(This was first written for my Materials for Tweens class.)
Kids Web Japan is a bilingual website for kids maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The main content available in English and Japanese, with some pages translated into French, German, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Chinese. The English and Japanese sites look like they are regularly updated with news, while the other languages seem to contain informational pages (including some news pages) translated from the main site available in the other languages. There are more pages and games available in English than in Japanese, as the English site contains language lessons and other content that would not be as applicable to children who already know the language. This review will focus on the English version of the site.
Tweens interested in Japanese culture can find information about the daily lives of Japanese children and learn about different customs and traditions in Japan that they may have only seen in anime or manga. There is also a column called “What’s Cool” that has articles about current trends in Japan.
In addition, there is a series of language lessons covering basic conversational Japanese and grammar, with games and articles about the Japanese language to reinforce these lessons. There are also other games and trivia quizzes to test their knowledge of Japanese culture, online storybook pages with Japanese folktales, and recipes of traditional Japanese foods to make at home.
Children of Japanese descent born outside of Japan can also use this site to learn about their heritage and practice reading Japanese at the same time. Tweens of all ethnic backgrounds will enjoy reading about the deeper aspects of Japanese culture that they may or may not have been exposed to through Japanese media.
This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter K.