Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Bubble & squeak

Friday morning was a really cool moment for “us” – we use the phrase “Luna’s family” fairly often – and this one of the first times we’ve backed up that with our own families.

Yuki came back to work almost two weeks ago now, and has been coping marvelously with work demands while looking after Hijiri; Hijiri has been coping bravely with his mummy being very busy, lots of people invading his space and the phone going off all the time. I think both are doing really well, and I need to thank Taka as well for being flexible about schedules too.

Eleanor came to help me teach a lesson while Yukari was in her own class. She was so well behaved I was blushing with pride. She’s so good with people – and everyone at Luna is being so good with her. Mutual admiration society.

Here you can see the next generation Luna getting some valuable work experience – move over oldies….Eleanor & Hijiri on the case now!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Oral Examiner Training in Tokyo

Two training weekends in a row, this time in Tokyo at Trevor Joseph's cosy school in Akasaka (King's Road School of English). Mercifully, his brand new DVD/TC system eventually worked - I think pressing all the buttons on the remote did the trick!

As last week in Matsumoto, new OEs were shown what was expected of them in giving the speaking tests (at the three levels of Young Learners - Starters, Movers & Flyers), and plenty of practice using Cambridge ESOL's assessment scales to mark candidates. We had an interesting discussion about being able to "understand" accents from different countries.

On this occassion we had eight new OEs successfully complete training after a tiring all-day session. Congratulations to all for participating and doing such a good job, and a large 'thank you' to Trevor for letting us use his premises. Some OEs travelled a very long way indeed (from Nikko!) to be with us, which shows the level of commitment involved.

I would also like to thank Reiko, Catherine, Yoko for examining YLE for us this Easter weekend at four schools in Tokyo, Tochigi & Kanagawa. We really appreciate your efforts, and to the supervisors at Banana Kids, MLS, Kincarn & BES "well done" for being well-organised & on the ball!

Next up will be two OE Co-ordination sessions at King's Road on April 6th - stay tuned!


I'm sure we all remember this game from when we were kids.. but how does it relate to learning English? Well, the answer is simple and relates to the game itself. The game requires the player to choose a path on which to hop, and it is on this choice that the game is based. Of course once the player has completed the course chosen it is only natural to look back and assess the performance. Usually "AW! Schucks!" ensues but that is another matter. Much like skittles I guess.. Mmmm, there's another idea! This assessment of performance is built into the game as part of the feedback component. So how does it work exactly? Well, I used place names instead of pebbles or squares, department store for example, laid out in the traditional hopscotch design. This forms the street. The player chooses a route along the busy main street by hopping from place to place until he/she reaches the other end. Once successfully navigated the player is to report on where he/she went using the past simple positive and negative. I went to the post office. I didn't go to the pet shop. And thus a language game is born. Lots of fun and great practice too! Well done girls!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Grrreat little kids!

I don't usually teach this class - but I did teach them when they started - and I have a very soft spot for them! I taught them last week and again this week so we're renewing old friendships!

Except they've all grown up! D used to burst into tears as soon as he came to class - now he's indestructible; shouting out answers, dancing like a loon, and grinning ear to ear...brilliant!

Today we played a straight forward game of Bingo. But I made it hard - describing the objects first, with words they know (colour, shape, size, "delicious" etc) to guess. I was expecting this game to last about 10 minutes, but D, Masa, K, & Yuuna-chan were having such a blast I let them go until we found a 'winner'. Amazingly (ha! ha!) we all finished at the same time :)

Looking forward to more giggles and hijinks next Friday! (Steven, you have no idea how much you missed. Not yet, anyway.)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Scandal in Bohemia

How did Holmes solve the mystery? Choose one of the stories and explain.

I choose "The Red-Headed League" in the stories. Sherlock Holmes did three main things to solve the mystery.
- Interview
- Deduction
- Demonstration

Sherlock Holmes listened to the client, looked at objective evidences carefully and asked the client important questions about his explanation. Moreover, Watson's questions were very useful for organizing various information which the client brought for him.

Sherlock Holmes thought a lot about the mystery deeply for three-quarters of an hour in order to make a hypothesis. And then he finished reaching a deduction after he saw a suspect at the locality and looked around the square.

Sherlock Holmes went to the bank near the locality with Watson and waited a long time for thieves with a banker and inspector. Finally, they could catch thieves as Holmes expected.

Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery by three main things.

(Posted for Hiroaki)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Cambridge Training session for Examiners of YLE

Sunday is a day of rest for some, but for others Sunday is a good day for a vigorous training session, where dedicated teachers can spend the day thrashing it out, extending their knowledge and honing their teaching skills.

