Thursday, 30 June 2016

There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change

  Nowadays extreme weather in increasing all over the world. For example, heavy rain, unusually warm winters, scorching heat, typhoons and so on. A few days ago, Kyushu area had a disaster caused by torrential rain. I think extreme weather is caused by global warming. So, I think we must prevent global warming.

  There are several things we can do, for instance recycling waste, using public transport, turn air condition off, getting rid of food waste, etc... If we all do these things, I believe it will be conducive to prevent global warming.

  Secondly, the national government and municipalities should be more active and take stronger measures. I think it'll be large-scale activities.

  Finally, we must leave this planet to the next generation. Not only human but also animals and plants. In conclusion, it is the most important mission in our life.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Website review - Twitter

Twitter is a social networking service site (SNS) or an application aimed at people who uses PC or smartphones frequently. Launched about a decade ago, it already boasts in excess of few million users world wide for it's ease and cost.

Twitter is mostly described as a blue bird, or a white bird drawn in a blue box. It comes from the word 'Tweet' which is bird's chirping, and as the word says, it's a tool to comment what you feel at the moment.

There wouldn't be such a thing as an instruction, therefore you only need to remember a few things. "Tweet', 'ReTweet', 'DM'. 'Rtweet' is to have someone's 'Tweet' in your page and 'DM' is to directly chat with friends.

You could change your profile picture and a background picture as well, also you can edit your profile and birthday. All in all, if you keep rules according to the Twitter guide line, it is one of the easiest SNS.

Posted for Shimei

Friday, 24 June 2016

There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change.

   Nowadays, I can feel the effects of global warming even in Matsumoto. It’s getting hotter and hotter every year. It might change the plants, insects and animals there. It could alter the life of human beings. Climate change will happen because of the polluting the atmosphere with CO2 emissions. I think we should do something about it.
   I disagree with the title. I believe there are many things that we as individuals can do to prevent climate change. Firstly, we can reduce our own CO2 emissions if we take care to separate our trash or avoid buying what we don’t really need.   
   Secondly, we can reuse rubbish, for example, glass bottles, clothes and even houses. Reusing means less CO2 emissions.
   Finally, we can recycle litter, for instance, plastic bottles, cans, newspapers and so on. So we can do many things to decrease our wastes, it means to cut down our CO2 emissions. These ideas are called the “3Rs”, reduce, reuse and recycle. Japanese Ministry of the Environment announce the “3Rs” to the citizens.

   In conclusion, I believe there are several things we can do to prevent climate change. Even if it's small steps, it will become giant steps for the earth if we take notice about our own garbage all over the world.
                                                                                        Haruka Nakashima

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A postcard to my friend

Dear Hakeu,

How are you?
I'm enjoying my summer vacation in Napori.
I arrived two days ago,and I'm staying in a cheap hotel near the station.
Yesterday, I went to see the castle Nuovo, and in the evening I visted the hill
Posillipo to see the night view.

At the moment, I'm having lunch in a pizzeria which has some tables on the street. Outside is quite hot. But, pizza margherita is excellent, big and cheap!
And I can feel the history and life of the local people.

My favourite area is the market.
There are many grocery shops. And there is vigor in many people.
I usually buy some wine in the market and enjoy it while planning the next day at the hotel.

See you next Tuesday!

From Rie

PS. Photograph of the back is the view from Posillipo.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Japanese icons

Nanako's page
In class last week, my brother and I studied about American icons, like the Hollywood sign and the Statue of Liberty. this was easy because we lived in America and we visited lots of places. We loved living in America, and going to school there. We have lots of friends in America.

Yuto's page

For homework we found some pictures of Japanese icons:

  • Maiko
  • Sensu
  • Shamisen
  • Kimono
  • Sushi
  • Sumo
  • Shinkansen
  • Samurai
  • Ninja
  • Kabuki
I think sushi is the most iconic symbol of Japan. What do you think?

Nanako (9)

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Death in the Freezer - A journalist investigates

Ellen Shore is guilty of murder. She tried to kill her brother Al with dangerous bacteria in strings and her fingerprints were on these strings.

Ellen Shore's family was an ordinary American family and Ellen was six years old when Al was born. Her parents loved him more than her. But he gave her nothing besides their old parents ' house.She wasn't nearly as happy as he was. He began a rock band and made records. Soon he was very rich and famous. He had many cars and a big house. As time went on , there was great difference between their life. She had a difficult life with three young kids and very little money. Perhaps Ellen began to hate him from her childhood. Ellen thought when Al died all his property was going to belong to her. They gave a dangerous sleeping drug to Al and froze his body to -196c. She stoled drugs and syringes from her hospital to give Al. Perhaps she put dangerous bacteria in them. She wanted to kill Al gradually.

But the situation took unexpected. Al was killed by the Futures.
Poor Al Shore was killed by both Ellen and the Futures.When Ellen switched off the freezer,Al was already dead. She killed a dead man.

Posted for Olga

Friday, 10 June 2016

Henry VIII and his Six Wives - A warning letter to the Queen

Hello New Queen

I congratulate you on your success. I think you have worked very hard well the distant steep road u
p to this point. May be you are delighted as safe right now. Of course, you won the race to be the queen.

Everybody will want to meet you. And also everybody will give you many presents. You can enjoy the situation.

Not surprisingly, it’s not for you, it’s for the queen. And, the most important thing is you have to be a mother of prince. His only one and the strongest desire are to have a prince. You have to give him a prince. Otherwise, you’ll want to disappear from the front of the king.

If you won’t be able to be a mother of prince, you should have to make a decision. It means that to hand down a divorce from you, or choose another way to disappear from him. This is the only advice I can give you. Good luck and I hope you will be happily ever after.

