Monday, 29 December 2014

What does this blog content reveal?

I was curious to know myself!

Apart from social media sources, 'share', 'post', 'comments', 'links' and 'reactions' catch my eye, and happily so as we encourage our students to do all of the above! 'Cambridge' is just about where it should be, 'party' is in the wrong place (Crewe, I think); 'postcard' - have received several from London; 'English' ironically in Scotland...

What catches your eye? What are your blogging key words for 2014?

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Dec 22nd - Children's Christmas Party with Luna

A splendid Christmas Party on Sunday afternoon for Luna's kids (and quite a lot of mums!). Sharing the slideshow which you can also download from Youtube here

Massive thank you to Yukari & Damian for making work a pleasure this year!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Check out Yuto's awesome 'after reading' Glog

I was scratching my head a bit about how to make Captain Cook's discovery of Australia come to life
for young Yuto. I mean, getting your head around a three-year sailing voyage from 250-odd years ago when you are only 9 is a biggy! We really enjoyed reading about Captain Cook's three Pacific Voyages, and finding places on Google Earth that he had been to along the way.

We talked about what Cook knew before he bumped into Australia...and what we know now. Then we made a hit list of things we'd like to know, about modern Australia. Yuto came back to next class with several sheets of A4 with notes about the weather, sports, famous people and just how many kangaroos!

Please follow the link to experience all of his research presented as a multimedia tour-de-force, as a Glog. This did take us a couple of lessons to cobble together - but we learned a lot in the process, valuable tricks & skills that sadly Japanese kids rarely get shown in schools. Yuto made all the editing decisions, produced all the content and chose the video! Think you'll agree it's an outstanding bit of work - we'd love to hear your comments!

And please come back, as we have a plan for the Third Pacific Voyage in the New Year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

After reading a graded reader; multimedia project & presentation.

Nanako recently read a really interesting book about another young girl called Heidi, who grew up in the Swiss Alps. She really liked the book, and we had a lot to talk about - living in the country or the city, overcoming homesickness & disability, being able to read...

We also talked about mountains & in the back of the book did a bit of a project on Mount Fuji - being Japanese this was a bit easy :) So we had a think about another mountain from a list that we knew nothing about & which would be interesting to research. She chose Mount Ararat, and this is what she achieved using Glogster.

Unfortunately, I can't find a way to embed this great creation into the blog (if anyone can tell me how to do that I'd be supremely grateful!), so please pop over to Glog country and check out her excellent research & creativity. Please feel free to leave your comments as well (hint!)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Party photographs

Sunday's Christmas party was a massive success, thank you everyone! Once again Yukari excelled herself organising the venue as well as the food & logistics...that helps us massively to relax and enjoy throwing a bonanza party. Damian was up late all last week preparing games & activities, and on the day Naomi helped us manage things smoothly. Lots of winners, and no shortage of smiles - only one (massive) nose bleed (thank you Kyoko for prompt first aid).

Children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were thrilled to meet Santa, have a quick chat with the very busy man and receive a present. We must thank him properly for making this special visit!

Find all the pictures with the link below:

Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Send me a musical postcard, Shimei!

Listen to various snippets of music, and draw pictures of what comes into your mind. (Today we listened to bits of Holst, Jeff Beck, Peter Gabriel, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Yoshida Brothers, Yen Town Band, Squeeze, Queens of the Stone Age...).

Now, imagine these images are on a postcard, and that you have been on holiday. Connect the images as you describe your amazing vacation!

Dear  Jim

I am in middle of the ocean between UK and US. I crashed into a giant iceberg and my ship is sinking. I’m by myself because I killed everyone on the ship, and I’m heading to Mongolia so no one could find me.

When I crashed to the iceberg, I tried to use a lifeboat to escape, but unluckily I forgot how to use it. The weather was extremely awesome so I think the weather won’t be bad as I’m thinking. So I ran across to US on my bare feet.

In the US, I had no cash, so I stole a cool golden racing car to get to route 66. When I got there, I raced with a funky Lamborghini and a red Russian Ferrari which were controlled by erasers. The erasers had a computer brain which was under control from the space station. When I was racing, a hundred Pусский spies came and asked me if I had a PC eraser. So I said yes, but the next moment a big Russian man poked me with a drum stick, and somehow I woke up in hospital in Okinawa.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Film reviews - something suitable for adults and for teens

Mission: Impossible (film)
Mission: Impossible (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mission Impossible and Robots are both highly enjoyable movies. However, they appeal to different audiences.

Mission Impossible is an exciting action-packed spy movie. This movie is about a spy called Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), who tries to find the mole that killed his team mates on a mission. The plot is very intriguing and there is an unpredictable and unexpected ending, so you will not have time to even blink throughout the whole film. The acting is superb. The lead actor, Tom Cruise, gives a breath-taking performance, especially when he sneaks into a room where you can’t make a single noise or even touch the ground. The background music is also good, which makes you excited and fits to the movie.

North American PS2 cover art
North American PS2 cover art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Robots is an animated film, which was created  by Chrise Wedge, who also created Ice Age, and William Joyce. It is a story about a world of robots. The main character, Rodney Copperbottom, was born in an ordinary family. Rodney had a longing for Bigweld, a genius inventor, so he invents a robot. One day he decides to go to Robot City, where Bigweld is, so that he could show his invention and make his father proud. But, when he arrives at Robot City, he notices that the city has changed from what it had looked like on TV when he was at home. Rodney tries to change this world with friends he met in Robot City. This film tells us that if we try, there is nothing that we couldn’t change. This film also contains humour and love. The computer graphics are outstanding and the world is very imaginative.

Mission Impossible is for adults because it has some violence and killing. On the other hand, Robots is for kids, but I think adults can also enjoy it.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Postcard from Neuschwanstein, Germany

Guten Tag, Jim & NHK members.

