Japanese

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

 

My Japanese lessons includes practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting and constructing and performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning included the language and cultural skills to be used in travelling or living/working in Japan and general understanding upon Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, information, concepts/ideas or topics from the brochures of Japanese newspapers, the ads, Nichigo Press and other Japanese monthly magazines.

Regarding my class teaching, my Beginners 2 finished in the middle of this month. As for the main textbook, they studied up part of Unit 3 of Genki Book 1. In addition, they practised Katakana script esp. with words written in that script and with use of flash cards, Japanese magazines and worksheets for writing and reading. As homework (taking 2 weeks), they made beautiful, delightful flash cards in Katakana (or Katakana and Hiragana), words based or sentence based writing. Also, there were students who made such cards with the context (phrases) of travellers’ Japanese. We used the cards in class and they practiced those cards in pairs too.

In the last 2 lessons, I taught them phrases, vocab and many dialogues. Books and cd were used, such as “Real Life Japanese: Taikenteki-Nihongo-kaiwa” (by Craig Dibble & Setsuko Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM Inc, Tokyo) and “Real Life – Japanese Food: Taikenteki-Nihongo-kaiwa”, vol. 2 (by Craig Dibble & Setsuko Matsumoto, 2002, UNICOM Inc, Tokyo). I used those materials for teaching many times in the past. Each time students seemed interested and sort of excited in some way. This time too, I think the materials were quite helpful for the course. Also, I gave the handouts of many phrases and words that are well used in living in Japan and travelling based experiences.

 

In relation to news about Japan, this is related to the continuous rise of the number of foreigners who climb Mt Fuji every year. This year too as recent, past years, since the start of July (the start of the mountain climbing), the above increase is evident. It is reported that about 30% of ones, who climb Mt Fuji, are foreigners nowadays. The major reasons of the foreigners’ fascination of climbing the mountain are because of the beauty of the mountain (rather than the height of the mountain) and easiness to climb.

( http://style.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO18499930V00C17A7000000?channel=DF260120166502&style=1 )

 

The NHK TV recently reported the following (on SBS TV). Business groups (including big corporations) of different industries that are not travel or hospitality industries began actively investing for making or refurbishing buildings and houses, which were not hotels or inns before, to inns and properties for accommodating travellers.

It is due to great shortages of hotels and Japanese styled inns to accommodate big increase of travellers, especially those from overseas. The Japanese government is expected to materialize some new laws that are for such a new business area that can have new issues for management, business operation and security control. It is reported that the number of foreign visitors to Japan exceeded 24 million.

 

Also, the NHK TV and The Japan Times reported the sharp rise of the price of land in Ginza, Tokyo apart from other big cities in Japan, i.e. the price of land in Ginza reached one before its bubble economy.

( http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/03/business/economy-business/japans-property-prices-rise-second-year-gap-cities-rural-areas-widen/#.WWXssoSGOUk, “As Japan land prices continue gains, Ginza remains most expensive for 32 years in a row” )

 

The Japan Times states in the above article that the highest land price in Japan was ¥40.32 million (i.e. approximately AUS$445,475) per sq. meter for land which is in front of highly known Kyukyodo stationery store in Ginza shopping district. That price was up 26% from last year.

 

Toshiko Jackson (Japanese teacher)

12.7.17

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese lessons includes practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting and constructing and performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning included the language and cultural skills to be used in travelling or living/working in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, information, concepts/ideas or topics from the brochures of Japanese newspapers, the ads, Nichigo Press and other Japanese monthly magazines.

Regarding my class teaching, my current Beginners 2 finished Unit 2 of Genki Book 1. Also, they learned Katakana esp. with words written in that script and with use of flash cards, Japanese magazines and worksheets. They have homework that is to make flash cards which are Katakana based words, sentences with such words or travel related words or phrases. About 20 cards are requested to make.

The class also have been studying verb conjugation (all of verb groups of Group 1, 2 and 3) with use of the list from HSC based book of Keiko Aitchison. Well over 30 well-used verbs are in the list. Also, before they finish the course, we will go through the list of many Japanese particles (esp. due to students’ request for learning the particles), simple definitions and examples of simple sentences that have particles concerned.

