Monthly Archives: September 2011

When it gets tough

What do you do when you just want to pull your hair out, when your students are just not responding no matter what you do? I am all too aware that these are great chances for self-evaluation. There are just … Continue reading

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Knowing what to scrap and believing in yourself

My favourite day, Thursday again! Despite some nasty bugs going around, it’s nice to know you are in a place you enjoy being. Today though, my students, my team teacher and me were all a little lifeless. Many of us … Continue reading

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Sign language: the power of gestures

The other day I was watching this sign language learning programme on NHK Eテレ. As someone who has almost given up on learning Japanese, not only was I surprised by how much I was able to learn in a 15-minute … Continue reading

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Dogme from a textbook theme?

It was my twice-weekly 90-min pre-intermediate group. I have had them for almost a month. I am still feeling my way including the best way of starting the lesson. We have experimented several ways like plunging right in, starting off … Continue reading

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Typhoon

Yesterday a powerful typhoon hit Japan and brought rainstorms of scale I had never experienced. I was at school with my second graders, we were constantly interrupted by ‘wows’ and gasps as we watched the rain threatening to flood the … Continue reading

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Why blog?

Told a friend of mine I just started blogging. She wondered why. What if it is rubbish? What if I have nothing interesting to say? What if no one reads it? I probably would have raised the same doubts a … Continue reading

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Madame Jo Jo Groove Night in Tokyo

Sunday night, out in Shimokitazawa, a trendy student hang out, a group of dancers had put on their gears and were ready for a not so mellow Sunday evening dance off in 440. Entered, mambo jazz! The floor was already … Continue reading

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Roman Polanski

Just saw Ghost Writer in a lovely arts cinema in Yurakucho. Nice plot, great cast, easier to follow than many of his other films. The music is classic Polanski. Can’t help to compare it to The Ninth Gate, another adventure … Continue reading

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A bit of spontaneous CLIL?

Still Thursday. I was at my favourite school. I haven’t left yet. In this school, I taught the second and third graders too. I was at the photocopying room preparing my lessons for the following week when a couple of … Continue reading

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What makes a good lesson

It was Thursday, I was at my favourite school. First graders, 11 or 12 years old, sweet and haven’t lost their enthusiasm yet. In Japan, this could be their 5 months into learning English. Today’s lesson was on numbers and … Continue reading

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