Thursday, 28 July 2016

After reading - The Lost World


Dear My Friend,

Did you remember a terrible case happened on 5 years ago?

I remembered the terrible/sad case as if it was yesterday.

 

Five years ago, my brother and I lived near Manaos.

My brother, Pedro Lopez and I were half brother and were grown by same mother.

Pedro Lopez’s father was a Mexican and my father was a Indian.

 

He was very gentle, but he was highly skilled in his leadership and ground control.

He owned a lot of land and was rich.

Many Indian worked for Pedro Lopez’s land very well and he paid money and gave food properly.

I thought that the Indians worked for his land were satisfied with their work.

 

But, suddenly a man called Lord Roxton came here and fought him and killed him.

Lord Roxton killed my love brother though he didn’t know well my brother.

I was very sad he was killed, but I was also sad and surprised that many Indians looked happy because he was killed though he gave many Indians fruitful life.

 

Sometime after my brother was killed, I heard that some Indians said that Pedro Lopez was very cruel and they worked very hard, but they got very little money or food and some of Indians died due to hard work.

 

My brother could bent his ear to the Indians opinions.

I am absolutely disgusted with Lord Roxton who killed my kind brother.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Famous food and drink in south of France



 In the south of France,They eat a lot of potherb and herb with olive oil, for example ratatouille, salad Nicouise, and quiche of spinach too.








The most of famous seafood dish is Bouilla baisse, They also have salmon terrine and oysters.



They often eats dessert, lemon tart, chocolate mousse and cherry clafouti, of all others vanilla souffle is so delicious!



The traditional aperitif is pastis, It made of herb and spice extract, aniseed and so on.
They drinks a lot of champagne and wine as well.



Sunday, 24 July 2016

Taketorimonogatari - a Japanese Fairy Story

My fairy story

Tell the story of a fairy tale from your country


There is a famous fairy story, which called Taketorimonogatari.

We dont know who wrote it and when its written exactly. People assume that itwritten in 10th century.

Once there was a husband and a wife. They didnt have a child. One day, the husband went to bamboo forest, and found glowing bamboo. The husband cut the bamboo. Surprisingly, there was a cute girl sleeping in the bamboo.
The husband brought the girl to his house. The wife was pleased to see her, and they decided to raise her as their child. They named her Kaguya, and raised her with caution. Kaguya grew up rapidly like bamboo, and she became beautiful girl. As time goes by, many kings hear that there is a beautiful girl called Kaguya, and so many kings come over to Kaguyas house to propose her. However, Kaguya didnt want to marry any of kings. Five kings were persistent, and Kaguya asked one impossible favor to each man. The favor is to bring a Buddhas base, bring an immortals tree, bring a fire-mouse skin, bring the ball of dragon neck, and bring a shell of swallow.
Each man brought fake, but Kaguya detected the lie, and those men had to say good bye to her. About the same time, she told the husband and the wife that she came from moon. She was sad, but soldier from moon came for Kaguya, and she went back to moon.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Postcard from....Tokyo

Puppet-master Jim
Hi everyone, and sorry to all our Saturday students (I have not seen you for ages!)

This weekend I have been busy in Tokyo, training teachers in Ikebukuro to become speaking examiners for Young Learners & also First Certificate. As you know, these are exams we have been offering at Luna for many years now - we will be holding YLE again in October, FCE in December.

Only experienced and professional teachers are eligible to undertake the training, and even then are required to re-certify annually.

So we should congratulate our Damian, who completed all the training necessary to become an SE for Starters, Movers and Flyers (to add to FCE, CAE & CPE levels he acquired recently).  We are proud to encourage our staff to develop their professional skills, and grateful of the time & effort this has required. I am sure Damian will be transferring his examiner skills into his classes immediately.

Damian in training - YLE Starters
Of course, I found a nice pub. This time the Tap Room in Takadanobaba, part of the very good Baird Brew group. A healthy variety of craft beers but a daft ordering/billing system; I guess if you drink enough, the inconvenience is overcome. A very pleasant evening cutting with new teacher/examiner colleagues form Australia, the Philippines, UK, USA, and Canada....ironically nearly everyone actually living in Gifu. Must go there soon!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Postcard from...Bulli, New South Wales (Australia).

