The SAOL attempted an online workshop

Photo: Ms Fujimitsu Yuko, the JF, London

On Saturday, 14 March, the SAOL co-operated with The British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation (JF), London in the BATJ and the JF, London’s ‘spring training session’. The theme was ‘Drama as a means of education’.
The session was originally planned to be held at King’s College London. Professor Miyazaki was to visit London and give a workshop there in lieu of the late President Watanabe. However, the spread of COVID-19 prevented him from going. As a result, it was decided that the workshop should go totally online.
The team in Japan rented a room in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, where seven members of the SAOL, including Prof Miyazaki, ran the workshop for Part 1. The workshop was joined by seventy participants from thirteen countries such as Japan, the UK, the USA, and other countries in Europe and Asia. The workshop started with warm-up activities. The main activities were offered on the basis of the picture book ‘My Village, the Most Beautiful in the World’. A video conference system called Zoom enabled the workshop to be bi-directional, rather than one-way broadcast.
Regardless of the concerns of the Ikebukuro team about possible failure and breakdown, the actual workshop went smoothly and actively, with laughter, discussions, and questions. A new form of workshop is emerging