SCU Japanese liaison officer, Tazuko McLaren (far left), visits kids from Our Lady Help of Christians Parish School with exchange students to celebrate the Japanese springtime.
SCU Japanese liaison officer, Tazuko McLaren (far left), visits kids from Our Lady Help of Christians Parish School with exchange students to celebrate the Japanese springtime. Contributed

Sth Lismore kids make art with Japanese uni students

TO CELEBRATE Hanami, a Japanese beginning of spring celebration, Our Lady Help of Christians Parish School in South Lismore teamed up with Southern Cross University for an afternoon of creating cherry blossom art.

The primary school children worked with students visiting from Japan to create the art and learn more about each others' cultures.

The school principal and Japanese teacher, Daniel Gubby, said his students enjoyed getting to know the visiting students.

"Kids love it because quite often what they'll ask is how to write their name in Japanese and it gives them the chance to ask about the lives of the university students," he said.

"Sports as well - they love finding out these guys play similar sports to them and they love hearing about martial arts."

Tazuko McLaren leads SCU's Japanese program.

She regularly organises visits to the Our Lady Help of Christians Parish School.

"Throughout the year kids generally get a chance to meet students from a Japanese university, or even professors," Mr Gubby said.

He said there were many advantages to learning another language.

"You learn a lot about your own language because you think more deeply about sentence structure and placement of words in a sentence," he said.

"But one of the big things for us is culture appreciation.

"In a multicultural society like Australian it's important to learn about traditions and why things are the way they are."

Year 1-9 students of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish School take Japanese classes each week.

The younger students focus on learning about Japanese culture while the older students focus on learning the language.



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