Our focus at Woodend is not only the language side of Japanese but also learning about and appreciating another culture. Students are exposed to many cultural aspects and customs of Japan as well as the language. This is done through a variety of activities including written work, oral activities as well as games and learning about current events and cultural activities from Japan by using the wonderful resources available on the web.

Here at Woodend we have 2 teachers, Keiko Yoshino and Sarah Vinall. Here’s a bit about each of us and what we are covering this term.


Konnichiwa, my name is Keiko. I am from Tokyo. Students call me Keiko sensei or Sensei. This is my first year at Woodend and I am excited to be a part of the community.

This year I teach ten Year 2 to 4 classes from Monday to Thursday.

We had a good start to the year. In the first few weeks, we spent time getting to know each other, discussing about class rules and manners and learning about Japanese zodiac.

This term, students are learning about the concept “Greetings help to connect people”, “Identity is constructed in different ways in different culture”. The learning focuses will be on self-introduction, greetings and everyday phrases, manner and non-verbal communication in year-appropriate level.

This will help to welcome and connect to Myojo students who will visit our school later in the term.


Some of you may know me as Vinall sensei, sensei or “the Japanese teacher”! This year is my 2nd year teaching Japanese here at Woodend.

This year I am teaching the Reception classes, Year 1s and all Year 5 to 7 students.

It’s nice to see familiar faces as well as get to know those students I haven’t taught in the past.

This term the Reception students are learning basic greetings and numbers. We will do this through lots of oral work and games. This term we also look at where Japan is in the world and where it is in relation to Australia.

The Year 1 classes are doing a topic called “When is your birthday?” We are focussing on learning how to say the months of the year in Japanese and ask and answer the “When is your birthday?” question. We will have lots of fun learning this.

The Year 5-7 students are doing a topic on “Weather” this term. We have started by looking at cities in Japan and where they are located. It was an interesting task seeing how many students knew where Tokyo was! We will do some useful revision before getting into writing and presenting a weather report for Japan in Japanese. Students will choose how they will present this information and we look forward to seeing their creativity developing.


This year is going to be a busy one with our 10th anniversary of our sister school students from Myojo arriving later this term and then a lucky bunch of 16 students will be heading to Myojo for a fabulous home stay experience and Japanese school life in September.


We have set up a Japanese blog for Woodend. There are a few posts from 2015 with one being “Why Learn a Foreign Language”. If you have the time to read it you can see a number of benefits students can gain from learning a foreign language. Our blog address is   http://wpsjapanese.edublogs.org   When you go onto the blog please subscribe and you will be kept up to date with the goings on in Japanese this year.


Feel free to pop into our classrooms at any time and see where your child has their Japanese lessons each week. If you wish to email us feel free.