The Links - everything

Monday, 25 May 2015

The mutiny of the bounty

After reading: Pitcairn Island

The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. That is the British Overseas Territory in the Pacific. It consists of the four islands – Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno. They are spread over several hundred miles of ocean and the total land area is about 47 square kilometers (18 sq mi). Only Pitcairn, the second largest island is inhabited.

There are no inhabited islands 300km around. Why do people live in this solitary island far off in the ocean? The Bounty mutineers who are famous in the several movies serve as a trigger. The people in this island are the descendant of the sailors who took part in the munity of the Bounty.

Their religion is Christianity. All islanders are protestant of Seventh-day Adventist. Basically they don’t drink nor smoke. The alcohol and cigarette are sold in the government store which is only one convenience store and the Christian’s café which is only one café in the island but is thinly distributed.

There is a rule for the food, they don’t eat pork nor shrimp. This is because they are dedicated to their passion in the practicing Christianity. After the mutineer lived in the island, some of drunken islanders killed each other. The Adams who was the last person in the accident sought help from the Bible and the islanders have practiced hardly and don’t eat pork nor drink in the end.

Mary- Queens of Scot

Queens- Write about a powerful woman in our country’s history.

Empress Michiko (皇后美智子 Kōgō Michiko), born Michiko Shōda (正田 美智子 Shōda Michiko) on 20 October 1934, is the Empress consort of Japan as the wife of Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan reigning from 7 January 1989.

Michiko Shōda was born in Tokyo, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburō Shōda, president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company. Raised in Tokyo and in a cultivated family, she received both traditional and "Western", learning to speak English and to play piano and being initiated into the arts such as painting, cooking and Kōdō. She is the niece of several academics, including Kenjirō Shōda, a mathematician who was the president of the University of Osaka from 1954 until 1960.

She attended Futaba Elementary School in Tokyo, but was obliged to leave in her fourth grade because of the American bombings during World War II. She was then successively educated in the prefectures of Kanagawa, Gunma and Nagano in the town of Karuizawa, where Shōda had a second resort home.
After attending college, she admitted to have also been named in her childhood as "Temple-chan", because her curly hair and reddish colors were unusual for a Japanese girl and it made her look like the American child actress Shirley Temple. Although she came from a Catholic family and was educated in Christian private schools, she is not baptized.
She graduated summa cum laude from the Faculty of Literature at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 1957. She also took courses at Harvard and Oxford.
Since she came from a particularly wealthy family, her parents were very selective about her suitors. Biographers of the famous writer Yukio Mishima had considered marrying Michiko Shōda, and that he was introduced to her for that purpose sometime in the 1950s.
In August 1957, she met then-Crown Prince Akihito on a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. The Imperial Household Council formally approved the engagement of the Crown Prince to Michiko Shōda on 27 November 1958. At that time, the media presented their encounter as a real "fairy tale", or the "romance of the tennis court". The engagement Ceremony took place on 14 January 1959.

Michiko married Crown Prince Akihito and became the crown princess of Japan until the death of Emperor Hirohito. She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family. She has three children with her husband. Her elder son, Naruhito, is the current heir to the Chrysanthemum throne. As crown princess and later as empress, she has become the most visible and widely travelled imperial consort in Japanese history.

The Piano Man

After reading;

"The Everest Story" of Mr. TimVicary looks very interesting for me.
Some of Japanese tried to climb up to the top of the Everest before. The climbing was broadcast ed to the world including Japan. There are also a lot of climbers in Nagano as there are lots of high mountains in Japan. Actually, I had climbed up to the middle of the mountain in Nagano when I was 14th years old. That was my first climbing of the full-scale mountain in my life.

I got used to seeing the people of the climbing mountains since my childhood and liked to see their stories to reach to their final goal after the harshness of nature, various difficulties and enjoyable beautiful scenery. It is difficult to climb the Everest by myself, but I think I could imagine and enjoy when I read the book. And I also would like to learn how difficult to get the top of the mountain and how to find the way to climb to there.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Why I hate science - after reading C.H.O.I.R. Boy

I hate science.. Because everything is difficult for me!! I have an aptitude for humanities course not science course.

I don't like see mathematical formula at all, so I have never felt that science class was fun or interesting. I didn't remember the science words although I tried to study hard. So, my test score was terrible.. I liked to empiric test but I could not find interesting poing for the other stuff.

Also, science teacher class was difficult and it is hard to understand what he said. I'm not sure but I liked science more if the class was fun.

Posted for Miyuki

Friday, 22 May 2015

Guest Blog: Tom & Damo's adventures (Part 3)

Customs finally catch up with Tom
Lastly we headed to Matsumoto, close to the Japanese Alps. Although not a big city like Tokyo or Osaka, it holds many things to do and is situated in a great location. Even in May you can see the snow capped mountains in the distance. I really enjoyed the visit to the castle and even got a photo with a Samurai. With admission to the castle you can also visit the nearby museum for free. Although information written in English was limited inside the museum it still held some interesting artefacts from both the castle and Japanese history.

