pay about 2000 yen per month and I go to four classes per week.
 

cloa513

Kouhai
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Go to the local ward office and ask about volunteer Japanese classes. The student should probably be able to get either free or low cost classes. I pay about 2000 yen per month and I go to four classes per week.
That's hardly likely to work- she lacks motivation to do that and I can't get that involved.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
May 12, 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
300
That's hardly likely to work- she lacks motivation to do that and I can't get that involved.
If she has no motivation, and you have no interest in becoming involved, I don't see how the situation will improve.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,233
That's hardly likely to work- she lacks motivation to do that and I can't get that involved.
Fortunately for you, it isn't your place to do anything about it anyway. Works out well, since apparently even making an ****** phone call is too much for you to get involved.

Stay out of it. They have actual educational professionals at the school whose responsibility it is to see after her.
 

cloa513

Kouhai
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Fortunately for you, it isn't your place to do anything about it anyway. Works out well, since apparently even making an ****** phone call is too much for you to get involved.

Stay out of it. They have actual educational professionals at the school whose responsibility it is to see after her.
What do you mean making a phone call? I'd call someone to help. Contacting the ward office is hardly just making a phone call. There are no actual educational professionals designated to help students starting from far behind with Japanese as a second language. That's why we are having to help so much. Just today we had to emergency help her with a test in (~social science). I translated (mainly simplified from the excessive Japanese use) maths homework.
 

marley'sghost

Kouhai
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
42
Reaction score
6
Teaching the student Japanese is the school's duty. Most school districts these days have a Japanese tutor who pops in at least once a week to work with foreign born students. Too bad yours does not. But the regular teachers must be covering that. Kyoto-sensei or someone with a free period works with the student one on one fairly regularly, right?

The school staff or the student's guardian should be the one making phone calls. If you come across something useful in that 5 second Google search, share it with the homeroom teacher, but it's not your business to get involved with the students` private lives. I'm an ALT myself, and it's my feeling that we can do better work when we work around the edges, from the outside looking in, so to speak.

It sounds like you feel that you are being dumped on. Are you direct hire of dispatch? I only ask as it might make a difference in how you want to approach it.
 

cloa513

Kouhai
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Teaching the student Japanese is the school's duty. Most school districts these days have a Japanese tutor who pops in at least once a week to work with foreign born students. Too bad yours does not. But the regular teachers must be covering that. Kyoto-sensei or someone with a free period works with the student one on one fairly regularly, right?

The school staff or the student's guardian should be the one making phone calls. If you come across something useful in that 5 second Google search, share it with the homeroom teacher, but it's not your business to get involved with the students` private lives. I'm an ALT myself, and it's my feeling that we can do better work when we work around the edges, from the outside looking in, so to speak.

It sounds like you feel that you are being dumped on. Are you direct hire of dispatch? I only ask as it might make a difference in how you want to approach it.
Dispatch but the other ALT is a sort of direct hire- paid volunteer so I can pass information for him to deal with it and he has much better Japanese but much less time e.g. apparently he got 2 hours sleep the other night as he professionally translated some documents.

He feels she has girl issues, nepalese issues and isolation issues. But of course not speaking/listening/reading Japanese places all things in a difficult area. I want to do more than a google search for volunteer Japanese lessons (I have done those myself but they are for motivated English (or Chinese or Korean) speaking adults mainly- not Japanese as a third language primary school students who have some English skills). I just want to do more to pave the way for her to get the support she needs but still keep it rather not personal as it is not my job and a bit risky but I have empathy.

I searched for Japanese-Nepal association but their website seems defunct and the Nepalese Student Association wouldn't complete my registration for their forum. I am registered for another Nepali Forum but the posts on it don't look promising as far being helpful.
 

marley'sghost

Kouhai
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
42
Reaction score
6
Dispatch but the other ALT is a sort of direct hire- paid volunteer so I can pass information for him to deal with it and he has much better Japanese but much less time e.g. apparently he got 2 hours sleep the other night as he professionally translated some documents.
.
Got it. Best run any info or ideas through him if your Japanese is not up to talking to the girl's teacher.

He feels she has girl issues, nepalese issues and isolation issues........... I just want to do more to pave the way for her to get the support she needs but still keep it rather not personal as it is not my job and a bit risky but I have empathy.
Poor kid has a full plate.
From the forum searching and whatnot you described, it sounds like you gave it your best shot looking for sources outside. From now on, I'd just concentrate on the natural everyday stuff. Make an effort to talk to the girl during cleaning time, say hello in the hall, ask her to teach you hello/thank-you/good-bye in Nepalese, simple stuff like that.
Even the simple stuff can be tricky, especially in an elementary school. I'm a JHS ALT, and sometimes when I talk to the kids fresh of the boat from China/Philippines/wherever, it's not particularly relaxing for anyone. I'm just as strange (or stranger) than the other foreigners surrounding the kid. Often their classmates will gather around to goggle and chatter and it becomes a show. I'm just saying don't stress it. If you are all stressed and worried and force it, she'll pick up on it. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to do the little things. They add up.
 

cloa513

Kouhai
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
I'll definitely try to talk her in cleaning time unfortunately its badly timed as being after lunch and I usually have five lessons straight as well as classroom lunch. The other teacher could probably reach her better as she draw(gave him some to assess- she's good) and he does well too but he only works mornings- full lesson time. I contacted a Nepalese primary school and Nepal-Japan friendship association NepalxJapan.com hopefully one will reply with ideas. There is also the facebook page.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,233
While your intentions are thoroughly admirable, I strongly suggest that you consult with the Japanese staff at your school and keep them in the loop on what you're up to. Nobody here likes a lone wolf, least of all bureaucrats....which is what they are to one degree or another. You could unwittingly Mr. Nice Guy your way right out of a job.
 

marley'sghost

Kouhai
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
42
Reaction score
6
I'll definitely try to talk her in cleaning time unfortunately its badly timed as being after lunch and I usually have five lessons straight as well as classroom lunch.
Sounds like you have a full plate too. That is a heavy class load.

While your intentions are thoroughly admirable, I strongly suggest that you consult with the Japanese staff at your school and keep them in the loop on what you're up to. Nobody here likes a lone wolf, least of all bureaucrats....which is what they are to one degree or another. You could unwittingly Mr. Nice Guy your way right out of a job.
Mike's laying out the worst case there. A grand, noisy, Save-Nepali-chan, one-man/woman crusade would not be the way to go here. In an unfortunate mix of extreme personalities and extreme situations, could possibly lead to the said crusader not getting their contract renewed next year. You would really have to work at it to reach that state.

Do what little bit you can, run ideas and info by someone first, and trust that the the school is doing what they can to look out for this girl. Wheels turn slowly here, and quietly.
 
Top