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カテゴリ:English Journal( 75 )

So long!

Hello everyone! This will be my last blog to you as I am moving to a different place. I want to say thank you to everyone! It has been so much fun teaching all of my wonderful students here and I have learned so much in the last three years. I will miss all of you very much but I hope we will meet again someday! Keep working hard with your English and remember to never give up! Your new teacher is very nice and I hope you will have as much fun with him as you did with me. He has told me he will write amusing blogs to keep you entertained so keep reading! Good luck everyone and do your best!

Best of luck,

by hello-eigo | 2015-08-29 09:48 | English Journal

Love of Reading

I love children’s books and have fond memories of the many my parents bought for me when I was young. One of my favorite books is called The Fat Cat and it’s a Danish folktale. It’s about a cat that eats everything it meets, starting with gruel (a type of porridge) and the pot. Months ago, one of the juku teachers checked the same book out from the library and it was in Japanese! I was so happy to read it because I could understand it, having read it so many times in English. Then just this week I received a package from my mom and she packed the book for me. It brought back so many nice memories. I tried to read it in English to two of my classes but most of them didn’t understand how funny the book is and the humor seemed lost on most of the class save for a few students. The magic of learning another language is how it opens up a whole world of books, music, and humor that you wouldn’t know unless you understood the new language.
by hello-eigo | 2015-06-20 09:59 | English Journal

A Dream Come True

Since moving to Japan one of my biggest dreams was to learn how to play the shamisen. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been drawn to this instrument. Whenever I watched some film about Japan, there was the twangy sound of the shamisen and I just fell in love with it. I never thought I’d ever really have the opportunity to see it in person, let alone play it. Because I love going to cultural events, I’ve had the chance to see shamisen performances a few times and each time I always want to ask the musicians afterwards if they would be so kind as to teach me. I never was able to muster up the courage to do so and I’d get so angry at myself for not asking. Who cares if my Japanese is not great, I can make myself understood when I want to. Well, one day I finally asked for lessons and luckily my teacher took a chance on me. Everyday that I practice and every time I go to my lesson, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. I’m always so thankful to my teacher as well because she doesn’t mind that my Japanese isn’t so great and seems to appreciate the effort I put into learning. The shamisen definitely isn’t an easy instrument to play and I still have trouble holding it correctly, but I learn fast and the music turned out to be rather easy to read even though most of it is in Kanji. I think because I am so determined to do well it comes rather easy to me. I am determined to become a good player and maybe someday be able to teach other foreigners how to play this beautiful instrument.
by hello-eigo | 2015-06-13 09:33 | English Journal

Keeping Cool

Summer is fast approaching and I have to say, as usual, I’m not looking forward to it. It’s just too humid! The high temperature doesn’t bother me so much, it’s the humidity! Growing up, I never looked forward to summer because it was just as humid in my hometown as it is in Japan. When I moved to Denver, it was a complete change and I looked forward to summer because it was dry, not humid. I definitely miss living in Denver because of the wonderfully mild summers and hope to someday return there, but maybe just to spend a whole summer, not to live. How do you keep cool in summer in Japan? I welcome any recommendations!
by hello-eigo | 2015-06-06 09:53 | English Journal

Successful Roleplay

Last week, one of our students surprised and impressed me. In one of our classes, we have been role playing “ordering at a restaurant.” One or more students acts as a waiter and the others act as customers. The customers order from a menu I made, while the waiters hand out small cards with pictures of food on them. It seems that most of the students are enjoying this and some of them have really taken to the role play. One of my students has done so well with the role play that she is able to do it without any help from me, the teacher, so I allowed her to work with one other student on her own, helping that student with what to say, while I worked with another small group of students. I kept an eye on her and her partner and was so happy when I saw how well they did together. I hope that in the future, more kids will become better and better at role playing and be able to do it in small groups without much help from the teacher. It shows that they are learning and making a great deal of progress. Keep it up, kids!
by hello-eigo | 2015-05-25 14:36 | English Journal

