Japanese Course

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

 

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

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 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, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, understanding and analyzing Japanese culture are important part of the course.

My Intermediate 3 is studying with Japanese for Busy People Book 2 (currently the middle of Unit 2). Also, I give handouts to increase vocab and simple sentences with use of the vocab for practical language learning for travelling or staying in Japan with use of other relevant books. Their Japanese linguistic level is improving progressively, so it is exciting to see that. For example, in discourse writing for homework, such as dialogue with a particular situation for travellers (the situation was at a restaurant and the dialogue was to start with a courteous waitress’ customer service phrases that were from the handout we had gone through in class), the students wrote their own impressive and distinctive dialogues and read them out in class. That was delightful.

As for my students for weekly tutorials, they have been studying and exploring the learning with their deep interest and creativity. So, teaching them is very fun too! One of them, who is a company executive, wishes to take a 2 weeks’ Japanese course in Tokyo a few months later and he is very excited about that plan too. For his lessons, we use Japanese for Everyone (currently, its Unit 2). He enjoys using that book as the main book for the tutorial lessons. Just as the above Intermediate 3, I give and use materials of other books, esp. ones for travel or life in Japan based reference books for practical language teaching.

Another tutorial student too, she is studying very actively and keenly. With her preference, we use Genki Book 1 (currently, its Unit 3) for the main textbook. As the above teaching, I give other reference materials for increase of vocab (with simple sentences making by applying such vocab) and other sentence making exercises for creative and realistic language learning and Japanese language usage.

to 2 students separately; both are in the stage of Beginners 2. One (a company executive in the major industry) began using Japanese for Everyone (with my recommendation) since its main topic is not university student’s life but working people (non-Japanese speakers) and the book is excellent in vocab, grammar, discourse/dialogue teaching, script teaching, interesting/stimulating presentations of exercises and beautiful pronunciation of the speakers. Only and major weakness of that book is that it was published many years ago. I try to use and increase teaching more of the language used in travelling in Japan and non-Japanese people’s life in Japan plus plain forms of verbs etc as the supplementary teaching so that the teaching will be practical and more useful.

As for culture etc and news reported from Japan in the recent month and weeks, I spoke about the following in lessons. Most of the information is from NHK TV News (shown on SBS TV).

Regarding the voting rights, until the recent time, the age that people can vote for elections was 20 years old. However, recently, through the Diet, it legally became 18 years old (just like many other advanced countries).

Japanese share market price was continuously improving and about 2 weeks ago, it reached the level of the one 18.5 years ago. Similarly, the prices of land esp. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya as the main examples. The highest one is 14%  higher than before.

Japan has been absolutely excited with the brilliant performance of its female soccer team Nadeshiko, in the World Soccer, week after week. The delegate of one of the other countries that played with Nadeshiko and lost against the latter said something like the following. Nadeshiko team, its girls are shorter than his/her team players, but Nadeshiko’s athletes have many more skills and their own strategies to use during the match. –  That comment reminded me of Japanese car manufacuters!

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.7.15

 

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 japanese coursepairs/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, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

My Intermediate 2 has finished the course. The clients’ satisfaction level was very high, so it made me quite happy. They like to go to the next level. If everything is fine and the new, higher level/class is made for them, the level will be the highest level in Japanese for the first time at SLS; many congratulations to the students’ great and valuable enthusiasm and efforts given and pursuit in learning Japanese and its culture. As the example of their unique keenness, one of the students has recently planted 2 maple trees in his/his family’s garden and other student began trying reading a Japanese novel of a highly known writer, which the student is very interested in, after her reading English translation of the novel.  Wonderful.

The above mentioned class, Intermediate 2 finished Unit 1 of Japanese for Busy People Book 1 and its Workbook in the final lesson a week ago. They had used Genki Book 1, up to Unit 8 earlier, so Japanese for Busy People Book 2, Unit 1 was not difficult and Kanji introduced at the back of the book for Unit 1 was too easy. At the start of the next level, if the class will be made, they will take the open exam of Unit 1, Japanese for B. People, Book 2. That will include questions on Kanji, esp. idioms/words introduced in Unit 8, Genki Book 1 that the class went through in April and early May. Also, as I said in my past Blog, I teach Japanese for travellers or those (non-native Japanese speaking) who live in Japan. One of the books I have been using is Real Life Japanese (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, UNICOM, Tokyo, 2001, with cd).