Hi everyone,
Mrs. Turner's wonderful class

Maybe you noticed that Eleanor has not been around lately? Actually, she has spent a whole school term at a primary school near Sydney, with her cousin Joe. She has been 'home staying' with her four cousins, and her Aussie aunt & uncle (except they're both English!).

I took an extra day away from Luna (June 29) to arrive early, and surprise my little girl...we had a wonderful reunion at her bus stop, coming home from school. I got to meet her classmates - they had a lovely goodbye party for her on their last day of term. A very cheerful & chatty bunch of bright faces, shepherded by Mrs. Turner, who has been her teacher and overseen quite a transformation!

Last soccer practice with coach Mark
Before flying back, we had a big family reunion (my mum, my cousins and all their children - 19 of us in a local pizza restaurant) and time for a weekend of sport. Eleanor played her last football match for Woonoona and had to say good bye to her very best "bestie", and shared the goalkeeping gloves with cousin Joe. Lovely buzz around the mixed team, even though they were well-beaten. I went to support cousin Louis play rugby union in a floodlit U15 game, and Uncle Mike play in a 'seniors' league fixture (football) - very good standard & very fit. Memo to self....
Fish 'n' chips in Shellharbour

Long walks on the beach, fish & chips, family dinners - all squeezed into an extended weekend. Delighted to have my girl back; an amazing episode in all our lives. Homestay in 2017, anyone?

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Viking lifestyle - ice hotels

I am very interested in ICE HOTEL in Switzerland and Finland.
All things in this hotel are made by ICE.
Lodger can do all things as usual, but all tools are made by ICE.

  • Sit iced sofa to rest 
  • Sleep at iced bed 
  • Eat meals at iced table and chair 
  • Talk at iced bar and drink alcohol using iced glass 
  • Take a bath surrounded in ICE 

All furniture are made by ICE, but lodger doesn’t feel cold. But if lodger wants to get all warmed up, lodger can take a sauna bath made by ICE only for 15 min. When a lodger take a sauna bath, the ice width of sauna bath will reduce by 5mm.

I want to try how I can sleep at iced bed. Lodger doesn’t lie directly on Iced bed and some fur skin from serow protect the lodger from the coldness of iced bed. So, I want to experience how effect the fur skin from serow has.

And I have another reason that I am very interested in ICE HOTEL. Switzerland and Finland are one of counties where alive with aurora.

ICE HOTEL is made by ICE and it means there are many translucent sites. During lodger stays in ICE HOTEL, lodger can see aurora inside the hotel.

When aurora appears, lodger can go to outside to see aurora more clearly.

Postcard from...Hiroshima

Where are we now?!
Hi everyone.

I have been away for the weekend (June 25-6) in Hiroshima. I have never been here before, but have always wanted to visit. Attending the second JALT EBM of the year here was a very good excuse - but of course I was very busy most of the day times in meetings & talking to teachers from all over the country (and introducing our Damian to people - did you know he is the PR guy for Shinshu Chapter?)

On Saturday evening, we managed to find a pub that was going to show the third & final rugby test match between England & Australia. I really wanted to see England make it a 'whitewash'. I was not disappointed, and was smiling from ear to ear (Kilkennys helped) by bedtime.
Thousands of Cranes for Peace

On Sunday afternoon, meetings finished, we tore off to Miyajima and the amazing temple there. Wasn't sure what to expect, but would have been impressed regardless. Wonderful structure, incredibly peaceful, and a very calming sunset sitting on the sea wall. A ridiculously overpriced & snobby craft beer pub annoyed us, but a standing-up steak bar/restaurant was divine!

Monday morning was an all too brief look around the Peace Park - President Obama was here a few weeks ago - which was ground zero one innocent August morning in 1945. In a flash the world changed; impossible to imagine & overwhelming in scale. The A Dome is an iconic image/symbol which is being reinforced to stand testimony even if an earthquake hits the city. 

Where the world changed
I am very glad I finally managed to visit this clean, organised and happy city. I love the trams, and the vibrant city finally enjoying a successful baseball season too.

Sorry it took a while to post this postcard :)

Jim










Monday, 18 July 2016

Musically inspired postcards - Reiko

Dear my brother

All my family is fine and happy. Now we stay in Karuizawa. And we are camping. And my family and our friend's family have rice party there.

We are very happy. Rice ball is good. And other food and wine are good too.

Please come to rice party next time. We would like to join your family.

See you again.

