Monday, 30 March 2020

Cell & Microbes - a book review

The book I read is called Cells and Microbes, by Louise & Richard Spilsbury. I enjoyed this book a lot, because I learned a lot of new & cool stuff.

I learned some new words in this book:

  • infection - when microbes like bacteria or viruses make part of an animal's body sick
  • antibiotics - drugs that doctors give you to make you well, when you are sick
  • methane - a type of gas
  • identical - the same as someone or something else
  • lactic acid - a substance that can stop food going bad
  • nerve - a type of cell that sends messages around an animal's body
  • nutrient - something that we get from food to live & grow
  • photosynthesis - the way that plants use sunlight to make sugar for food
Two types of microbe:
  • bacteria - can be killed by antibiotics
  • virus - can't be killed by antibiotics
Two types of animal cell:
  • red blood cells
  • nerve cells
I think the most interesting type of cell in this book is the white blood cell, because the cells can move around our body & kill the bad microbes.

My favourite chapter was "Plant Cells" because in this chapter they explain about photosynthesis and it was interesting.
My favourite picture was of a man getting an injection. I want to be a doctor! Yuto

The Quizlet set for this book is here >>

Saturday, 28 March 2020

We can do this, boss!

The practicality of switching production to making badly needed respiratory units for hospitals:

The outbreak of corona virus is the biggest concern on earth. At the same time, this could be a big opportunity for us to keep our factory running, increase our sales and do some good. Our company should consider switching production to make badly needed respiratory units for hospitals.
  • Increase the profile of company
The number of patients is becoming larger and larger every day. Some hospitals are already suffering from shortage of respiratory units. It has been reported the current supply of respiratory units are not enough to meet the higher and urgent demand. Fortunately, we are the qualified factory who are allowed to make the medical devices. If we can be the supplier of respiratory units quickly, the reputation of our company in public can be increased.
  • Cover shortage with alternative sales
Our factory has been producing the personal care products which sales is dropping sharply due to the uncertain economy. We need to find out the alternative products which can cover shortage immediately. The respiratory units could be the one which can make huge amount of sales.
  • Do good for society, staff morale and prevent lay-offs
As mentioned above, the respiratory units are badly needed at every hospital especially in Europe and US. The units can save people's life. Making respiratory units could raise our staff morale as well as prevent lay-offs.

The corona virus spreads around the world quicker than we thought. In order to tackle the difficult situation, we should think what we can do. The decision should be made immediately to start production of respiratory units at our factory.


This was a writing task for an ESP class that we explored as a follow up to writing a memo...we used NoRedInk for the first time to see if we could exploit that resource to improve our writing skills. Here is the link to the task I'd love to know how other teachers teaching English for specific (business) learners feel about the applicability/restrictions of the templates.

I would also love to see other factory floor staff/engineers'/production mangers' responses. Please do not be judgmental, btw. This was a creative writing task within the confines of an English lesson. However, this task is realistic vs the production facilities & current situation of the worldwide situation we are looking at agog.

Friday, 27 March 2020

In the Morning...

Wanted to share an activity we enjoyed this afternoon at Luna, reading one of Patrick Jackson's excellent Potato Pals little readers "In the Morning" - all about routines, so why not bring out the inner child in us all?!

We enjoyed ourselves; hope you do too!

Thanks for the inspiration (end permission/encouragement!) Patrick.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Out and about in Europe - self-isolating solution!

My young learner student has been reading Heidi - a graded reader version. We've enjoyed the story, and talked about friendship & jealousy, healthy lifestyles and loneliness. We also learned a lot of good new vocabulary - there's a Quizlet set for this particular version of the story (OUP Dominoes series) right here. Tip for teachers or any creative types out there, the Pro version is free for the time-being. Get into it!

One of the projects for after reading, was to read up about the Matterhorn and fill in a table with data about the mountain and its location etc. Good detective work, focusing on detail.