Regarding Japanese travellers language features, I used part of “Real Life Japanese – 体験的にほんご会話” + cd (C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM) and “Real Life – Japanese Food – 体験的にほんご会話、Vol. II + cd (C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2002, UNICOM). (I have used both materials many times in the past; they are very good resources.)

 

As for culture and traditional sports, sumo, at the recent Summer Grand Sumo Tournament (natsu-basho), among the great grand champions, yokozuna, Hakuhoo won the Cup for the highest winning. Kisenosato, the new yokozuna, who received the most attentions popularity and adoration and created big sensation/inspiration to people in Japan, had to withdraw during the above 15 days’ tournament. That was due to his continued pain from the bad injury that he had in the previous tournament that he still fought back and “miraculously” won the highest winning at that time.

In relation to currently highest records holding yokozuna Hakuho who won the Cup, Japan Times reports as follows:

A day after clinching his 38th career championship, yokozuna Hakuho put the icing on the cake Sunday, when he finished the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record. “It’s been a long time since I stood here while they played the national anthem. It doesn’t get any better than this,” said the 32-year-old. “Last September I needed surgery and a lot of rehab, but I believed all along that this day would come and I persevered.”  Hakuho praised the sekiwake’s (Takayasu’s) rise through the ranks. – “Takayasu has done so well. He’s pushed me to set an example, to stay a step ahead of him,” Hakuho said. “I’ve been an obstacle to him, and when you run into a wall, you have to get stronger. And he has.”

(http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2017/05/28/sumo/basho-reports/hakuho-completes-tournament-15-0-record/#.WTS_tRJ84sR)

Also, about Takayasu, who has a Japanese father and mother of Filipino origin and who has great, loyal, close and “beautiful” brothers-like relationship with Kisenosato at their same stable, The Japan Times states such as below.

Takayasu’s promotion comes six months after his Tagonoura stablemate Kisenosato ascended to the sport’s highest rank of yokozuna.  –   Kisenosato, who joined Takayasu for a photo session following the ceremony, did not miss the opportunity to compliment the new ozeki on his promotion and said there is nothing better than seeing his junior disciple recognized for his achievements. “Since around the New Year Basho (in January), I could physically feel his power pumping up from deep below,” said Kisenosato.  – “I believed he would transform. There’s a rank above ozeki. I hope we can train together again and grow stronger, and enliven (the sumo world).”  (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2017/05/31/sumo/takayasu-celebrates-promotion-sumos-second-highest-rank/#.WTS8FhJ84sR)

 

As my comment for all the above sumo “heroes”, I admire them greatly.  They are full of honourable, strong and beautiful/graceful spirit, leaderships, wisdom, amazing tolerance, maturity and self-disciplines in both professionalism and life.

 

Toshiko Jackson (Japanese teacher)

7.6.17

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは

My Japanese lessons includes practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting and constructing and performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning included the language and cultural skills to be used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, information, concepts/ideas or topics from the brochures of Japanese newspapers, the ads, Nichigo Press and other Japanese monthly magazine such as Japaralia.

Regarding my class teaching, Group lessons were finished last month and I had only weekly tutorials for two students’ class (a father and his son who is a secondary school student) and a company executive who I have been teaching for 2 years.

For the above, 2 students’ class, we have been using “Training Material” (for teaching Japanese) of SLS. I also taught other useful grammar, vocab, colloquial phrases, phonetics, dialogue constructions etc esp. based on common use in daily life or travel life Japan. Also, traditional or commonly respected value and behavior and other cultural features, transport system, the thick book of the JR Network of Jikokuhyo (timetable of all the railway network) which you will see at every station in Japan and used by the public. As for script, they learned the basic knowledge of Hiragana, its writing and reading to some extent. It was also done through homework with use of worksheets given. In addition, I read and explained Japanese traditional fairy tales.

The earlier mentioned, my another (and very consistent/committed and hardworking tutorial student in Japanese) a company executive, David Bare, who takes a regular advisor’s role for the NSW government for the issues of building industry and regularly writes/speaks for the media, is happy to help any genuine learners of Japanese for info.

