Sunday, 17 May 2020

Love letter - Henry VIII to Jane Seymour

Dearest Jane,

I received your letter this morning but you sounded very ill.
The doctors have reported me that you shall get better soon, so please be strong and get well for me and our precious son, Edward.

Thank-you for giving me a son, my dear Jane.  Now I am the happiest person in the world.  I will cherish him and make him a great King after me.
OUP Bookworm - Henry VIII

You are the only person to listen to me well.  You are very kind to my daughters, Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth.  I always have a lot of enemies around me and I was almost implicated in the plot of Anne Boleyn.  But you are so different from the wild dangerous witch.  My life with you have been peaceful and contented which is the first time ever since I became the King of England.

Please live a long life with me.
I will come and see you tomorrow.

Your loving husband and the King of England

Henry Ⅷ  xoxo

Posted for Sayuri

Saturday, 16 May 2020

High school student's PPT advice for COVID-19

A high school student's advice for COVID-19 prevention
A poor reproduction of Yuto's excellent PowerPoint poster, with advice about COVID-19 (can't upload PPT to Blogger I'm afraid). As you can see, he put a lot of thought & care into his design & message.

An after reading task to OUP's Read & Discover level 6 graded reader title "Cells & Microbes", somewhat relevant especially as he aspires to become a doctor (still!).

Posted for Yuto

Friday, 15 May 2020

An ex-journalist's (imaginary) newspaper report - Chemical Secret


Two days ago, some dead seals were discovered on some small islands and sandbanks around the mouth of the river. The cause seems to be an unknown disease. What can be assumed is the possibility that the damage was done by the water supply from the paint factory. It is said their drain carry waste products into the river. We must find out the bottom of the case.

When John Duncan got to the hospital, his daughter Christine and Simon were there with their baby. The baby was beautiful and looked healthy. John felt relieved and suddenly cried loudly. Nobody could stop him crying for a while. When he stopped crying and looked at Christine, she smiled at her father forgivingly. John talked to Christine and Simon how much he had worried about their baby and how much he had been stricken with guilt. Christine showed her understanding about her father. Finally, she recognized that her father had brought up two children desperately by himself and he had always loved them deeply. Now her father had lost many things, so they decided to live together.

John Duncan is basically a hard-working, serious man. He looked after his children very well. Since he needed job to provide for them, he had to do as his boss said. He found out a big secret about the company, but he could not bring the issue out into the open. He tried to keep the secret to protect their lives and the employees, but his daughter did not understand him at all. He lost his house and his daughter’s trust and love.
Are jobs for people are more important than seals dying?

It looks like a difficult decision. If lots of people lose their jobs, some people might not be able to live. However, also we should not ignore about environmental preservation. This is a fundamental issue. We should not compare human life with animal lives because each life has same weight.

An after reading task, for OUP Graded Reader "Chemical Secret", by Teruki

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Biography of Taka - Japanese pop idol

Takahiro Moriuchi - One OK Rock vocalist
Takahiro Moriuchi is the vocalist of Japanese rock band "ONE OK ROCK". He is an excellent musical talent. Now he is one of the best singers, and "ONE OK ROCK" is getting popular not only in Japan but also around the world.

Taka was born in Tokyo on April 17, 1988. His father is a famous Japanese singer, Shinichi Mori, and his mother Masako Mori is also a great singer.

When he was 13 years old, he joined "Johnny & Associates". He joined the idol group "NEWS". However, he was bashed because he was the son of celebrities and had become famous without having to struggle, so he quit.

When he as 17 years old, he joined "ONE OK ROCK". After that he wrote many wonderful songs, and they succeeded playing a lot of concert tours in Japan and also around the world every year. Their concerts in Tokyo Dome and Nagisaen (Shizuoka) drew audiences totaling 100,000 people in two days.

Now he tries to provide a new style of music with "ONE OK ROCK" band members. I hope and cheer for their success.

Posted for Masato - a big fan!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Roar into another I-Spy challenge!

The reason why slippers were invented? Lego, the domestic landmines!

How long will take you to find ALL the objects on the list?

Thank you Liz!

Friday, 1 May 2020

Let the kids play! Quizlet Live "individual" for remote learning

Collaborating competitively!
With half our students of this class Zooming in from home, we tried out Quizlet Live to review vocabulary competitively. This worked out very nicely, in "Individual" mode.