From Reiko

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Musically inspired postcards - Yoko

Dear Damian

I have holiday one week from yesterday. This letter is from Hawaii island.

Today I went to beach with boyfriend. Weather was sunny and sea was blue and clear.

We enjoy our vacation. I will buy souviner for you.

See you

From Yoko

Friday, 15 July 2016

Musically inspired postcards - Misuzu

Dear Damian

I am holiday now. I am staying Hawaii. I am lying on the sea side and looking the festival. Everyone's dancing.  girl is running to a boy with flowers.

I am very happy when I watch them.

See you soon

Misuzu

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Musically inspired postcards - Misako

Music can be a great teaching tool, and it's something that I don't use enough of with my adult classes. Music can spark imagery, feelings and emotions, which was what I was aiming for with this lesson. The first step was to draw a picture while listening to a song (a upbeat little number by Musical Youth, chosen intentionally to inspire a summery beach scene), jotting down whatever came to mind while the tune played. Every 30 seconds we paused the song and passed our picture (key here being on OUR not MY) onto the person next to us, evolving the picture every so slightly with each iteration. After the song had played it's course, we were left with 4 unique postcards.

The next stage was to imagine yourself as part of the scenery, and to send a postcard home describing what you're doing, how you feel and what is going on around you. To get a feel for each picture, everyone took turns describing the postcard, and how they felt whilst listening to song. This allowed everyone to collect some ideas before putting pen to paper. 

Although all the picture share some a common style and contents, each one has it's own twist and interpretation. It would be a fun experiment with the type of music students listen to and observe the differences!




Dear Damian

I am staying in a southern island now. The weather is fine and people look very happy. Little children
are playing together outside. They don't need any toys.

I am now relaxing and feeling all my stress go away.

See you soon!!

Misako

Friday, 8 July 2016

The Quest - places to visit in Thailand


I had been to Thailand once and I recommend to visit “Phi Phi islands.

Phi Phi islands are approx.. 90 min. boarding from Phuket and consist of 6 small islands.

  1. Phi Phi Don
  2. Phi Phi Leh
  3. Bida Nok
  4. Bida Nai
  5. Phai is called Bamboo Island
  6. Young is called Mosquito island and is inhabited to enter



The major islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh with Maya Bay island which became famous by the movie "The Beach".


All of beach of Phi Phi islands are very very beautiful and all travelers can relax and refresh well by unbelievable nice view.

Especially, I recommend to visit Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh island where can see more beautiful emerald green sea and to enjoy scuba diving to see tropical fishes and shelf of coral though I didn’t do it.


Also, Thailand has many famous/delicious foods.

Some foods may strange for Japanese and the food called “Tom Yam Kung” is not good for me, but is will be good experience/memory for traveler.


I think it is important to take many photos to remember Thailand after traveler goes back to home country, but I would like all travelers to see beautiful views actually to engrave those beautiful views and experiences in traveler’s mind’s eye.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Apollo 13 and our dependence on computers

Jim Lovell has to fly the ship without the computer and the feels good about it. Do computers do too many things for us these days?

Yes, I think so. Recently, I found I have messy writing in Japanese. This is not only for happening in Japanese but for the foreign languages such as English and Chinese. And I also found that I forget how to write the English spell and Chinese characters in English and Chinese. I realized that this is because that we almost always use computer or smart phone to input the characters. When we input the word, it is automatically corrected or gives us the notice in case the spelling is wrong, then we can correct the word with just one click, or sometimes they tell us next word by predicting function. These are good and useful functions to improve our life but I felt a bit afraid that our ability has been degenerated in exchange of convenience. I think it is necessary to use our original ability of “Writing” to avoid any degeneracy so that we can keep writing clear and will not be in trouble in case we don’t have smart phone or computer every moment.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

After reading_King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table

Merlin does email
Write an email from Merlin in his cave, to King Arthur at Camelot


To Arthur,


You may be surprising to see my email. I am now in a dark cave as I mentioned to you before I left your place. I cannot go out this cave, but I still can send some emails to you until the time comes.


First of all, I know you want to know who let me in this cave. It is Lady Vivien. She is still young and believes in her magic power too much. She thinks she has now the greatest and strongest magic in the world without me. I taught her all my magic so that she can help you. My magic can guide her even after I die. So, I will make sure she won’t hurt you.