But the funky part was GOING there, having a look around and describing what we could see. How can we do that, with only an hour together in our classroom, not to mention the lack of flights/inability to travel around Europe at the moment...? Hello Google Expeditions! Popped my phone into a cardboard viewer (cheap but does the job!) and "Wow, it's beautiful!" from my quiet little learner. As she swiveled around taking in the 360 view, prompts galore:

  • Can you see any people? What are they doing?
  • How's the weather? What season is it?
  • What's behind you? Can you read the sign, please?
  • What's under your feet? Is it easy to walk here? Why/why not?
  • What clothes do you need to go for a walk here?
  • What would you put in your bag?
  • How are you feeling, if you walk up here?
  • Who would you like to visit here with? Why?
  • Are there places like this where you live? Which is colder?
  • What would you do after this walk?
Follow up projects to this could be:
  • sending a postcard (real, or imaginary eg from Heidi to friend in Frankfurt) - good opportunity to use a variety of tenses...what you did yesterday, what you are doing now, what your plans are for tomorrow or the weekend.
  • Do some research on another mountain, nearer to home (for us, Mount Fuji was the obvious candidate) and make a nice poster, exploiting some key new vocabulary eg summit, ridge, volcano. Get funky with an app to make it a digital one?
We also decided to compare two towns near the Matterhorn, Zermatt in Switzerland and Cervinio in Italy, strolling around in Google Maps, using Street View. We talked about the different kinds of shops and what we could buy, which was safer to walk around (Zermatt has no cars!), if people were dressed the same, where a group of kids might be going etc. And which we would like to visit, when we can travel more freely again (and which looked like the nicest hotel!).

So, gentle reader - send us your (isolated) review of a mountain large in your life, and let us post it here as well?

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Postcard from... Ariakezan Shrine

Ariakezan Shrine
I like to explore new places. If you find yourself needing to someplace to explore, then this shrine would be perfect and I would like to share it with you. It is located in the mountains far from Matsumoto city in Azumino. In order to get to the shrine, I had to walk from Azumi-Oiwake station, which was far. As I was walking deeper into the mountains, I started seeing wild monkies running around which was really neat to see. When I arrived at the shrine, after having stopped for ice coffee at some cafes along the way, I arrived at the entrance gate to the shrine. Seeing the detail of the wood carvings was really cool. If you are a fan of architecture, then this would be the shrine to visit. The main gate has really detailed carvings of animals ranging from farm animals to dragons. The overall feeling of the shrine makes you feel like you can just sit and relax
The main gate and the wood dragon carving
 the day away and enjoy nature. While I was there I sat and enjoyed the wind and calming atmosphere of the shrine grounds. It was very peaceful. After exploring the shrine, I was able to relax and enjoy lunch at a nearby cafe. After that, I was able to walk back to the city on this clear and perfect day. If you are interested in exploration, then I suggest this as a perfect place to explore.

Have a great time exploring new things,

Laputa - Really nice cafe with delicious food

Monday, 23 March 2020

A letter to my friend, Othello

Dear Othello,

 I am writing to tell you about something very important, so please read this letter carefully and quickly. I know about Iago’s plans for revenge. Iago hates you because he could not be chosen as your lieutenant. Everyone told him that you should choose Iago as your lieutenant, but you gave the job to Michael Cassio. Iago thought Cassio is not appropriate person as lieutenant because he has never sent an army onto the battle field in his life. He pretends as a good officer but try to destroy your life. He tells a lie to Roderigo who loves Desdemona, and let him kill Cassio so that he can make a story that Cassio and Desdemona love each other. It is true that Cassio is an innocent and Desdemona loves you from the bottom of her heart. You should trust them instead of Iago. As I found a letter from Iago to Roderigo and would like you to tell you the truth before you have a second thought on Cassio and Desdemona.


Monday, 16 March 2020

An invitation to Rock & Roll

Write an email inviting a friend for tea, with details about why/where/when etc.

Hi Yumi,

It’s been a long time since we met last time. How is your work going? I heard you had been busy for this few months.

By the way, I and Naoko are planning to have a tea party at Naoko’s house this Saturday. If you are free this Saturday, hope that you will be able to join us. Akane will also come to the party. The party will be held around noon, we can take some food or drink tea and update our latest each other.