Teacher set up the game from PC on the Quizlet site, then shared the QR code on screen; quick tap & added their names with no explanation needed (think they've been improving digital skills with being at home - isn't that an indictment against schooling in Japan?)...all members of the the game need to be playing synchronously.

Press play & realised the set was far too easy! Our learners quickly demonstrated their grasp of technology as well as the target language.

Only problem with the F2F students = using my devices we could only play as "one" person, so some collaboration required, having disinfected hands & device first (and after).

We are lucky that our students have access to smart devices I know, and that they have good connectivity. Downside is more screen time, but to be honest the variety for book-based classes is more important.

Verdict? Strongly recommend Quizlet Live Individual

What's in your drawers?

Another lovely I-Spy challenge from "Aunty Liz"...

Can you find all the things in the list on the left?

How many of these things can you find in your drawers at home?

Why not share a picture?

Have fun searchng!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Flipping boardgames for remote teaching - going on a safari!

Keeping it simple and familiar is a mantra I've been trying to apply as more & more of Luna's students are joining us remotely. There are enough 'new things' to have to learn on the hop right now, an overload of advice and a fair avalanche of problems usually at the last minute or as classes are starting/students arriving...

Animal Safari is a simple board game from Orchard Toys, which I like to use to reinforce learning of (low) numbers + animals, and the target language to differentiate singular/plurals...
  • "What can you see?" "I can see a parrot" or "I can see three alligators" etc
But how to play when the mice are all at home?!

Solution: looks messy (my end) but worked a treat for the end users, (9-10 y.o.) on iPhones.

Game set up on the floor, counters flat on the board. Bird's Eye view of the game & pieces by balancing an iPhone above it (plastic train track cellotaped to a box overhanging the table edge = avoids a shadow. Share that screen in Zoom, with your camera app open, making sure everything is "the right way up".

Floored - analog game play!
Teacher shakes dice for the students. Hold dice up to the iPhone camera so they can count for their turn. Teacher moves the relevant counter forward (make a note of player/colour counter in game play order!). If there is extra action eg take a card etc, then hold that card also up to the camera and let the game play happen - as much as possible get the participants to do all the talking (establish turns eg A plays, B asks the questions...B's turn, C asks the questions & so on).

Teacher meantime on video as Zoom host, giving feedback & correcting if necessary, keeping the action going & everyone involved. Not easy - juggling a number of roles! I got so confused I couldn't remember "Meerkat" when asked!

I think this set up will work with most simple & familiar board games out of the cupboard...going to try a few more! Avoids downloading apps and all the hassle there with extra screen time etc and also clearly not digital ie I, the teacher, need to be 'in the room' so I'm not going to making myself unemployed...

Give it a go - what analog game & set up works well with your YLE class?

What can you see?

Can you find all the items listed with the picture?
What colour are they?
What is your favourite thing?
What is the strangest thing?
How many of these things can you find in your house or garden?

Thank you Liz George for this lovely idea!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Remote postcard from...Whangarei, New Zealand

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well and are at home staying safe and healthy away from corona.

Luna students met Laura here 20 years ago!!!
Here in New Zealand we have been in lockdown for one month, and it has been extended for one more week until Tuesday. This means that everyone in New Zealand has had to stay home and only communicate with people in their ‘bubble’ in person, the only time we are able to leave is to go for a short walk/bike ride or to an essential service (supermarket, pharmacy etc). I have been staying with my family on a farm in Whangarei, but will be moving back down to Auckland after the alert level is low enough to continue with work and prepare for university which I will start in July!

I miss all of you so much, and love seeing all of the photos of everyone on Luna’s social media!

Lots of love,

Laura :-)

Friday, 17 April 2020

Japanese users' guide to Quizlet

生徒様 保護者様

Quizlet の使い方(パソコン・iPad/iPhone・スマホ)

[Quizlet] のアプリをダウンロードする

1. 検索画面から「Lunateacher」を検索。
2. 「LunaTeacher先生」を選ぶ。
3. 各クラスで使っているテキストブック毎に Quizlet があるので自分の使っているテキストブックのタイトルを選ぶ。 また「Edmodo」を通じて担当講師から課題(homework)が出ているときは課題をやり提出しましょう(オンラインで)。
4. 是非、音量をオンにして行ってください。正しい発音が聴き取れるようになります。















  True ○  False ×

単語と単語の間はスぺースを空けること。 音声入力もできます。





ゲームです!設定は All, Easy, Englishでプレイします。


Day 1 /Flash card + Learn         

Day 2 /Write + Match                

Day 3 / Match + Spell                       

Day 4 / Test + Match                               

Day 5 / Gravity 

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Sockpuppets on inventions

To celebrate getting to the end of our text book, we had some fun with one of my favourite older apps "Sockpuppets". The free version works fine (but I seem to have lost a load of purchases/usability) and the outcome for Miyu & Aoi was very satisfying! Round of applause!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Online class #1

As promised, from April 13th, Luna is offering students who want to stay at home the opportunity to nevertheless join in with their class. We totally understand our students' & parents' concerns...and we also really understand that others really do need to get out of the house - which for now, is relatively safe here. We will provide our students with their classes 'live' online, as long as we have 24 hours' notice to do so - we found out today that we need a lot more preparation time & logistical care....a lot of things we cannot do at the last minute.
Cardboard box + Thomas track = cheapo interactive whiteboard!

As long as needs be, we will provide this opt-out/stay-in service, and at no extra cost. We are sharing an audio of these classes via Edmodo, as well as other asynchronous homework tasks/games/projects and add ons.

We know an online class is no replacement for the flexibility & warmth of a a face-to-face class...we are going to find it really hard to replace game play for example...we will instead introduce a favourite free app & give our class members a challenge therein. We are lucky; most of our students have pretty good wi-fi, plenty of memory space on their smart phones/tablets, parental support. Chance to share/learn & extend everything we do and build on all the good ideas we've been having for years! It really strikes me that there is going to be such a conversation to have soon about digital poverty on top of actual financial poverty.

BIG moan I have now = why do publishers only produce large flashcards - back in the day, playing card size was the default & perfect for all manner of games, and cheaper/easier to manage. And now, would fit half a dozen under an iOS device >> be able to gamify.

Little other moan - I have to stop biting my fingernails!

Last moan - at Luna we only ever give students homework AFTER we have taught something, or occasionally in a flipped learning scenario as in "we'll be doing this next week"...what the hell have Japanese school teachers been doing since closure in March?

  • Delivered or learned how to deliver a single class online? Been given training/log in/security training in how to do this?
  • Mastered or even tried the #EdTech to deliver above?
  • Written a single email or message to any student/class via any app/online learning system/LMS?
  • Learned how to use/apply an app? Shared that/assignment within?
  • Been given a budget to buy/master an app & enroll a class eg Class Dojo?
  • Been allowed to take a PC/laptop home & do anything from there? 
  • Attended any webinar or used SMS to ++ on professional development?
  • Figured out how to use/install a webcam/mic?
  • Figured out how to connect their iOS device to an online meeting & share that screen?
  • Justified the need to actually go to school when there are no kids there?
  • Checked in on their students' mental well-being?
  • Provided online homework (boring as all fuck that it is) provision?
I think I could go on...

My point really is, we will not be going back to school as usual. We won't at Luna, and as a parent I will not accept it at my children's schools. Will you?

Friday, 10 April 2020

Blended provision for our students - announcement

With the re-closure of schools in Nagano prefecture, and the increasing nervousness of some of our students and parents (as well as us!) we have decided to do two things as of Monday, April 13th:

  1. Continue to teach small classes in the school with even more enhanced care over disinfecting surfaces, sanitising visitors'/teachers'/students' hands on entry/departure etc, and making sure students are seated as far apart as we can manage without being 'weird'! We are avoiding activities which require students to share things, and encouraging YLs to wear masks (prevent fingers going in places more than bugs!). We are obviously asking anyone who has a temperature or who is feeling unwell to avoid coming to the school.
  2. Offer students who are concerned about using public transport, or who not keen to be here in a group, the opportunity to join their class in real time via Zoom. We are all new at this, but we can all try and learn something new together :) We will also record the lessons and share them within our class members on Edmodo (an LMS we have been using for years but has hitherto been very under exploited). We will continue to do this for as long as needs be.
We will be making an effort to also share with students and parents more than ever, additional resources/ideas/apps/activities withing Edmodo. Any one can join that 'class ' but you do need to join. It's free :)  Join here >>

Matsumoto Castle - not recent!
As ever we will do our best to keep you up to date - check your Edmodo class regularly please?

We will continue to share via our Facebook page - click here

Of course we will also be answering the phone! 0263-34-4481 & talk to Rinka, Emi, Yukari, Yuka or Eri.

We can also look after students who want to 'observe' a lesson (but don't want to physically come!), or even students not in our neighbourhood. Tell us which level/age, and we'll put you with a suitable group as a guest.

We are looking forward to making sure our students can continue to get the best English language education we can provide...just going to have to do it a bit differently for a while. Don't panic!


Friday, 3 April 2020

At School - a Potato Pals smash hit!

Singing will be banned in Japanese schools next week, I think I read somewhere in the last 24 hours. Reason - projectile phlegm will spread corona virus. Scientific basis...erm.

I went on a bit of rant here - deleted - as I want to share the fun that can be had without too much singing (and I can't sing or dance, as evident in the video).

My Potato Minions are wonderful, so I hope you will  TPR yourselves into smiles At School (or ideally, not).

My follow up idea - make this a Flipgrid challenge...

Thank you Patrick Jackson for your encouragement and lack of ego - a real Pal!

Digital enlightenment : graded reader + YouTube classic movie compared

Thank-you very much for The 39 Steps! I enjoyed it!

Honestly speaking it was the first time for me to see a movie via YouTube... I have been in digital darkness really...

I watched it with my husband's tablet and it's always off the sound but I didn't know how to be on. So I watched it without any words as I had thought that I couldn't catch the natural English speed anyway...
But I realized that it was no sense to watch it without the words and stopped the YouTube and managed to make the sound on somehow. It was so much fun to see the video with the words and sound of course :-)

The story was quite different (from the OUP Bookworm graded reader) but Hannay was rather charming like 007 and I like the romance with the teacher of the girls school.
It's a good way to review the story and I enjoyed that thanks!

From Sayuri, self-isolating 

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Postcard from... Australia

I went to Australia. We went to an aquarium with my uncle.

We saw lots of fish! It was very cool. I ate fish and chips.

I love fish and chips!

from Eleanor
(This journey took place in early March!)

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Postcard from....Singapore

I went to Singapore with my family. 

We to an aquarium and swimming pool. It was so fun. 

We went to the Botanical museum too. 

It was beautiful and it smelled good.

from Nanako

Monday, 30 March 2020

Cell & Microbes - a book review

The book I read is called Cells and Microbes, by Louise & Richard Spilsbury. I enjoyed this book a lot, because I learned a lot of new & cool stuff.

I learned some new words in this book:

  • infection - when microbes like bacteria or viruses make part of an animal's body sick
  • antibiotics - drugs that doctors give you to make you well, when you are sick
  • methane - a type of gas
  • identical - the same as someone or something else
  • lactic acid - a substance that can stop food going bad
  • nerve - a type of cell that sends messages around an animal's body
  • nutrient - something that we get from food to live & grow
  • photosynthesis - the way that plants use sunlight to make sugar for food
Two types of microbe:
  • bacteria - can be killed by antibiotics
  • virus - can't be killed by antibiotics
Two types of animal cell:
  • red blood cells
  • nerve cells
I think the most interesting type of cell in this book is the white blood cell, because the cells can move around our body & kill the bad microbes.

My favourite chapter was "Plant Cells" because in this chapter they explain about photosynthesis and it was interesting.
My favourite picture was of a man getting an injection. I want to be a doctor! Yuto

The Quizlet set for this book is here >>

Saturday, 28 March 2020

We can do this, boss!

The practicality of switching production to making badly needed respiratory units for hospitals:

The outbreak of corona virus is the biggest concern on earth. At the same time, this could be a big opportunity for us to keep our factory running, increase our sales and do some good. Our company should consider switching production to make badly needed respiratory units for hospitals.
  • Increase the profile of company
The number of patients is becoming larger and larger every day. Some hospitals are already suffering from shortage of respiratory units. It has been reported the current supply of respiratory units are not enough to meet the higher and urgent demand. Fortunately, we are the qualified factory who are allowed to make the medical devices. If we can be the supplier of respiratory units quickly, the reputation of our company in public can be increased.
  • Cover shortage with alternative sales
Our factory has been producing the personal care products which sales is dropping sharply due to the uncertain economy. We need to find out the alternative products which can cover shortage immediately. The respiratory units could be the one which can make huge amount of sales.
  • Do good for society, staff morale and prevent lay-offs
As mentioned above, the respiratory units are badly needed at every hospital especially in Europe and US. The units can save people's life. Making respiratory units could raise our staff morale as well as prevent lay-offs.

The corona virus spreads around the world quicker than we thought. In order to tackle the difficult situation, we should think what we can do. The decision should be made immediately to start production of respiratory units at our factory.


This was a writing task for an ESP class that we explored as a follow up to writing a memo...we used NoRedInk for the first time to see if we could exploit that resource to improve our writing skills. Here is the link to the task I'd love to know how other teachers teaching English for specific (business) learners feel about the applicability/restrictions of the templates.

I would also love to see other factory floor staff/engineers'/production mangers' responses. Please do not be judgmental, btw. This was a creative writing task within the confines of an English lesson. However, this task is realistic vs the production facilities & current situation of the worldwide situation we are looking at agog.

Friday, 27 March 2020

In the Morning...

Wanted to share an activity we enjoyed this afternoon at Luna, reading one of Patrick Jackson's excellent Potato Pals little readers "In the Morning" - all about routines, so why not bring out the inner child in us all?!

We enjoyed ourselves; hope you do too!

Thanks for the inspiration (end permission/encouragement!) Patrick.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Out and about in Europe - self-isolating solution!

My young learner student has been reading Heidi - a graded reader version. We've enjoyed the story, and talked about friendship & jealousy, healthy lifestyles and loneliness. We also learned a lot of good new vocabulary - there's a Quizlet set for this particular version of the story (OUP Dominoes series) right here. Tip for teachers or any creative types out there, the Pro version is free for the time-being. Get into it!

One of the projects for after reading, was to read up about the Matterhorn and fill in a table with data about the mountain and its location etc. Good detective work, focusing on detail.

But the funky part was GOING there, having a look around and describing what we could see. How can we do that, with only an hour together in our classroom, not to mention the lack of flights/inability to travel around Europe at the moment...? Hello Google Expeditions! Popped my phone into a cardboard viewer (cheap but does the job!) and "Wow, it's beautiful!" from my quiet little learner. As she swiveled around taking in the 360 view, prompts galore:

  • Can you see any people? What are they doing?
  • How's the weather? What season is it?
  • What's behind you? Can you read the sign, please?
  • What's under your feet? Is it easy to walk here? Why/why not?
  • What clothes do you need to go for a walk here?
  • What would you put in your bag?
  • How are you feeling, if you walk up here?
  • Who would you like to visit here with? Why?
  • Are there places like this where you live? Which is colder?
  • What would you do after this walk?
Follow up projects to this could be:
  • sending a postcard (real, or imaginary eg from Heidi to friend in Frankfurt) - good opportunity to use a variety of tenses...what you did yesterday, what you are doing now, what your plans are for tomorrow or the weekend.
  • Do some research on another mountain, nearer to home (for us, Mount Fuji was the obvious candidate) and make a nice poster, exploiting some key new vocabulary eg summit, ridge, volcano. Get funky with an app to make it a digital one?
We also decided to compare two towns near the Matterhorn, Zermatt in Switzerland and Cervinio in Italy, strolling around in Google Maps, using Street View. We talked about the different kinds of shops and what we could buy, which was safer to walk around (Zermatt has no cars!), if people were dressed the same, where a group of kids might be going etc. And which we would like to visit, when we can travel more freely again (and which looked like the nicest hotel!).

So, gentle reader - send us your (isolated) review of a mountain large in your life, and let us post it here as well?

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Postcard from... Ariakezan Shrine

Ariakezan Shrine
I like to explore new places. If you find yourself needing to someplace to explore, then this shrine would be perfect and I would like to share it with you. It is located in the mountains far from Matsumoto city in Azumino. In order to get to the shrine, I had to walk from Azumi-Oiwake station, which was far. As I was walking deeper into the mountains, I started seeing wild monkies running around which was really neat to see. When I arrived at the shrine, after having stopped for ice coffee at some cafes along the way, I arrived at the entrance gate to the shrine. Seeing the detail of the wood carvings was really cool. If you are a fan of architecture, then this would be the shrine to visit. The main gate has really detailed carvings of animals ranging from farm animals to dragons. The overall feeling of the shrine makes you feel like you can just sit and relax
The main gate and the wood dragon carving
 the day away and enjoy nature. While I was there I sat and enjoyed the wind and calming atmosphere of the shrine grounds. It was very peaceful. After exploring the shrine, I was able to relax and enjoy lunch at a nearby cafe. After that, I was able to walk back to the city on this clear and perfect day. If you are interested in exploration, then I suggest this as a perfect place to explore.

Have a great time exploring new things,

Laputa - Really nice cafe with delicious food

Monday, 23 March 2020

A letter to my friend, Othello

Dear Othello,

 I am writing to tell you about something very important, so please read this letter carefully and quickly. I know about Iago’s plans for revenge. Iago hates you because he could not be chosen as your lieutenant. Everyone told him that you should choose Iago as your lieutenant, but you gave the job to Michael Cassio. Iago thought Cassio is not appropriate person as lieutenant because he has never sent an army onto the battle field in his life. He pretends as a good officer but try to destroy your life. He tells a lie to Roderigo who loves Desdemona, and let him kill Cassio so that he can make a story that Cassio and Desdemona love each other. It is true that Cassio is an innocent and Desdemona loves you from the bottom of her heart. You should trust them instead of Iago. As I found a letter from Iago to Roderigo and would like you to tell you the truth before you have a second thought on Cassio and Desdemona.


Monday, 16 March 2020

An invitation to Rock & Roll

Write an email inviting a friend for tea, with details about why/where/when etc.

Hi Yumi,

It’s been a long time since we met last time. How is your work going? I heard you had been busy for this few months.

By the way, I and Naoko are planning to have a tea party at Naoko’s house this Saturday. If you are free this Saturday, hope that you will be able to join us. Akane will also come to the party. The party will be held around noon, we can take some food or drink tea and update our latest each other.

Because next Monday is Akane’s 27th birth day so we would like to prepare some present and cake for her, but we have no idea what she wants now. If you come up with an idea, please give us an advice, thank you!

Hope can see you at the party this Saturday, thank you!


After reading - Organization which want to support

I had two dogs and love dogs. I would like to support an organization to help abandoned or stray dogs/cats because approx. 83 thousand dogs and cats were euthanized/culled in Japan. Approx. 15% of the euthanized dogs/cats had been pets. In Japan, it is general approach to buy an animal in pet store. In order to making good sales, pet stores usually sell little dogs/cats who are at/just after 8 month old.  Little dos/cats are very very cute and some people might decide to buy a dog or cat without thinking carefully how impact the animal gives their life. It is said by many that some owners abandoned their pets when unexpected hard things happened.
I really hope that all pet stores are gone in the future and only owners who can nurse the pet until their end of life can buy them from reputable breeders checked by government. Until my dream about animals comes true, I would like to donate/support organization to help abandoned dogs/cats because the dogs/cats cannot choose their owner, but the abandoned dogs/cats experienced terrible things.  The organization makes them feel safe and secure, and gives a chance for safe/happy life as second life to the abandoned dogs/cats.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Postcard from...Gifu Castle

I have driven along the Nagara River several times on the way to somewhere in a hurry...and every time regretted not being able to stop and explore Gifu Castle, perched atop Mt. Kinka. It looks amazing from any point of the compass - and truly has a commanding position of the 'fu.

So I'm glad I saved it for a lovely sunny day!

Climbing up there after a business meeting not quite the plan - and certainly not in the right shoes - but well worth the effort. 840m above the riverbed and spectacular views from every corner of the rebuilt (concrete) structure. Last rebuilt in the 1950s - it was last wrecked in 1943 as Gifu was firebombed, but on the site of a mountain-top fortification initiated in 1201. Yet abandoned in 1601 - the year Tycho Brahe died...of course a year after the Battle of Sekigahara.

