In the Global Issues in the News zemi, students develop an understanding of concepts such as supply and demand, tariffs, purchasing power, and interest rates. They learn the vocabulary associated with these concepts, build their comprehension through textbook readings and related videos, and apply their knowledge in group discussion and activities. The group work starts with situations that are familiar to Showa students. For example, the class may discuss the effects of supply and demand on price in the context of Sangenjaya restaurants. Then the students may go on to read an article about the invasion of Ukraine, the restrictions on Russian oil imports that resulted, and the impact of those restrictions on oil prices.
Throughout the current semester, students will cover several different business and economic concepts and see how those concepts function in news stories from around the world. In the next semester, the class will spend more time making connections between different news events and discussing issues such as the potential effects of Japan’s low birth rate on its economy, ways in which companies benefit from study abroad, and the effectiveness of corporate policies on gender balance. These topics should be very interesting, and the knowledge base that students in the zemi are developing now should enable them to explore the topics in depth.
Teaching the Global Issues in the News zemi has been a great experience so far, and I look forward to continuing with it next semester and beyond.