The training itself covered all the aspects of becoming an Oral Examiner for the Cambridge YLE, from using the materials correctly to becoming familiar with the assessment criteria. The session provided practical hands on experience with the materials and incorporated grueling practice with the assessment of candidates.

As a teacher I found the course especially useful as I now have a better understanding of how the exams are run and what is expected of children interested in doing the Young Learner Examinations. It has also given me a lot to think about; where my classes are going and how best I can guide my students should they want to do one of the Young Learners Exams someday.

Of course it is an added bonus for the school, as better qualified teachers means better tuition for the students.

Thanks Jim for an interesting and informative session. A day well spent.

When's the next one?

Monday, 17 March 2008

Welcome back Yuki - and Hijiri

Mummy's little helper Hijiri has joined the team! As you can see, he is on his mum's back making sure things go as smoothly as possible on Yuki's return to front-line action!

We were very lucky to have Maki step into Yuki's slippers for the last six months or so; Yuki's first question on her first day back last Monday was "What's been going on then?" which is pretty much impossible to answer! Lots and lots, with new faces in classes and classes in different places, teachers in new schedules, new teachers and a rearranged office - no office complete without a cot in the corner, is it?!

Having Yuki back is a shot in the arm for all of us, with spring here as well. We are very excited to have the chance to get to know Hijiri too, and I am sure he is going have a great time making lots of friends and hanging out with the grown ups. I think we'll call him the 'supervisor' for now. What do you think?

Thank you, Maki

We said our fond farewells to Maki on March 10th, after six months sterling service in our office, covering Yuki's maternity leave.

Maki did an amazing job for us under a lot of pressure, and we are so grateful for her ever cheerful attitude and calmness under some pretty intense pressure. She kept the school afloat, made sure all our mums were happy & informed, stopped some of Jim's crazier ideas and still found time for afternoon tea!

Thank you thank you thank you Maki. You were great, and we are going to miss you - so please come back & see us often (maybe lend a hand when Hijiri needs his mum's attention?). Wishing you the very best of luck, with love from all of us at Luna xxx

Friday, 14 March 2008

End of the season

A very quick post to say "thank you" to all my students at Epson over the last six months, who have worked hard in their Business English classes; a lot of their work you can see here as they have been busy reading various levels of Penguin graded readers. I think that initiative has been extremely successful and popular; reading is an enjoyable hobby if nothing else!

Anyway, my Business English classes have finished for a week or two; next week I interview potential new students to place them in new classes which start in April. And then we start afresh, new faces in class and new ideas from me to keep them interested/motivated. Quite a challenge...the last season we have just finished accounted for 8,610 student hours, without adding in homework, blogging, emails etc!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

A Christmas Carol

Write about Ebenezer Scrooge before and after the ghosts came to him.

Before Ebenezer Scrooge met the ghosts, he was a cold, hard man. He loved money, and he didn't like people. He really didn't like Christmas. So people and dogs didn't want to be near him. And he lost a lovely woman because he loved money more!

One Christmas night, three ghosts came to him, they showed him his past, his life now, and a possible future. He learned a lot of important things for his life, and he changed his mind. He wanted people to be happy, so he became a second father to the Cratchit children. He bought a big goose for Cratchit's family. He came to like Christmas, and he never said "Humbug!" again.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Who said writing wasn't fun?!

Writing has never been this much fun! I think it has something to do with being the teacher. These students were asked to categorise words according to first sounds. Not only did they complete the task successfully but were able to practice their writing skills, spelling included, as well. Well done boys!


The story of Pele's first World Cup final goal.

His name is "Edison Arantes do Nascimento". His fan call him "Pele". He is seven teen years old. In spite of his youth, he got goal in the World Cup final.
Brazil won the championship of the World Cup by his great play.
He scored six goal in his first World Cup.

Result of Pele.
1. Against Russia 2-0 (0 goal)
2. Against Wales 1-0 (1 goal)
3. Against France 5-2 (3 goals)
4. Against Sweden 5-2 (2 goals)

Mother Teresa

What did Mother Teresa do in these years?

:: 1910-28 ::
Agnes Gonxha(=Mother Teresa) was born on 26 August 1910.
Mother Teresa's father died in 1918. Then she was good Christian.
She wanted to be a nun in India in 1923. On 25 September 1928, she went to the home of the Loreto nuns in Ireland to become a nun in India. After thirteen weeks, she reached in India.

