Hello, everyone! I’m Honoka Endoh.
Term 3 has finished~! I longed for this moment for more than three weeks because I had huge exams at the end of the term. This term was different to the others as there weren’t as many assignments. So, I feel like it passed so rapidly despite not much going on. In this report, I’ll talk about the things which I did during this term.
<My host family was changed>
I used to live in a family with two girls, but I changed my host family during the middle of this term. I miss my old family, but my second host family is just as good. Now, I live with an old lovely woman and a Chinese international student. It’s a bit quieter than my previous host family, but they’re very nice. I’ve even cooked Japanese dishes for my new host family. I like cooking so I hope to be able to introduce Japanese culture through the food I cook.
(I made Oyako-don one day)
I found it interesting to talk with my new host sister. I found out that the kanji used for numbers are the same characters used in Chinese! The pronunciation of the number, three, is the same in Chinese as well and similar in Korean.
<My family came to visit here in Australia>
Soon after I changed my host family, my Japanese family came to Australia during the Japanese summer holiday. However, I had school, so I ended up staying in Brisbane city with my family during the weekends I had free. It was so fun for me. Since I hadn’t talked Japanese in such a long time, I found it weird to suddenly speak Japanese with my family. Sometimes my pronunciation would be awkward, especially when I tried to talk about events in which I spoke English because I needed to translate the words to describe what happened. We visited the museum, botanic gardens, markets and so on. Those fun moments passed really quickly.
I also invited my family to visit my homestay and we all ate dinner together. By the time I realised how fun it was, time had already passed.
I find it comfortable to speak Japanese, this is because, I can understand what is spoken and I could express myself how I wanted to. I want to feel just as comfortable when I speak English, even if I only speak English until I go back to Japan.
(Saying our final goodbyes before they depart)
I had “Block exams” at the end of this term. They were so hard for me. They’re the biggest exams out of the entire year. It’s similar to the Japanese exams which occur in the middle and end of each term. I had to take an exam for every subject (English, Math, Economics, Music, Drama and Japanese). The math exam had a similar layout to the Japanese math exam, but the others were completely different. Even in Math, there were some differences, for example, a calculator was available, and a formula sheet was given. Because most of my subjects are in humanities, I had to write analytical essays for four exams. Only one question was given in an exam, which lasted about 2 hours. They were terrible. I was required to write approximately 700~1000 words for each essay in the 2 hours, though, I was given an extra half an hour. It was especially hard in English, as the sentence structure was pre-determined. On the other hand, the other subjects were hard because I needed to apply specific knowledge when writing. So, the language problem was not my only difficulty. I had also never done these kinds of exams before, so I wasn’t used to the learning structure and writing such long essays. I tried my best, but they weren’t going so well. I have to remember less than Japanese exams and I could chose the aspect which I was most familiar with in the exams, so these aspects made it easier than the Japanese style exams. However, against one question, I needed to find an argument, construct a statement and describe my own ideas in response to the question. So, I felt the abilities of thinking and creating were needed more.
On the last day of term 3, we had the multicultural festival. There was a marching parade with people in their own nation’s traditional clothing, so I and many others got to wear a Yukata or Happi. It was nice and enjoyable. After the parade, we cooked Yakisoba and Okonomi-yaki to sell to other students. Alongside us, there were other countries’ booths which sold other traditional food or were hosting some sort of activity. It was a very good way to spend the last day of term before the school holidays.
(We are in traditional clothing! Both Japanese and Vietnamese clothing)
I talked about the big events which happened in the last term.
I’m getting used to Australian classes and now I can understand more than half of the lessons despite not being able to understand almost anything when I first arrived. However, it is still hard when complex words are used or students are chatting amongst each other. I’ll continue to study hard as I want to be able to understand almost everything as well as being able to put my hand up in class to speak.
For now, I’m enjoy my school holidays, talking a lot with friends and my new host family. It is fun and allow me to improve my English skills even more.
Thank you very much for reading through to the end. See you next month!