Majestic as ever
 On my final day me and Damo headed out up into the hills. After getting a little lost and taking a detour, we made our way to Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum. It holds a bizarre collection of art, with what seems like hundreds of unique and crazy sculptures. Some pieces I thought were incredible, thought provoking and of interest, whereas others were just plain weird and I had no idea what they were. The weather wasn't great, but on a nicer day, the viewpoint at the museum would provide a great view of the whole region and definitely worth the hour and half drive from Matsumoto. After this it was time for me to head back home from my visit and leave Damo to get back on with his English teaching.
One of the more bizarre works at Utsukushigahara

After 3 flights, 22 hours of flying and a very tired Tom, I made it home back to the UK. I really enjoyed my time in Japan and will definitely make sure I come back in the future!!

Time for goodbyes and the end of our adventures

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Mary, Queen of Scots – after reading

Catholics – Write about the history of this religion in your country.

Catholics was introduced to Japan by Francis Xavier in 1549.  He arrived at Kagoshima prefecture and worked a lot to expand it in Japan.  About 450,000 Japanese became Christian over 50 years, but as the unification of the country progressed, Catholic was prohibited and the country was closed to foreign commerce.  Many Christians were martyred for their faith.
After the country was re-opened in 1859, Christian missions were restarted.  The foreign missionaries visited Japan and the churches were built by them.  However, Japan stated that emperor was a religious head of state after 1890 and unified the thought and education.  During World War II, the churches were forced to cooperate for the war.

After the war, a freedom of religion was accepted, and many missionaries came to Japan from North America and Europe.  Even though that, it was difficult to expand Catholic to Japan as the traditional religions and the customs were deeply penetrated to family life and observances.  Therefore, the number of Christian is only 1% of Japanese population.  Nowadays, many people came to Japan from South East Asia, Middle East and Latin America for work, and Catholic Churches in Japan are also expected to fulfill the international responsibility.

Guest Blog: Tom & Damo's adventures (Part 2)

Making friends
On next to Nara. Having not heard of Nara before my visit, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount it had to offer in such a small town. We visited the park and fed the deer some deer crackers. Once the deer realised you had food, 4 or 5 would surround you in seconds and nudge you in the hope that you fed them. I have never seen deer so tame and relaxed with humans. Although it was very funny to see one of the deer sneakily steal a pack of crackers out of a lady's hand when she wasn't watching. We also visited some more temples in the area, including the Big Buddha at Toudai-ji. Standing at 15metres this Buddha was enormous! And surrounding him the temple itself was also huge. A very impressive sight and a must see. 

We saw Jim on our travels
Along our stays we also camped. Damo brought along a tent and sleeping bags, and so we ended up building the tent each evening. Although slow at first by the end we got pretty quick at building it. Trying to find a spot to camp at 11 o'clock on the evening was not so much fun though, especially when really tired from the sightseeing in the day. However, this was all worthwhile when we found a perfect spot at the top of a hill overlooking the town. This had a shrine, and a viewpoint which gave an awesome view.

Enjoying the view from Umeda Sky Building
Next onto Osaka. I knew the city was big, but didn't realise the size it would be. We drove through the hills and mountains then suddenly appeared on the outskirts of Osaka, with buildings as far as you can see. After finding a hotel to stay in what I would call, a 'rougher' part of town, we planned our days and set out on the city. We went up the Umeda Sky Building which was awesome. I recommend to any visitor, the view was amazing and you can see across all of Osaka in all directions. Any couples, make sure you look for the lovers seats at the top for a photo. You can also buy a heart shaped keyring to lock on the wall at the top to ensure your love is everlasting. In the evening a trip to Dotonburi was required. After getting off the subway, we ended up walking the wrong way by mistake for 20 minutes! This meant we had to work backwards, oops! We walked down the famous street and took a photos of the Glico man, the big crab, and the great bright lights outside of every bar and restaurant. After a few drinks at the foreigner friendly Zerro and Murphy's bars we headed out to the clubs until the early hours. Dotonburi definitely provides a good night out. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

School trip to England - Yuya's report

I went to England for about 2 weeks in April.It was my school trip. The flight took about 12 hours and I didn't sleep so I was exhausted.

English: White Cliffs of Dover, England - the ...
White Cliffs of Dover
First, I went to Cambridge. The main event at there was to learn from the students of Cambridge University. The program is called Blue Bridge Education and I had a great time because the students were very funny and clever. They told us the importance of body languages, eye contacts and big voice. It is quite hard for me, but I'm trying to do them when I take communications, even in Japanese. We also did a shopping with the Cambridge students and I bought many teas.

Next, we went to Dover, where we were really lucky because there weren't any clouds in the sky. Dover is at the south end of the UK, and it is near France. We saw a gravel beach, blue sky and the white cliffs all at once, so it was awesome & beautiful.