:: 1929-31 ::
1929-30, she became nuns' school teacher. And she moved to one of the Loreto nuns' schools in Calcutta. She was very busy, and there was no entertainment. But she was happy, because she lived for God, and she remembered his love.

:: 1932-48 ::
1932-44: She was a teacher at Loreto Entally.
1944-48: She was the head teacher.
1943-46: The years were very bad years for Calcutta. 3,000,000 people died of famine. So, she wanted to work for a poor people.

:: 1948-65 ::
She got permission to work for poor people by head of the Catholic Church in Calcutta. She began to work alone. First, she became to teacher for street children. And she worked for dying people.
There were twelve nuns with her in 1950. In 1952, the government Calcutta gave her a big building, and she started a home for dying people there.
1952-1962: They worked only in Calcutta.
1962-1972: They started to work away from Calcutta too.

:: 1965-97 ::
In 1969, there was a TV program about her. So, she became very famous person.
In 1979, the Nobel Peace Prize went to her.
In 1980s, there were Missionaries of Charity in 100 countries.
In September 1997, she died at the home of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Many poor people and important people came to her home to see her and say goodbye to her.

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Is Tom a good boy or a bad boy? Why? Write about it.

Tom is a good boy. And Tom is a bad boy. He is good boy, because he is wise. He braved the risk of himself for Muff Potter. He led Huckleberry Finn to go to school.

Tom is a bad boy, because he doesn't like to study.
He has a tendency to lie when he doesn’t want to go to school.

I think that human has many faces. So, Tom has both.


Why do children want to be David Beckham?

David was small and thin when he was child. And, He wasn't very good at school. Schoolwork wasn't interesting or important to him.His silly foul in a game against Argentina led to losing in the game in 1998 World Cup.In spite of these, He became very great footballer.Today, He is very famous footballer.He married very famous singer in 1999. And, He has two children. His great free kick in a game against Greece in 2001 led to the finals at the World Cup.As a result, He earns money very much. He became the richest footballer in the world.

He can turn failure and weakness into success.So, children respect him and want to be him.

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Tuesday, 4 March 2008

It's (another) baby!

All of us at Luna want to send our congratulations to Michelle & Adriano Pacitti on the birth of their daughter, Chiara Maria, on the 19th of February. Chiara weighed in at a healthy 3080g. Mother & daughter are doing well - but a bit daunted apparently with Adri going back to work today.

We are looking forward to a visit sometime, when we can exchange nappy stories etc! Incidentally, Yuki is returning to work next week with Hijiri (yes, already) which is also very exciting. If you hear a noise on the phone or see goo on your fax, please be patient!

Please post your comments for Michelle, Adri & Chiara here, or email Jim to be forwarded. Don't they all look healthy & happy!?


Monday, 3 March 2008


You work for the New York Times. Write a newspaper story about Beatrice and Edgar. Begin with these words: Farm Wife says 'Alien Took My Husband's Body!'

Farm Wife says 'Alien Took My Husband's Body!' Her name is Beatrice. Her husband's name is Edgar. They live in countryside. One night, they were taking a dinner. Suddenly, they heard big noise from outside. He went to outside with his gun. Few minutes later, he returned back in the house. His appearance wasn't change. But she felt something strange. Next, he wanted sugar!?She noticed Alien took my husband's body. Then she fainted. Now Edgar is missing.


I read the "PELE". I write the story of Pele's first world cup.
In 1957, Pele got into Brazilian World Cup team. Then he was only seventeen. Very very young player.

The 1958 World Cup games were in Sweden. The first game was Brazil vs Russia. Brazil won 2-0.

The second game played Wales. He scored a goal. Brazil won 1-0.

The third game played France. He scored three goals. Of cource Brazil won 5-2.

The final game was Beazil vs Sweden. Sweden scored first. But Brazil scored five goals. Pele scored two goals, and Brazil won 5-2. Brazil were the champions!

He scored six goals in first World Cup. This World Cup started his legend.

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Hana (Noriko Yada)

Sunday, 2 March 2008


16. You are Susanna. Write a letter to your friend about Charlie . Describe your feelings about him. Say how and why Charlie has become a better man since his father died.

Dear Meg,

Hello, Do you remember my boyfriend Charlie? Last week his father died and the fact that he has a brother was found out. We met his brother Raymond. He was autistic. Charlie took his brother from his house[Wallbrook] by force. The purpose was to get huge money that their father left Raymond. At first, their trip was so tough to Charlie since he never could control Raymond's emotion, but Charlie gradually loved Raymond as a brother and wanted to live together. Although his desire did not come true, I think that Charlie could become more thoughtful.

See you soon,