Event 14

Nara JETNet 14th Event
International Understanding Through English

  On Saturday, June 18th, 2005, International Understanding through English, Nara JETNet's 14th event, was held at the Nara Prefectural Small and Medium Enterprises Center in Nara City. The JETNet council, which is comprised of the 5 Coordinators for International Relations and one Assistant Language Teacher at the Nara Prefectural Board of Education, has been planning international events in Nara since 2001. The event included 45 citizens of Nara prefecture and 33 JET Programme participants, who represented various countries, including France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, China, the UK, Ireland, and the United States.

  International Understanding through English was designed to be a forum where Japanese and JET participants alike could come and express their opinions and ideas on a variety of different topics. The following five topics were chosen by the JETNet council after receiving suggestions from the Japanese and JET communities: Globalization and Localization, United Nations Security Council Reform, Women in the Workplace Worldwide, Environmental Issues, and Aging Societies. Each group was assigned a moderator, whose role was to elicit comments from all participating members and guide the flow of discussion.

  The JETs arrived at the venue at approximately 9.30am and began setting up small displays containing relevant information about the various topics. After a break for lunch, the JETs returned to the venue and participants began to arrive.

  At the registration desk, each participant received a nametag upon which was written a numeric sequence corresponding to the group discussions they would be participating in. Each participant was assigned to 4 groups, the first of which began at 1.35pm. As the day progressed, participants rotated through 4 discussion periods of 25 minutes each, getting a chance to talk and interact with a new mix of group members each time.

  The event culminated in the delivery of a closing summary by the individual group moderators and a farewell message from the JETNet chairwoman at 4.00pm. Surveys revealed that the majority of participants, JET and Japanese alike, felt that the event was very meaningful, as it provided participants with the opportunity to freely discuss a wide variety of issues with people of different backgrounds.

  The JETNet team would like to express its appreciation to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you again at a future event!

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