Japanese Immersion Stands Strong

The Japanese Immersion program has been a part of the lives of a portion of Dimond’s students for many years. Myla Hummel, a senior, has been in the Japanese Immersion program for 10 years. She and her younger brother, Austin Hummel, a junior, both consider themselves fluent in Japanese. The best part about the class for sophomore Cory Chan is “the crazy people” involved. Esther Glasionov, a senior, feels that besides learning the language, students also get to learn about the Japanese culture. Those who have been in the program since elementary school act like one big family. Miyuki Imai and Victoria Gellert teach the four immersion classes. Imai said that the best part of teaching the class is being able to joke with her students in Japanese. Imai truly enjoys teaching the immersion students. When asked what the key to success is in her class, Imai said that it is easy if you pay attention. It is clear that the immersion program has a dedicated teacher who likes her students. The class seems well organized and successful, but could more be done? Austin Hummel believes that the program could incorporate “more cultural food.” Hummel continued to say, “I love the simplicity of it [the class].” For most students, it is apparent that they enjoy the class. Myla Hummel seems to simply enjoy the atmosphere of the class. When asked what she liked about the class, Hummel said, “I like the people and the experience.” Even though most students have been participants in the program since kindergarten, there are those who have a natural ability in Japanese and have been advanced to the immersion classes. One such student is Alex Maule, a senior. Maule believes the immersion class is similar to other non-immersion classes she has taken with just an increased level of difficulty. The best part of the class for Maule is the Japanese stories she learns. When asked if she was fluent, Maule said with humorous exaggeration, “no not at all, I have a lot to learn.” The students like the classes, the teachers and the environment, but why do they take the classes to begin with? Yukie Jones, a senior, has been in the program for quite some time now. Jones says that by continuing with the program she may be presented with job offers outside of high school. Jones believes that the program gives her the chance to interact with different people in Japanese. The incentive for Jones is the chance to widen her Japanese vocabulary. Chan said that he continues with the program in order to be able to speak Japanese even after high school. It looks like the Japanese Immersion program is continuing with successful students and capable teachers.