Guest Blogger Rebecca Meeder on Gavon Wong

For the last day of TCC, I had a great time listening in on ETEC masters student Gavon Wong‘s (@naturalhawaiian) session.  What was interesting about his session was that he started off speaking in Japanese, introducing himself and his module.  Then, in English, Wong proceeded to provide a brief background of his experience with Crazy Shirts as well as his affinity for the people of Japan. For the rest of his session, Wong shared his instructional design module for training Crazy Shirt employees. Wong stated that its overall purpose was to train the employees on the language skills needed to effectively communicate with their Japanese customers.  His module was an actual application to a real-life problem, which I found very practical and fascinating at the same.

As for the conference session itself, some of the highlights were Wong’s use of humor throughout the session.  His use of visuals and graphics for the presentation were definitely eye catching as well.  As for the module itself, Wong broke it down into three simple sections.  The first one was “creating comfort” where employees would know how to welcome Japanese customers to the store, show gratitude towards them, and provide directions when needed. The second section was “describing merchandise” where the employees would explain the types of clothing sold at the store, as well as the sizes, colors, and beneficial features of the clothes. The third and final section was “handling numbers” where employees would know how to count numbers in Japanese, exchange money, and state the sales and store hours to the customers.

Overall, I felt that listening in on the session was definitely worthwhile.  Wong helped the audience understand and appreciate the confusion Japanese customers usually have at retail stores where the Japanese language is not regularly spoken.  He also described the need for employees at these stores to know at least some Japanese in order for them to assist Japanese-speaking customers.  I believe this module is definitely a prime example of what instructional designers should try to adhere to when creating instructional modules of their own.  More information about the module can be found at or

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"Belief is the wound that knowledge heals." ~LeGuin
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