With love, Ex-Queen

Posted for Naoko

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Seasons and Celebrations - Most famous celebration

New year's celebration is the most famous celebration my country.

After Christmas, my family sent new year's cards to friends and relatives.

When I was young, I made rice cakes with a mallet and a mortar at my grandparents' house, and hung pine decorations in front of the gate to guard a house from bad things in December 28.

My family did the house cleaning in December 30. After that we went shopping to buy some groceries to make special foods.

Each special foods had a meaning of good luck, for example ,family's prosperity, long life, and good health.

In new years eve, we finished making special foods before NHK's songs festival on TV. We enjoyed dinner and programme untill midnight.

New years day came, children began to get excited because of new year's handsels. After eating special food on January 1, We went to the shrine to pray for family's good luck.

For three days, I could get handsels. Besides my family spent very relaxed time, playing cards and playing board games. It was my wonderful memory.

Posted for Hiroko

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Piano - A letter to your music teacher

Dear Mrs Lark,

How are you? It has been a long time since I left school. I am Tony Evans. Do You remember me?

I still remember your music lesson. I was not a smart boy, so I did not enjoy school. However, Tuesday was different. There was a music class of you on Tuesday, and I liked it very much. Although my family was poor and I did not have chance to enjoy music at home, I loved your music class very much.

After I left school, I worked on a farm where my parents used to work before.Mr and Mrs Wood are nice and I like my job. One day I found a piano in the farm's building and I had a chance to learn to play the piano by Mr Gordon who was a school teacher. Mr Gordon said I could be a pianist. I practiced the piano very hard every day with him after work on the farm.

There was a piano competition in the town. Mr Gordon told me to participate the competition. It was unbelievable, but I won! I was very happy and wanted to tell you about it. Thank you very much, Mrs Lark. Because of you, I love music.

Now I have a dream to be a pianist. I will practice more and more, and someday I want invite you to my concert.

Sincerely yours,
Anthony(Tom) Evans

Posted for Yasumi

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean

...from Elizabeth to a friend the day after she found Will in the water

Dear Mary,

I hope you are doing well over there. I just came back from Caribbean island. I have to tell you that the voyage this time was very exciting. I saw big black vessel of pirates. I couldn’t see any people on the deck, and they didn’t try to get any things from us.We were alright. Nobody got hurt. It was just spooky. I was a little bit scared.

There was other unusual thing. After we saw the vessel of pirates, I found a thing was on the ocean. Crew helped to bring the thing up. Please guess what it was. It was a boy. He was drifting the ocean. He must be around the same age with us. It was strange because we were in the middle of the ocean, and no island was close. I wondered where he came from. He was alive, but unconscious. It seems he doesn’t remember all his memory. He is a poor boy. To tell the truth only to you, I doubt that he must be pirates because it makes me understood straight. I’m guessing he drifted from the black pirate vessel, so even if there was no island near us, he could reach to our vessel without any big physical damage. 

What do you think? I’m interested in the boy. I hope I can see him again. I’ll inform you if I get further information about him.


Friday, 3 June 2016

Cambridge Speaking Examiner Training - Upper Main Suite (FCE, CAE & CPE)

With 3 years of teaching experience under my belt, I like to think I'm starting to get the hang of this whole teaching malarkey, although still far from being the finished article. There's always room for improvement, and I'm keen to extend my skill sets in my work environment. Fortunately for me, I had the privilege of being invited down to Tokyo to do some speaking examiner training for the Cambridge English exams, with none other than Jim George at the helm. If you aren't aware, he knows a thing or two about these exams, to put it mildly. Plus he's my employer. No pressure then!

It began with an on-line induction, a brief introduction to Cambridge English Language Assessment and getting to grips with new terms, acronyms and examiner roles. A gentle nudge into the realm of speaking examiners. The real deal started on Sunday morning, with a few of us hopefuls milling around outside, waiting to get in as we'd arrived early. Not the promising start I was hoping for.

There was a big emphasis on collaboration throughout the day, especially when it came to assessment. There are always going to be disagreements but the idea was to overcome them to work towards a unified decision. More importantly however, was that our conclusion had to be in right ball park as the final grades awarded by Cambridge. Otherwise we were going home empty handed.

Having worked at a Cambridge Examining Centre for some time, I was already familiar with some aspects of the Cambridge English exams, and a vague idea of the roles of the interlocutor and assessor. With the aid of my peers, I was able to try my hand at being an interlocutor; between juggling sticking to the script, settling candidate nerves, keeping an eye on the time and assessing the candidate simultaneously,  amongst others, no easy feat. We were able to pick up on each other's weaknesses, point each other in the right direction and provide reassurance if something did go wrong.

Arguably the more challenging position however, is the role of the assessor. The main focus of the Cambridge Exams is to see what the candidates CAN do, with a strict assessment criteria to adhere to. It was daunting to begin with, and honestly the first set of results I was a fair way off. Being able to discuss and share thoughts with my peers got me on the right track, and each round of assessment added to my experience.

As the day progressed, I became more familiar with the materials and my confidence grew. Interacting with the other potential examiners did wonders for my own development, putting our decisions under the microscope and getting into the nitty-gritty of the responsibilities of a speaking examiner.

Now that I've got a taste for examiner training, I'm itching to get involved with future sessions for the YLE exams and completing the set with the lower main suite (KET & PET), and becoming a fully certified Cambridge Speaking Examiner.

A full on day, exhausting in fact, yet a truly rewarding experience. Plenty of things to take away, mull over and go over with a fine-tooth comb. Thanks to all those who participated, and Shinohara-san for organizing, and made it such a memorable occasion. Let's hope that our paths cross in the not so distant future.

Examining soon at a Centre near you?!