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2. Must study more

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This afternoon, we practiced for the Level 3 JLPT. I think this is the first standardized test I did horribly on. =) Waaah! I got around 50%. Must must must must study more. Then again, we haven't covered all the topics we need for the test, so we're not supposed to worry.

I'm now two chapters ahead in the web-based training module, although I need to retake the last test tomorrow, as my score is lower than I'd like.

Still no Internet.

Interleaving homework and laundry seems to be a good idea, as I can leave my clothes to soak for a bit.

Still no reply from Tomoko. Should try calling again tomorrow.

1. Orientation for group survey

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Raw notes follow. Speech by Kondo-sensei, then Kojima-sensei.

The biggest purpose of this general orientation course is for you to have a smooth transition to your technical training. I have listed three major points. The first one is to develop your Japanese language ability, then the ability to adapt to life in Japan, and then the ability to adapt to specialized technical training. The group survey which I am going to explain today falls into the category of developing the ability to adapt to specialized technical training. So through group survey I am hoping that you can develop understanding about Japanese comanies and to practice your Japanese language ability in a practical setting. So now I am distributing the outline for the group survey or group study. I am going to follow this outline to explain the overall concept of the group survey. Sou first of all, I would like to tell you what the group survey actually is, and what is the purpose of this survey. The group survey is actually to decide topic or theme by discussion, and you actually go out of YKC to collect various information related to your topic. Based on the information collected outside YKC, we are expecting you to give a presentation. So normally the purpose of this group survey is to make the so-called final product in the form of reports or video or any other kind. But to make the final product showing the results of your survey showing the information you collected by yourselves. But this time, the final product will be the website. The creation of the website will be the final product of the group survey. Let me give you four objectives of this group survey. The main objective is to use Japanese language, which you study in classrooms, outside of classrooms--outside of YKC, in a practical setting. For your information, the fieldwork activity, restaurant activity, and kanji search, are all part of this practice to use Japanese language outside classrooms. And also through this group survey, you will learn new Japanese words or experssions which you have not studied in classrooms. And the third objective is to acquire a deeper knowledge of the topics that you choose, because you are all IT engineers, so to deepen understanding of the topic, you can further your ability to adapt to specialized training by understanding more of the IT through related information. And through this activity, I hope you can improve and enhance your ability to collect and organize information. So about the contents, do you have any questions? Let's move to the spcial topic selection. Because you are IT engineers, as IT engineers, please think about topics related to the Japanese software development or IT trend. In each group, discuss the topic and decide on a topic which is related to the Japanese software development or IT trend. Based on the topic, please gather and organize information and make it into a website explaining the result of your survey. Since you have already been divided into five groups in the past activities such as fieldwork and restaurant activities, since five groups have already been selected, we would like to proceed with this group study according to these five groups. Let me explain how to proceed with this group study. Then first of all, please have a good discussion within each group and decide on a topic. After you have decided on a topic, then please discuss what kind of approaches you are going to take to pursue this topic, or what kind of materials must be obtained or can be obtained. Please have a good discussion about the materials you will collect. Please set up a schedule for your survey. Then you have to create / finish the necessary document in Japanese language. And for your information, as for the information gathering, it should not be — it does not have to be done in Japanese. It can be through your native languages or in English. The information in English or your native languages can be obtained as well. You can also utilize the lectures or company visit from now on to collect information that you need. Please use those opportunities to your best advantage. Transportation expenses which is necessary for your survey will be provnided by AOTS. As for the digital camera, I understand that each group has at least one digital camera, so would you please use the digital camera to take many photographs to take many photos when you're going outside for information gathering and put those photos on the website. I would like you to remember one important point. The important point for you to remember is that for the group survey, use your Japanese language ability outside. As far as information gathering is concerned, you could do it in YKC through the Internet, but we strongly do not recommend that, because this is the opportunity to speak to people outside YKC. Go to exhibitions, museums, and interact with the Japanese people so that you can learn the Japanese language. I'm not saying that the Internet is prohibited, but it is not recommendable. Please consult with me or Kojima sensei in selecting the topics and creating the web site. The website which you will create--that is actually the final product of this group survey — will be presented at the final day meeting. The Japanese language meeting together with people from host companies and AOTS staff attending. This will be a kinda formal occassion where your website will be presented. We are also considering putting your website into the AOTS website so that we are going to incorporate your website into our website. We are not sure if all the websites created by each group will be put into the AOTS web page or whether only the very excellent ones will be put on the website, but we are considering incorporating your website into the AOTS website, so please make a very good effort. So lastly, let me tell you the schedule of the group survey. Today, on the 15th, we have given you the explanation of the group survey. On the 22nd, will have announcement of group plans meetings, where each group will announce the topic. This will be done on the 22nd. Interim reports will be done on October 5. So I have given you the exact date of the interim reports. October 5. Website production #1 will be done on the 23rd of September. Website production #2 is on October 1 (correct). Preparation for Group Presentations should be "Web site production #3" and it will be held on October 14. Peresentation Rehearsal and Group Presentetations will go according to that schedule. This concludes my explanation of the overall outline of the group survey. Of course we expect to have very good final products, but more importantly, we hope that you can develop independent or autonomous attitude to collecting information, so that you can still continue to have the forward-looking positive attitude after the 8-week orientation course and after you start specializing in technical training. I will hand over to Kojima-sensei, and Kojima-sensei will talk about how you should give the presentation. How to give a presentation. So on this group survey, the presentation will be done on each theme of each group. So this is not like the presentation of the Yokohama fieldwork. This will be a one-topic presentation. Each member of the group will take turns in presenting some parts of the total presentation. Please look at the slide. I would like you to follow this flow or structure in doing your presentation. First of all, please explain two or three important keywords. Please explain in Japanese language. After the explanation of the keywords, then please give us the reason or background why you chose this topic. The third point is theme setting. This is actually related to the second point, awareness of the issue. In the secornd part, please give us the particular reason why you chose this specific theme. 2 is bigger reason, 3 is a very specific reason. So the theme setting should be very specific. I would suggest that you make up a particular question. For example: plasma TV or LCD TV? Which is more promising in the future? As for the strategy, please explain what kind of approaches you have taken in order to find out the answer to this particular theme. Tell me how you tackle the issue. And then comes the main body, which is actually the presentation of the result of your survey. Please give the data, based on the info you have collected in the main body, then use all the data you collected to make a conclusion. Give a brief summary of this group survey, then please give us your comments. What particular difficulties you have ecome across in the group survey, or what is the different point in comparison to your country's situation. These various comments will be done by presenter. So the normal presentation will cover this remained task, ... (Ah, the next step), but in your case, we would like you to give your comments. For the presentation, I would like each of the group members to participate. If you are six people in your group, please take turns.If your group has only four or five people, then one person will do two elements in this structure, for example. In order to make my explanation more specific, I came up with one example for better understanding. I would like to use this example to explan in further detail. For your information, we have so-called 3 treasures in the Japanese consumer electronics. Digital camera, DVD player, and big screen flat panel TV. These are three best-selling products in Japanese market. Big screen flat panel TVs are divided into two kinds - liquid crystal display TV and Plasma TV. For the awareness of the issue. When I go to the consumer electronics store, I find LCD display next to plasma TV. I was just wondering which one I should buy. My awareness of the issue is LCD versus plasma TV. Which is more promising in the future market? This is the question which I became aware of for this survey.So I have tset the theme. Or specifically I have set the fquestion. "Which is bright in the future, Liquid crystal display TV or Plasma TV?" This question is my theme. To find out the answer of the theme question, we have to think about what kind of method or approach should be taken. First of all, I will think about several points to compare. For example, the screen size, price, or product durability. After selecting the comparison points, I decide to go on actual research to the consumer electronics stores. Setting the research points first, I will decide which store in what area I am going to go to for the research. Of course we cannot go to all the stories in all the areas, and we cannot research all the points, so please limit the points and limit the stores so that your research can be made easier. And in the main body part, you will provide the data or information that you could collect through the research. For example, in this particular slide, the screen size is up to 42 inches for the LCD and the Plasma goes up to 55inch. But for the comparison of the price, in the case of 42 inch size, the plasma TV is about 100000 yen cheaper (for the 42inch display). And we also can find out the lifespan of both TVs. For example, the lifespan of the LCD is 60kh, while plasma has only 20kh. The power consumption for example is 60% of the plasma. So it also has less power consumption than plasma. So these kinds of data can be obtained through your research. Based on the data in the main body, you will give us the conclusion. I'm not giving you any conclusion for this example, but you will make your own conclusion for your research. And then you are going to briefly summarize the contents of your presentation in a summing up. Comments. In the comments part, please give us some interesting experiences which you have gone through during the research or group survey. One example being, "I had a difficulty asking for the price, because a lot of stores in Akihabara, every time I speak with sales staff, the price is being reduced bit by bit. I had a hard time asking for the price." I should have given you this part first (keyword part), so before giving the presentation, please explain some important keywords. In my case, these are the important keywords. Please explain them in Japanese language before giving the presentation.I see there will be a lot of research volume, however, if you properly organize the result of your research, then the ccontents will be compact, but simple and very understandable. If you follow this structure, then the people listening to your presentation will be able to understand your content very well. Do you understand my explanation?