My other teaching is weekly tutorials to 2 students separately; both are in the stage of Beginners 2. One (a company executive in the major industry) began using Japanese for Everyone (with my recommendation) since its main topic is not university student’s life but working people (non-Japanese speakers) and the book is excellent in vocab, grammar, discourse/dialogue teaching, script teaching, interesting/stimulating presentations of exercises and beautiful pronunciation of the speakers. Only and major weakness of that book is that it was published many years ago. I try to use and increase teaching more of the language used in travelling in Japan and non-Japanese people’s life in Japan plus plain forms of verbs etc as the supplementary teaching so that the teaching will be practical and more useful.

The other tutorial student strongly likes to continue using Genki Book 1, so we are doing that. I also have been using other books/materials for supplementary teaching that is for non-Japanese people travelling or living in Japan, esp. for vocab. in simple sentences at the moment since she wants that element in the lessons too. Both of the above tutorial students are very keen and knowledgeable, so teaching them is very interesting.

Regarding news from Japan, I missed including my Blog that was early last month (May). The contents are significant, so I like to refer here.

During April, NHK TV News (shown on SBS TV), it reported: Japanese organizations finished completing building a a huge bridge “Tsubasa-bashi” in Cambodia. It means a great infrastructure development; Cambodia and neighbouring countries and cities will have huge benefits and development in economic activities, people’s better life etc out of use of that bridge. Wonderful news and achievements!

Other news reported in April is that: Mitsubishi Agricultural Machinery and an Indian conglamerate and automobile manufacturing Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) made an business treaty of exchanging technology and other resources to promote farming machinery. It said Asian countries have actively used the Japanese styled farming methods in the post-war period, called “Nihon-shiki noogyoo”. It was well appreciated, but in Japan, its farming industry is weakening increasingly. Many other Asian countries are increasing export in agricultural products. So, above M&M will offer marketing resources and Mitsubishi A. M. will offer its excellent farming machinery and expand and increase more of farming machinery trade in Asia regions. – What great innovative and Asian ecomony improving way! Another regional cooperation and technological advancement for the needs of people’s life and lives apart from improving economy/-ies concerned.

Also, NHK TV reported about a month ago that a Swiss well established organization gave a survey report. That is the international travellers’ grading about which destinations in the world (many cities/coutries) are great etc. Japan was in the top 10.  For customer services, security control/management, hygines, technology developed and facilities that have those etc, Japan was graded as No. 1, but its lack of competitives of prices in some products was grade low (somewhere well below the 100th in the world). Still overall, it is a delightful news as a whole.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.6.15

 

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

1.9.15

 

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 jappairs/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, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, understanding and analyzing Japanese culture are important part of the course.

My Intermediate 3 is studying with Japanese for Busy People Book 2 (currently the middle of Unit 2). Also, I give handouts to increase vocab and simple sentences with use of the vocab for practical language learning for travelling or staying in Japan with use of other relevant books. Their Japanese linguistic level is improving progressively, so it is exciting to see that. For example, in discourse writing of homework, such as dialogue with a particular situation for travellers (the situation was at a restaurant and the dialogue was to start with a courteous waitress’ customer service phrases that were from the handout we had gone through in class), the students wrote their own impressive and distinctive dialogues and read them out in class. That was delightful.

As for my students for weekly tutorials, they have been studying and exploring the learning with their deep interest and creativity. So, teaching them is very fun too! One of them, who is a company executive, wishes to take a 2 weeks’ Japanese course in Tokyo a few months later and he is very excited about that plan too. For his lessons in my teaching, we use Japanese for Everyone (currently, its Unit 2). He enjoys using that book as the main one for the tutorials. Similar to the above Intermediate 3, I give and use materials of other books, esp. ones for travel or life in Japan based reference books for practical, realistic and often natural language teaching.