After that, we went for a sightseeing trip in Canterbury. I bought many things there, like T-shirts, chocolates, and some drinks, because they were so cheap!
Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England
Canterbury Cathedral

The final place we went to was the capital city, London. I stayed there for about a week, and I felt the difference of the scenery between it an Tokyo. In Tokyo, there are many kinds of tall buildings, but in London, of course, there are also tall buildings but not only that. There were also many kinds of old-fashioned buildings. Because of that, we could easily feel at home there.

The food in the UK was very delicious. Before this trip, I heard that British food is not tasty. So I was a bit nervous. However, we didn't have any problems. The best food was fish and chips, which I ate at a restaurant called "Garfunkel's Restaurant". The fried fish, with some fresh lemon, was absolutely fabulous.

Traditional Fish 'n' Chips
Traditional Fish 'n' Chips 
Finally, I will talk about where I stayed. First in Cambridge, I had a home stay for the first time in my life. The host family were very kind, but the food was a bit oily. In London, I also had a home stay. The host mother's food was delicious but she was very strict. For example, when we went for a drive, she shouted at any driver who didn't give way to her. Nevertheless, while I was staying there I was touched by her kindness, so in the end I was very sad to say goodbye. So where did we stay on the rest of the days? Of course, we stayed at a hotel. We were very free during the hotel stay, so it was a lot of fun and I really wanted to stay there.

My Secret Garden

Open a door to a secret garden for me, there are a lot of plants. The garden is green and fresh. There are also various flowers. It is very nice smell. In the middle of the garden, there is a river which is clear water. I can swim in there without any concern. My secret garden has miracle power, if I want to drink beer, some birds bring bottle of beer for me! This place makes anything whatever I want!

Also, there is a library. I can read any of books, magazine. I wish I could have the secret garden.

Posted for Miyuki

This is my house!

I like the big garden and the big trees.

I like the white, purple and pink flowers.

I like my piano, and I like our big bathroom.

Everyone likes the house.



Monday, 18 May 2015

Guest Blog: Tom & Damo's adventures (Part 1)

Skytree selfie
Hello all!

Just to introduce myself, my name’s Tom and I am Damo's friend from England. We became friends at university in the UK, and now although Damo is living 5713 miles away we still keep in touch!

I have been travelling in Asia the last couple of months including stops in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, all of which I had a fantastic time seeing some amazing things. Whilst I was in Asia I had to take the opportunity to go and see Japan, having never visited before.

I flew into Narita Airport, Tokyo, and was welcomed by Damo and his family. After being treated to a very traditional British beef roast dinner in the evening we made our way the following day on our adventures. First stop was Tokyo, and having only seen pictures of it on television, I was amazed by how busy it was and all the amazingly colourful lights everywhere. We stayed in a capsule hotel (something I think is unique to Japan!) which was a strange experience. We almost felt like cattle, having so many people staying in such a small space. We visited some temples in the city and went to the base of Tokyo Skytree. The evening was filled with good traditional Japanese food and many, many beers!

"Let's nick it!"
After a very hungover morning, we made our way to Tokyo station to get the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. I was amazed how quickly they travel and how smooth the ride was. Trains in the UK are slow and always late, so this was a complete contrast! Arriving in Kyoto we picked up a rental car and after attempting to get used to an automatic (in the UK all cars are manual) we made out way around Kyoto. Visits included going to Kiyomizu-dera and Chion-in amongst others.

An okay view from Kiyomizu
On the outskirts of Kyoto we also visited one of the Onsens. This was to be my first of many Onsen visits during my stay. I loved the hot spring water, and after a long hard day visiting Kyoto's sights, was well needed. Sitting outside with a slight cool breeze, but with lovely hot water was the perfect balance.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Remi's health questionnaire

As part of Remi's project she has written a short health questionnaire. We are looking to collect some date so that we can present the results to all of you. It would be hugely appreciated if you could take a couple of minutes out of your day by clicking this link and completing it.

Posted for Remi

My childhood collection

Colorful Super ball, home
Colorful Super balls
When I was a child, I collected little balls. They can hop higher than other balls. We call them “ super ball”. There are various colour and size. I put them in a little red box which my grandmother gave me. The box has the lid. So I can easily carry them.

I could get them in the festival. There are many shops at the festival. One of them was a shop of “super ball”. We could get the ball using a wafer, ladle, cup, or bowl. The cost was different which I use to get them. The balls were float on the running water in the little pool. Using wafer was the cheapest, but it couldn’ t get balls a lot. So I always use a ladle. I think I could get them 5-15 at one time. I had over one hundred balls.

Now I have about 50 balls. Some of them I gave to my niece. I played with them using balls. And they are collecting the balls. So they ask me to give the balls to them. It is interesting to hear they collect the balls like me. I enjoy playing with my niece using the balls.

 Posted for Yuri

Monday, 11 May 2015

Jet setting around Japan

Where's Damian?
I hope that you've all had a grand Golden Week, letting loose and relieving any pent up stress.

I was one of the more fortunate souls and got over a week off! I made the most of it and went travelling around Chiba, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and even a little bit of exploring closer to home. Had an absolutely amazing trip and would like to thank Jim for lending us his tent. We really would have been roughing it without it!