Above David has taken the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), N5 earlier this month. He said it had been a very interesting experience and he was happy to have taken the Test. He informed me that he had been surprised to know/see many people had taken the Test on that day. According to the info., even just at the venue of Uni. of NSW on that day, the numbers of people who took the Test were: 98 people in the Test N5, 120 in N4 and N3, 150 in N2 and 97 in N1.  –  That is marvelous and so positive, in my view.  I had heard that in China and Korea, the numbers of the participants in the JLPT are tens of thousands (biggest numbers for overseas Test conducting). But certainly the numbers of candidates in Australia are solidly increasing that will be good for the relation between Japan and Australia (and overseas).

 

When Mr Donald Trump was elected for the US Presidency, on the NHK TV’s news program, virtually every interviewee expressed serious worries about that and the future relations between Japan and the US. However, recently the CEO of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son said to the President-elect Trump that SoftBank will invest approximately $50 billion technology fund in the US that would create 50,000 new jobs.  (http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Equities/SoftBank-shares-soar-on-AI-hopes, news on 19 Dec., 16). Trump said “Masa is a great business leader!” and praised the CEO after their meeting (according to the NHK TV news).

 

Toshiko Jackson (Japanese teacher)

25.12.16

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning included the language and cultural skills to be used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice japanese coursesometimes used the pictures, information, concepts/ideas or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Japanese newspapers, its ads, Nichigo Press, another Japanese monthly magazine, Japaralia and Daily Telegraph.

My past groups’ 10 weeks’ courses and Corporate Course in Surry Hills were finished. I had only tutorial sessions of two students. One is the usual student of weekly sessions who is a company executive. He has been working esp. with the Workbook of Japanese for Busy People Bk 2 (apart from its course book) and a preparatory book for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N5. He is always keen, consistent and versatile for the study and managing that with his busy schedule. He has a Japanese client, who he communicates/meets for work at times and who is the CEO of a highly known, Japanese multinational. That is helpful for many ways.

My another student of regular and weekly tutorials has been in Japan for a few weeks’ trip. She had a fabulous time/trip with her husband in Japan. She will be back to my lessons in June.

I had a new student (tutorial), who works for a big hotel and who had completed Japanese in the HSC. She was proficient in Japanese and passionate in developing the skills and knowledge. She is planning to take one of the Japanese Proficiency Tests in the near future.

As for the news about Japan, I heard the following from esp. NHK TV news program (on SBS TV) and other media (The Weekend Australian, 28-29.5.16, p. 11).

The 42nd G7 Summit was held in Ise-Shima, Mie Prefecture on 26-27 May. After the Summit, the US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Park and the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too paid the tribute to the 140,00 people died by the world’s first atomic bomb attack. The President is the 1st President of the US who visited there as the incumbent President of the US.  –  NHK TV showed that the President’s visit to Ise-Shima and Hiroshima brought sensationally positive and happy responses from the public and on the streets. One man said with extreme joy that he had gone from other prefecture to Ise-Shima/Mie Prefecture to see him in sight. There were many others too who expressed so much joy to see the President.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

31.5.16

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including weekly essays on a variety of topics for Intermediate 2 and Pre-Intermediate 1), interacting and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning includes the language and cultural skills used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Japanese newspapers, its ads, Nichigo Press, articles in Japanese from Nichigojapanese course Press (e.g. Japanese children’s essays in Japanese, for reading practice, Senryuu poems that are in humorous in traditional poetry style in Japanese), a monthly Japanese magazine, Japaralia (esp. Japanese articles written by Kaoru Sato (Psychotherapist/Counsellor) for Intermediate level classes and students and Daily Telegraph (e.g. a travel magazine, “Escape”) for sentence/dialogue making/speaking.

My Beginners 1 has finished the course last week that used Training Material (Japanese) of SLS and other reference materials for vocab., grammar/many sentences making, dialogue constructions esp. for survival language and travel Japanese, and culture learning.

As for my other group lessons, Pre-Intermediate 1 is currently with Genki Bk 1, the start of Unit 5 (+ part of its Workbook for each Unit). They have other materials to work with for more sentences and discourse making that include reading in class and homework.

Intermediate 2 is studying with Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2, its Lesson 5. Similar to above Pre-Intermediate 1, they have additional practice for speaking, reading and writing in class and through homework. The class is able to converse about certain topics in Japanese now. Very interesting class to teach in many ways.

