Letter I — To Your Exchange Partner

Unit Objectives

The Project:
Students will write a letter of self–introduction to their Virtual Exchange Partner. In the real world, many foreign exchange programs require students to correspond with their host families before arriving in country. Further, Japanese families typically write letters to the students they will be hosting to tell them about themselves.

TIME:  2 weeks

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  • follow formal letter–writing format and protocol.
  • use appropriate opening and closing set phrases used letters.
  • use seasonal greetings, which are generally employed in formal letter writing.
  • describe themselves in more detail than at Level I and II, including such topics as: their own personality or character, physical attributes, other relevant personal data (race/ethnicity, religion/faith, home town in IL, etc.), their free time activities/hobbies, school life and preferred academic subjects, future educational and professional plans or aspirations, friends, boy– or girl–friend.
  • inform their host family about any dietary restrictions and allergies.
  • describe their Japanese language study to date, as well as an assessment of their own skills, strengths and weaknesses.
  • describe their immediate family members, including such information as: their personality or character, physical attributes, marital status, professions, and hobbies.
  • describe their interests in Japan, telling about why they want to go to Japan to live and study, including such things as: what their main motivation for going is, what they’d like to experience while there, where they’d like to go or what they’d like to learn or try doing while in Japan.

By the end of this unit students will have learned:

  • formal letter–writing protocols and format that are appropriate to a letter of introduction.
  • vocabulary for a variety of professions, careers or jobs.
  • how to talk about what they’d like to try doing—to experience to see what it’s like.
  • how to better explain themselves, giving more detailed reasons than they have in the past.
  • how to talk about their future aspirations and hopes.
  • more about how to use the Provisional (ば) form to say such things as: if I could, if I had the chance, if I had the money, if I had the time…