Saturday, 27 August 2011

Inspiring Luna people

I have had an interesting week, this week, and would like to thank some of my older students for making it so.

Atsuko has rearranged her schedule this month to make time to practice her presentation skills for a conference next month. Who knew there could be a conference on "singularities"? She is doing great work concentrating on chunking and stress. Excellent progress.

Young Yu Lu has been entertaining me with his personality and zest for life all week, in his busy schedule at Saito Kinen. A privilege to be his first English teacher; I sincerely hope this inspiring young conductor makes his mark.

Hikoro asked me to check out his paper on stents prior to submission for publication. Very challenging as this is state of the art stuff and very important for sick children. I love an interesting challenge -and the fact that my work is appreciated and not subject to petty editing. Work such as Hikoro's will improve the quality of medical care for countless children.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Movie Review - Transformers, Dark of the Moon

AutobotImage via WikipediaI went to see the movie "Transformers - Dark of the Moon" this summer vacation. It was a very exciting movie.

This movie used a lot of special effects and it is very realistic. The story is set on Earth, and is about humans and Autobots, which are robots that can move by themselves, fighting against the Decepticons. These are also robots, which can move by themselves. The sound track was just right for the scenes, and the actors were great. My favorite part of the movie is when Optimus fights against the Decepticons. It was very cool.

I don't have any reservations about this movie.

This movie was really cool and I really recommend it.
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Friday, 12 August 2011

Friday artists & body parts

I can't draw to save my life (left part of my brain seems to be used for other things) and I think my students in Japan break down into two schools of art - boys and the 'let's make this look like a car crash' and the girls 'identikit manga with 7 million erase moments'. Very general observation (me? I am thinking about using my feet to save embarrassment).

I prefer the rough and ready approach, but with a mixed class was interested to see which would be dominant, as I asked my crew to draw each other (and tasked them to draw someone not their buddy - and  not reciprocal, as that can lead to 'retaliation' if someone's head is 'too big' or they suddenly grow a beard etc). This immediately provoked gales of laughter, and reaching for erasers (me - confiscated all of them), before some actually serious efforts. Interesting to see their perceptions of each other, and their reactions to their own portraits.

Language aim was to nudge them to draw in more bits, as I wanted them to label their body parts (new vocab, after the head & shoulders usual suspects). I added a line to certain parts and underlined how many letters they needed, mission was to go find on a wall poster & identify/spell it nicely.

This was a nice (and noisy) activity with the summer heat making book work too uncomfortable to think about. Should make nice decorations at home as well - nothing sticks to our walls we've discovered. And who knows, maybe we have a famous artist in our midst!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

No class tonight - let's go to the pub!

A nice, sensible evening out with my NHK class involving the magic word 'nomihodai'!

OK, not a pub I admit. We met up at a nice little restaurant which used to be called something else and had the best, juiciest, cheeseburgers & sludge-gravy ever. Easy for everyone to find, and the food still passes muster. Happy to report, the beer was cold and delivered promptly (see previous rant about the beer garden!).

Our usual class tonight was off, as NHK is closed for Obon holiday - busman's holiday for Jim then. Tonight though, he could enjoy a quieter chat about 'other' stuff, and not have to worry about the predominant amount of chatter in Japanese.

As ever the case, always find out more about students when they let their hair down. Our new member Emiko is quite the party girl, and has added a very nice dynamic to our group. For the more 'odd' photos, please check out Luna's Facebook page!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Matsumoto Bon Bon Festival, 2011

2011BonBon (78) copyThanks for remembering us!Bon11 001Bon11 002Powered up dancing boysBon11 005
Bon11 006Townsends and friendsBon11 009Bon11 010Bon11 011Bon11 012
Bon11 0132011BonBon2011BonBon (1)2011BonBon (2)And they're off!Little Luna movers
Watch mum?Getting the hang of the dance2011BonBon (3)Health Food at Bon Bon2011BonBon (4)2011BonBon (5)

Once again we had a fabulous turn out for the Bon Bon Festival around the streets of central Matsumoto. This year I think we had one of the youngest groups in the parade...and by 9.30pm certainly some very tired legs.

Find your favourite moments on Flicr, as well as on our Luna Facebook page. Leave your comments, 'likes', and share your own pictures too. We'd love to see how it looked from your end of a camera!

Well done and thank you to all of you who came and joined in our fun. Thank you especially Yukari for organising everything so well - a very smooth evening...and nobody got lost this time.

See you all August 4th, 2012 (London Olympic theme?)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Examiner training dates announced

I am delighted to be able to announce that we have been able to confirm all dates & venues for training at all levels of Cambridge ESOL examinations this autumn. Training will be conducted by Jim, in his capacity as 'Team Leader' for Luna International (JP004).

Young Learners - Starters, Movers and Flyers:
  • Okayama - Sept 23
  • Osaka - Oct 8
  • Tokyo - Oct 16
Lower Main Suite - KET (Key - A2) and PET (Preliminary - B1):
  • Okayama - Sept 24
  • Osaka - Oct 9
  • Tokyo - Oct 15

Upper Main Suite - FCE (First - B2), CAE (Advanced - C1) and CPE (Proficiency - C2)
  • Tokyo - Sept 17
  • Nagoya - Sept 18
In order to qualify to participate,  experienced English teachers should be in full time employment and be a university graduate/EFL certified. You should be available to examine, be reliable and display sound interpersonal skills. Non-native speakers are welcome to apply, but do need to demonstrate a good working use of English appropriate for the level to be trained for. Anyone interested in taking part should get in touch with Jim by email and request a Nomination form by submitting their CV.