In to open up to me but through

In my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan for the first time through an exchange program. I stayed at the home of an elderly Japanese couple for my homestay and I was given a brief glimpse into their lives. They welcomed me warmly into their home for 2 days and during that time, we had many opportunities to talk about our hobbies and interests. Although the homestay was brief, it was the culmination of the whole program and it was an amazing experience overall. However, I regretted how I could not express how grateful I was for their kindness because of the language barrier we had. I would have wanted to let them know how amazed I was at what I had seen and experienced in Japan thus far. Knowing what I do now, I’ve come to understand that these were the moments that sparked my interest about the possibility of teaching English in Japan.One of the most noteworthy qualities that led me to discovering the JET Programme was the opportunity to simultaneously learn and teach. As an ALT, I know that I will be facing many challenges understanding a new language together with my students. Growing up in a multilingual country such as the Philippines with its many dialects and colloquialisms, I believe that I can provide a more personal perspective to the teaching of the English language. My time spent volunteer teaching at various non-profit groups about simple topics such as animal welfare and arts & crafts has helped me learn about interactive approaches to teaching a group of kids. I’ve learned that the use of games like charades or Pictionary, acting out different scenarios, and collaborative group activities can be effective tools for them to learn from one another and to build a fun classroom environment. Moreover, I know how valuable it is to build a trustworthy relationship with your students and become a familiar presence in their lives. In this respect, I wish to broaden their perspective of the world outside of Japan and make use of the skills and interests I have to engage with them personally. To accomplish this, I commit to making a conscious effort to involve myself in the daily lives of the locals and to immerse myself in the customs of the town I will be placed in. I know that it may take a while for them to open up to me but through all my time working with different people, I’ve learned that patience is key. I wish to get to know them beyond the four walls of the school through possibly starting an arts and crafts club or by joining in on one of the school’s many sports or cultural activities. Likewise, I also wish to become someone fully integrated into my town’s local community. Among many things, I want to initiate a Filipino-Japanese cultural exchange festival in order to build relationships in the community and tell them about my own culture at the same time. Throughout my life, I believe that I have developed genuine friendships with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The English language was the bridge that helped us to confidently share our lives and experiences with other people. If I’m chosen to participate as an ALT, I would use the opportunity not only bring together the cultures of Japan and the Philippines together, but also to proudly represent my own heritage as a Filipino.I am confident that my skills can offer something of value to the JET Programme. I wish to use the experiences that I will gain to maintain a favorable image of Japan to Filipinos for years to come. Becoming an Assistant Language Teacher would be an amazing privilege that I plan to give my absolute best to. If accepted, I will continually strive to bridge the gap between our cultural differences and use my experiences as an ALT to deepen my students’ understanding of the world around them.