Today I visited Schloss Neuchwanstein. Luckily it was not so cold. The castle was shining in the blue sky. In the evening as I was drinking gluhweint and having a wurst, I enjoyed Christmas market, in Schwarzwald.

The Christmas illuminations are so romantic and fantastic!!


Monday, 15 December 2014

The collections of Trattoria Gallery Matsumoto

Trattoria Gallery Matsumoto is a unique restaurant and gallery. It is near Sensai bridge, in the first floor of Matsumoto city Clock Museum building. The restaurant gallery marks its 2nd anniversary on 15th in Dec. The gallery is displaying a collection of art works. There are mostly illustrations of children’s books. All of them are original works. One of the illustrators is a Mongolian or Italian, also Japanese popular illustrator. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Deck the school with Christmas cards

I can do it dad!
With the cold bitter winter setting in, accompanied by our first snowfall last week, we at Luna are keeping warm by getting into the festive spirit (and putting the heaters on!). Our Christmas tree is up, after lashing it down to a car tyre and tying it to the building so as it won’t topple over, our Christmas lights are illuminating the bleak nights and our decor has improved significantly this week thanks to contributions from our students.

Good work team
To add a little more joy and Christmas cheer to our already marvellous waiting room (we have a wireless Apple TV and everything, it’s awesome!), we have added a collection of pop up Christmas cards. Although the aftermath did leave my classroom in a heap of empty sticker sheets and a sea of glitter glue.

"That looks nice"

I hope that none of you have forgotten to post your Christmas cards and your letters to Father Christmas! I wonder what he has in store for all our wonderful children at Luna International… We will have to wait and see until our Christmas party! Come and join in with the festivities, games, fun and many many smiles guaranteed.

Friday, 5 December 2014

A farewell thank you

Hi, Damian,

Thank you for all the help you have given me.
I was very bad at English.
English was one of the my poorest.

At beginning of your English classes was honestly very stressful for me.
But, my stress for class got less and less.
Because you listened patiently my wrong English, I could speak English comfortably. I appreciate it.

I am going to have a talk with many person as possible.
I will make an effort to speak English anyway.

I envy you because you can speak several languages.

I will be glad if you could keep in touch me later.

Many thanks,


After reading "What Rose Saw" - describe your dream photoshoot location

If I am able to be a photographer for a day, I would choose the nature as my subject. I have watched TV program not so long ago, which was made on the subject of a camerawoman. She was taking photos of a mountain, river, town and so on riding paraglider in TV program. The photos she took looked so great and fantastic. I felt as if I was looking down on a mountain and river flying in the air while I am looking at the photos. I have got quite inspired to take photos of the scenery riding paraglider since then. I would like to try this way to the various world heritage like Machupicchu, Angkor Wat in future. However, I will need the advice of riding skill of paraglider from the professional in order to take a photo on it.
The temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia from the air
The temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia from the air (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I am not allowed to become such a photographer, I would like to choose the creature in the sea as my subject instead. Needless to say, they are very beautiful. I would be pleased to take pictures of plenty of creatures in the sea. I would like the professional to advise me about the scuba skill for it.

Posted for Hiroshi

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Rainbow Girl - after reading, share your favourite mountain

My favourite mountain-top view is from the Mountain Jonen. It was the highest mountain I have climbed. I had never known there were no trees before I climbed the Jonen. When I climbed the Jonen and into the top, I was scared. Because there were no trees, so I could look down into the valley below. I had never looked down at the mountains. It was sunny day, so I could see clearly.
The view was beautiful and so wonderful. I could see mountain next to the Jonen very nearly. And I could see people climbed the next mountain.

English: Mount_Jonen_from_Mount_Yari_1995-5-4 ...
 Mount Jonen from Mount Yari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was hard for me to climb the Jonen. Nearby the top, I was extremely short of breath as I climbed a little. But it was harder for me climbing down than climbing up.

When I climbed down from the top, I was so scared that I didn’t know how could I climb down. I didn’t know where should I placed my foot. An experienced person told me where my right foot on and then where left side on. He told me that all the way from the top to the mountain cottage. So I could climbed down.

I can see Jonen every day and I like it. Sometimes I remember this experience.

Posted for Yuri

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

November came & went pretty quickly - here's what happened!

We finished planting loads of bulbs along the car park, so that we might get a dash of colour in spring - already some shoots showing but we think the sub-zero temperatures will slow everything down significantly now. Last count we had 20+ pushing through, but it already started snowing?!

Very importantly, our YLE exam results came back (very quickly, thank you Cambridge) and we were able to give the cool newly-designed Certificates to all the children who tried very hard in October. The new certificates have several security features embedded in them - which means they are impossible to copy or fake. Well done kids, you own your English achievements!

We are already preparing the Christmas party, everyone is invited! This year, we will be using the local kominkan - we do not have the space, obviously! New Luna is easy to keep warm, but we cannot have a party in 3 different rooms!

Hope you like the slideshow? Please download it, share with friends & relatives, and tell us what you think :)  We would love to share your photos too!

Better results from Cambridge English - at Luna

 Take your exam in 2015 at Luna JP004

Did you know Luna International, JP004, is Japan's longest established Cambridge English Language Assessment Centre in Japan?

Did you know Jim is the longest-serving & most active Speaking Examiner in the country?

Did you know JP004 offers exams all over Eastern Japan?

Monday, 1 December 2014

Postcard from... Los Angeles, California

Dear Jim,

The Biz Conference in Los Angeles was successfully completed as scheduled.

In last night of stay in L.A. I enjoyed a good American steak. It was very very big and thick!! It was three times as large as Japanese size!