CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan – --
Camp Courtney hosted its annual, weeklong Summer English Class Aug. 16 on Camp Courtney.
High school students from the local community were welcomed on Camp Courtney for class where volunteer Marines spent the week speaking with the students to help expand their English vocabulary and conversational skills.
“The purpose of this week was for the children to speak English with people fluent in the language,” said Cpl. Aaron Herder, a volunteer for the class and cyber network operator with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. “The second part was for them to learn about Marines. We want to show them what Marines are like normally.”
During the class, students were given homework that involved asking Marines to describe a word or phrase that they commonly use in the military community.
“This allows them to learn more words and how to speak in a proper conversation,” said Fumika Shinzato, a local community member volunteer of 12 years. “I was part of this class 12 years ago. It helped with my speaking but also my fascination of the Marines here. Coming onto base and speaking with Marines was the best thing about the class for me.”
The students and Marines spent the morning getting to know each other at the Camp Courtney Mess Hall, before eating lunch together and then going on a tour. Marines kept the tour fun and lively by entertaining the students with jokes, showing off their physical fitness, and asking questions.
“We enjoy the Marines who help us,” said Kazuki Oshiro, a local volunteer for the class. “We come to practice our English since we don’t get much chance outside of class and the Marines are very open. They are curious of our culture just as we are of theirs. This allows us learn together, to build friendships.”