Carol Hayes on living language

Photo by Jimmy Walsh

The bright green liquid sits in the thick, earthy, clay-fired cup; still, like the student sitting in front of her new Japanese host family. The student puts the cup to her lips and gingerly sips – the taste is strong and bitter.

As hard to swallow as it is, the student politely tells her new family that the green tea is delicious. Later, she is greatly relieved when they tell her that even though they are Japanese, they don’t like it much either.

This is the opening scene from the four-minute Japanese digital story Ten cups of tea and me, which was created as part of the intermediate Japanese language  course run by Dr Carol Hayes in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

“She has skilfully harnessed humour, visual cues and narrative to tell of her developing love of green tea and create a metaphor for her deepening relationship with Japan – all in Japanese,” says Hayes.

Over the last five years Hayes has been active in creating teaching and learning spaces that harness the power of digital storytelling. She says it brings foreign languages “to  life” and enables students to talk meaningfully in a non-native tongue.

Read the entire story by James Giggacher on the ANU News website.

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute