japanese class

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



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


Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

Japanese courses in Sydnety

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including essays), interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own  dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself and learning Japanese used in travelling in Japan. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, understanding and analyzing Japanese culture are important part of the course.

My Intermediate 3 finished the course on 20 August. All the students expressed their wish to continue to go on to the next level after some break. (That is nice to hear!) By the end of Intermediate 3, they finished Unit 3, Japanese for Busy People Book 2. Also, I used a few units of a travel and life experiences orientated textbook, Real Life Japanese + cd (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM) and for application, the students were able to speak similar sentences introduced in the dialogues in that book (the same applies to the learning with Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2). In addition, they enjoyed Japanese traditional bon-odori, bon-dance with use of a cd of a collection of exciting and beautiful songs for bon-dance. (I taught this bon-dance with use of cd in other lesson too that was very useful and fun!)

As for my students for weekly tutorials, one of them, who is a busy company executive who is very committed in learning Japanese, finished Unit 3, Japanese for Everyone (he likes that book). Also, he studied up to the middle of Unit 4, Genki Book 1 (esp. for the preparation of taking a Japanese course for 2 weeks late September. I used a few units of above mentioned textbook/cd, Real Life Japanese.

Another tutorial student is currently studying early Unit 7, Genki Book 1 and a few practical units of Real Life Japanese. She is so active in thinking about the concepts of Japanese culture and she has many experiences with Japanese people. If I talk about something, her responses and analytical observations are sometimes thoughts-provoking and quite interesting. And she loves kimono! (So do I!)

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson



Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。




My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking/talking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups. Speaking practice sometimes used the use of the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, I inform about Japanese latest news, traditional features, tourism related things etc.

Intermediate 1 began on 27 November (Thursdays’ class). It has learnt most of Unit 6, Genki Book 1, which has many verb –te forms and use of those in different grammatical usage and function/situations. Much of application practice with those took place too.

In the above class, I talked about traditional Japanese paper sliding doors, shouji (or shooji) which is made out of wooden frame and beautiful, sophisticated white paper. One of the students in the above class, who had stayed at Japanese rhokan on many occasions and just returned from the latest trip to Japan, mentioned softness/gentleness of sound which is heard when one opens or closes Japanese sliding doors. I strongly shared that point.  It is one of Japanese features for over a thousand of years. Just like its people’s behavior, language, verbal and written (and facial) expressions (and even economic reforms!), in general. One of internationally well-known, female fashion designers, who normally lived in Paris, said such too in a magazine many years ago, i.e. “In Japan, everything is soft!”            I think the sound of shooji can help you feel calm, peaceful and being close to nature, just like seeing beautiful Japanese gardens or other traditional things in that land.

Regarding the news on Japan, I said the following things. They are mostly from the NHK TV news (shown at SBS TV), Jenta magazine etc in the recent time.

The Japanese Emperor Akihito (also called the Emperor Heisei, Heisei Tennoo, 平成天皇) acceded to the throne in 1989. He is the 125 Emperor of Japan. His birthday is 23 December.  On that day last year (2014), about 29,000 people signed from the public at the Imperial Palace in the middle of Tokyo), for his birthday celebration. He is 81 and he is still so active (physically too), compassionate (and his wife, Empress too) and he speaks his inner thoughts and feelings for the benefits and needs of people (esp. those who were terribly hurt or disadvantaged due to natural disasters etc) esp. in Japan and the international peace and needs.

For the first two days in January 2015, 81,000 people visited the above Palace. On 2 Jan., 16,000 people of the public waved hands to or saw the Royal family that included all the Princes, Princesses and their children, for the yearly celebration for the public at the Palace, “ippan-sanga”. The Royals wave hands to the people at that (such) time to celebrate the New Year.

On 31 December, 14, the annual NHK TV “koohaku utagassen” took place. It is annual TV show and stage event at NHK Hall. It must have been on for nearly half a century. Every year, after the NHK News, the program and show starts and goes on until about 11:45pm, i.e. right before all the Buddhist temples throughout Japan starts making big “gong” noise to cleanse human sins of the passing/-ed year. This year, at the above “big” show, in total, “52” groups or individual singers sang and about 1100 people performed on the stage. When the singer can sing at the show, (just like Hollywood, Academic Award). the singer can have higher regard/status in the industry in the following or future years. There are some singers, who have been singing yearly for over 40 years or 40 times! Amazing. All the performers’ costumes (whether they wear western styled clothes or very attractive kimono) were outstanding ones. Same with their performance. At the end of the show, the highly recognized panel members decide whether male team or female team wins for the (that) year.

NHK TV reported the following. That is, the Japanese Emperial Palace began using LED which the Japanese Nobel Prize winners developed, due to the Emperor’s request partly for cost saving. Also, the world’s highest building in Dubai started using LED for its light of the building.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson,


Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。


My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking/talking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups.

My Pre-Intermediate 1 (that finished that level last week) worked with Unit 4, Genki Book 1 apart from Kanji learning with use of the Kanji learning pages located at the back of the above textbook. Also, for that class, I taught Japanese used for travel in Japan. Early in the course, I taught with some text for ordering foods at restaurants, currency exchange, buying train tickets, booking a hotel room (the text is originated from one I had edited for other organization of its online video course). Late month, I used with part of the material of other source and the situations of the language used were such as asking places or services at a hotel or ryokan, “Where is the bathroom?”, “Do you have room service?”, “I want to leave this in the safe?”, “Do you have more quiet room?” “I can’t turn on the heater.” etc. In that class, there was a student who had purchased the book which is for the preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) 4-5. And I showed his book to the class. It appeared there are other students who are interested in the JLPT, so I said to the class that in future, including the next stage for them (if they will be enrolled), we might include learning time for Travel Japanese and the preparatory sessions of the JLPT with the agreement of all the participants of the class. That will be probably about 20~30% of the time to be spent of the 10 weeks’ course. All the students in that class seemed happy with that new element in the future course.

Apart from the above course, I weekly taught two students for their tutorials. One was for the JLPT N1 and the other was the JLPT N3. Both were lovely and very interesting students. One of them has to have a break due to his other commitments and the other will continue. To the former, I talked about my favorite and the Japanese, profoundly great business leader in the Modern Times, late Konosuke Matsushita, apart from other things on Japan. The student enjoyed and appreciated such information. Also, to my class/tutorials, I informed about the article of Escape, Sunday Telegraph, 20 July, ’14, pp. 28-29, “Bullet trains take the cake”. A big and fascinating article/report! It includes information that Japan celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Shinkansen that began running in 1964 prior to the Tokyo Olympics.

The above report says the first Shinkansen, the Tokaido Shinkan took 4 hours to run between Tokyo and Osaka when it started running. Currently its Nozomi (the super-high-speed) makes the journey in 2.5 hours. It is the world’s busiest high-speed rail line, carrying more than 150 million passengers a year! There are 3 types of trains on the line, i.e. Nozomi (fastest), Hikari and Kodama.

The above article says Japan developed SCMAGLEV. It states “It (SCMAGLEV) stands for Super Conductive Magnetic Levitation. The MLXI Maglev prototype on display holds the world speed record for rail vehicles at an astounding 581km/h.” “By 2025, Japan aims to put commercial maglev trains into operation, which could shorten the Tokyo-Osaka trip to one hour.”   (- Sounds amazing!)

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


Some Stories About Our Japanese Course 21

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 dialogues. As for the main textbooks and materials, Beginner 1 used Training Manual and other handouts for vocab, grammar etc; from Beginners 2 up to Pre-Intermediate 2 used Genki Book 1; and Intermediate 1 began using Japanese for Busy People Book 2. Also, I used pictures, many ads (esp. of Japanese magazines, e.g. Nichigo Press, Jenta), children’s story books, magazines, CDs, videos, DVDs, songs etc. At the end of each class of 10 weeks, an exam was given (if the student wishes to have it as an open exam, it can be done in that way.)

Late in each course, every class has to make a dialogue with partners with use of vocab. and grammar introduced in the latest unit introduced. Previous Beginners 2 and current Intermediate 1 did well and also some of the students memorized some parts for the performances.

The new class that began this week, Pre-Intermediate 1 has 4 students, who finished Beginners 2 last week, and 2 other students, who were in my course some time ago and had a break and came back to join the class. That was delightful.

The Japan Foundation kindly gave me many video tapes of its library for my teaching (since many daytime schools do not use VCR and borrow such tapes from the Foundation any more). Those tapes include a language teaching (long) series though they are a kind of old ones but the quality of the contents is excellent including the language taught and ways it is taught and presented throughout the series; it is one of my favorites from time when I often used them at a big TAFE in Melbourne. Also, they included many video tapes of children’s, Japanese, well known and beautiful or cute fairy tale stories in Japanese. They are all wonderful resources for teaching the Japanese language (both polite forms and plain forms), culture and values.

Regarding news on Japan, I informed my classes the following.

