On Sunday, September 12, some of our students joined the 2021 Japan-Cambodia Online Exchange Program. This event, using English as the lingua franca, involved students from Batheay High School in Kampong Cham Province in Cambodia—many of whom had traveled to Japan on scholarships in previous years. In addition, students from Seinan Jo Gakuin University who had been involved with them during their visits participated, as well as students from a number of junior and senior high schools in Osaka who gave presentations about Japanese school life. This was all done on Zoom, and apart from a few small technical problems, the event went very smoothly. Two of our 3rd-year students, Asuka Haishi and Yuria Michishiro, acted as MCs for the event and did an excellent job. The objectives were:
1. Intercultural Competence
To broaden the participants’ horizons by discovering other perspectives through exchanging ideas about similarities and differences between the two countries, based on real experiences.
2. English as a Lingua Franca
To experience realistic forms of English as a lingua franca and to understand that to effectively learn English means to acquire a tool for global communication through interaction among non-native speakers of English, in addition to native speakers.
3. Human Network
To create a network between Cambodia and Japan by getting to know each other and having continuous involvement about the future of the two countries.