Learning Japanese and Mathematics Simultaneously

I studied in Japan in a Teacher Training Program for one and a half years. A 4-month intensive Japanese language course was included in this program, so I was really lucky since I wanted to learn Japanese. Like many of you, I was a fan of Japanese anime since I was a kid.

The Intensive Japanese Language Course

For the first four months in the program, I, together with other international students, studied Japanese 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. We learned grammar, listening, speaking, and writing. As you probably know, writing is the hardest part since Japan uses a different writing system. They use three sets of characters namely, Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, and they also know our alphabet. After graduating high school, Japanese students should master 46 Hiragana, 46 Katakana, and 2136 Kanji characters.

In our case, after four months of training, we learned around 400 Kanji characters. Although I had the chance to continue our Japanese language studies, I did not. I focused on my research and studied Japanese on my own.  » Read more

Ted Talk: How to escape education’s death valley

If you have watched Changing Education Paradigms or Do Skills Creativity, then, you will surely love another lecture from Sir Ken Robinson.  This TED Talk discusses about the 3 principles crucial to the human mind to flourish and how the current system of education work against them. This talk is a must-watch for all teachers, educators, school administrators and policy makers.

For more talks by Sir Ken Robinson, visit his page on TEDTalk.

Video: Is mathematics discovered or invented?

If there’s a number of trees in a forest, and there’s no one there to count them, does that number exist? This is the same question as the existence of mathematics. Is mathematics discovered or invented? If human beings do not exist, would mathematics still exist?

Watch the video from TED as Jeff Dekofsky traces the history of this famous classic question and how mathematicians throughout history think about it.

What’s your take? Write your comments below.

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