Another tutorial student too, she is studying very actively and keenly. With her preference, we use Genki Book 1 (currently its Unit 4) for the main textbook. As the above teaching, I give her other reference materials for the increase of vocab (with simple sentences making by applying such vocab) and other sentence making exercises for creative and real-life like language learning and Japanese language usage. She has many ideas about the learning and Japanese culture/society and takes the lessons in creative ways with her self-motivation.

As for the culture/society and news reported from Japan in the recent month/weeks, I spoke about the following in class/lessons. Most of the information is from NHK TV News (shown on SBS TV):

Regarding the electoral voting rights, until the recent time, the age that people can vote for elections was 20 years old in the Modern Times. However, recently, through the Diet, it legally became 18 years old (just like the case of many other advanced countries).

Japanese share market price was continuously improving and about 2 weeks ago, it reached the level of the one that was 18.5 years ago. Similarly, the prices of land esp. the big cities such as, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya went up too as the main examples. The highest area among rises was 14% higher than before.

(NHK TV News – ) For Japanese economy, foreigner/overseas visitors/tourists have been a great source for the economy. Recently the number of duty free shops have sharply increased and in some area, it made 50% increase to encourage above tourists to buy things during the trips and stay in Japan In addition, instant noodles (raamen) shops are very popular with such tourists and at a particular shop, there are times that the shops are packed  with foreign visitors instead of Japanese locals!

Japan has been absolutely excited with the brilliant performance of its Nadeshiko team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It continuously won and went to the semi-final against the US in Canada. However, it lost and went to the second at the end. In spite of that, the team’s determination, full of brave leadership in each player and great competence was out of question. The delegate of one of the other countries that played with Nadeshiko and lost against the latter said something like the following. – The players of Nadeshiko team are shorter than his team’s players physically, but Nadeshiko’s athletes have many more skills and their own strategies that they used during the match. –  That comment somehow reminded me of Japanese major car manufactures in essence!

A newspaper, Daily Telegraph (30.6.15, p. 18) reported an article about an amazing cat in Japan with the picture of the cute, gentle, patient cat. The cat died last month at the age of 16. In the picture, the cat, Tama was wearing his special Stationmaster hat of Kishi Station located in western part of Japan. The station that is in a quiet rural area and had a great difficulty with its business and nearly bankrupt. However, the cat saved the business and economy of the city by causing the a great number of passengers and tourists to the sity, station and railway. People loved the cat. The station and community adored the late cat as one of the Goddess (that comes from Shinto religion). Her estimated contribution to the local economy was 1.1 billion yen, i.e. $11.6million! Another story of great harmony and successful relationships between humans and animals in Japan that are commonly seen in that land.

 

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

6.7.15

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

jap

 

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 is studying with Japanese for Busy People Book 2 (currently Unit 3). Also, I give handouts to increase vocab and simple sentences with use of the vocab for practical language learning for travelling or staying in Japan with use of other relevant books. With use of Japanese magazines, e.g. Nichigo Press, we read and understood some ads or articles. That included a Japanese movie magazine, “Shinema-junpoo” (Aug. ’15), its 2 page ad of a film, “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”. The phrases shown there were very interesting.

The students of the above class are now able to write and express some story or event for essay writing. For homework, they did very well for such tasks. One student wrote a beautiful story (fiction) about adapting a puppy at a home and hectic thing having occurred at night. Other student wrote/word-processed and also used an article about Sydney/Australia in relation to tourism and historical heritage of Sydney. Each of such essay or dialogue writings were read out in class and be understood by everyone in class. That practice was very useful and fun. I like to continue that activity whenever possible in future too. One of the very desirable teaching methods.

As for my students for weekly tutorials, one of them, who is a company executive, is studying with Unit 3, Japanese for Everyone now. He is happy with the textbook. As mentioned in my Blog before, he is taking a 2 weeks’ Japanese course in Tokyo in a month’s time, so he is  excited about that plan too.

