Language Maintenance Immersion Weekend 2019

Immersion Weekend Report

Our language immersion weekend to support non-native teachers of Japanese was held early in Term 4, 2019 from 11 to 13 October. The event was held at a new venue, the Mantra Lorne. Many thanks to Kathleen Duquemin for organising the weekend and to our mentors: Yuichi Deguchi, Takanori Hayakawa and Junko Nichols, who generously gave their time to mentor their groups and to share their wealth of knowledge with us.

The event started on Friday evening with dinner followed by participants meeting their mentors. Each group was assigned a mentor to work with throughout the weekend. Teachers were grouped according to ability, from beginner to advanced, so everyone had a chance to improve their language skills. On the Saturday during the day and on the Sunday for half the day the participants engaged in various sessions organised by their mentors. The mentors engaged their group and focused on improving Japanese through a variety of games, cultural and language based activities.

We also thank all the teachers who enthusiastically participated throughout the weekend. The feedback for the event was very positive. Participants said:

  • You put us in very appropriate groups level wise. The mentors were very approachable and helpful. You encouraged us to use Japanese as much as possible. Trivia was really fun!
  • Making everyone feel comfortable speaking Japanese.
  • My group was the perfect level for me, very interesting sessions, enough time to fill my head with Japanese, but also rest between sessions. Trivia was a fun group activity.
  • Venue, schedule, teams with mentors, just providing an opportunity for everyone to feel comfortable to speak and listen in Japanese in a natural setting.
  • Great organisation and safe feeling for myself and those in my group to make mistakes.

We thank the Victorian Government for providing funding to enable this weekend to occur. We hope to be able to run other immersion experiences for teachers in 2020.

Nathan Lane


JLTAV Inc. (Reg. No. A0024691U)



A weekend of immersion in the Japanese language, participating in a language maintenance course with three amazing mentors and networking with other Japanese teachers in the beautiful Victorian countryside.


This weekend is for all teachers – from those who class themselves as ‘beginners’ (VCE or university level or less) to those who have lived in Japan and are ‘advanced’. Teachers are grouped according to ability so everyone has a chance to improve their language skills! Our mentors work with their small group throughout the weekend in an almost totally immersive environment!

Here is what some of the previous participants said: 

The immersion weekend was a great opportunity to meet other Japanese teachers and work together to improve our language skills. It was a great opportunity to collaborate, especially since many language teachers don’t often have the opportunity in school. The mentors were fantastic and really encouraged everyone to contribute, while creating an environment where people felt comfortable speaking in Japanese. It was also nice being able to partake in some more cultural activities such as calligraphy and Shogi.’
‘There was such a positive and supportive vibe throughout the weekend. We had lots of fun and lots of learning!’
‘The Immersion weekend exceeded my expectations – it was extremely well organised and an ideal environment to speak Japanese. It was surprisingly easy to converse comfortably with everyone despite our varied levels of ability, in a very supportive atmosphere. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. See you next year!’
‘The Japanese Language Immersion weekend was a wonderful experience where we had the opportunity to extend and expand our skills with fantastic mentors. It helped me generate new ideas for teaching and reinvigorated my practice. It was also great to spend time, communicate and exchange ideas with other teachers from across the state. I look forward to participating in the next weekend run by JLTAV.’


Cost includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals (Friday dinner until Sunday lunch)
  • organised social activities
  • all course fees

This initiative is funded by the Victorian Government and subsidised by JLTAV.

Early Bird rate (available until Thursday 1 August)twin share$300
Early Bird rate (available until Thursday 1 August)single room$450
Late Bird ratetwin share$360
Late Bird ratesingle room$510



Registrations are now open. Click here to register.

Registration closes: Tuesday 10th September 2019


Draft schedule

Friday 11th October

  • Arrival – Friday afternoon : Check in and registration, team allocation, outline of language expectations
  • Dinner (7.30pm)
  • After dinner (1 hour): with Mentor and team – get to know each other, create team name
  • Evening relaxation (optional): relaxing in the lounge/bar (at own cost) and getting to know one another

Saturday 12th October

  • Before Breakfast (6.30am): ラジオ体操 (bonus points for team) (optiopnal)
  • Breakfast (7.00am): Points awarded for successful conversations started at breakfast with a member of own team
  • After breakfast – free time until session 1
  • Morning Session 1 with Mentor (8.30-10.00)
  • Morning Tea (10.00-10.30): Conversation challenge – discuss the morning tea (food, taste, likes, dislikes – points awarded for successful comments)
  • Morning Session 2 with Mentor (10.30-12.00)
  • Lunch : Conversation cards changed, points awarded for successful conversations at lunch, team games
  • Afternoon Session 1 with Mentor (1.00-2.30)
  • Afternoon Tea (2.30-3.00): Participants are allowed to speak English during this break, origami speed race
  • Afternoon Session 2 with Mentor (3.00-4.30)
  • Free time before dinner
  • Dinner (6.30 pre-drinks and 7.00 dinner): Conversation cards changed – points awarded for new conversations – double points for including morning phrases
  • After dinner Session (8.30-9.00): Trivia competition
  • Free time: drinks in bar (optional and at own cost)

Sunday 13th October

  • Before Breakfast : ラジオ体操 (bonus points for team) (optional)
  • Breakfast (8.00am): Points awarded for successful conversations started at breakfast with a member of own team
  • Morning Session 1 with Mentor (9.00-10.30)
  • Morning Tea (10.30-11.00): Conversation challenge – discuss the morning tea
  • Closing Celebration (11.00-12.00)

Click here to download the draft schedule