Gifu Castle - gloriously aloft
Oda Nobunaga basically impressed the pants off everybody in Japan - as well as a Portuguese envoy - with his eyrie, hospitality, and innovations to follow up on his military achievements as the sixteenth century wound to a close...I can't possibly start on the Shogunates/warring states/Christianity in Japan...not enough space on this postcard! But, if you have an interest in that era of history, start here. Rent a car, and trundle around Gifu prefecture - slowly!

Oda Nobunaga - Gifu man

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Postcard from - Europe

Buna Ziua!!

How are you everyone in Luna?

I've already been to Roma, Florence, Pisa, Genoa, Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Praha (Prague), Vienna and here in Bucharest in Romania!!

It took one month for this graduation trip in Europe and there are something trouble with the problem of "Corona", but I enjoy it a lot. I would like to talk ablut it when I come back to Matsumoto!!

Ciao - March 12th


That's right, that's write - I love your tiger feet?!

And for a lighter moment (and a look at where all Japanese boy-bands got their moves from?!) cop some Mud from 1974!

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Gold medal at Tokyo Olympic in 2020

I'm going to introduce Shohei Ono who is judoist and belonging to 73kg class. He was born in 1922 in Yamaguchi prefecture and started judo when 7 years old.

He made effort to make his body bigger when a child as he was a small. Now, his height is 170cm and still not tall, but he looks bigger that actual height by training.

When I watched his play on YouTube, he impressed me as his ippon is so beautiful and he has strong inner muscles. If he grips an opposing player's jacket, it means that opposing player loses as it is extremely difficult to run away from his technique.

He won the gold medal at the Rio Olympic in 2016. I Hope he wins a gold medal again at the Tokyo Olympic of this year and it will be excited.

Postcard from...Kawasaki-daishi Temple

Main Gate
Kawasaki-daishi Temple is tucked away in Kanagawa prefecture, not far away from the famous boat racing circuit, the race course, and the international airport (Haneda). It's famous for its "power of Yakuyoke" (warding off evil), and is one of the biggest temples of the Chisan School of Shingon Buddhism.

We saw the famous burning ceremony "Ogama Kito" in the main hall after entering the courtyard via the very impressive main gate. Not so thrilling were all the souvenir shops lined up down the street beyond!

I was very impressed with the "Kyozo" or Sutra Repository, focussed around a statue of Shaka Nyorai and home to 7,240 books of Kenryuban Daizokyo, in pristine condition lining the walls.
Hakkaku Gojunoto

Commanding the skyline is the 5-storey pagoda "Hakkaku Gojunoto", around which the gardens unfold with statues dotted around. I'm glad we could visit when there were not so many tourists; judging by the size of the toilet block, I imagine there are usually a lot!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Sayuri's trip to London - Notting Hill inspired!

Platform  93⁄4 , St. Pancras
When I arrived at St. Pancras station by Eurostar with my husband, it was almost 8pm. We were deadly tired as the Eurostar was delayed and we had to stand in a long queue over 4 hours at Gare du Nord in Paris.

Right next to St. Pancras station there was Kings Cross station where we could see the famous 93⁄4 plat form. We enjoyed watching many people paid and took photos there. We bought some chocolate frogs(didn’t move!) and the Bertie Bott`s Every Flavour Beans. By the time we were quite happy and forgot about our stressful journey from Paris.

We stayed at a nice hotel near Waterloo station and had comfortable 3 nights.
double-decker bus on Westminster Bridge, in front of Big Ben
Their elevators spoke to us"Doors closing" but it sounded like "George Clooney" to my husband. So everytime we were on the elevator, we said "George Clooney" to the closing doors.

Every morning we got up early and had very good almost full English breakfast and started walking along River Thames. There were lots to see. One of the interesting things was the nursery rhyme under the London Bridge. When we walked through under the London Bridge in dark, we heard the famous melody in girl's spooky voice. That made our blood run cold.

We also went to Notting Hill and saw the travel book shop where the film was shot. It was not a book shop anymore and they sold lots of things for tourists like us, though we didn't buy anything there.