Q: What is the difference between the conclusion and summary?

Conclusion is to give the answer of a particular question. Summing up is just go through what you have done from the keyword to the conclusion. A kind of repeating and reviewing what you have done, just to freshen up the memory.

Now I am going to give two sheets of paper to each group leader. Will the group leaders be able to finish filling in the necessary parts of the paper and give it back to me before the 22nd of September? I will give this type of paper in some parts each group should fill in. I will ask the leader to fill in and finalize this group plan. The plan of group survey using the computers. Based on this plan of group survey, we will have announcement of group plans meeting on the 22nd. The previous week, from the 22nd, I will contact each group to confirm this plan of group survey, so that the announcement meeting will be conducted smoothly. 9/16: 1, 2, 3. 9/17: 4, 5. I would like each group leader to fill up these two sheets of documents. Based on these shoeets, I would like to have discussion with the group leader on the 16th for groups 1, 2, and 3, and on the 17th for groups and 5. Each group leader is required to fill up these documents before these dates. It's not very complicated, just to clarify what the theme of your presentation will be, and the reasons why you chose this theme. What kind of approaches you are going to take. Who will be responsible for the presentation of each point. Please spend twenty minutes to thirty minutes for for each group's presentation. Each group will have 20-30 minutes for individual presentation.Please choose the specific theme. It shouldn't be too vague a topic. But a very small, specific question, which you think you will be able to find the answer to. So I will give this slide in a form of a floppy to each leader, so please fill in the necessary section. I will telephone the group leader later.