Children at an elementary school in Tokyo's Chuo Ward got a chance to test out their English skills on Feb. 20 in an interactive session with foreign staff members of a luxury hotel in the ward.
A total of 11 fifth-graders at Tokiwa Municipal Elementary School took part in the session with foreign employees of the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel, which is located in the ward's Nihonbashi district. After the children introduced themselves in English, they played card games and other traditional Japanese games with the employees in four groups, and then explained the games in English. Afterward, they had lunch together.
The school, which was established 145 years ago, has poured effort into international education, while the hotel has actively promoted close relationships with the local area.
"I enjoyed our time together, although I was nervous at first," said Shinnosuke Saito, a 10-year-old student at the school.
Paul Jones, general manager of the hotel, commented, "The children are all polite and wonderful. I think it's a good system that they serve school lunch by themselves."
The school plans to interact with the staff members on a regular basis, and hopes that the children will be able to take the employees on a tour of the Nihonbashi district, guiding them in English.