Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News

Yokkaichi  Trio & Long Beach Teacher

From left, Mika Mishimura, Mayu Kato, and Ryuichi Takenoshita, the 2010 Trio Youth Exchange from Yokkaichi, chat with Cailin White of Long Beach who taught English in Yokkaichi from 2008 to 2010, at the Cultural Exchange Reception in Long Beach on July 25. (Cultural News Photo)

5 Cal State Long Beach Graduates will teach English in Yokkaichi for 2 Years

Five California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) graduates have been selected as Yokkaichi English Fellows and will begin teaching English in Long Beach’s Sister City of Yokkaichi, Japan, in August.

Rachelle Devera, Tim Hendricks, Payal Pancholi, Joshua Sensabaugh and David Watts were selected by the Yokkaichi City Board of Education to serve as assistant language teachers at the elementary and junior high school level for two years.

Devera earned bachelor of arts degrees in political science and Asian American studies from CSULB in 2006 and this past spring completed a master of arts degree in Asian studies.  She has been a K-12 general education private tutor since high school and also has some teaching experience in Recife, Brazil.

“What will truly be exciting is the opportunity for me to educate others, and I will be constantly learning from my students,” Devera said.  “This will be a life-changing experience.”

Hendricks completed a bachelor of arts degree in Asian studies with a focus on Japan in 2009.  For two years he worked as a college aid for Cubberley Elementary School in Long Beach, and at Long Beach City College he completed 30 service learning hours with Peace Games at Mayo Elementary School in Compton.

Noting that he has enjoyed his prior classroom experience, Hendricks said, “I hope to have that positive feeling after working with the children in Yokkaichi.”

Pancholi, a 2010 graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, also has a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification.

“Through the Yokkaichi English Fellows program, I would like to invite my students to use their English skills to help them strive in becoming responsible world citizens for the years to come,”  Pancholi noted.

Sensabaugh completed bachelor of arts degrees in English and comparative world literature in 2010. He has taught English via the Internet for Geoface, a Korean English school.

“As a fellow learner of a second language, I want to support the students’ growth and development as second language learners,” Sensabaugh shared.

Watts earned a bachelor of arts degree in Japanese in 2010.  He studied abroad for one year at Osaka Gakuin University in Japan and worked as an English instructor at an Eikawa Center for six months.

“Spending the 2008-09 school year in Japan was probably the most fulfilling time of my life so far,” Watts pointed out.  “My family, friends and teacher in Japan helped enrich my life.  I want to return that favor through my own experiences and help to further promote multicultural education.”

“Teaching in the schools requires team teaching with Japanese teachers in English,” explained Jeanne Karatsu, a board member of the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association that does the initial screening of the applicants.  “The two goals of the program are to assist in integrating oral language skills into the classroom and to make the study of English more lively and relevant.  The Yokkaichi students score very high on the English tests which the Yokkaichi Board of Education attributes to the YEF program.”

The YEF experience also includes working as tutors, judges or commentators for speech contests and serving as translators or English speakers as needed. The program began in 1986.

Yokkaichi, located about 20 miles from Nagoya in central Japan, is a major port and industrial complex that is also known for its production of fine tea and exquisite pottery.

Long Beach to Host Teacher, Students from Sister City in Japan

July 23, 2010 – Teacher Mika Nishimura and high school students Mayu Kato and Ryuichi Takenoshita from Yokkaichi, Japan are in Long Beach from July 23-Aug. 10 for the 45th Annual Trio Cultural Exchange hosted by the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association.

Nishimura teaches fifth grade at Yasato Primary School. Kato is a sophomore at Akatsuki Junior-Senior High School and Takenoshita is a junior at Yokkaichi High School.

Their visit will begin with a welcome dinner on July 25 where they will be honored by community leaders and the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association. During their three-week cultural visit, the trio will be introduced at a Long Beach City Council meeting, tour the port and California State University, Long Beach and view other Southern California sites.

Also, each trio member will experience home stays with two families.