In early March, nearing the end of the Japanese school year, I was asked to give a farewell message to the students of one of the junior high schools where I am an ALT.
Even after living here for a year, my Japanese is quite poor. But I wanted the students to understand my message without it coming across like an English class. So I broke the speech up, saying a part in English and then the Japanese translation.
It is simple English so the Japanese isn’t too hard to say. If there is any kanji below you don’t understand just ask. I didn’t want it to be all about me – the 3rd grade students were about to graduate so I wanted to give them a special message.
It went great, and the students even thanked me in English (pre-prepared speeches) and gave me flowers and a taiko happi (‘taiko’ is a traditional form of drumming, which this school is known for. ‘happi‘ is a traditional type of coat, like a short yukata).
Farewell Speech in English and Japanese
I’m grateful to you all for welcoming me so warmly. At the end of this month, I will go home to Australia. It’s a shame I have to leave Isato Junior High School.
みんなさん、あたたく むかえて くだせって かんしゃしています。わたしは 今月まつ オーストラリアに かえります。井郷中を さることに なり、 ざんねん です。
Last year on March 11, I was in Australia. I saw the Great Tohoku Tsunami on TV. Then, many friends and family said, “Japan is dangerous! Don’t go to Japan!” But I said, “I must go to Japan”.
去年の３月１１日 わたしは オーストラリアに いました。テレビで 東北のつなみ を 見ました。そして、たくさんの ともだち と かぞくは「日本は あぶないです。日本に いっては いけません。」といいました。でも、わたしは「日本へ いかなければなりません。」といいました。
This last year at Isato Junior High School was very fun! I love Isato Junior High School students!
１年間 井郷中学校に とても たのしかった。井郷中学校生が 大好きです！
1st grade students: You always have a smile.
１年生： あんたたちは えがお でしたね。
2nd grade students: Soon, conversation practice will finish.
２年生： もうすぐ、会話 れんしゅう が おわります。
3rd grade students: English class and English games were always very fun! You are growing up – you are becoming adults. From now, listen carefully to your heart. It knows what you want to be.
３年生： 英語のじゅぎょう と 英語のゲームを とても楽しかった。みなさんは まもなく おたなに なります。じぶんの こころの こえを よく きって、じぶんの ゆめを かなえてください。
Everyone, I’ll never forget you. Be happy.
わたしは、 あなたたち を けっして わすれません。じゃ、元気でね！
Good luck and goodbye!
That’s it… A few of the 3rd grade girls were crying, and the 2nd graders found the line to them very funny… inside joke.
3 thoughts on “Farewell Speech to Japanese Junior High School”
This is awesome
My name is Jose and I’m writing to you because I’m interested in your past experience as an ALT. I’m an ALT myself and I’m running a survey about communication (or lack thereof) between ALTs and JTEs. It is part of an assignment of a module in an MA in applied linguistics. I was wondering if you would be so nice as to give it ten minutes of your time to fill it in yourself, and also if you could give me some advice on how to reach as many ALTs as possible in a short period of time to get plenty of responses. Let me know if that would be okay, please. Thanks a lot for your help, Jose
Sure, I’ve sent you an email.