Saturday, 16 January 2021

Spooky places in Japan


After reading Wonders of the World (OUP Read & Discover graded reader), this high schooler wanted to share a couple of lesser-known places (to avoid?!) in Japan. 

Friday, 15 January 2021

Super fan Sayuri - biography of her pop idol

Yumi Matsutoya, “Yuming”, is a top Japanese singer-songwriter, who has brought a new sensitivity to the Japanese pop music scene.  She was born in Hachioji on 19 January 1954, the daughter of a draper, and she has a lengthy backstory.  

As student at Tama Art University, she released her first single "Henjiha Iranai" on 5 July 1972, and her first album "Hikokigumo" in November that year, working with many famous musicians who considered her to be a brilliant artist. 

Yumi Matsutoya
On 29 November 1976 Yuming married Masataka Matsutoya, a member of a popular band who had produced and arranged her work.  Since " Delight Slight Light Kiss" in 1989, she made eight consecutive million-selling albums, and became the first female artist to sell over thirty million CDs.  

Yuming’s tour concerts are always very distinctive, creative and outstanding so it is always very difficult to get tickets.  She has appeared on a real elephant, performed with a Russian circus and sung with synchronized swimmers in a swimming pool on stage, as if in a miraculous dream.  She has also held an annual concert at Naeba ski resort since 1981; 2021 will be the forty-first edition.

'Shinkainomachi' , released on 1 December 2020, is her thirty-ninth album, featuring the notable songs '1920' (about the year of Antwerp Olympics, after the first world war and the Spanish flu epidemic) and 'Notre Dame' (related to the tragedy of the unforgettable blaze in Paris).  Even though they are serious and deep themes, her lyrics are simple and philosophical, but weaving artistry and pop as well.  Her music will be listened to for another hundred years.

Posted for Sayuri - who bought an iPhone just so she could get a digital ticket to join a TV Special tonight (15/1/2021)!

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Biography of Vasco da Gama

I’m going to introduce Vasco da Gama, the voyager and explorer.

He was born in Alentejo, Portugal in 1469. His father was an official and his mother was from a famous family of British Columbia originally. There is no certain record of how or where he learned sailing as most of his records were lost by earthquake and tsunami.

It was the Age of Exploration that Christopher Columbus lived. The voyage by Columbus was the challenge to the unknown territory. On the other hand, the voyage by Vasco da Gama was carefully planned.

His group of ships left Portugal in 1497. Although it was usual to voyage along the land before, he went south through the Atlantic Ocean. It was bold voyage at that time. After three months, he arrived southern shore of Africa and went to India. He is the first person who found ocean route to India.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Recycling a song - and avoiding having to sing?!

What do you do with a young learners song, after they've sung it once?

Milk it to death!

An idea sprang to mind - Adobe Spark Video - as a way to recap/replay/rework one of the songs from our Young Learners' text book (Everybody Up Starter from OUP). Chicken, fish, rice & beans works very nicely as a back and forth (question and response), and it's easy to switch parts half way through. So we did. I like this exercise as it gets the students to read the words - a catchy tune helps them bounce it along with proper intonation as well.

The #Edtech a bit too much for my little learners to manage alone, but they were very quickly directing me what to do - how to spell things, which icons or images they wanted, and counting each other in to record their panels, and putting panels in the correct order. Then they decided when they'd recorded their voices to their own satisfaction (after practice goes) and completed with big smiles.

Adobe Spark Video is great for this kind of 'challenge', as the sections are ideally short, and you can re-record until you are happy to move on. Looks great, seamless transitions, and piece of cake to do on your iPhone or iPad.

Your welcome!

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Let the kids think!

Getting started - sorting
Sounds a bit obvious I know, but this was one the quietest lessons I've been involved with for a while!

Silly Sentences is just what it says it is, a silly little game...except it isn't! Learners quickly realise that the words will only fit together in a certain order - due to the jigsawing - so a good opening strategy = sort the words into groups. Colour coding & shape helps, then realising what 'kind' of words they all are eg 'doing words (ie verbs) or little words (articles) etc...

Then with a sentence or two we can see there's a definite pattern with word order - and some verbs need an extra word (a preposition) after them to indicate direction of movement. We've got all these describing words left over (adjectives) so where can we put them? In front of nouns, maybe?! So, a load of subliminal grammar going in (no need to explain, just guide towards some observations!). 

Satisfied student!
Another realisation was that beds or hats, and other inanimate objects don't usually 'do' things eg jump or eat - but animals/people can. I know this makes the sentences less 'silly', but a reasonable teaching point!

So, first class back after the New Year break - and with best buddy missing for the class, a change of style with no books today...but a whole heap of learning without too much "grammar" clanging around :)

What I'm struggling with is finding ways to adapt this kind of very hands on activity to a) trying to prevent any hands on/sharing of frequently touch surfaces b) deliver online...

Any ideas out there?!

Friday, 8 January 2021

Life of wild animals and the role of Zoos

I think that the zoos are especially importance for children to see/know animals and to learn how important it is to treat the animals gently because animals and humans cannot communicate easily. From my experience which had two dogs before, I think that if we have chances to see/know lots of animals, the ability to think how someone feel or to care a lot about someone is improved. However, it is not necessary to keep wild animals in zoos. It is ideal to keep the animals injured or neglected by their parents in the zoos in semi-natural enclosure, but we will not be able to see and enjoy a wide variety of animal in zoos and to let them have a friend/partner to spend/play together. Unfortunately, I have no solution to keep current wide of variety of animals in zoos and not to take wild animals, but hope that zoos are improved to have wide semi-natural enclosure for their animals so that the animals live happily without stress in wide semi-natural enclosure and the family will grow.