Because next Monday is Akane’s 27th birth day so we would like to prepare some present and cake for her, but we have no idea what she wants now. If you come up with an idea, please give us an advice, thank you!

Hope can see you at the party this Saturday, thank you!


After reading - Organization which want to support

I had two dogs and love dogs. I would like to support an organization to help abandoned or stray dogs/cats because approx. 83 thousand dogs and cats were euthanized/culled in Japan. Approx. 15% of the euthanized dogs/cats had been pets. In Japan, it is general approach to buy an animal in pet store. In order to making good sales, pet stores usually sell little dogs/cats who are at/just after 8 month old.  Little dos/cats are very very cute and some people might decide to buy a dog or cat without thinking carefully how impact the animal gives their life. It is said by many that some owners abandoned their pets when unexpected hard things happened.
I really hope that all pet stores are gone in the future and only owners who can nurse the pet until their end of life can buy them from reputable breeders checked by government. Until my dream about animals comes true, I would like to donate/support organization to help abandoned dogs/cats because the dogs/cats cannot choose their owner, but the abandoned dogs/cats experienced terrible things.  The organization makes them feel safe and secure, and gives a chance for safe/happy life as second life to the abandoned dogs/cats.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Postcard from...Gifu Castle

I have driven along the Nagara River several times on the way to somewhere in a hurry...and every time regretted not being able to stop and explore Gifu Castle, perched atop Mt. Kinka. It looks amazing from any point of the compass - and truly has a commanding position of the 'fu.

So I'm glad I saved it for a lovely sunny day!

Climbing up there after a business meeting not quite the plan - and certainly not in the right shoes - but well worth the effort. 840m above the riverbed and spectacular views from every corner of the rebuilt (concrete) structure. Last rebuilt in the 1950s - it was last wrecked in 1943 as Gifu was firebombed, but on the site of a mountain-top fortification initiated in 1201. Yet abandoned in 1601 - the year Tycho Brahe died...of course a year after the Battle of Sekigahara.

Gifu Castle - gloriously aloft
Oda Nobunaga basically impressed the pants off everybody in Japan - as well as a Portuguese envoy - with his eyrie, hospitality, and innovations to follow up on his military achievements as the sixteenth century wound to a close...I can't possibly start on the Shogunates/warring states/Christianity in Japan...not enough space on this postcard! But, if you have an interest in that era of history, start here. Rent a car, and trundle around Gifu prefecture - slowly!

Oda Nobunaga - Gifu man

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Postcard from - Europe

Buna Ziua!!

How are you everyone in Luna?

I've already been to Roma, Florence, Pisa, Genoa, Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Praha (Prague), Vienna and here in Bucharest in Romania!!

It took one month for this graduation trip in Europe and there are something trouble with the problem of "Corona", but I enjoy it a lot. I would like to talk ablut it when I come back to Matsumoto!!

Ciao - March 12th


That's right, that's write - I love your tiger feet?!

And for a lighter moment (and a look at where all Japanese boy-bands got their moves from?!) cop some Mud from 1974!

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Gold medal at Tokyo Olympic in 2020

I'm going to introduce Shohei Ono who is judoist and belonging to 73kg class. He was born in 1922 in Yamaguchi prefecture and started judo when 7 years old.

He made effort to make his body bigger when a child as he was a small. Now, his height is 170cm and still not tall, but he looks bigger that actual height by training.

When I watched his play on YouTube, he impressed me as his ippon is so beautiful and he has strong inner muscles. If he grips an opposing player's jacket, it means that opposing player loses as it is extremely difficult to run away from his technique.

He won the gold medal at the Rio Olympic in 2016. I Hope he wins a gold medal again at the Tokyo Olympic of this year and it will be excited.

Postcard from...Kawasaki-daishi Temple

Main Gate
Kawasaki-daishi Temple is tucked away in Kanagawa prefecture, not far away from the famous boat racing circuit, the race course, and the international airport (Haneda). It's famous for its "power of Yakuyoke" (warding off evil), and is one of the biggest temples of the Chisan School of Shingon Buddhism.

We saw the famous burning ceremony "Ogama Kito" in the main hall after entering the courtyard via the very impressive main gate. Not so thrilling were all the souvenir shops lined up down the street beyond!

