Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A new coach for Ronaldo & Kuyt?

Kunpei & Takuro present a half-way-line chat between Cristiano Ronaldo & Dirk Kuyt, adapted from our OUP Story Tree graded reader "The return of the cleaning ladies".

Monday, 24 September 2012

A guide to wildlife in Japan - bears

Japanese black bear
Japanese black bear (Photo credit: jasohill)
One of the most appealing animals found in this country is the bear. These attractive creatures live in forests in northern Japan, and they are also ideally adapted to a hunting life neater water, having waterproof fur. Bears live on a diet of fish and nuts, and are very solitary animals. When they are young, they are playful and love rolling and playing with siblings. Bears are very overcautious, so they seldom come near or appear before humans. However, in recent years, due to food shortage, some are appearing near residential areas and farms.  

Observing bears:
Catching sight of bears is pretty difficult, because they are fierce creatures and don't like to interact with humans. Therefore, you have to have a special guide called "Matagi," who used to hunt bears for their fur and meat. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to see a bear from a distance.

Posted by Shizue
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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Guided writing from graded reading - watch the movie!

Yuta is a spacedude
by: lunajim

Back from space, Yuta describes his planet

Yuta & Jim worked up this conversation from his Red Planet graded reader...good job, I think?!

Monday, 17 September 2012

England's no.10 helps local lad

Yusuke can't find his little brother; do you think Wayne Rooney can help?

Graded readers to great storytellers!

Well done Haruka & Ayaka for creating your own inter-stellar movie!

The Snow Grouse (Ptarmigan)

General Information:

One of the most appealing animals found in this country is the Snow Grouse. During the last ice age, the species was widespread, but now it is endangered. These attractice creatures only live in high mountains and are perfectly adapted for life in cold districts, having fur on their legs. They live on a diet of various seeds, leaves and alpine berries. Insects are often eaten by the developing young. Though they are birds, they are not good at flying. Their homes are in communities of creeping pines. The Snow Grouse are solitary vreatures and it is rare to see a male & female together. The males have red
English: Rock Ptarmigan(Lagopus mutus japonicu...
English: Rock Ptarmigan(Lagopus mutus japonicus) Female with winter fether in Mount Kogouchi 日本語: 雷鳥(雌・冬毛) 小河内岳にて (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
combs above their eyes and their song is a loud croaking.

Observing Snow Grouse:

Catching sight of a Snow Grouse in the wild is quite a challenge, as they are rather secretive animals. Those that live in high mountains are mostly active in the cool shade of trees. Mountain climbers say they might be seen in misty weather, which makes it very difficult to see them. The best place to see a Snow Grouse in this country is in the Japan Alps. If you are fortunate, you will be rewarded with a sight of these fascinating birds.

Posted by Atsuko (CAE class)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Memorable London Olympic 2012 moment

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 25:  Ryosuke Irie of Ja...
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 25: Ryosuke Irie of Japan competes in heat five of the Men's 100m Backstroke heats  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The scene that is unforgettable in the is when Japan won a sliver medal in men’s 400m-medley relay. Irie Ryousuke, who won sliver and bronze medal, swam first. Kitajima Kousuke swam second, next comes Matsuda Makeshi, who also won a bronze medal in 200m butterfly. Fujiii Takuro swam last and finished second.

 This was the first time for Japan to win a silver medal in medley relay. Although, they couldn’t win a gold medal they did very well and I was so excited them swim!

 Actuary, there were so many scenes that were unforgettable, but I think this scene was the best scene. I really enjoyed watching this year’s London Olympics

Rei's Pirate Diary

This is an adaptation of Rei's journal from last week. Rei is the big white monster, with his little friend Shin-chan. They had an interesting rainy Sunday morning with Lego. Read on!

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Talking about, J-Pop music!

Have you heard this CD?
by: lunajim
Mizuki & Akiho practice a teen dialogue, which we storyboarded onto the board from books (semi-closed) last week with Miku-chan. We were talking about other stuff too - DVDs, books etc and different reasons/genres, agreeing/disagreeing. Here you can see last week's 'brainstorming' which led us to the chat above.
 Nice work Mizuki & Akiho

Spicing up the dialogue with returnees - slow it down!