  1. (The Australian, 12.9.13, p. 25, originally an article from The Wall Street Journal): The Prime Minister Shinzo Aze’s economic policy (i.e. Abenomikkusu) has been working for Japanese economy, share market and business sectors very well. And the government will raise the sales tax, i.e. from 5% to 8% from April next year. The current economy is growing at an annualized pace of 3.8% from the figure a month ago. That is much bigger percentage than the US and Eurozone. A senior politician and the former Finance Minister, Mr Takeshi Noda commented to The Wall Street Journal that the package will probably include corporate tax relief steps that are aimed at spurring investment as well as raising salaries.
  2. (The Australian, 12.9.13, p. 16): There is (was) Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom at beautiful and educational Cowra Japanese Garden Festival on 28-29 September for the 24 year’s annual event. There are (were) many activities taken place for the visitors, such as traditional tea ceremony, ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), calligraphy, bonsai, kite flying and marshal arts.  (Reported by Susan Kurosawa)


Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


Some Stories About Our Japanese Course 19

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included the practices to develop speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, constructing and creating dialogues as well as cultural skills upon Japan and those of self-expressive skills. Also, we used textbooks (our major one is Genki Book 1), pictures, ads, children’s books, magazines, CDs, videos, DVDs, songs, gestures with songs etc. At the end of each class of 10 weeks, an exam was given (if the student wishes to have it as an open exam, that can be done in that way.)

As one of new teaching methods, I found that making copies of lovely or funny pictures and Hiragana version cards that have the names or the words for the above picture cards. I thought of that idea while preparing for the student of my regular tutorial, who is a 5-year-old girls (who enjoys singing Japanese songs!). The use of such cards is similar to playing cards of “karuta”. You will see the pictures and words/names of the pictures and eventually start accommodating Hiragana letters into your Japanese linguistics box in your brains.            You leave many picture cards and the word cards (i.e. the translations of the words) on the table in disorder. The learner will pick up the cards to make the matches of picture cards and the names/words of the cards that are written in Hiragana. He/she can connect the Hiragana letters with the words and pictures; it will be much more fun than reading Hiragana letters without any meanings of things or animated things of a civilization/our environment. It’ll be an effective way to learn Hiragana. The above 5 year-old learner seemed excited with those cards. I plan to use such a method for my Beginners 1 and Katakana version in Beginners 2.

Regarding Japanese economy, there were many delightful or positive news reported (esp. thanks to the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s brave, effective policies), including in a newspaper The Australian. I recently talked about that economic phenomenon in classes. The articles that report and comment upon such include the following.                                These are all from the above newspaper: (1) “Japan’s growth picks up steam”, (The Wall Street Journal), by W. Warnock, T. Mochizuki, 17.5.13, p. 20, (2) “No false dawn under Abe: Japan’s sun rising again”, R. Callick, 23.5.13, p. 24 (3) “Boost lending, BoJ tells banks”, T. Ito, 28.5.13, p. 22 (4) “Japan offers new opportunities” (in the Editorial of the newspaper), 29.5.13, p. 11.

In one of the above articles, it says PM Abe’s popularity reached 70% and also the Japanese share market has gone up 70% as well in the recent record! Amazing!

One of my current free-time reading is “Amerika –wa Nihon –no Fukkatsu –o Shitteiru”, written by an Emeritus Professor (at the University of Yale and University of Tokyo), Kooichi Hamada. He is around 76 years (and still writing books and thesis!). He was one of the advisors for PM Abe esp. in relation to increase the supply of Japanese money in order to stop deflation that has been causing the bad economy and ailing industries and society, and the Bank of Japan did not do much about that for the  real solution for many years. Hamada is very outspoken and passionate about increase of money supply. He also comments: due to the impact of “Riiman-shokku” (the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers), all major countries increased the supply of money of their countries and only Japan did not; Japan suffered most among all the countries because of that.

Above Hamada reminds me of late Konosuke Matsushita (founder of Panasonic, previously National Panasonic) in many ways. Those amazing people’s talents, convictions, passion, vision, consistency in pursuing what they believe in, their almost universal values, etc are “immeasurable” for the past and future of Japan and Japanese international relations with the rest of the world. They are certainly the members of my heroes in my professionalism and personal life.

I also talked about and gave the info from website of INA Global, about the Japanese most successful newspaper Yomiuri-shimbun. Yomiuri newspaper (that began business in 1874) is not only the largest daily newspaper in Japan but also the largest in the world. Its circulation is greater than that of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal combined! (INA Global Press: “Yomiuri Shimbun: The giant of the Japanese press”. Yomiuri reminds me of Toyota Motors in the world’s car manufacturing industries.


Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


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