Saturday, March 21, 2009

English Support Lounge Retreat at Ise Shima

From the 17 to the 19, thirteen students and four faculty members from Yokkaichi University and I rented out four cabins in Ise Shima for a three-day English retreat. We called it the Short-term English House. Short-term because we had planned originally to organize an all English dorm facility. Not enough takers, so half of the plan fell through, so we organized these short-term events as a kind of alternative. It was very international, and we used English as our lingua franca, cooking our own meals, cleaning up and living our lives for three days in English.

It wasn't possible to live entirely in English, but the students really did their best. I would say that 80% of the interaction was done in English on average. Of course, depending on the student and the activity, more or less English was used.

Our first day was spent in an ice breaker activity, then dinner making and clean up, some songs, and then free time.

The second day was really full. We started with breakfast and cleanup, then an English cooking lesson, followed by more cooking and cleanup. In the afternoon we did a scavenger hunt, and then had free time to prepare for the campfire. After dinner and cleanup and more songs, we went down to the beach for a campfire. Beautiful beach, and the weather couldn't have been better. The sky was filled with stars, and it was all just wonderful.

Our last day was pretty short, what with cleaning up and heading back to catch the train home. We took a hike up to a view point overlooking the ocean. We must have taken a million pictures all together.

Three days passed very quickly, and left most of us saying that we wished we had more time together. Sure do enjoy spending time with enthusiastic students.

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