Apologies about the accent with the character one the left (interviewer); memo to self = preview before publishing (and avoid accents on Xtranormal - they are thick & heavy).

Summer Holiday interview
by: lunajim
Hana & Suzu mash it up in Luna's YLE classsroom

My returnees can fly through a conversation on everyday topics in a very haphazard and blazee attitude; quickly, relevantly, but with very little thought/development beyond answering the question as fast as possible. That leaves me scrabbling to diagnose 'what happened' & sourcing more material  to develop the conversation...bored students, frustrated teacher, progress little. In flying through their exchanges my students realise their goal of saying "finished" as quickly as possible; how often do you say thay in a meeting, phone call or chatting with granny?

Kids love cartoons, and using the keyboard is a profound playing leveller - certainly in Japan; few kids here are fluent typists. This inevitably slows things down - mini aim - so that we can focus on getting the nuts & bolts right. Not necessarilly spelling for a conversation (but we are typing it so why not in the process of making sure we get the words in the right order?)

My kids also have a habit of clock watching (in this class); in this situation the clock is on my side the entire time. The conversation they are working up was in note form from last week, and they want to stretch 'my' time into an hour. So, short ansers won't achieve that goal - make the answers longer/detailed! In doing this, also means the director can add more movement/camera shifts/noises/poses etc. Students edit each other much more readily than softly softly teacher, so we have peer learning/teaching going on too (much more likely to take note than to me). As we get towards the top of the hour there's a 'hurry up' factor & a desire to see the finished product.

The xtranormal site needs a minute or three to 'cook' i.e. render the'll have to wait until next week to see it in class :)  Oh, the antici----pation!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Jim's top ten blog response

This is a blog posting I wrote in response to an original article posted on ELT Experiences - Experiences of an English Language Teacher . I thought I`d share it with Luna`s readership, but invite everyone to go read Martin`s original article and other follow ups.
Through twitter @ELTExperiences aka Martin asked me if I had a Top Ten - I don't, but here are nine (in no particular order) I find myself paying more attention to than others! Homage to Mick Stout who got me going in the first place.

1. Ana Cristina Pratas blog CristinaSkyBox is not a weird toyshop but her Ed Tech blog home. An awesome Scoop It curator and tireless inspiration on twitter Ana seems be busy 24/7!
2. Former children’s laureate & Youtube star of “Going on a Bear Hunt” Michael Rosen is usually in fine form railing against inane Government/education/school policies. Whether or not you agree with him is besides the point; excellently written and wonderfully argumentative
3. Although not an iPad user myself, I find Around the Corner-MGuhlin  a very good corner to lift & find techno tips
4. Short, unbiased & to the point blog about tech in the classroom, usually the first place to find new sites reviewed  iLearn Technology
5. Nik’s Quick Shout has been a bit quiet lately, but another prolific ‘discoverer’ Scoop It curator
6. Martin Byrne must have a brain the size of a planet; his Free Technology for Teachers is always a wealth a superb new bits & pieces that help get the job done.
7. An inspiring teacher & presenter I actually know personally is Barbara Sakamoto, known to many through her Teaching Village blog which hosts her global network of friends’ contributions shedding light on our classroom challenges!
8. Like Martin, I find Dave Dodgson’s Reflections of a Teacher & Learner an excellent source of calmness & rational reflection, and often find myself wishing “I’d said that”
9. Although commercial, I have found Oxford University Press recently to be serving up a regular serving of high quality postings
10. I am hoping that Personal Reflections of JALT Conferences Past will become an instant classic, as my blogging inspiration Mick Stout asked me to tackle another blog challenge i.e. asking teachers & learners who have attended previous incarnations of Asia’s largest teachers’ conference to share their thoughts…  contributors are so far a bit shy, but very welcome (email me to get an invitation) and I hope will feature plenty of updates during & after our jamboree Oct 12-15.

Of course Martin’s blog here is on my list, and I have enjoyed following your journey east. Keep going and we’ll see you in Japan sooner or later! Thank you for putting my school’s blog in your original ten Martin. It is very humbling to be in such stellar company – and a massive acknowledgment for our students’ work/bravery in posting online.