Replicating Tom's favourite movie scene
I won't go into  further details as there will be a guest post from my friend Tom (once he finishes his 30 hour transit home!), who I am grateful for putting up with me during our travels.

I took my fare share of photos, so if you're interested in having a look, here's a link to my album on Facebook (should be able to access without a Facebook account). 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Choose another book!

After reading "The Piano Man", which other OUP Bookworm would you like to read that Tim Vicary adapted/wrote?

"The Everest Story" of Mr. Tim Vicary looks very interesting for me.

Some of Japanese tried to climb up to the top of the Everest before. The climbing was broadcast to the world including Japan. There are also a lot of climbers in Nagano as there are lots of high mountains in Japan.

Actually, I had climbed up to the middle of the mountain in Nagano when I was 14 years old. That was my first climbing of the full-scale mountain in my life.

I got used to seeing the people of the climbing mountains since my childhood and liked to see their stories to reach to their final goal after the harshness of nature, various difficulties and enjoyable beautiful sceneries. It is difficult to climb the Everest by myself, but I think I could imagine and enjoy when I read the book. And I also would like to learn how difficult to get the top of the mountain and how to find the way to climb to there.

Posted for Reiko

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A short biography of Captain Bligh

From 1791 to 1793, Captain Bligh became master and commander of HMS Providence. He got an order to transfer bread tree from Tahiti to the West Indies. It succeeded well, and nowadays bread tree is general food in the West Indies. Bligh also took Ackee to England, and Ackee was expanded to Europe. The scientific name Blighia sapida is named by Bligh.

Bligh became captain for vessel called HMS Director, and his sailor did mutiny in 1797. Bligh however, could get back the Director, and avoid to make inmate from the vessel. HMS Director is fighting ship, and went for Battle of Camperdown. It was war to fight with marine of Netherland. Marine of Netherland got serious damage, and HMS Director only got 7 people dead.

In 1804, Bligh was team under Admiral Nelson. He went for The Battle of Copenhagen. There were 56 battle ships, and order was divided between Admiral Parker and Nelson when they go into sand bank. Bligh followed Nelson’s order and he saved following other ships being crashed although the ships followed order from Parker were crushed.

Bligh became captain for battle ships and made a lot of achievements. He died in London, and there is memorial plaque on one block away from a garden museum where used to be a church that has gravestone.
Posted for Yumi

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

After reading - The Piano Man: Angels

Write about a person eg a nurse who helped you recover from an injury or illness

My angel was my mother when I was badly injured in my right hand last year. She assisted me in many aspects of daily life as I was right-handed.

The accident happened during the trip with my family in the golden week holiday. We also took my three dogs for the trip. We stayed in a pension that dog was also acceptable to stay. The other guests also took their dogs. Some dogs were excited and barked in the midnight. Two of my dogs were also excited to hear the bark and started fighting. I was awake and picked up one of the dogs to stop it. Then, she bit my right hand and it was bleeding a lot. It was too painful for me to move the hand. My father calmed down my dog and my mother helped me to stop bleeding and cool down my hand by a cool towel. She exchanged it in order to keep my hand cool overnight. I was very glad for her care although I kept feeling pain on my hand.

I got treatment in a hospital next day, but it was very difficult to do many things by myself as my right hand was wrapped in bandages. My mother cleaned the cut, wrapped the hand in new bandage, helped to exchange my clothes, took me to and from company by car and so on. I really appreciated her assistance!!

Check out Luna's special offer at the JALT PANSIG Conference next month

We do not think this has been done/offered before - while attending a Conference be eligible to join an examiner...
Posted by Luna International: JP004 on Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday, 20 April 2015

So what if it rained?!

Well, first of all sorry for anyone who tried to find us by the river yesterday afternoon - it was already raining enough by noon for us to have to go to Plan B, and improvise back at Luna. Turned out to be a very good idea as loads of people still came and spent the afternoon with us.

The kids all had a great time with tons of food, puddles on the tarmac & in the tarps to play with, and charging in & out of the building all day long! Some got soaking wet but oblivious - trying to getter wetter yet!

Thank you dads for coming up with tarps, camping shelters and canny rigging to keep us all out of the rain, and for taking turns at the coals. Mums managed the dry territory and seemed to get first dibs on all the nosh!

Great to see so many people, some making old connections again and others discovering new ones. Also delighted Morten could join us after yesterday's Shinshu JALT presentation on CEFR, something we do know a bit about at JP004!

Check out all the damp photos at the link, and do share any of your own! A grand day in/out!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Remi's diary - First day in Paris

February 22nd

Arc de Triumph
It was the first day in Paris. I woke up at 7. For breakfast we had a simple meal like croissant, blueberry muffin and boiled egg.

After we finished eating, we joined a Japanese tour to Versailles and market. We didn't have much time but we enjoyed them.

After we finished the tour, we had lunch and went to Opera Garnier. This building is used as theatre and famous for the painting of Chagall.