Second, you will miss me sometimes in future. I took care of you for a long time so that you can be a great brave king. You are now our best king in our country. However, when you are in any trouble and think you need my help, please come to the lake where the Lady of Lake gave you Excalibur. It is a magic lake and you can see the dead people if necessary. But, remember there is only one chance to see me. So, please think carefully if you really need my help.


Lastly, I love you very much. I have been with you since you were born in this world. You will be the greatest king all over the world. As long as you are the king, the people in this country can live happily. Please be kind to all people in the country.


Merlin

Apollo 13 - the Ken Mattingly story

Ken Mattingly did not fly with Apollo 13.  Write about his NASA career after this mission.

After the mission, Ken Mattingly flew on the Apollo 16 as Command Module Pilot from April 16 to 27, 1972.  Apollo 16 was assigned to collect samples from the lunar highlands near the crater Descartes.  Ken carried out an extravehicular activity to retrieve film and data packages from the science bay on the side of the service module.  Apollo 16 accomplished all major objectives although the mission was terminated one day early due to concern over several spacecraft malfunctions.

After the turn to Earth, Ken worked as head of astronaut office support to the STS (Shuttle Transportations System) program and technical assistant for flight test to the Manager of the Orbital Flight Test Program.  He flew on the STS-4 (the fourth and final orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia) as the pilot from June 27 to July 4, 1982 and completed 112 orbits of the Earth.  He saluted President Ronald Reagan after the landing.  Then he also flew on the STS-51-C (the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense) to deploy a modified Inertial Upper Stage vehicle from the Space Shuttle Discovery from January 24 to 27, 1985.

After those missions, he retired from NASA in 1985.  He logged 7,200 hours of flight time.  In his career at NASA, he received twelve awards like the NASA Distinguished Service Medal which was the highest award.



Is there nothing that we as individuals can do prevent climate change?



We often have unusual weather these days, for example heat wave, drought, flood and so on. A mount of ice in the Arctic Circle is starting melt. The cause must be global warming. It can be serious problem for the earth and animals. Extreme weather also damages to agriculture, living environment. This is a huge issue, but I believe we as individuals can do prevent clime change.

There are several things we can do, for example, keep the temperature about 28°C when you use a air conditioner, use public transportation instead of driving a car, turn off the TV, read books. It looks small thing but most of us do this, it will have an effect.

Another thing we can do is to use renewable energy, for example, wind power generation, small hydroelectric generation, and solar power generation so on. Massive energy is necessary to our contemporary life. For this reason, we need to think about how to use energy and what sort of energy we should use. We need to  try to reduce exhaust gas, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are actually most important thing.

Global warming, clime change, they are big problems. It seems there is noting we can do, but actually doing small things every individually in our life is most important I suppose.
By Teruki Matsumoto

Thursday, 30 June 2016

There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change

  Nowadays extreme weather in increasing all over the world. For example, heavy rain, unusually warm winters, scorching heat, typhoons and so on. A few days ago, Kyushu area had a disaster caused by torrential rain. I think extreme weather is caused by global warming. So, I think we must prevent global warming.

  There are several things we can do, for instance recycling waste, using public transport, turn air condition off, getting rid of food waste, etc... If we all do these things, I believe it will be conducive to prevent global warming.

  Secondly, the national government and municipalities should be more active and take stronger measures. I think it'll be large-scale activities.

  Finally, we must leave this planet to the next generation. Not only human but also animals and plants. In conclusion, it is the most important mission in our life.




Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Website review - Twitter

Twitter is a social networking service site (SNS) or an application aimed at people who uses PC or smartphones frequently. Launched about a decade ago, it already boasts in excess of few million users world wide for it's ease and cost.

Twitter is mostly described as a blue bird, or a white bird drawn in a blue box. It comes from the word 'Tweet' which is bird's chirping, and as the word says, it's a tool to comment what you feel at the moment.

There wouldn't be such a thing as an instruction, therefore you only need to remember a few things. "Tweet', 'ReTweet', 'DM'. 'Rtweet' is to have someone's 'Tweet' in your page and 'DM' is to directly chat with friends.

You could change your profile picture and a background picture as well, also you can edit your profile and birthday. All in all, if you keep rules according to the Twitter guide line, it is one of the easiest SNS.




Posted for Shimei

Friday, 24 June 2016

There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change.


   Nowadays, I can feel the effects of global warming even in Matsumoto. It’s getting hotter and hotter every year. It might change the plants, insects and animals there. It could alter the life of human beings. Climate change will happen because of the polluting the atmosphere with CO2 emissions. I think we should do something about it.
   I disagree with the title. I believe there are many things that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change. Firstly, we can reduce our own CO2 emissions if we take care to separate our trash or avoid buying what we don’t really need.   
   Secondly, we can reuse rubbish, for example, glass bottles, clothes and even houses. Reusing means less CO2 emissions.
   Finally, we can recycle litter, for instance, plastic bottles, cans, newspapers and so on. So we can do many things to decrease our wastes, it means to cut down our CO2 emissions. These ideas are called the “3Rs”, reduce, reuse and recycle. Japanese Ministry of the Environment announce the “3Rs” to the citizens.

   In conclusion, I believe there are several things we can do to prevent climate change. Even if it's small steps, it will become giant steps for the earth if we take notice about our own garbage all over the world.
                                                                                                       
                                                                                        Haruka Nakashima

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A postcard to my friend

Dear Hakeu,

How are you?
I'm enjoying my summer vacation in Napori.
I arrived two days ago,and I'm staying in a cheap hotel near the station.
Yesterday, I went to see the castle Nuovo, and in the evening I visted the hill
Posillipo to see the night view.

At the moment, I'm having lunch in a pizzeria which has some tables on the street. Outside is quite hot. But, pizza margherita is excellent, big and cheap!
And I can feel the history and life of the local people.

My favourite area is the market.
There are many grocery shops. And there is vigor in many people.
I usually buy some wine in the market and enjoy it while planning the next day at the hotel.

See you next Tuesday!

From Rie

PS. Photograph of the back is the view from Posillipo.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Japanese icons

Nanako's page
In class last week, my brother and I studied about American icons, like the Hollywood sign and the Statue of Liberty. this was easy because we lived in America and we visited lots of places. We loved living in America, and going to school there. We have lots of friends in America.

Yuto's page

For homework we found some pictures of Japanese icons:

  • Maiko
  • Sensu
  • Shamisen
  • Kimono
  • Sushi
  • Sumo
  • Shinkansen
  • Samurai
  • Ninja
  • Kabuki
I think sushi is the most iconic symbol of Japan. What do you think?

Nanako (9)

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Death in the Freezer - A journalist investigates

Ellen Shore is guilty of murder. She tried to kill her brother Al with dangerous bacteria in strings and her fingerprints were on these strings.

Ellen Shore's family was an ordinary American family and Ellen was six years old when Al was born. Her parents loved him more than her. But he gave her nothing besides their old parents ' house.She wasn't nearly as happy as he was. He began a rock band and made records. Soon he was very rich and famous. He had many cars and a big house. As time went on , there was great difference between their life. She had a difficult life with three young kids and very little money. Perhaps Ellen began to hate him from her childhood. Ellen thought when Al died all his property was going to belong to her. They gave a dangerous sleeping drug to Al and froze his body to -196c. She stoled drugs and syringes from her hospital to give Al. Perhaps she put dangerous bacteria in them. She wanted to kill Al gradually.

But the situation took unexpected. Al was killed by the Futures.
Poor Al Shore was killed by both Ellen and the Futures.When Ellen switched off the freezer,Al was already dead. She killed a dead man.




Posted for Olga

Friday, 10 June 2016

Henry VIII and his Six Wives - A warning letter to the Queen

Hello New Queen

I congratulate you on your success. I think you have worked very hard well the distant steep road u
p to this point. May be you are delighted as safe right now. Of course, you won the race to be the queen.

Everybody will want to meet you. And also everybody will give you many presents. You can enjoy the situation.

Not surprisingly, it’s not for you, it’s for the queen. And, the most important thing is you have to be a mother of prince. His only one and the strongest desire are to have a prince. You have to give him a prince. Otherwise, you’ll want to disappear from the front of the king.

If you won’t be able to be a mother of prince, you should have to make a decision. It means that to hand down a divorce from you, or choose another way to disappear from him. This is the only advice I can give you. Good luck and I hope you will be happily ever after.

With love, Ex-Queen




Posted for Naoko

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Seasons and Celebrations - Most famous celebration

New year's celebration is the most famous celebration my country.

After Christmas, my family sent new year's cards to friends and relatives.

When I was young, I made rice cakes with a mallet and a mortar at my grandparents' house, and hung pine decorations in front of the gate to guard a house from bad things in December 28.

My family did the house cleaning in December 30. After that we went shopping to buy some groceries to make special foods.

Each special foods had a meaning of good luck, for example ,family's prosperity, long life, and good health.

In new years eve, we finished making special foods before NHK's songs festival on TV. We enjoyed dinner and programme untill midnight.

New years day came, children began to get excited because of new year's handsels. After eating special food on January 1, We went to the shrine to pray for family's good luck.

For three days, I could get handsels. Besides my family spent very relaxed time, playing cards and playing board games. It was my wonderful memory.




Posted for Hiroko

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Piano - A letter to your music teacher

Dear Mrs Lark,

How are you? It has been a long time since I left school. I am Tony Evans. Do You remember me?

I still remember your music lesson. I was not a smart boy, so I did not enjoy school. However, Tuesday was different. There was a music class of you on Tuesday, and I liked it very much. Although my family was poor and I did not have chance to enjoy music at home, I loved your music class very much.

After I left school, I worked on a farm where my parents used to work before.Mr and Mrs Wood are nice and I like my job. One day I found a piano in the farm's building and I had a chance to learn to play the piano by Mr Gordon who was a school teacher. Mr Gordon said I could be a pianist. I practiced the piano very hard every day with him after work on the farm.

There was a piano competition in the town. Mr Gordon told me to participate the competition. It was unbelievable, but I won! I was very happy and wanted to tell you about it. Thank you very much, Mrs Lark. Because of you, I love music.

Now I have a dream to be a pianist. I will practice more and more, and someday I want invite you to my concert.

Sincerely yours,
Anthony(Tom) Evans




Posted for Yasumi

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean

...from Elizabeth to a friend the day after she found Will in the water


Dear Mary,

I hope you are doing well over there. I just came back from Caribbean island. I have to tell you that the voyage this time was very exciting. I saw big black vessel of pirates. I couldn’t see any people on the deck, and they didn’t try to get any things from us.We were alright. Nobody got hurt. It was just spooky. I was a little bit scared.

There was other unusual thing. After we saw the vessel of pirates, I found a thing was on the ocean. Crew helped to bring the thing up. Please guess what it was. It was a boy. He was drifting the ocean. He must be around the same age with us. It was strange because we were in the middle of the ocean, and no island was close. I wondered where he came from. He was alive, but unconscious. It seems he doesn’t remember all his memory. He is a poor boy. To tell the truth only to you, I doubt that he must be pirates because it makes me understood straight. I’m guessing he drifted from the black pirate vessel, so even if there was no island near us, he could reach to our vessel without any big physical damage. 

What do you think? I’m interested in the boy. I hope I can see him again. I’ll inform you if I get further information about him.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth

Friday, 3 June 2016

Cambridge Speaking Examiner Training - Upper Main Suite (FCE, CAE & CPE)

With 3 years of teaching experience under my belt, I like to think I'm starting to get the hang of this whole teaching malarkey, although still far from being the finished article. There's always room for improvement, and I'm keen to extend my skill sets in my work environment. Fortunately for me, I had the privilege of being invited down to Tokyo to do some speaking examiner training for the Cambridge English exams, with none other than Jim George at the helm. If you aren't aware, he knows a thing or two about these exams, to put it mildly. Plus he's my employer. No pressure then!

It began with an on-line induction, a brief introduction to Cambridge English Language Assessment and getting to grips with new terms, acronyms and examiner roles. A gentle nudge into the realm of speaking examiners. The real deal started on Sunday morning, with a few of us hopefuls milling around outside, waiting to get in as we'd arrived early. Not the promising start I was hoping for.

There was a big emphasis on collaboration throughout the day, especially when it came to assessment. There are always going to be disagreements but the idea was to overcome them to work towards a unified decision. More importantly however, was that our conclusion had to be in right ball park as the final grades awarded by Cambridge. Otherwise we were going home empty handed.

Having worked at a Cambridge Examining Centre for some time, I was already familiar with some aspects of the Cambridge English exams, and a vague idea of the roles of the interlocutor and assessor. With the aid of my peers, I was able to try my hand at being an interlocutor; between juggling sticking to the script, settling candidate nerves, keeping an eye on the time and assessing the candidate simultaneously,  amongst others, no easy feat. We were able to pick up on each other's weaknesses, point each other in the right direction and provide reassurance if something did go wrong.