Looking forward to seeing this feature mushroom!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Getting to know you again - introductions

I was expecting Hibiki's sister to come today as well, so that this review conversation at the start of our new books (English Time 4 from OUP) would make some sense. We adapted it to include yours truly, mum & aunt (ever taught a class with that combo?). We stumbled along fairly well, but I would love to get a bit more "heads up & shoulders back".  How did we do? (Can you do better? Send us your introductions - use the "speak" function on the right!)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

My Olympic hero - Masa writes

Posted for Masayuki.

Rei's update - picking pears

This week Rei tells me about picking (Asian "nashi") pears with his mum...

I know all about picking pears, as I did this quite a bit in New Zealand way back in the day. I don't like picking pears (they are usually hard, and don't bruise as easily as apples)...because wasps love eating them. They get drunk on the sugar, and just hang out on the blind side of the fruit until you put a hand around them. Stung on/between the fingers? That hurts!

That is my story; think Rei's is a lot less dramatic!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Christmas in Prague - after reading

After reading #4.

The picuture goes on page 23.
1) Who is the woman in the bed and why is she in hospital?
-->She is Carol who is Jan wife and she got ran over by bus when she ran across the street.
2) Why is she shouting?
--> She saw the man who looks like her husband, but she knows that her husband in England.
3) Why is the man there?
--> When she got hit by bus, he called ambulance. He was afraid of her death.

This story is miracle, because separated brother could meet in Prague.
I think they will make good relationship between Jan and Pavel

Posted by Miyuki

The Phantom of the Opera - after reading

After reading# 1

To the Persian

I am leaving this letter for you, because once you were my enemies. Now, of cource, I have only friend. People scream when they see my face. I am cleaver, it is true, but no woman can ever love me. And how can a man live without love?

When I was a child, I was very sorry. My mother never kissed me. She didn't want to look at me because I was so ugly. And years later, when I was a man, I did many terrible things. I know that, and I am free now. But I did one good thing in my life. Christine is unhappy. She can marry the Vicomte and be happy.

But I can never forget her wonderful voice, and I cannot live without her.

And so, goodbye.

Posted by Chinasa

Monday, 3 September 2012

Love or Money? After reading

After reading - #5

Here are five different endings.

1. Jackie went to prison for the murder of her mother and at first nobody visited her. In the end Roger and Diane went to see her, but they didn't talk about Molly.

2. After ten years Jackie came out of prison and married Tom Briggs. They lived very quietly and they didn't have much money, but they were happy.

3. Roger lived in Molly's house. He built ten houses in the garden and was soon a very rich man. Diane found a husband, but she didn't love him. She married him because he had a lot of money.

4. Jackie never saw Tom Briggs again because he sold his farm to Roger and wen to live in Australia. Jackie never married, and so she never found love.

5. The Clarkson family are nicer people now. After their mother died, they learnt something - they learnt that love is more important than money.

I chose the number 2 or 5 as another ending of this story. Although it might be difficult to change the mind of the Clarkson family, I like the ending which we can see a hope and image the happy future.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

My Olympic hero - Kosuke Kitajima

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Silver medallist...
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Silver medallists Ryosuke Irie, Kosuke Kitajima, Takeshi Matsuda and Takuro Fujii of Japan pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Meldey Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Kosuke Kitajima participated in Olympic Games consecutively
f our times. His longtime efforts really inspired me.

I paid attention to Kitajima, who was a consecutive gold medalist in men’s breaststroke at the Athens and Beijing Olympics. Unfortunately, he didn’t get any medals in the individual events in the London Olympics. However, he has been in the spotlight, because of his diligent efforts to improve his swimming skills. The other day, a TV programme showed how he studied about his form and put it into practice strictly. His swimming form with large strokes was checked and incorporated by a lot of swimmers in other countries. I’ve also heard that his great enthusiasm for swimming inspired the Japanese young swimmers, especially the swimmers of 400-meter medley relay team, who respected Kitajima, and wanted to get a good result for him. They all did their best and won the silver medal.

I wonder if he makes a fifth challenge. Maybe, not.
Besides competition activity, he established a swimming school.

By the way, don’t you think Japan got the good results in team competitions, not just swimming? I think that they were very tenacious, probably because they received the influence of the earthquake disaster.

Posted by Chinami