Then we went to triumphal arch (Arc de Triumph) by metro. we climbed about 300 stairs and went to the top. The scenery from this triumphal arch was very beautiful, and we could see the whole city of Paris. Because it was windy, it was so cold!

I have an Eiffel Tower in my pants
Then we walked to the Champs Élysées. This street is known as the most beautiful street in the world. It is so long that we couldn't walk all, but we enjoyed walking.

After that, we went to see tower Eiffel nearer. We had to walk a little from the metro station. But it was fun walking by the Seine. We wanted to climb the tower Eiffel but we didn't have enough time so we had to give up.

Then we went to a restraunt called La Fontaire de Mars. In the U.S., this restraunt is known as the restraunt which Barack Obama and Johnny Depp came for lunch. We had escargot chicken and mille-feuille. I really liked the atmosphere of this restraunt.

After dinner we joined a night tour. The scenery in night was very different and I especially liked the light up of Notre Dame and Musee de Louvre.

Posted for Remi

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Import Mart - my dream job

I like import products, especially from ethnic. Because they are very mysterious and I feel that I can
derive power from them as they are made of natural materials. Most of all they are colorful and funny! So I often go ethnic shops when I have time. But there are only two shops in Matsumoto. It is too few for me.

Photo credit: Jim George
My ideal job is to open an import shop in Matsumoto. If I can be owner of the import shop, I will be able to see all goods from overseas buyers. And I will be able to buy not only for customer but also for me. It is like a dream for me!! I can truly recommend the goods which I bought from buyer to the customer because I really like these goods. I know that minority likes ethnic goods. So I would like to sell the import products from all over the world.

Now North European design is popular in Japan. So I want to provide more space for North European products. If my dream come true, I will hardly go back home!

Posted for Mio

Brave girl saved her little brother - after reading "Gone"

Newspaper report - Gone girl done good

On 20th Aug- Jenna Paul saved her younger brother, Timothy Paul who was kidnapped. The criminal, Celia Brooks used to be Jenna’s neighbor.

Timothy Paul was kidnapped in the super market near the park on 13th Aug. Jenna was taking Timothy for a walk. She left her pram at the entrance of the super market because she was taking a dog too, but the pram was gone when she came back from her shopping.

Police organized a team of 300 staff to find Timothy. A witness lady said that she saw Jenna with a baby and a dog in the supermarket, but there was no more useful evidence.

Jenna decided to find her little brother, and found old neighbor, Celia Brooks was carrying a baby although she has never had her baby when Ryan Clark was missing firstly on 25th Jul. Jenna doubted Celia would kidnap Ryan and Timothy. The brave girl found the new house of Celia, and found Timothy there. Jenna’s father called police, and Celia Brooks was arrested.

Celia Brooks has been a mentally incompetent since she lost her first baby, and became ineligible to have a baby anymore. Police is investigating further crime that she confesses for kidnapping of Ryan Clark.

Reporter - Yumi

Monday, 30 March 2015

Out of Africa

Trying to find apps with suitable YLE storytelling functions. This one works, as the recording starts instantly!

A pizza for your car keys?

It happened two month ago. The day was snowing hard.

I heard an announcement of our office to go home ASAP. I knocked off work, and I went to parking area with my colleague. I opened my car door with the key, and pulled out the goods for snow removing. I finished removing snow on my car, I sat down the seat and put my hands in the jacket pockets to pull out the car key …? My key was not in it. “Oh, I know. I put it in my skirt pocket.” I put my hands in the skirt pockets, but they were empty. “Oh, no. I must have dropped my key in the car!”

I went back the office and borrowed a torch. I searched through my car, but I couldn’t find it.” This is awful!! I can’t help thinking that I dropped my key outside!” I got out of my car, and looked around. I searched under my car too, but I couldn’t find it. At last I decided to ask someone for help. Four people helped me using snow shovels.

After ten minutes, one of them said “ I found it ! You must buy L size pizza and drink for each person!” My key was into the snow which I removed on my car.

“Thank you very much! Of course, would you like anything else?” I said to them.

For Mio

I finished my reading books!

I read four books.

The first one is Mulan, about a fighter in China. Mulan's dad was old so he can't go to the war. Mulan goes instead, wearing armour, and fights bravely. I liked this book because Mulan is a brave woman.

Next I read Heidi, who lives in the mountains in Switzerland. She makes a friend in the town. Her friend is in a wheelchair. I liked this story because Heidi is a very good girl.

Then I read Tristan and Isolde, a sad love story from Ireland & Cornwall. This is the first sad love story I read, and it made me feel sad. Isolde is a beautiful princess. My favourite princess is Snow White.

The last book I read is Hercules. He kills his family and then when he tells the King, has to do tasks. These are difficult and dangerous, but he does all of the tasks. This book was good because I like adventure stories.
I enjoyed the interview with Hercules, because it was fun and memorable. 

I think the best book is Mulan as it is a lot of fun. The next book I want to read is an adventure book.