Arguably the more challenging position however, is the role of the assessor. The main focus of the Cambridge Exams is to see what the candidates CAN do, with a strict assessment criteria to adhere to. It was daunting to begin with, and honestly the first set of results I was a fair way off. Being able to discuss and share thoughts with my peers got me on the right track, and each round of assessment added to my experience.

As the day progressed, I became more familiar with the materials and my confidence grew. Interacting with the other potential examiners did wonders for my own development, putting our decisions under the microscope and getting into the nitty-gritty of the responsibilities of a speaking examiner.

Now that I've got a taste for examiner training, I'm itching to get involved with future sessions for the YLE exams and completing the set with the lower main suite (KET & PET), and becoming a fully certified Cambridge Speaking Examiner.

A full on day, exhausting in fact, yet a truly rewarding experience. Plenty of things to take away, mull over and go over with a fine-tooth comb. Thanks to all those who participated, and Shinohara-san for organizing, and made it such a memorable occasion. Let's hope that our paths cross in the not so distant future.

Examining soon at a Centre near you?!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Reiko - My typical morning and afternoon

At weekday, I usually get up about 5:45-6:00. Then I usually make my husband's lunchbox. And I wake my children up and serve their breakfast. I always take Hinata and Hikari to school with Hiro at 7:10 on foot. I go back home at 8:00. Then I usually have breakfast and do housework. I take Hiro to kindergarden at 9:00 by car. Then I usually do housework but I go to English classe on Tuesday.
At weekend, I usually get up at 7:00, because my children get up early by theirself. My husband always has work half a day or all day at the weekend, I usually have breakfast with my children and do housework.

I usually have lunch about 12:00 at home, but sometimes have lunch with my friend at restaurant. I always pick up Hiro from kindergarden at 15:00, Then I sometimes pick up Hikari and Hinata from school. Then I always take my children to their English classes piano and gymkids at weekday. I usually go back home about 18:00-18:30, then I make dinner.




Posted for Reiko

Monday, 30 May 2016

After reading – King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Evil women: Which is the worst woman in the story? Why?


I think that Morgan le Fay is the worst woman in the story.  I felt fear when we knew that she could do magic, but she only used her magic for bad things.

Morgan le Fay pretended to be King Arthur’s kind friend, but actually she hated him and she wanted him to die.  He and his wife Queen Guinevere believed her, so did not realize her evil plans.  She used an evil knight Sir Damas and King Arthur’s knights to try to kill him.  His knights could not realize that they fought their king because of their helmets.  What is worse, King Arthur’s Excalibur was replaced with a sword from Morgan le Fay’s magic.  Therefore, King Arthur could not hurt the knights and was hurt badly by his Excalibur which the knights had.

King Arthur, however, was very brave and did not stop fighting.  Fortunately, King Arthur was safe although he was wounded badly.  I think it is not expected by Morgan le Fay.

However, Morgan le Fay knew that King Arthur was staying with the nuns to get the treatment.  She visited the nuns and stole his magic scabbard from the end of his bed.  King Arthur realized that and followed her, but the scabbard was thrown into the black lake and he never found it.


I was afraid of Morgan le Fay’s implacableness at the end of Chapter 4.


After reading - Stories from the Five Towns

Which was your favorite story? 

Why (or why didn't you like one of the other stories)? 

The most favorite story of the five stories is “The burglary”. Sir Jee was neither good man nor bad man, he just had a lot of money and used it for himself ,not for the other people. We can easily imagine such kind of man around us. So, it is very funny that Sir Jee was trying to bluff but got taken easily in by the thief conversely.

 This story is a good lesson for us. In case we got a lot of money, we should use it for the other people, not only for my own. The worst story for me is “The silent brothers”. I could not like all characters in this story. The brothers are so adamant and stupid. They can talk each other if there is any chance to get lots of money. They should have recognized how they wasted their time earlier than Annie tested in love for her. Annie and Powell looks good people, but they tested the brothers and put them in one room finally… I could not understand why he did. If he was a good friend of them, I think there is another way to guide them back to the right path.

