Three English fellowships were granted to recent CSULB graduates by the Yokkaichi Board of Education in Japan through the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association. The Association’s relationship with Long Beach turns 50 years old this year and the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies is proud to be working closely with them to support the Yokkaichi English Fellow Program (YEF) by creating connections to students looking for educational and cultural opportunities.
Having participated in the English Village summer study-abroad program in South Korea, a program established through the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies where students can take courses and assist teaching English, Victor Nguyen found his stepping stone. Victor was born in Vietnam and has recently graduated with a B.A. in International Studies. While completing his undergrad degree, he also studied Japanese for three years at CSULB. He carries with him a unique perspective on teaching English and the importance of “nurturing an appreciation for foreign languages and cultures.” (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013)
Similarly, Courtney Roe, a recent graduate of Japanese in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, developed a connection to Japan during a one year stint at Waseda University in Tokyo. She now sees herself as a “bridge between America and Japan” with aspirations of becoming a good teacher that makes a difference in her students’ lives. (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013).
Alexander Smith, also graduated from the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies with a B.A. in Asian Studies. He also studied for one year at Waseda University. His experience in learning another language has helped him understand the difficulties involved and believes that “students need a little encouragement, a slight push, or a new approach to how they are trying to learn. I am still new to teaching and believe that the YEF program would be a great step in enriching my teaching abilities.” (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013)
Written by Michelle Seales-Kaestner
For more information on the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association and the CSULB grads, see the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association October newsletter here.