Mary, Queen of Scots sends an email to Elizabeth I

Dear Elizabeth,

Hello, how are you? It’s been a long time since I met you last. When I was first put in this prison castle, I cursed you every day. You were just jealous me because I’m beautiful and clever.

Now, however, I don’t have any anger, and I just want to see my son, James. I beg you very much to see my son. Please order him to come here.

There is one more thing that I hurt my heart. It’s about the rumor that I killed the father of James. I never killed Henry. I think I have told many times to you, but I declare clearly here once again that I didn’t kill my husband.

I heard that Kirk O’Field is broken, and I immediately ran there. I never expected that my husband is dead, but there was his dead body exploded when I got there. I was in a party. How can I kill him at Kirk o’field. It’s physically difficult.

Now, I don’t care how people think about me, but for my son, I want him to know the truth. Please tell my son James that I never killed his father.

I know you will soon order execution to me. I won’t curse you anymore. I just beg you to raise James as a good king, and give him lots of love for me that I couldn't do.

Best Regards,


(pp Yumi)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Slideshow #1 of 2015 - all about smiles!

We were so busy making videos for the Aurasma project, Damian and I forgot to take so many pictures over the last couple of months! Sorry about that!

Father Christmas brought us a nice new stash of games, which we've been testing out to supplement class materials. Surprise surprise, everybody loves them!

Enjoy the slideshow and please do leave us your comments. We'd love to know how we're doing.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

March Workshop - Walking In The Jungle

In today's workshop we went Walking In The Jungle! Well, the concrete jungle that is our car park. We saw lots of animals as we walked, stomped, jumped and skipped through the jungle... Until we came accross Hana-chan the roaring tiger!

Hope you enjoy our video. Apologies for the poor audio quality.

Something special about rainbows; Miyuki reflects

When I was college student, I went to Hawaii for three weeks to study English at Hawaii university. It was held during summer holidays.
That time was first time to go abroad in my life as well as took a plane. The programs had a lot of activities during staying Hawaii. The main purpose was studying English, so I went to school and study. After school, I tried Hula dance, went shopping, cooked for dinner.

big island of Hawaii
big island of Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I didn't know that rainbow is famous in Hawaii. Rainbow was painted in car number plate. On weekends, I went to Tower Records with my friends near staying hotel to buy some CDs. (Actually, it was first time to go Tower Records. In that time, I didn't listen to rock music..) After shopping, I found big rainbow in the sky! It was beautiful. Furthermore, there were two rainbows. Usually, I cannot look rainbow from begin to end but I could look the whole rainbow. I was excited and happy because I could watch them in Hawaii!

I want to look rainbow again to go Hawaii.

Posted for Miyuki

Friday, 27 March 2015

A volcanic experience in Japan

After reading "Rainbow Girl", Hiroshi writes:

When I was a university student, I had ever climbed Mt. Shirane, the volcano in Nagano prefecture. This mountain is located in the north-east of Nagano and crosses Gunma prefecture

Actually, I just drove my car rather than climbed. However, the road around the top of the mountain is filled with many crater and hot spring of the volcano. Those always emit the white smoke.
So the mountain looks like erupting right away. I was so scared while driving the road on the top of the mountain. But suddenly, the road started having fog like magic on the way. And I could not see any scene around me. So I was more and more scared. Driving slowly and carefully, I could see the road a little. But what I saw there was more surprised. A man was running on the road alone. He was training for trail running race. That scene was amazing.

Photo credit: Jim George
Thinking what happened on Mt. Ontake, I cannot say but it was so unlucky. Mt Shirane looks like erupting even now, but it has not done yet. Mt. Ontake must have not looked like so these days. It is so difficult to foresee the eruption. I think men cannot control all of the nature. I only pray their souls may rest in peace.

Posted for Hiroshi

After reading "The Key", Ritsuko's lost key story

When I came back to Matsumoto after seeing a Yamaga's football game with Osaka Gamba at Osaka two years ago, I lost my car's key. I moved by bus and my car was packed in a parking of "Skypark".

After taking off the bus, I found quickly that I had no car's key. So, I looked for my car's key at baggage space, aisle, seat in bus and at packing lot around midnight by the light from my phone. I couldn't find it and got lift to my house that night.

 In the morning of next day (before job), I went to the parking and found my car's key was put a space below window at driver's seat side. At that moment, I was very very happy. Mr car is incorporated in system not to lock the key when the key is inside the car, but ttat time, the system didn't work properly due to poor batter. I called a locksmith and they opened one door by using their equipment.

I thought my life without car was very inconvenience and is hard to continue.  And I changed the battery in my car's key right away not to cause same trouble.

Posted for Ritsuko

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Postcard from...Luang Prabang, Laos

Hi Jim,

Jardin des Buddha/Xieng Khouane
I'm now in Lunag Prabang with my daughter Saori. This is an old capiltal before Vientianne. Streets are so beautiful. Many things have happened to us since our departure. Lao people are fashionable, wearing traditional skirts for everyday life. We enjoy night market, too. But it is too hot & humid. Tuku Tuku were so scary and dangerous. They seemed to ignore traffic rules.