I was very impressed with the "Kyozo" or Sutra Repository, focussed around a statue of Shaka Nyorai and home to 7,240 books of Kenryuban Daizokyo, in pristine condition lining the walls.
Hakkaku Gojunoto

Commanding the skyline is the 5-storey pagoda "Hakkaku Gojunoto", around which the gardens unfold with statues dotted around. I'm glad we could visit when there were not so many tourists; judging by the size of the toilet block, I imagine there are usually a lot!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Sayuri's trip to London - Notting Hill inspired!

Platform  93⁄4 , St. Pancras
When I arrived at St. Pancras station by Eurostar with my husband, it was almost 8pm. We were deadly tired as the Eurostar was delayed and we had to stand in a long queue over 4 hours at Gare du Nord in Paris.

Right next to St. Pancras station there was Kings Cross station where we could see the famous 93⁄4 plat form. We enjoyed watching many people paid and took photos there. We bought some chocolate frogs(didn’t move!) and the Bertie Bott`s Every Flavour Beans. By the time we were quite happy and forgot about our stressful journey from Paris.

We stayed at a nice hotel near Waterloo station and had comfortable 3 nights.
double-decker bus on Westminster Bridge, in front of Big Ben
Their elevators spoke to us"Doors closing" but it sounded like "George Clooney" to my husband. So everytime we were on the elevator, we said "George Clooney" to the closing doors.

Every morning we got up early and had very good almost full English breakfast and started walking along River Thames. There were lots to see. One of the interesting things was the nursery rhyme under the London Bridge. When we walked through under the London Bridge in dark, we heard the famous melody in girl's spooky voice. That made our blood run cold.

We also went to Notting Hill and saw the travel book shop where the film was shot. It was not a book shop anymore and they sold lots of things for tourists like us, though we didn't buy anything there.

Now the art exhibition of the British National Gallery was to have been on in Tokyo but the art museum is closed because of the nasty virus corona. We really hope this world crisis comes to the end somehow and sometime soon. We still looking forward to seeing many fine arts which we enjoyed very much in London. Those will be good reminders of our lovely days in London.
a lion in dawn we started walking that early in the morning
the travel book shop in Notting Hill
Posted for Sayuri

Postcard from...Haneda airport

Who's the tallest now?!
A snap decision to accept an invitation from her uncle & aunt in Australia, some frantic preparations and a dash down the expressway to Haneda airport and a rendez-vous with Qantas, bag just about packed and ready to travel alone...

A quick pit-stop at Futaba SA gave us a stunning view of Mount Fuji, which is still taller than everybody.

Bye bye Eleanor!
And then we said quick goodbyes at the security gate, cousins clambering to get in a final farewell, and off she went bravely on her own (accompanied by ground staff) to find her big Kangaroo for the overnight flight to Sydney. We waved her her off into the night sky, and followed her progress across the Pacific...she had her toes wriggling in the sand before we even got back home!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Engage, engage and engage!

Teachers often ask me what does it take to manage a classroom of students and teach a successful lesson: should I teach this? Should I teach that? Should I do this? or should I do that etc. and so on. As a teacher trainer on the Cambridge CELTA courses working in various centers in various countries, I observe and assess hundreds of lessons each year and often see teachers incorporate amazingly creative techniques, develop revolutionary materials, and use the most high-tech resources as well as frequently demonstrate an outstanding knowledge of grammar, phonology, and metalanguage, etc. with the most amazing expertise. But, in my opinion, the most overriding indicator of a lesson being successful and the teacher achieving their overall lesson aim is whether the lesson engages the learners and moreover engages the learners in their learning. If this happens, it's most likely a winner! Quite simple really, but I guess the next question is 'How do we engage learners?'. I'll leave this to you to ponder and contribute any ideas.

I want to be...Fumiya's ambition

I want to be a swimmer, because I like swimming.

I am on the swimming team.

My swimming team is very nice.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

I want to be...Rui's ambition

I want to be a soccer player, because I can run fast and dribble very well.

Sunday, 1 March 2020