For weekly tutorials, I have two students who are busy professionals. Both are studying with the books which are to prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N5 as  part of the lessons. Also, one is studying with Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2 and finished its Workbook, up to the end of Lesson 4, Unit 2. The other student has finished Genki Bk 1 and its Workbook, up to Unit 10.

My corporate training course in its office in Surrey Hills has been studying with Training Material (Japanese) of SLS and they have finished it about half of the textbook with a variety of oral exercises and some handouts for vocab. grammar, script and culture related teaching or references.

As for news and cultural news on Japan, I informed many news in the lessons/classes. They include the following. (They include news reported on NHK TV or Australian newspapers in Feb.. I did not include the information in my last Blog, so I list them here.)

  • Marie Kondo’s highly-known KonMari Method and her books have been extremely influencing the world around. Her initial book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying  became in The New York Times bestseller list for over a year (having published in over 21 countries and it has sold 4.8 million copies around the world (“Tiny Mind”, by R. L. Parry, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 16~17.1.16. Similarly, “Discover the joy of tidying up”, by D. Ongaro, Daily Telegraph, 15.2.16, report details about her and the Method as well.)

The above mentioned article in The Weekend Australian Magazine says: because of practicing KonMari Method and tidying up homes and other environment, some people lost weight, finally left dead-end jobs, finally got married or divorced etc etc. The positive impact for wellbeing of people and work/living environment must be immeasurable. Same for economic and environmental benefits out of such practice and improvement of life-style, relationships and management of work and any resources and energy, in my view.

Japan succeeded in finding “rea-metaru” (minerals that can be used for batteries of mobile phones and hybrid cars) by its non-man sited submarine, in deep down in the sea of Japanese coastal region, about 5,500 meter deep, for the 1st time. It would become one of the new economic source for the future industry. (NHK TV, shown on SBS TV on 10.2.16)

Japan started running Shinkansen between Shin-aomori and Shin-hakodate, so the bullet train can run from Tokyo to the south of Hokkaido (northern island) and it goes through the tunnel between the main island and Hokkaido (going through the tunnel takes 25 minutes).  –  Omedetoo gozaimasu! (Many congratulations!)

Early this month (April) as every year, every cities or major companies in Japan hold ceremonies being enrolled for schools and universities and being employed newly at companies, in formal and honorable ways. This year, for the 1st time in Japanese history, the Chancellor of Tokyo-koogyoo-daigaku (Tokyo Institute of Technology) spoke his formal speech to the newly enrolled students in English rather than Japanese. That was very new. In the message, he encouraged students to seek their future not only toward Japan but the world and international regions.

In my view, English skills development is surely important for many aspects, but also sustaining the education of Japanese language, its good features including polite language, humble language etc and teaching other arts/quality of humanities related disciplines will be important as well. That was stressed by the Chancellor of Kyoto University late last year in one of Japanese major newspapers. That is in order to keep developing Japanese strength. The above Chancellor referred to Japan’s having had 2 scholars who were given the Nobel Prize last year as the example. I agree to the Chancellor in many ways. The well-known features of Japanese people/society’s being civilized, harmonious, peaceful, cooperative, patient, caring and careful, very highly educated, well disciplined, efficient, clean, high standard in developing and practicing hygine and safety, great practice and system of assimilation of information etc could never be realized without its past education and appreciation of valuable heritage.

Japanese teacher, Toshiko Jackson

9.4.16

 

Awesome Book for Beginners

Japanese First Course

I once watched a documentary about the Japanese culture and immediately become fascinated with the portrayal. A visit to Tokyo was a must during my vacation time. So I thought why not master a few words and phrases before I got there. Most Japanese books I came across in the recent past were very complex with voluminous material. By the time you are halfway through, you tend to get bogged down in the literature and text.

This book’s layout is quite friendly and gives the user a fresh approach to learning. Japanese is essentially a script based language.  The author focuses on the three basic scripts in the Japanese language: KATAKANA, HIRIGANA and KANJI.

The author simplifies the symbolic alphabets with explanations on phonetic scripts that could have been borrowed from other languages. As a learner I could identify and distinguish special characters in a syllable chart. There are some exercises that will help you gauge your progress in the course as you progress.   The accompanying CDs aid in pronunciation, vowel and consonant combination and meanings. Dialogue samples are also included as well as simulations of real life situations. The book is definitely a good guide for beginners.