See you soon,


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

email from Captain Bligh

Dear Christian,

You may be surprised to receive this email from me.  It's Bligh, the captain of HMS Bounty.  

I am now in Timor, seven thousands away from where you put me on launch with my eighteen men.  It was really long way to Timor.  We landed at Tafua a day later but islanders killed one man with stones.  We had no power without big ship.  I was really sorry for him and I swore to myself I would never let anyone else be killed.  Then we sailed to Timor and it took long days through bad weather.  Sometimes it rained and sometimes it was very hot.  All of us were hungry and ill, but no one got angry or fought each other.  Fourty-one days later, we finally landed at Timor.  We found Dutch ship and they helped us.  They got surprised to know only one men died through our sailing by small boat.  I am proud of my eighteen men.  We are going back to our England soon.

Remember, I will never forgive you.  The HMS Bounty is my ship, not yours.  The mutiny means your death as you may well know.  The English ship will find you and send you back to England for trial.

William Bligh

My favourite photograph - after reading task

My favorite picture is a woman is doing Yoga. A woman is Japanese model and she is first woman to get certificate from Ashutanga Yoga in India. She takes some poses of Yoga and the pose is advance. It is like a octopus, I mean her hands, legs is strange at part on her body. But her face is beautiful, happy. Yoga master said Yoga's pose should be comfortable. When I practice, I'm struggling to take pose and hard to keep breath. It is not correct during doing Yoga based on yoga's master. Her picture is really peaceful and warm, I think the Yoga's master saying words is like her. I practice Yoga and I want to do like her. So the picture makes me to practice more and more.

Posted for Miyuki

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Witches of Pendle – after reading

Pendle Hill is well known, even now, as a “powerful” place. Write about a similar kind of place in your country.

I think Kanazawa city in Ishikawa prefecture is the most powerful place in Japan recently. It is because that Hokuriku-Shinkansen which is connected between Tokyo and Kanazawa was opened on March 14. Kanazawa city is the biggest city in Hokuriku area and one of the famous tourist sites, but it had taken about five hours to go there by trains from Tokyo so far. After Hokuriku-Shinkansen was opened, it takes only two and a half hours to go to Kanazawa from Tokyo at fastest. The most of the visitors to Kanazawa was from Hokuriku area or western Japan, but it is expected that the visitors from eastern Japan will also be increased.

Lantern in the Kenroku-en garden, Kanazawa, Is...
Lantern in the Kenroku-en garden, Kanazawa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kanazawa city has been famous as a feudal Japanese castle town. The most famous spot is a garden called “Kenrokuen” which is one of the three major gardens in Japan. It is often touted as the Maeda clan’s greatest accomplishment in the seventeenth century. There are many other traditional spots related to Maeda clan in the city.

My parents said that they visited Kanazawa city when I was baby, but I don’t remember about it at all. I want to visit the city to see the beautiful scenery and eat the delicious sea food in near future.

My old collection - baseball cards

I was a big fan of Giants that was one of Japanese professional baseball team when I was a high school student. I enjoyed watching the game on TV and bought a magazine that featured Giants every month. I was also a collector of the player’s card that belonged to a potato chip. I couldn’t check the card until I opened the package. Whenever I opened the package, I wished I could get the cards of the players from Giants. Especially, I liked Koji Uehara who was a pitcher. He is now the pitcher of Red Socks and plays an important role as ace relief pitcher. I was so excited when I got his card. I collected and filed the cards of the players from Giants.
English: Koji Uehara, Baltimore Orioles
Koji Uehara, Baltimore Orioles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a university student, I didn’t have a TV in my room and the chance to watch the baseball game. Therefore, my interest in baseball was getting low and I stopped collecting the cards.
I’m not sure where I kept the file of the cards. I guess it was housed somewhere in my room. I’m not interested in baseball at all now, so if I find the file, I may throw it out.

Posted for Chinasa

Interview with Timmy, character in the graded reader "Gone!"

Interviewer:  Here is Timmy who is now the hottest baby all around our town.  Hi Timmy, it's nice to talk to you.

Timmy:  Thank you for having me today.

I:  All of us worried seriously about you since you disappeared from supermarket.  Could you tell us what was happened while you are waiting for your sister at special place for pram?

T:  Yes.  I was crying in the pram since I felt really bad with deeply wet nappy.  I couldn't do anything but crying.  Suddenly, my pram moved out from supermarket.  I was surprised and stopped crying.

I:  Then, you saw the strange woman in front of you.  What did you feel at that time?

T:  I noticed it was not my mother nor my sister from her smell and her voice.  I felt scared and cried harder.  She changed my nappy and gave me some milk.  I felt comfortable and fell asleep since I was so tired.

I:  We imagine you felt lonely during you stayed with that woman.  How did you feel when your brave sister came to save you?