Another tutorial student (who is knowledgeable about goo/great Japanese restaurants in Sydney) is currently studying with Unit 6, Genki Book 1, very vigorously.

In the coming week, I plan to teach Japanese, traditional “bon-dance” with its cd (many well-known and beautiful songs for bon-dance are in it). In Japan, it’s bon-dance and its festivals season. Bon festivals in the summer are a big and positive part of Japanese community, public enjoyment of sharing, cultural and communal identity, peace etc throughout the land. (Recently I used the cd and taught the dance forms that I know to a few children somewhere else. They “loved” that. It was so positive-ness, relaxing, peacefulness and enjoyment creating to one another.)

As for the culture/society and news reported from Japan in the recent month/weeks, some  of the things I spoke about (NHK TV News, 13.7.15, on SBS TV) are:

Seven-Eleven, Japan began using fast cash register system for customers, who are from overseas, to buy products without paying the tax, “menzei”. The new speedy system at its register for transaction, the shop assistant just presses the key of “menzei” and face the bar code of the product to the little screen of the register. Then, “menzei” management is fixed for the customer’s purchase. It is so speedy and many foreign tourists are impressed with the convenience and efficiency.

By next February, the company intends to have that system at its 3000 stores in Japan. Likewise, other internationally operated Lawson, Inc. has the services for customers that if the customer, who does not speak Japanese, faces an i-phone to the screen given in the store, immediately the screen will have the translation from Japanese to other, required language and up to 11 languages will be covered for such translation. –  Fantastic!

 

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.8.15

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

jap

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 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, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

My Intermediate 2 has finished Unit 8, Genki Book 1 and began using Japanese for Busy People, Book 2. – The reason of the change of the textbook was that Genki Book 1 is based on the topics of a university student’s life in Japan, whereas Japanese for Busy People, Book 2 for a working person of non-Japanese origin who lives in Japan. In addition, the former book is slow (but with more exercises given for grammar teaching) with many explanatory paragraphs that are mostly in English. And the latter book has much more stimulating and practical concepts, names and words for adult learners who wish to visit or live in Japan. (However, when it comes to the dialogues in each Unit of the above books, Genki Book 1 is better than Japanese for Busy People. That is the former has more clear, beautiful pronunciations and ways of readings.                                                                      My above class (Intermediate 2) seems happy to use Japanese for Busy P. Book 2 and accepted for the course book from now onwards. So, that will continue. Kanji teaching will go together with teaching each Unit since the back of the book has the Kanji teaching Units.

Also, for the above class, I will continue using some units or pages Real Life Japanese (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, UNICOM, Tokyo, 2001 (+ cd) for teaching Travel Japanese.

I have 2 students for weekly tutorials (different tutorials). Both are Beginners 2 levels. We use Genki Book 1 and its script pages of the back of the book (currently learning Katakana script) apart from some other handouts for esp. script learning and vocab increase (and its application to make sentences). Both students are keen learners, knowledgeable at Japanese culture and highly motivated, so it is enjoyable to teach.

Regarding the news from Japan through the media, I spoke about the following in my lessons.

The Japanese Imperial Couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, visited Peleliu Island (part of the west Pacific island nation of Palau) (7 April, 15, NHK News, shown on SBS TV). The visit was the Emperor’s personal wish esp. after they/he could not do so when he wished a decade before at his visit to other island. The visit was to commemorate those who had lost their lives during WWI and they visited monuments dedicated to Japanese and American soldiers on Peleliu Island. The Royal visit was absolutely welcomed by all in the island and it was almost sensational. The head of the country and others said the Royal visit was excellent for the two nations’ new relationships. One fourth of the total population of the country is Japanese descendants. (similar report to that topic can be seen at the online artile of the Japan Times – http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/09/national/emperor-empress-visit-wwii-cenotaph-palau/#.VUg1qvmqpBc.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.5.15

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

 

 

jap

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,

4.1.15

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