Golden Week

How was your Golden Week? What did you do? That’s the question I’ve been asking my adult students for the past two weeks. I went to Tokyo as I always do for Golden Week, and went to one of two of Japan’s only big swing dance events as I always do. I think this year the best thing about Tokyo was just walking around and not having people stare at me. I could blend in with the crowd and not stand out. That is something that is very important to me, especially as a traveler. When I traveled in Europe and Central America, I could always blend in and people wouldn’t stare at me. I could peacefully take pictures, go to a café, and walk down the street without every other person staring at me like I was an alien. When I came back to Okayama, a part of me was a little sad because it meant that people would stare—and stare they did! What I’ve been telling my students is that although there are not a lot of foreigners in Okayama, remember that they are people too and don’t want to be stared at like circus animals. Just smile and say hi, be polite. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you like to be stared at all the time?
by hello-eigo | 2015-05-16 09:50 | English Journal

Cultural Events

Lately I have seen some really great cultural events in Kurashiki. I had the opportunity to see some great performances from Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima a few weeks ago. My two favorites were a tiger dance and a lion dance. Both dances were absolutely amazing because the performers were incredibly athletic and flexible and they made the tigers and lions seem so real. I couldn’t believe how amazing they were. I really wanted to meet the performers and thank them for their hard work because I know they spent hours preparing and I can’t imagine how tired they must have been. I've seen a lion dance before in Okayama but the one I saw a few weeks ago was different in that one of the performers played the part of a lion cub. He was great and remained crouching for such a long time. I can't imagine how his legs must have hurt! The following weekend I got to see a taiko and shamisen concert which I greatly enjoyed. Hearing such beautiful and traditional music is such a pleasure and treat for me and makes me appreciate living in a place with such an interesting art history. Of course America has its own unique music and dance history as well and I was lucky to have taken part in that while living there. I hope to learn more about Japanese art, especially from my own students who take part in traditional music and crafts.
by hello-eigo | 2015-03-24 15:26 | English Journal

The Next Step

As we continue to learn something new, it usually gets easier. But when you want to go to the next level, that thing which used to be so easy then becomes more difficult. What do you do in that situation? It’s hard to stay motivated especially when it becomes difficult because it’s much easier to just give up and stick with what feels safe. It can be scary to go to the next level because you must push yourself more and more. Personally, I have an ultimate goal at the end that I’m striving for and I know that when things get particularly difficult, it’s usually a good sign that I’m moving up. I know that once I master that step, it will feel so good and it’s one step closer to reaching my goal.
by hello-eigo | 2015-03-14 09:42 | English Journal

Almost spring...

March is the month for St. Patrick’s Day, everything green, and spring. It’s the time when people begin to look forward to wearing lighter jackets, short-sleeved shirts, and enjoying the park and a picnic on the weekends. When I was a college student, my school had a big spring festival every year in March called “Serendipity.” The students had outdoor activities, music concerts and it was a time when people enjoyed being outside because it had been too long since they could take off their shoes and walk around barefoot without the fear of getting frostbite. The weekend was filled with parties and students everywhere, happy that the end of winter had arrived. Of course no March was complete without the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. Every year I wear something green and sometimes join friends in celebrating St. Patrick. Of course many people in America don’t celebrate the saint so much as March 17th is really just an excuse to have a big party and wear lots of green. Either way, March is one of my favorite months of the year because it’s the official ushering in of spring.
by hello-eigo | 2015-03-03 14:05 | English Journal

Saturday's Recital

Last Saturday was our school recital. I have to say I’m very proud of our students who participated and particularly proud of the English students who studied really hard and recited their stories so well! Good job students! I’m most proud of the Class C kids who memorized and recited a story we’ve been reading all year. They did an amazing job singing and dancing and were amazing with the interview! The little ones were super great and made me so happy! I always say to do well in learning anything you must study hard at school and at home and many of our students did just that. I hope they and their families saw the vast improvement in their abilities to speak English clearly. I sincerely hope that next year’s recital is even better and the students continue to work very hard.
by hello-eigo | 2015-02-24 14:41 | English Journal


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