オンライン日本語パートナーについて (Online Language Partner Program) *

Online Conversation Partner/Language Exchange/Pen Pal Programs: Guidelines


The goal of these programs is to offer you opportunities to communicate and connect with native speakers of Japanese.  With regular meetings and written correspondences, you will gain confidence in communicating in Japanese and improve both your linguistic and cultural fluency.  To make this a mutually productive and congenial experience for you and your partner, please adhere to the following important guidelines when you participate in your program.

WHAT LANGUAGE SHOULD I USE WITH MY PARTNER? If you are in the Japanese conversation partner program, you will spend the whole session speaking with your partner in Japanese. If you are in the language exchange program, you will split the session in two equal durations: half the time in Japanese, and half the time in English. If you are fluent in other languages, your partner may wish to practice a language other than English with you. If you are in the pen pal program, you will exchange weekly messages electronically in Japanese such as by email, LINE etc.   One of the benefits is that, compared to the conversation partners program, you can check messages when it is convenient for you and take your time before you send your messages.

WHAT SHOULD I TALK/WRITE ABOUT? You are welcome to talk about any shared interests. You could also ask your partner questions about their family, major, friends, the weather, university, culture, language, favorite music and movies, etc. 

ARE THERE ANY SENSITIVE TOPICS TO AVOID? Topics like race, religion and sexual orientation require careful attention.  We suggest you start with more general topics and avoid any topic that you or your partner feel uncomfortable with. 

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD BE CAREFUL ABOUT? You are not allowed to share your partner’s contact information or personal information with others, or take screen shots of your partner without their permission.  It is also important to exercise your freedom of expression in a way that respects your partner’s well-being. This includes respecting your partner’s customs and cultures as well as respecting diverse backgrounds, beliefs, ideas, and opinions.  If at any point you feel uncomfortable with your partner or experience any harassment or discrimination, please email AKP at "nihongo@associatedkyotoprogram.org" right away.

WHAT IF I CANNOT MAKE THE SCHEDULED MEETING, OR DO NOT HAVE TIME TO WRITE TO MY PARTNER? You should email your partner as early as possible and try to reschedule the meeting, or drop a line that your correspondence may delayed.  It is discouraging and disappointing if you do not show up unannounced, or if you do not respond to the message in a timely manner. You should also avoid recurring cancellation and rescheduling.  

WHAT IF I DON’T HEAR FROM MY PARTNER? You should email your partner. If that doesn’t work, email AKP at "nihongo@associatedkyotoprogram.org."  We’ll try to help. 

WILL MY PARTNER HELP ME WITH MY HOMEWORK? No! Conversation partners and pen pals are to help you practice conversational or writing skills.  You should not ask or offer help with homework.  If you do, it will be a violation of your home institution’s honor code.

WHAT IF I WANT MY CONVERSATION PARTNER TO HELP ME WITH MY PRONUNCIATION AND GRAMMAR?  Quick, simple assistance or corrections to avoid communication breakdowns are useful. Your partner may help you if you ask them to, but know that they may not know how to do so. Also, remember to be kind if you correct your partner. Some people can get discouraged if someone constantly corrects their pronunciation and may become shy about speaking. 

IF YOU CANNOT CONTINUE FOR ANY REASONS, PLEASE WRITE YOUR PARTNER AND AKP ASAP.

8/3/2020