Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Mutiny on the Bounty– after reading

Pitcairn Island - Use the internet and write about the people of this island now

Pitcairn Group of Islands consists of 5 islands including Pitcairn Island. They are the colony of England and located in the South Pacific Ocean. There are no other islands that the people live 300km around Pitcairn Island.

56 people live in Pitcairn Island. They are the children of marine who participated in Mutiny on the Bounty. They believe in Protestant Christianity. They do not drink any alcohols and not smoke. In addition, they do not eat pork and shrimp.

After 2004, England started to invest in infrastructure in the island. There is still neither a radio nor a TV broadcasting service, but the people can watch the overseas broadcasting for free through the satellite TV. In addition, the people can use internet through the satellite connection. On the other hand, they have neither gas nor running water. Although there are no water sources in the island, rain water is used for drinking water. 6.4km road is maintained. The people use bike or four-wheeled buggy for the transfer.

In 2005, the police office and school was founded. The police officers and teachers are sent from England. They are controlled according to the

same level of criteria as England.

Story maze - Yuto's space trip

I lose control of my space ship. I was flying in space to find a planet. It goes faster and faster because the aliens were pushing. I come to a strange planet, land safely and find my crew is safe. I decide to explore alone. I found a tunnel and a ladder. There are so many rocks in the tunnel. I decide to go up the ladder. I find a long corridor with four doors at the end. I go through the gold door and break the door and put the gold in my pocket.

Story steps dictated by the throw of a dice!
The corridor leads to a maze of one hundred corridors. There is a transporter machine at the entrance. I enter the machine then I came to a strange orange planet; I landed safely and my crew is safe too. I decide to explore around and find another tunnel. This time I go down the ladder and find a huge computer. A door opens when I push the button.

I found yet another long corridor, and at the end I go through the silver door this time. I am trapped.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Dream in Space - Nanako`s story

I am in my space ship going to the purple planet, when I lose control of it and it goes faster and faster. I feel scared because it`s fast.

Storyline from Nanako's story maze
I come to a strange planet. It is purple and small. I land safely and find my crew. Everyone is safe. We are wearing small space suits, and they are cool inside. We decided to explore in a group because it was scary.

We came to a hill. We go around it and find a deserted space station. We go inside it, but there is nobody there. It is a little dirty and smells like lemons. The computers are off. There is fruit on the table, but I don`t eat it because it is very yucky.

I find a comfortable bed and lie down on it. It is very smelly but I fall asleep. When I wake up, it was only a dream. I am back in my cabin in my space ship. We are still flying in space on the way to the space station on the purple planet.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

We Can Do - taking Young Learners in Matsumoto

Proud, once again, to be able to provide Young Learners for our students in Matsumoto - as well as continue our open door policy and welcome children from Okaya & Yamanashi as well.

Space not an issue, as we rented the big room at the Fukushi Kinroshya Centre this year. Nobody told us the bell was going to ring at twelve noon, which made us all jump! That apart, everything went very smoothly indeed; well-organised Yukari, thank you. Everyone knew where to sit, which colour pencils to sharpen etc.
Are you ready to start?

This year we had takers for Starters & Movers, so some first timers looking very small on the big chairs and a wee bit nervous - not a bad thing; handling pressure once in a while is an important achievement.

Also some children moving up a level, and coping with a sizable jump in level. Needed to hand out a tissue or two...important we are all smiles at the end of the day, and the promise of an ice cream seems like a decent bribe!

Thrilling to know the children in our care today are measuring themselves against a global benchmark in tests that again let them display what they 'can do' and rewards them for having a go. We do not teach to pass the exams at all - we teach English, with strategies built in which enable learners to operate independently & confidently.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Newest YLE venue in Tokyo

Delighted today to announce that "Hello Kids" in Miyogadani (Tokyo) has become Luna's newest venue for Young Learners, and run their very first Starters session today...which takes me back to our own very first YLE session and the amazing feeling of pride I had when the likes of Sayaka, Wakana, Yumeka, Tatzi came bouncing out of their speaking tests in 1999 into mummys' arms...

Thank you Greg, Jeff, Hitomi et al at the school today for undertaking very new roles; it was obvious you all have a very close relationship with your students and care deeply about their performances. Thank you for digging in to your roles weeks ago & being on top of the job today.

At Luna we expect every venue, every session, to meet the MAXIMUM requirements of an Inspection; regardless of an inspector turning up or not. To that end we do not allow any new venue to offer YLE (or any other exam), through JP004, without them proving to us first that they can & will get the job done as per rules & regulations. It is vital all candidates are taking their examination in the exact same circumstances as another around the world, otherwise the whole process is invalid.

Delighted to report all the children seemed to enjoy themselves, so everyone looking forward to getting their certificates back soon!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Health questionnaire - the results

Mmm, pie
I asked some questions about health to people through the Internet. People from under 20 to 80, 13 people answered it.

The most interesting question for me was: Question 4. In Japan, it is believed that blood types determine your characteristics. I agree with this. But 70% of the people disagreed with this. And I was surprised to hear so.