9781741251883

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including weekly essays on a variety of topics for Intermediate 1), interacting and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning includes japanese coursethe language and cultural skills used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Japanese newspapers, its ads, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

My previous Beginners 2 finished early this month. Then I began teaching a new group of Beginners 1 form the middle of this month. They have been using Training Material in Japanese of SLS and I have been using some other supplementary handouts, including the names of a family members, names of many things used in people’s daily life and verbs commonly used in daily life. The class (about 10 people) consists of people who want to go to Japan soon (esp. at its cherry blossom time!) and currently they are very keen (+ some interesting questions given to me in each lesson).

Also, I taught a university student who is visiting Japan (he might be there now) for about 10 days. He had an intensive tutorials of about 10 lessons. We used the above mentioned Material, some handouts for time telling, speaking about trains departures/arrivals with page from the Japan Railway, well known timetable “Jikoku-hyoo”, which you will see at any station of the above in Japan. Also, I talked about Japanese onsen, public baths, Royal Family, significance of etiquette/mannerism, techniques of learning Japanese (that I had heard from ones who had been very successful learners of Japanese among the Australians and who I had interviewed in the past for my postgraduate studies), Mt Fuji and large amusement park nearby, major attractions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara, etc. Also, I taught reading of basic Hiragana with the use of the Romaji and Hiragana syllable based chart. The above student was very keen and perceptive. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and he seems having enjoyed my lesson too! (I received a very heart-warming thanking card at the end of the series of the lessons!)

My other students of tutorials, who are busy professionals, began coming to my weekly lessons as before. They are interested in taking the JLPT apart from learning general Japanese language. One of them brought the preparatory book of N5 last week and we began using that book for the lessons.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

27.1.16

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including weekly essays on a variety of japanese coursetopics for Intermediate 2 and Pre-Intermediate 1), interacting and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning includes the language and cultural skills used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Japanese newspapers, its ads, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph (e.g. a travel magazine, “Escape”).

My current Beginners 1 has been using our Training Material (Japanese) and currently studying Unit 7. Also they learned phrases and vocab. well used for shopping. Later they will make their dialogue esp. at shopping situations and their own speech for the introduction of themselves and their family/friends in Japanese and orally present it in front of the class.

As for my other group lessons, Pre-Intermediate 1 is studying with Unit 4, Genki Bk 1 and last week, they learned verb conjugation of te- forms and plain forms plus past tense with making sentences for application. They write short stories too based on some topics.

Intermediate 2 is studying with Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2, its Lesson 4 and they have studied many adjectives, their conjugation for negative, past tense and past tense/negative forms with making sentences for application. Also they have been writing essays or short stories for homework and read them out in class before submission of the writings. They have been (very) well motivated, creative and diligent.

For tutorials, one of the students, who is a busy company, is studying Lesson 4 of Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2 and also with the preparatory book of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N5. The other student for the tutorial has been continuing studying with Genki Bk 1 and she finished Unit 10. Also, she has been studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N5 too and vigorously studying with the preparatory book in my tutorials.

From this week, I also began teaching weekly for a corporate training course for a company that is in marketing related business. That is Beginners 1 and several participants are involved. It will go for 10 weeks. They seem to have well enjoyed the first lesson!

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

1.3.16

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including weekly essays on a variety of topics for Intermediate 1), interacting and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning includes the language and cultural skills used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice japanese coursesometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Japanese newspapers, its ads, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

During Nov. and Dec. ’15, I was extremely busy with interpreting some people (including the CEO and executives) of a Japanese big corporation that held its large, symbolic and happy Event with its 1700 delighted participants of the Japanese and non-Japanese origins at the Opera House in mid-November. Virtually all the participants were so well dressed for the honorable and symbolic Day. Some women there were wearing gorgeous kimono and it was absolutely fascinating to see the big excited crowd! Also I worked for follow-up transcription, translation works related to the above Event and for a Japanese restaurant, Japanese Calligraphy writing (all the above were SLS’ assignments). And I missed writing the Blog of last month. So, this Blog includes some of the things concerned with teaching last Nov..

