14 Jul 2011
Japan’s consul to New Zealand, Mr Shoichi Kawai, presented the annual Consul’s prize for most improved second year Bachelor of Language (Japanese) student to Jordan McCormick this week.
CPIT’s Japanese language students are a dedicated group who are passionate about Japan’s language and culture, which can make choosing an outstanding student difficult, however Jordan’s attitude and progress shone through to earn him the prestigious award.
Jordan’s tutors Yoko Couling and Yoshihiko Holmes described him as “highly motivated”, “a character” and “always wanting some sort of challenge.”
Small class sizes and the focus on practical, spoken language skills attracted Jordan to CPIT’s Bachelor of Japanese. Now in his final year, the 20 year-old plans to follow in the tradition of past consul prize winners who have gone to live in Japan after graduating. Jordan is aiming to study law at university level in Japan and may remain in the country for up to 10 years.
“There are many reasons to learn Japanese,” Jordan said. “On a personal level it’s the cultural understanding of a different country with a lot longer history than ours. It draws you in - the culture, the history and the people.”
Programme leader Dr Henk de Groot agrees. The tutors’ enthusiasm for their topic is matched by the students, making for some lively classes and rewarding teaching. “If you’re head over heels in love with everything Japanese then you come here to CPIT,” he said.
The Japanese language programme is closely connected with the Japanese Consulate and many graduates travel to Japan with the consul’s one-year Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme.
In addition, CPIT offers scholarships that enable four students to study in Japan every year, says Head of School of Humanities, Mark Hornby. “The Bachelor of Language (Japanese) is a programme we do really well and have done since 1993. On the scale it’s boutique with small classes and I think we are the only tertiary provider offering Japanese to that level of language proficiency, where you can live and work in Japan after graduating or use your language skills for employment here in New Zealand,” he said.