I was impressed that 77% eat breakfast everyday. I think in Japan, people who eat breakfast are decreasing which is not so good. In my opinion eating breakfast is the first thing to do after you wake up and it is one of the most important thing in your daily life.

I was curious why many people love meat than fish and vegetables. From this response I found out 54% love meat. And most of the people don't eat more than five kinds of vegetables a day. I think people who answered these questions should try to eat more vegetables and fruits.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

First Aid - my first (painful) experience

When I was 7-years old, it was caught a finger in the heavy front door in my previous house.  The door of my previous house had a thickness of about 8 cm and was so heavy.  It had strong pain and my nail of injured finger was gradually turned purple and finally whole nail of injured finger turned to purplish black.

left index finger nail of a Caucasian woman re...

When 2-3 month passed after injured, I visited a small farm nearby my grandmother's house and gathered grass to give to goats, sheep, and houses etc. After I gathered grass a few times, I found that my injured nail was removed completely without any pain. I couldn't find removed nail in grass field.

Have you ever seen under the nail? I have memory that under the nail, there was winding muscle? construction like large/small bowel and it was not good to see for a while. At that time, I was given first aid.

I couldn't remember how long new nail took to grow. I am sorry that I didn't carefully saw my nail's growth at 7-years old and didn't take any picture. If I have iPhone at that time, I will take many photos and update my nail's growth to twitter.

Posted for Ritsuko

Monday, 15 June 2015

Paradise - my idyllic place

I traveled to Fiji three year ago. I stayed Fijian village and resort.

As per this reading book, Fijian people was really friendly. They said to me "Bula!" in the town. In country side in Fiji, there was no enough electricity. Also, I could not take a shower. There was some difference in Fiji compared with Japan. But I liked the place because people was really friendly and there was beautiful sea. I could swim in the beautiful sea and watched real "Nemo"! Also, I could see beautiful coral reefs.

Fijian beach near Nadi, Viti Levu
For resort area, the commodity price was expensive than local area. The water was twice price! But the hotel was luxury and relaxed. The staff's hospitality was great! They gave me smile a lot.
The food was delicious. Fijian food also was tasty. There were Indian people in Fiji, so I could eat spicy curry with naan.

I liked Fiji so I would like to live there because the time is spent slowly. I can enjoy swimming in the beautiful sea. Fijian people is kind. But I prefer to live urban side (Nadi is better). I want to take a shower everyday and need electricity!

Posted for Miyuki

Saturday, 13 June 2015

After reading - My homestay life in London (Part 3)

English: One mile to the Animal hospital Bridl...
Going for a stroll in the British coutnryside
Day 3.

Today I had a lot of walk around with Daniel. His family had a dog and he loved the dog named Patrash very much. It's his important role to take a walk with Patrash every afternoon. he is an important friend for Daniel.
He said he loved to watch the TV program about wildlife like Animal Hospital. It was the house of sick animals and unwanted or homeless animals.
Danial's parent brought Patrash to their home. He was was and was spending very happy days and lived with them. Daniel said he wanted to be an animal doctor in future.
I thought he was very gentle boy. We stopped walking after 30 minutes.

Posted for Mine

Friday, 12 June 2015

After reading - My homestay life in London (Part 2)

Day 2.

English: Grimsby B & Q Busy with pre-Easter sh...
"You can do it if you B&Q it!"
It was Friday. When I got up, and opened the winder, I could see a lot of beautiful flowers. The house was very beautiful. I could sleep on a comfortable bed last night.
Mike and Jane made their house by themselves by DIY. Every weekend they went to DIY centres, and garden centres. They sold good wood and plants for the home. Mike and Jane were proud of their house and garden very much..
They brought me to the garden centres. There were a lot of beautiful flowers, they were very cheap. They bought some of them and brought back to their home. I helped them to plant those flowers.

Posted for Mine

Thursday, 11 June 2015

After reading - My homestay life in London (Part 1)

Day one.

Bread and butter custard pudding
Not something I would want for dinner
London is the biggest city in UK. I stayed in a house there.
There were three people in the family. Mike father, 40 years old, Jane, mother, she was 35 years old, and their son Daniel, he was 10 years old. And I was a new member of their family.
They were all very friendly. Also they were my English teacher. Each of them spoke in nice English. But at first I couldn't understand their English well.
In the evening I ate bread and butter pudding for dinner. They liked that food very much. It was great and delicious. Jane phoned them to a local restaurant and they brought the food to their house.
Mike and Jane are working, and they can't cook large meals in the evenings. So take-away meals from fast food restaurants are very popular now, they said.
We talked a lot about British food in the past and now. After that I changed some presents from Japan.
I helped clear the table with them.
Posted for Mine

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

How's the Weather? Again?

One of my favourite songs with YLs, but after a while struggling to come up with new ways to present the song and do something interesting with it - apart from the obvious song & dance routine, which is still the best bit!

