Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Postcard from....South Africa

Dear Jim, Yukari and all at Luna International.

Wow! It's been so busy since I got back, but not a day goes by when I don't think about you and wonder how you are doing! I'm nor happily settled in at college doing my PGCE and learning more and more about the teaching profession every day. My fellow students and teachers are all really great. Life really is what you make it. There are many troubles here but also nothing that can't be overcome! And there are many good people here working to make a difference. It's really inspiring!

Well, take care and lots of love,


Monday, 28 March 2011

オックスフォード児童英語教師向けワークショップシリーズ 2011(松本)





松本市女鳥羽 2-3-5 久星ビル

松本駅東口松本バスターミナルより松本電鉄バス31系統 美ヶ原温泉行き乗車、桜町バス停下車、徒歩約5分。



10:00-10:30 開場・受付



Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto


「Oxford Reading Treeを使った効果的な読み聞かせの秘訣とテクニック」

Kevin Churchley

13:30 終了


Friday, 25 March 2011

Pan-SIG - my Ying, your Yang

PAN-SIG press release

10 回全国語学教育学会 分野別研究部会(Pan-SIG2011年 年次大会
 43日(日) 記者会見のお知らせ
 JALT信州支部では2011521日から22日の2日間、長野県松本市信州大学で開催される10 回全国語学教育学会分野別研究部会(以下Pan-SIG2011年年次大会後援:長野県教育委員会、松本市教育委員会、信州大学人文学部、JALT研究部会、協賛:JALT信州支部)に先駆け記者発表を行います。同日開催イベント「オックスフォード児童英語教師向けワークショップ2011松本」と合わせ、ぜひご参加ください。
Pan-SIG 2011年 年次大会 記者会見
■日時: 20111年4月3日(日) 13:0013:30

■出席:信州大学 教育学部 准教授 酒井英樹 
        JALT信州支部 会長 マーク・ブライアリー(信州大学 全学教育機構 准教授)
    JALT信州支部 広報 ジ     ム・ジョージ(ルナインターナショナル代表)
    JALT信州支部 広報 林 英美(メルク英語教室 主宰)
■内容: Pan-SIGの概要と開催趣旨、小学校英語活動の現状について、

ルナインターナショナル(390-0806 松本市女鳥羽 2-3-5 久星ビル)
        TEL 0263-34-4481



会長 マーク・ブライアリー(日本語可) 電話:090-4464-6391
広報 林 英美 電話:090-7265-6599
-mail: jalt@shinshu-u.ac.jp
同時開催 オックスフォード児童英語教師向けワークショップ

日時: 201043日(月) 1030-1300(10:00より開場いたします。)

      Oxford Reading Treeを使った効果的な読み聞かせの秘訣とテクニック」
■会場: ルナインターナショナル(同上)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

PAN-SIG abstracts as word clouds - Part One

Exploring academic writing fluency at college level

Teaching in cultures averse to uncertainty

Testing - A boon or a bane on the path to fluency?

Dance for young learners - A fun way to teach

The path to fluency: First steps in ER

Flüssiges Sprechen üben. Datenanalyse nach einem Jahr.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean

Cover of "Pirates of the Caribbean - The ...Cover via AmazonThis adventure film's about Elizabeth Swann. She was dragged by Captain Barbossa from London on the Black Pearl. William Turner and Captain Jack Sparrow go to rescue her.

The film is set in the Caribbean and England. The director is Gove Verbinski. The stars are Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley.

Pirates of the Caribbean is the best movies! The soundtrack is excellent! It's really exciting and Johnny Depp is so smart! There's not too romance and the sword fights are so so cool! I want to watch it right now!!

Written by Tomoro (10)
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Not Eigo Noto - Let's Get you sorted out

April 3rd Luna is delighted to be hosting the final stop on Oxford University Press Kid's Club Tour.

Pre-register NOW 

Got those classes to teach from April and racking your brains for ideas? Having to use that text book and can't figure out how to make it come alive? Doing your head in?

Think you are the only one? Nope!

Practical, extensive, at-your-finger-tips help is here.

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto
(Co-author, Let's Go)
Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto has taught English and ESL in the US, and EFL in Japan for more than 20 years. She is co-author of the best-selling Let's Go series. You can find her online on her award winning blog, Teaching Village; her Wiki; on Facebook; or on Twitter.

