Online Singapore school trip at Hokkaido High School for the Deaf

An online class involving Singapore, the High School for the Deaf, and a sign language interpreter

On February 8, the Hokkaido ASEAN Office (Singapore) conducted an online class called “Virtual School Trip” for students at the Hokkaido High School for the Deaf (Zenibako, Otaru). They taught about Singapore lifestyles and culture.

The Hokkaido government organized this project in an effort to increase interest in foreign countries among high school students. This is the second installment after Sapporo Kiyota High School, and was conducted involving the three locations of Singapore, the High School for the Deaf, and the Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education (Sapporo), which has sign language interpreters.

Nine first-year students participated in the class. After the head of the Hokkaido ASEAN Office taught about Singapore geography and language in a quiz format, they showed pre-recorded video footage of an outdoor food court and introduced food culture such as the famous chicken rice and the common Singaporean lifestyle. The class also included livestreaming from the downtown “Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza” and showed how Hokkaido-made snacks and foods are selling plentifully.

The class was 50 minutes, and sign language used in Singapore was also introduced. The students showed intense interest, asking questions like, “How do you say happiness?” And they were surprised at the differences from Japanese sign language. Student Takagi Arashi expressed gratitude in sign language, “I knew nothing about any of this, so it was very fun.”