Now the art exhibition of the British National Gallery was to have been on in Tokyo but the art museum is closed because of the nasty virus corona. We really hope this world crisis comes to the end somehow and sometime soon. We still looking forward to seeing many fine arts which we enjoyed very much in London. Those will be good reminders of our lovely days in London.
a lion in dawn we started walking that early in the morning
the travel book shop in Notting Hill
Posted for Sayuri

Postcard from...Haneda airport

Who's the tallest now?!
A snap decision to accept an invitation from her uncle & aunt in Australia, some frantic preparations and a dash down the expressway to Haneda airport and a rendez-vous with Qantas, bag just about packed and ready to travel alone...

A quick pit-stop at Futaba SA gave us a stunning view of Mount Fuji, which is still taller than everybody.

Bye bye Eleanor!
And then we said quick goodbyes at the security gate, cousins clambering to get in a final farewell, and off she went bravely on her own (accompanied by ground staff) to find her big Kangaroo for the overnight flight to Sydney. We waved her her off into the night sky, and followed her progress across the Pacific...she had her toes wriggling in the sand before we even got back home!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Engage, engage and engage!

Teachers often ask me what does it take to manage a classroom of students and teach a successful lesson: should I teach this? Should I teach that? Should I do this? or should I do that etc. and so on. As a teacher trainer on the Cambridge CELTA courses working in various centers in various countries, I observe and assess hundreds of lessons each year and often see teachers incorporate amazingly creative techniques, develop revolutionary materials, and use the most high-tech resources as well as frequently demonstrate an outstanding knowledge of grammar, phonology, and metalanguage, etc. with the most amazing expertise. But, in my opinion, the most overriding indicator of a lesson being successful and the teacher achieving their overall lesson aim is whether the lesson engages the learners and moreover engages the learners in their learning. If this happens, it's most likely a winner! Quite simple really, but I guess the next question is 'How do we engage learners?'. I'll leave this to you to ponder and contribute any ideas.

I want to be...Fumiya's ambition

I want to be a swimmer, because I like swimming.

I am on the swimming team.

My swimming team is very nice.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

I want to be...Rui's ambition

I want to be a soccer player, because I can run fast and dribble very well.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Up your YLE teaching game with Luna JP004

April 26th, Nagano, and it's free

Day-long PD session to train experienced and qualified teachers to be become Speaking Examiners (SEs). This workshop will cover the speaking tests for all three Cambridge Assessment English YLE (Young Learners) examinations for children – Starters (pre-A1), Movers (A1) & Flyers (A2). 

The aims of the training session are: to make trainee examiners aware of the general responsibilities of a Cambridge Assessment English SE, likely problems/issues that may arise and how to manage them effectively; to familiarise trainee examiners with the procedure of the three YLE Speaking tests; to give trainee examiners the opportunity to conduct practice Speaking tests; to standardise the assessment of YLE candidates: ensuring familiarity with Cambridge Assessment English criteria, with standards set by standardisation videos, and making sure SEs are able to carry out accurate assessments in accordance with these.

Must have valid visa to work in Japan
Degree &/or teaching qual + recent, relevant FT experience taching English to YLs.

Contact Jim for application form, details & queeries - all curious YL teachers welcome!

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Professional Development in Nagano with Luna International

April 25th, Nagano city - free (Ts & Cs apply).

Day-long PD session to train experienced and qualified teachers to be become Speaking Examiners (SEs). This workshop will cover the speaking tests for the A2:Key and B1:Preliminary, of Cambridge Assessment English examinations for adults.

The aims of the training session are: to make trainee examiners aware of the general responsibilities of a Cambridge Assessment English SE, likely problems/issues that may arise and how to manage them effectively; to familiarise trainee examiners with the procedure of the A2:Key and B1:Preliminary Speaking tests; to give trainee examiners the opportunity to conduct practice Speaking tests; to standardise the assessment of A2:Key and B1:Preliminary candidates: ensuring familiarity with Cambridge Assessment English criteria, with standards set by standardisation videos, and making sure SEs are able to carry out accurate assessments in accordance with these; to give trainee examiners the opportunity to discuss and ask questions about all aspects of the above.

Need a degree &/or teaching qual + recent, relevant FT experience. Must have visa (to work in Japan).

Contact Jim for an application form & further details/requirements. All enquiries welcome.