T:  When she came to that room, I was sure it was my dear sister's voice.  I used to hear her voice even when I was in my mother's tummy and I was relieved to hear her voice.  I knew she was not happy to have a brother at her age and I was sad that I was not accepted by her.  Through this happening, I felt I became a true brother for her.

I:  Oh, it is a beautiful story.  I wish you have a happy life with your family.  Thank you for coming today.

Posted for Tomoko

"I left my books at home" - iPad rescue story!

In spring holiday mode at Luna this & next week, classes being rebuilt  as we lose students randomly to Dads being transferred at a moment's notice, and scrambling to assess sign ups...Yuto got stuck into a very challenging storytelling app.

12 panels of themed images (in our case "space") generating up to 30 seconds of storytelling each; needed some brainstorming before each 'go' and the app allows you to 'redo' as often as you like - great for practicing 'having a go'...superb long turn practice for any #YLE Movers or Flyers candidates (though 4/5 story panels  and much less output required!)

In this story my role as agent provocateur not assessor etc - and I was equally challenged to follow the storyline! For some reason part one is missing; blame the app, we struggled to get going.

In a first outing with Story Wheel, I like what we produced, but there is nothing other than a bog ordinary visual stumuli for the student to get to grips with. Yuto is a confident returnee but he was struggling for fluency - connecting ideas - an did not want to be doing the final 'conclusion' bit.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Goddess Athena in pt 2 of her TV interview

Athena continues to "blurt" about her ambitions with Hercules - a SockPuppet TV interview exclusive featuring Nanako!

An Interview with Goddess Athena - part one

As a follow up to reading about Hercules and his challenges, I wanted to know how The Goddess Athena felt about the hunk and his tormentor, King Eurytheus. I am sure you'll agree, Athena lives up to billing - in her own words!

An interview with King Eurytheus

On a recent TV am show, Nanako interviewed the notoriously shy/cowardly tormentor of Hercules - King Eurytheus. See their exchange on SockPuppets and decide who you prefer :)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Describing where you live - Nagano

English: Mount Yari from Higashikamaone 日本語: 東...
Mount Yari in all it's glory
I live in Nagano, which is a city ont he mountain in the centre of Japan. It has a population of about 2100000 (Nagano prefecture not city) people. It's the 16th biggest city in Japan.

It's a beautiful city it's great for sightseeing, hiking and doing winter sports. There are lots of mountains, temples, skiing area. There's the oldest castle in Japan (not true!). It's Matsumoto castle. It was build four hundred years ago!

The weather is very different from the south of Japan. The winter can be very cold, and it often snow for days. The summer is wonderful - it's sunny but not usually too hot and it;s great for going to the mountains.

Nagano is famous for mountains. There are lots of beautiful mountains. So many people come to Nagano climbing mountains every year. Mt Yarigatake and Mt Hotaka is as popular as Mt Fuji.

I think the best things about Nagano are the air and the water. It's so clean and very safe and very delicious. it's a beautiful city. That's the main reason why I like living here so much.

Posted for Inenaga

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Hercules and the monster he can't kill!

A Chimpnass
This is a Chimpnass, a monster I imagined after reading "Hercules". Hercules had to do twelve hard challenges for King Eurystheus because he killed his wife & sons. He met a lot of monsters, and beat them all!

Chimpnass has horns which light up at night. The ears are very good hearing things. He can run fast and he's friendly. He lives in the mountains, where it has huge trees. He eats lions, tigers, and monkeys. He has claws on his front legs, and hooves on his back legs. He can scratch with his long steel claws. He can kick with his his paws, hooves and tail. His tail is long and strong, made of rocks. He can tickle with his tongue.

Chimpnass guards little animals in the forest from lions & tigers and other big animals. He is brave and clever. If you sing a happy song, he won't eat you. I like Chimpnass because he's friendly. Hercules would not kill him because he's ticklish!


Monday, 16 March 2015

An interview with Hercules

A Sock Puppet interview by Nanako, putting the questions to Hercules after his endeavours on behalf of King Eurytheus in her OUP graded reader.

Comparing the first movie with modern ones

Today I watched the Great Train Robbery. The story is about some robbers. They stop a train and steal $5,000. A group of men goes after them. They kill all the robbers and the back the money. This is the first American film, made in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter for Thomas Edison.

English: Poster of "The Great Train Robbe...
 "The Great Train Robbery" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There were some things different to a modern film.

  • It was silent
  • It was black and white
  • Things were not real, eg a clock, a wall, a door
  • It was easy to get on the train - no stuntmen
  • Bad acting eg when a man got shot
  • Not realistic special effects eg using a doll an explosion
  • Peoples' clothes are old
  • Using slow horses
  • Animals are in danger when the robbers got shot by the group of men
  • Ending is very sudden
Some things were the same.
  • It was an action story
  • There were animals in the story
  • The bad guys lose
  • There was a chase
  • They were using guns to steal money
  • It was a little exciting
Posted by Yuto, after reading The Story of Motion Pictures, a Richmond ELT graded reader. It was an exciting movie!