Regarding Beginners 2, at the end of last year/month, the class finished all of Unit 3, Japanese for Busy People, Book 2 (including the exercises from its Workbook). For script learning, they have begun learning Kanji with use of the sections of Kanji learning of the book. They have been taught conjugations of verbs, e.g. polite forms and plain forms and –te forms. They also learned Japanese dialogues and well used vocab with use of Real Life Japanese + cd (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM. They liked the materials. They submitted homework diligently and had a dialogue making/orally presenting session in which they performed well.

Regarding two tutorial students, the student, who is a busy company executive, has been studying late Unit 3 of Japanese for Busy Japanese, Book 2. He also studied verb conjugations and adjective conjugations (both na-adjectives and i-adjective). Another tutorial student has almost finished Unit 9, Genki: Book 1. She has completed learning verb conjugations and adjective conjugations. She is interested in taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and with her request, we began working with the book for the preparation of the Test recently. For her lessons too, I sometimes use the series of Real Life Japanese + cd (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM).

As for recent news and reports on Japan, I informed most of the following in my lessons.

NHK TV News reported (17.12.15, SBS TV) that the number of international tourists to Japan reached the highest in Japanese history. That is, approximately 17.96 million people visited Japan. The government agency concerned was expecting the number would reach 19 million by the end of ’15. The country of the largest number of the visitors to Japan is China, followed by South Korea and Taiwan.

This article is from a bit old, Japanese newspaper, but the report is inspiring and important for many senses for Japan and the international community, so I give the info here (also I talked about this in my lessons). It is from Nikkei Newspaper (Nihon-keizai-shimbun), 21.10.15, evening paper, p.1, “Oogata-mujinki –o sangyooriyoo”. The article is about the innovation of the Japanese government (including local ones) and commercial sector together for the development and facilitation of unman aerial vehicles (UAV) for a variety of use domestically and internationally. An UAV is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAVs may be managed autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle (www.Wikipedia).

The following details are all from the article of the above Nikkei Newspaper.                       The Japanese government and some commercial sectors have embarked the upgrading the regulations, law and transport system to implement the use of UAV and facilitating R&D, factories etc to manufacture UAV and its parts for the new products of the future. The Japanese aircraft of the UAV includes a large jet of 10 metres’ length. Currently such a large jet of UAV is unseen in other countries unless it is for military use, according to the above newspaper.  

The United Nations’ agency, ICAO accepts the flights of civilian UAVs in the air like conventional civilian aircrafts (manned aerial vehicles), by the international law from 2019.

(In the above newspaper reports,) A Japanese survey company predicts the sales of UAVs will continuously rise and by 2022, the domestic market will reach ¥40 billion (yonhyaku-oku-en). The US survey group estimates the global market of UAVs (including those of military use) will reach the level of $6.4 billion in 2014 and $11.5 billion (i.e. 1.8 times increase) in 2024.

In current Japanese technology and use of UAVs, there are mainly 3 kinds of UAVs. That is, drones of small sizes, helicopters for agriculture and ones for military use. Some UAVs will be used to distribute medicines to aged people who live in towns where medical clinics are rare; some will take foods to people who live in remote islands.

Regarding other merits of use of a big UAV, the newspaper reports the following. A navigator on the land controls the UAV, being very far away from the craft. There is no need to maintain the oxygen and air pressure level inside of the UAV. That is different from conventional crafts. Likewise, some facilities, e.g. toilets, are unnecessary for UAV. So, time to be taken and distances to be flown by an UVA can be longer with less costs.

As another article of the above mentioned newspaper (p. 29), I found an interesting article of the interview with the President of Kyoto University, Professor Juichi Yamagiwa. Kyoto University is one of the most competitive (to be enrolled) and national university and it has a great high regard from the public.

As for the tertiary education in Japan, according to www.wikipedia, for the number of universities in Japan, as the data of the year 2010, there are 86 National universities (kokuritsu-daigaku), 96 public ones (kooritsu-daigaku) and 597 ones (shiritsu-daigaku). Though significance of developing/mastering English language skills is officially stressed in many sectors in Japan nowadays, e.g. the Department of Foreign Affairs and multi-nationals in manufacturing industry. The earlier mentioned newspaper reports that the President of Kyoto University says his University will maintain the high standard in research and education in Japanese language. He refers to the high standard in education (esp. higher education), research and last year’s amazing and distinctive success that Japanese 2 scientists received the Nobel Prize. I regard his view and emphasis expressed are understandable and important for Japan and its fundamental strength, wisdom, cultural and linguistic heritage, disciplines, creativity, (internationally well-known) Japanese group-nism, long term vision based society and identity in many ways.