Friday, 27 May 2016

A successful presentation - Informative posters

Hiroko
Naoko
Ever get butterflies in your stomach or a sense of dread when asked to give a presentation? Hate public speaking? Then here are some posters to help you settle those nerves and shake off any anxiety.


Olga
Yasumi
Having studied how to give a successful presentation, I thought it would be a good idea for my students to put everything they have learned into an informative poster so others may benefit also. Four very different approaches and styles, which did you find the most useful/helpful?



Friday, 20 May 2016

After-reading - robots in Japan

Aibo and Asimo are the personal robots that Japan can boost to the world.

Aibo was introduced in 1999 by Sony and created a new market of “entertainment robot” or “pet robot”. It was the first robot that made people to think to have a robot at home and the sales of it went quite successful. Some people even now keep their own Aibo at home and feel as if it is a part of their family. While many people got bored with their pets, some people are facing “pet loss” when their Aibo “dies” for not being able to get fixed as Sony stopped producing the parts any more.

Introduction of Asimo in 1996 also surprised people for its high technology that Honda had achieved. Walking on two feet, Asimo was the first biped robot designed to be a multifunctional mobile assistant. It is said that before marketing in Europe Honda wanted to ensure Christian countries would not resist man-shaped robot, so they sent delegates to the pope for his opinion. The answer from the Pope was “Honda’s invention is one of God’s will”.

After the introduction of Asimo, many makers around the world started to develop humanoid robots. It seems that we will soon be able to make robot friends in next few decades, and possible have C3PO and R2D2 as member of our family.




Posted for Naomi

Thursday, 19 May 2016

After-reading - Eastern Europe in the 1950s

In the 1950's in Eastern Europe was dark age. It was communism government. There was a secret police. There were spies all over the country. If someone said "communism was not good" we were arrested by secret police. The seacret police and spies were our neighbor, our friends, our teacher. They didn't have free in the 1950's.

Western Europe and American culture were bad culture. Jazz, rock, they were tipical of rotten Western culture. They couldn't listen Western music. If they want to listen to Jazz. They dealed at black marcket and listen very quietly sound.

They couldn't talk by telephone freely. The secret police listened their conversation. It was bugging! If they send letter to Westrns, it would be opened by secret police. It was terrible age. There was no freedom. It is just like North Korea now.




Posted for Misuzu

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

After-reading - An e-mail to Queen Elizabeth

Dear Queen of England Elizabeth

You are afraid to let me go free because I have friends in England. The English Catholics want me to be Queen of England. not you.
But I don't want to so.
Before I asked you for help, but you didn't give me your army. Then the Earl of Moray told lies about me. Bothwell and I didn't kill Darnley! It's true! Really true!!
Scotland people don't want a Catholic Queen. They want a Protestant king, a king like James.
And Moray and his friends killed Riccio and stole my husband Bothwell and my son.
Elizabeth!  Do you know what to do?   Really to do?
Would you please talk James the true story?
Please think about England and Scotland. we are Queens.
Please let me go free!
I want to go back to Scotland!
and I want to see James alive!


 Mary




Posted for Yoko

Postcard from Astana, Kazakhstan

Dear Jim,

An apartment block in Astana
I went to Astana in Kazakhstan. There was Asia rhythmic gymnastics competition and I was working as Japan's judge. Our team won the gold medal. There were a lot of great performances over five days. I was very busy. 

Astana is a very beautiful city. There is a lot of development, with big buildings and apartments in the center. My hotel was lovely my room was large and the bed was really comfortable. At night there was a big light show.

Kazakh people eat a lot of horse meat. I did not like it very much, but other food was ok. I could eat egg-plant, gherkin, and coriander.

I made a lot of new friends, from Iran, Singapore, Thailand, India, North Korea, and Taiwan.

The weather was great - sunny every day but nice and cool. I like Kazakhstan but it is a very long way; I had to wait for seven hours in Tashkent.

From Aoi

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

After-reading - Misako imagines planning a trip to England

First I'd like to go to Lake District, and visit  Grasmere, William Wordsworth's  home and Beatrix Potter's musium.
Then go to Liverpool, see  Cathedral and visit some places of "Beetles".
I'd like to go to Stradford-upon-Avon, pretty town, visit William Shakespeare's house and watch the stage play at Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Last I stay in London one or two days and visit some famous places.

If possible I'd like to stay at manor house, but I'm afraid it is inconvinient or uncomfortable.




Posted for Misako