One school offers an unusual opportunity to have high school students learn Japanese in a cooking class held each month. The voluntary classes are extremely popular, so much so that last month the class was moved from the family and consumer sciences lab to the cafeteria.
At Shaler Area High School in Pennsylvania, the class is taught by Steven Bolsomico and Shunji Iwasaki. Bolsomico is a social studies teacher who lived for four years in Kyoto. Iwasaki is a native of Osaka, and teaches Japanese language classes.
“It’s great here,” Mr. Iwasaki said. “The people are nice and the students taking Japanese are fun.”
During the December class, Mr. Iwasaki showed the students how to chop cabbage. He spoke mainly in Japanese. The dish being prepared was okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake.
According to Mr. Bolsomico, the dish they were creating is only available at a few Pittsburgh area restaurants. Approximately 90 percent of the Japanese cooking class is taught in the Japanese language.