Presentation: Large or small, teach them all!
Goal for 2011: Teach every student in every class! You can reach this goal by teaching with multi-sensory activities that target all your students' learning channels--visual, auditory, kinesthetic--in every lesson! Whether your classes are large or small, in this session, you'll learn simple ways to get better learning results from the limited time you have with students. When students are learning on all channels, they can learn faster, remember more, and use what they've learned in more meaningful ways. 

Schedule, details and map right here

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Getting me through

I feel very guilty about talking up any stress or worries I am personally feeling over the last week.

We have had aftershocks and wobbles, but on the greater scale of things we have had precious little to cry about. It has been weird, living a country experiencing unprecedented trauma. As if the double-whammy would not have been hard enough to tackle, the relief effort has been castrated not just by the scale of the devastation, but by the terrifying prospects of just what could (still) go wrong at the nuclear plant(s) on the Fukushima coast.

I have been awed by the calm, rational reaction of our students and parents. I have not been so impressed with the sensational, irrational and outright inflammatory descriptions of events unfolding in Japan in some quarters of the media. I have stopped watching CNN. Some of the BBC's correspondents have also angered me. However, the scientific experts the BBC featured, especially mid-week, were extremely reassuring in their analysis and presentation of the facts. How has the Japanese media functioned? Pass. (Slowly? Spoonfed? Soporific?)

A week down the road since our own building wriggled, I was not looking forward to teaching my little tiddlers class. Don't get me wrong - lovely kids, and really warm mums. No, we would be in the same room, same kind of windy day...

The children jumped up the stairs to class and were giggling about their new word ("ji-shin" - earthquake) as they remembered where they were. They are five. They gabbled away in Japanese, not anxiously, just having a giggle. They talked about me holding their hands and how they had hidden under the table last time. I did not want to have any other reminders; my classroom has spooked me all week - rattly windows, doors banging,  pole outside swaying in the wind (is it the wind?). So, at a good volume we watched and sang along to a nice DVD, the Three Billy Goats from OUP. I had just about settled myself when my phone bleeped an earthquake warning. I leapt out of my skin. A quick check told me it was a M4.8 off the coast towards Hokkaido. But the timing was awful. I looked again at the happy faces engrossed in the DVD and thanked the stars they were all totally unharmed. The school is standing. My family are OK. We have food, we have warmth, we even have toilet paper. The sheer relief of a whole week and not being dead, I could not stop having a quick cry. Good job the DVD was on : )

(Because we were singing and dancing, we did not feel the two tremors during our lesson - so my planned worked doubly. We did spook mums downstairs though, with all the banging. Sorry about that)

Thank you girls. As long as I teach you though, I am going to be looking at you with an extra glint. You are too young to know, or care. You are going to be a weekly reminder, Friday afternoon, that I am very lucky indeed.

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Friday, 18 March 2011

If you go out in the sun today...

 Making puzzles in the warm sunshine today, almost as good as being out in the fresh air. Except, we shouldn't really go outside today just in case we get a nuclear dose from Fukushima, still on the brink of multiple crises. It is very hard to give children 100% of your attention when you are trying to keep an eye on notices from your government and travel advisories, IAEA, radiation monitoring sites, BBC breaking news, phone calls from local friends keeping tabs on other sources of information...where is my grab bag?

Naomi was stoic on Tuesday, thank you. I was a nervous wreck, very concerned about things on the east coast.

"Five Little Monkeys, jumping on the bed"? I think so! We made our beds, coloured them and then stuck monkeys on our fingers. With the song from Super Simple Phonics we were jumping on our beds, bumping heads, waggling our fingers "no more monkeys, jumping on the bed!"

Excellent fun :)

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A boffin explains

Never thought I be 'liking' World Nuclear News on Facebook.
Sensible analysis.



I am finding useful links which you will find very handy.I have blatantly copied these from
Recipes with not many ingredients (like now the shops are empty)

This website was launched on DropBox and shows you realtime public transit-related tweets sorted by railway operator and line.   Working on a keyword basis, this could be a better option as to learn which lines are out of service more quickly than the operator’s official announcements.

ThumbApps scraps fee for their iPhone app (Tsubueki) that aggregates transit-related tweets. (original price: 230 yen)   This helps you find better routes and avoid traffic confusion.

