International presentation at Shaler Area helps students expand horizons
Shaler Area High School hosted international guest Ichiro Fujisaki, the former Japanese ambassador to the United States, in a seminar that involved eight Western Pennsylvania high schools.
The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that promotes an understanding of international issues, arranged the seminar with the former ambassador and asked Shaler Area to host in part because of its strong Japanese program.
Students from the Shaler Area and Fox Chapel Area school districts attended the seminar at the Shaler Area High School, and students from the Conneaut Area, Hampton, Cornell, Elizabeth Forward and Gateway school districts participated via video conference.
“We think it's really important for students, especially from our area, to engage with international speakers who have a breadth of experiences they're not familiar … to give students a good way to broaden their horizon,” said Elizabeth Cook, program associate for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.
Shaler Area offers five levels of Japanese, including an Advanced Placement-level course.
Steven Balsomico, Shaler Area Japanese teacher, said the opportunity to hear Fujisaki speak about domestic and international issues brings a better understanding of the Japanese culture and Japanese-American relations to the students.
“I try to bring as much culture and teach the culture in the language,” Balsomico said. “You can't understand the language without the culture.”
Holly Shearin, a Shaler Area senior, is taking “AP Japanese” and said she appreciated the opportunity to hear Fujisaki speak.
“It's definitely an honor because you get to see the Japanese and American culture come together, and it's very interesting because they're very different,” Shearin said.
On March 7, Shearin won first place in the High School Japanese Speech Contest sponsored by The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania in the Advanced Plus level, the highest level in the competition. Because of her proficiency in the language, the high school's gifted and talented education staff, which supported the seminar, asked her to write a thank you note to Fujisaki.
“In Japanese, you have different levels of formality, and the formal version of speech and writing we just learned last week; it did help apply what I just learned,” Shearin said. “It was definitely an honor and privilege to indirectly communicate with him.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former North Hills school board president fills vacant seat
- Hampton students step up, provide artwork for educator’s new book
- Photo Gallery: St. Teresa of Avila fish fry
- Photo Gallery: Chinese New Year at Ross Elementary
- Champion NA swimmer credits time spent at Olympic Training Center
- North Allegheny graduate receives prestigious scholarship
- Model-making McCandless resident runs a tight ship
- Former Steeler Hoge discusses concussions with North Hills student-athletes
- Kiss a pig contest to benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania
- Shaler man a leader for St. Barnabas
- Hampton considers revised rules for off-road vehicles