My badly drawn snowflakes (you try?!), leaves and clouds + my not so bad raindrops & suns, given to each child (group of 30+, don't try this on the fly!) at tables with crayons poised for action. Usually don't ask kindergarten kids to colour on already cut-out things (end up scrubbing a lot of tables) but a bit short for time with this activity.

Pres play and watch Jim-sensei make a dope of himself waving his arms about...OK...some joining in takes place as the Q & A parts are repeated three/four times. Press pause, and ask "How's the Weather?", accept any/all correct shout outs and point to the five pictures they've got. Which one? Whole class checks by holding up a picture, changing one or two to conform (we're in Japan!) - and then colour it. I did not say which colour (wanted this to be their work) but staggered they all went for a red 'sunny' sun! When done (new group so "Finished?" "Not yet" got a lot of practice) glue your sun onto a big sheet at the front of the class.

Repeat as above through the remaining four verses - I did nominate "rainbow" for 'snowy' - and presto, the classroom has a very colourful weather chart for daily use, and a chant embedded in it/30+ little heads.

Monday, 8 June 2015

In-Conference Professional Development - PANSIG

Back-pedalling a couple of weeks to tell you about a very exciting afternoon I enjoyed (though working very hard) in Kobe at the recent JALT PANSIG Conference held there.

It has often struck me how many of 'my' (Cambridge) Speaking Examiners attend the various workshops & conferences I sometimes manage to get to - without being surprised; they are operating in our natural recruiting zone and showing an interest in professional development. Ideally then, make it an extra-worthwhile weekend for everyone and have something tangible to take home.

So what did we do? Prior to the Conference, announced that there would be an opportunity for teachers to attend a full speaking examiner training workshop, with a discount if attending the Conference already - or a discount to attend the rest of the day at the Conference if signing up for the training. Good deal either way!

We received very positive interest and had the session fully booked in no time at all; online pre-training meant we could start at speed with everyone on the same page...my job really a matter of fine-tuning interpretations of instructions and delivery of materials. You would have thought that reading out a few questions from a script would be easy. Usually, it would be, and you do not have to be an experienced teacher to be able to do that. However, add in the pressure of two (sometimes) three nervous/expectant/shy/chatty/non-native speakers hanging on your every word, plus the need to give each a 'fair' turn, plus manage the timing of the tasks, plus pay attention to responses and body language, plus remember what to do next? Not so easy. And with Conference providing us with a roomful of dummy candidates to actually practice on in real time, a lot of pressure. Speaking Examiners have to rise to the challenge and appreciate the necessity of delivering a standard test each & every time. For me, this impacts on the test-takers perception of the test more than anything else they do on test day. They will not remember the questions, but they will remember how they felt in the speaking test.

Job satisfaction for me in examiner training comes with recruits managing to control the above calmly.

Which is at odds with the expectations of recruits, who want to know 'what the scores are' from the start! When we do eventually get to the assessment phase, recruits get excited to see the actual criteria, and then there's a good deal of head scratching as few have assessed with benchmarked criteria before - and very few with 'Can Do' in mind. Invariably recruits begin by noticing 'mistakes', 'errors', and 'can't do', and picking on accents they are not familiar with etc. It takes 'a few goes' looking at different samples of speaking for the group to come around - and it needs to be the group, in the same scoring ballpark, for the lesson to have sunk in. And this is where teachers can stretch their experienced legs and share/discuss/argue/negotiate around interpretation of the criteria v what they saw/heard - and explain all of that couched (only) in the terms written down in front of them. Bye bye 'funny accent' and 'can't do the present perfect simple' etc!

And then the satisfaction of 'nailing' scores when final marks are collected, and the reassurance that there is a lot more support hereon in for all our successful new SEs - in this case 14 people catching the train home glowing with a very real sense of achievement from their weekend to reflect on & put into practice. Well done the PANSIG Cadre!

Need to thanks a couple of people for pushing this unique initiative through - an idea I have had in mind for a couple of years, but needed implementers like Jon Dujmovich and Mark Brierley. Overall, I should thank the PANSIG organisers for seeing the win-win, Tim Pritchard for his 'can do' attitude, and the volunteers who were thrust into practice speaking tests. This event would not have happened without the support of Cambridge English Language Assessment in Japan, specifically Tomoe Aoyama.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Photo album from a very old party!

Karaoke Queens!
I'd like to share - a bit late , sorry! - photos from my birthday party last weekend. It was a 60's theme party, which some people even tried to adhere to. It was great to see so many of of our younger learners enjoy the early start, and show the oldies how 'own' the karaoke microphone!

I really appreciate the special effort Yukari made with help from Naomi & Chiyo, and want to thank everyone for all the lovely presents (even the ones without alcohol content!). Thanks everyone for coming - pretty obvious we had a good time, I think.

Check out the album, by all means download your favourites, like & share!


Monday, 1 June 2015

Better than karaoke - What do you have?

Everybody Up is a popular series here at Luna and after watching the following clip you can understand why. The songs are wonderful and allow for us to add our own actions to get our students interacting with each other. The following video is from my new Monday class and there's no lack of enthusiasm! Leave a comment of your favourite song from the Everybody Up series.