Download "Helping children cope after a major earthquake" www.sjsu.edu/cdm
(In 9 languages)

Save fuel. Don't hoard. Don't panic. And check on the old lady next door?
Stay safe.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Let's do our bit, Luna family

I had an argument with my wife this afternoon & the "Well, what are you doing?" comment she dropped on me cut a raw nerve. All I am doing is gawping at the TV and trying to keep my eye on a couple of websites (IEAE, USGS, BBC World) and key words on twitter.

I've got a spare room in my house. Pack away the Hina Dolls. Move a few bags. For a family on the run in need of shelter, I think that would be enough for a while. Access to a hot bath, running water, kitchen & hot food, heating and a dry bed. Anybody else manage a spare room?

Shinshu JALT President Mark Brierley agreed with me that at the very least, this would be an offer we could make on behalf of our local teachers' organisation, confident that our membership will back us up. We have no idea what the response will be. We have made an open invitation that through Shinshu JALT we will provide accommodation to families in need of refuge. We may need to back up that offer.

Luna's family: if you are willing to take in a family, contact Jim or Yukari directly please. Who knows, you might get a lot of free English lessons.

Let's do our bit

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The day the Earth did not stand still

I saw a report somewhere that the Earth's axis actually moved 25cm. There are going to be lots of other statistics, most of them superlative and gruesome, to come out of the Tohoku Earthquake. I am sure Luna's family will want to help in any way we can. Practical suggestions are very welcome.

Everyone at Luna is safe, as are our families. Thank you for all the messages that have come in by phone, email, Facebook & twitter. We appreciate all your generous thoughts & prayers from all over the world.

Our thoughts, in turn, are focused further north and east, especially in the Miyagi area. We have all seen the TV images by now, and they are truly horrific. We all have friends or friends of friends who have been affected in one way or another. We all at Luna sincerely hope that loved ones are safe and sound.

Over the last 24 hours I am able to report that our YLE venues in Sendai, Fukushima, Aizuwakamatsu, Yamagata & Ojiya have all managed to let us know they are OK. Shaken, and in some cases with damage, but OK. The ongoing aftershocks must be a concern.

Obviously a massive concern right now is the situation at the nuclear power station in Fukushima, and the terrifying prospect of what might already be unstoppable happening there. The very last we need is a man-made catastrophic incident there after the carnage already wrought by mother nature.

I need to thank Airi, Uta, Eleanor, Sayaka & Maya for being very brave in class (and sorry if I held your hands too tightly - I was quite afraid myself!). The problem was it was already very windy, so the initial window rattling was deceptive. We carried on with our game under the table, counting socks & noses until we made for the stairs & took mums outside; it was very cold (minus 6 or so) so we were already playing a game in our classroom when the big aftershock rocked the school again. End of class. Mums put on a brave face but we were all worried about what had just happened.

With the unpredictability of the next few days, and safety concerns paramount, we hope to keep Luna open with classes as usual. Phones are not reliable.

Text messages to oyajim@i.softbank.co.jp

Check our Luna Facebook page.

Follow Jim on Twitter @oyajimbo and the school @luna_intnl

From all of us to those less fortunate and in more danger, our hearts ate with you.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Hibiki-chan tonks her test

Well done Hibiki!

She didn't just pass this test, but kicked it into the long grass : )

We did do a little bit of prep for it, but mostly all her own hard work. Thanks for making our Saturday afternoons so much fun, too!

(Sister Ayane also passed her Eiken 2 a couple of weeks previously. Congratulations to you as well!)

This year you'll both do well in YLE, won't you?!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Skip to the park

Where is that man taking the children? And why are they walking down the middle of the road?

Off to the park, to play on the swings, which we just discovered about 100 yards around the back of the new school. Handy! It was somewhat Arctic today though, so a very quick recce expedition.

We think the slides are just fine - two, saves congestion at the top! And there are a couple of climbing things that will probably make Jim very nervous! The swings are a bit too high, but we'll get over that soon!

Team photo as we sang goodbye for the day. The colour co-ordination is accidental!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Succesful Sari

Well done Sari - passing First Certificate at your first attempt is something you can be very proud of indeed.

We will be sad to say goodbye to you next month, but going to England is as good a reason as we can think of, and we are sure F.C.E. will be very useful to you.

Your classmates have some catching up to do, don't they?