 

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

10.1.16

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including weekly essays on a variety of topics for Intermediate 1), interacting and constructing/performing japanese coursestudents’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself. The learning includes the language and cultural skills used in travelling in Japan and general understanding on Japanese culture. Speaking practice
sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations,
Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

Intermediate 1 (that will finish this Friday) has been using a textbook, Japanese for Busy People, Book 2 + Workbook. They finished up to the middle of Unit 3 of the book. They have been great and exciting to teach each time. So were their homework submitted, i.e. mostly essay writing each time and that was on a variety of topics, e.g. one’s childhood, a great trip taken, a favorite movie or food, the person who one respects, contrast of cultures. They wrote very honestly and analytically for the contents and used a variety of grammar and vocabulary. One of the students loves Japanese songs and he sang one of his favorites on two occasions very naturally and skillfully. That was great for the class. Music and songs (just as Japanese dance, paintings, traditional sports, such cooking and artcraft)

Regarding Beginners 2, the class finished half of the 10 weeks’ course. It became more settled down compared to the starting time of the course (i.e. in the 1st lesson, I felt there was quite a difference in ability and knowledge in language, depending on the learner.) I felt much easier in teaching them in the recent week. Also, last week, one of the students of the above class, who is a secondary school (senior level) asked me to write my endorsement for the student’s application for a kind of scholarship to go and study in Japan for an school exchange. I was very pleased with that and made a very positive comment for the student’s wish and plan for the new life and learning experiences and opportunity.

Pertaining to weekly tutorials based students, the company executive who recently took a 2 weeks’ Japanese course in Tokyo, sent me email to inform me how the things were going. He said the course in Tokyo was great and after the course, he has been enjoying the holiday/travel in Japan, its many interesting or significant places for further few weeks before returning to Sydney and my tutorials. He visited the nearby town to Mt Fuji and stayed in a nice hotel. He highly praised the beauty of the mountain. – I am looking forward to hearing all other updated things about Japan and his experiences and comments about his trip in that land when he returns.

Another weekly tutorial student, who is also very passionate, hardworking and highly motivated in the learning Japanese, she finished up to the middle of Unit 9, Genki Book 1 (+ Workbook). Also, like other classes, I used Real Life Japanese + cd (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM), which esp. deals with foods and language used in eating out. The series of that book is quite plain forms based in dialogue samples. Other course textbooks, which I use for teaching at SLS, are mostly polite forms orientated (that is also or sometimes much more important than plain forms to learn before interacting with Japanese people). Plain forms are very useful to create more confidence in having or understanding natural conversations with Japanese native speakers. So, the series is very useful and some students commented so to me too.

As for culture/Japanese society, I informed the following to my students/classes.

One is the Japanese Film Festival run by The Japan Foundation (See: http://japanesefilmfestival.net/about-the-festival). It is a film festival of the world’s largest scale with many high quality movies (including those of award winning internationally and nationally) with English subtitles. The Festival officially began in 1997. Last year, the Festival had audience of about 31,800 in Australia. This year, in 6 states and 8 major cities in Australia, it brings many films (Sydney: 5 ~ 15 Nov.) For learners of Japanese language and culture, the films shown there will be excellent resources.

Japanese national-wide annual competition of high schools’ baseball clubs, koko-yakyuu, was hele in the middle of October (last month) (NHK TV, 15.10.15, SBS TV).  It is the 100th year after the national annual event began in Japan. That is excellent and very wise custom and social events in my view. That creates numerous positive merits and value, e.g. motivation, pursuit of higher skills and disciplines among youngsters, high standards in baseball. The excellent players from the outcome of the games, will be recruited into the professional teams of Japanese baseball games.

NHK TV (23.10.15, SBS TV) reported that the Prime Minister Abe visited the central Asia, such as Mongolia etc. In Mongolia, he made the treaty agreement of exchange with the country, such as import of oil field based resources from Mongolia and Japan’s offering infrastructure of developing energy related technology, other technology etc. Interesting news.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

4.11.15

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