Saturday, 31 October 2009

Cambridge YLE Exams at Luna International

While Jim's away.... there's lots of hard work to be done!

Congratulations to all the students who took part in today's exams. I'm sure you all did very well - at least, it looked that way from all the studious scribbling that was going on.

Yuki, our Centre Manager, did a sterling job of all the official stuff, while Shizue and I took care of the Speaking Exams.

As I'm sure our students will agree, Learning and Exams are FUN! Especially at Luna!

Until next time,

Trip to Bangladesh

Dear Jim,
I’m trying to bolg from Singapore. Today is last day of my business trip to Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore. I stayed 4 days in Bangladesh, but I have no time to visit the city, because there were so many meetings with our partners, and the meeting never started on time due to the traffic jam. Please find the picture of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. This is a main street, and it’s NOT the vehicle-free area.
Fortunately, I’ll take a half day-off at here, Singapore until my departure to Nagoya. My departure time is 1:00am on this Sunday morning. I’ll leave my hotel from now, and visit city by subway.

Have a nice weekend and see you next Monday.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Trip to San Fransisco

I went to San Fransisco 28 Sept to 3 Oct. San Fransisco city has a lot of steep streets. So we use cable car. cable car was very fun. We went Golden Gate Bridge by site-seeing ferry and then we ate a lot of beautiful meal. It was very cold.

That was nice trip for me!!


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Nightmare before Christmas

Hello Tana!

I read nightmare before Christmas.

This is a story that Jack of skeleton tries to do Halloweentown to the Christmastown.
And, Jack wanted to become Santa Claus.
But, will it be impossible?

The face of the child who saw Santa Claus of skeleton is very white.
Did the witch ask Jack ,"A boy inside the box of Christmas present?"
Jack said "No!! A toy!!"
Did the vampire ask him "Can we use blood for the red decorations?"
Jack said " No!! no blood!! "
Halloweentown's people didn't understand Christmas.
That is funny.
So, the end is happy feelings .

Everyone loves Santa Claus.
And, he loves everyone.
He is very wonderful!

I knew Halloween with "ET" .
Now, it is known well also in Japan .
Halloween is coming soon!

Happy Halloween Tana!

See you later.

Your student,

Kazuko Maruyama

Friday, 23 October 2009

Interview - vocabulary/learning guru

I came across an interesting interview with Paul Nation, who I have seen present a couple of times now at various EFL events and hold in high regard. I was talking about him in class with my students the other day, as his comments on learning vocabulary were very relevant.

The interviewer an OE for Luna, who I had the privilege of training earlier this year but missed the chance to say hello properly last Sunday in Nagoya. Well done Darren, good interview!

Facebook | Luna International

Facebook | Luna International

Yes, Luna has a group on Facebook. Please come and have a look, join the group? Informal and friendly place for teachers, students, parents and friends to keep up to date with our local activities and events. Please post pictures to the wall, leave your messages and everything else you like to do on Facebook.



Q37. Compare the two teachers, Miss Honey and Miss Trunchpole.

Miss Honey likes children, so she is always really nice and kind to kids.
She is pretty and she is young. She likes Matilda and really thanks Matilda for saving her life from Miss Trunchpole. (Miss Trunchpole took all Miss Honey's money). Miss Honey doesn't throw people or scream either, and she doesn' shout.

Miss Trunchpole throws people by the ears and hair, and because she does that, she is not nice. She always shouts to kids, and screams too. She doesn`t like children and she is disgustingly ugly. Miss Trunchpole is mean and she hates Matilda, and she takes all the money from Miss Honey.

I like Miss Honey because she's nice. I like me school teacher, but she sometimes screams because she's mad of people who don't do homework, like a boy in my class. She likes to draw flowers - she's really good at it; she let's us draw too, looking at a real flower.

This is my plan about Miss Honey and Miss Trunchpole. "Nothing" means Miss Honey is not mean, and Miss Trunchpole is not nice.

Posted by Haruka (10)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New York - after reading

Choose a city in your country. Write a short guide for foreign tourists. What should they see and do?

You might already have read or heard about some famous view points in Matsumoto, e.g. The Matsumoto castle, Kamikochi.

I would prefer some other spots where are my favorite and amazing places.

1. There are many beautiful small springs and wells around city center. You can visit and taste some clean rich mineralized springwater within about 30-minute walk from city center. Off course it's free.

2. Have you ever seen watermelon field after summer? I was amazed that there were lots of various size of watermelons on a field, just watermelons on the ground!

3. I live in an apartment near Matsumoto station. Every resident in our apartment operates parking lot machine. It might be unusual thing in your country.

See and take pictures how a car is going to apear from underground, if you want, it's OK!

4. If you rend a car, you should go to a gas station, not a self-servise st. You can experience many free services while you are waiting for refueling it up. In Japan, one or two staffs will clean up all windows and garbage of your car.. And if you have more time, they will check oil level, wheels pressure, etc. I think it's good for safety driving..


Adventure to Boston

~WFNS (The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies)~

“Seeing is believing.”
I think this word was for this time.

I joined to the WFNS in Boston, where I stayed from 29th August to 5th September. This was my first contact with USA, surely Boston.

From the very beginning, I had a lot of troubles, which were airline delay,
room reservation, registration fee, and so on. But now that I think about it, they all were treasures of my experiences.
Really, Boston is a very big, beautiful and long-established city.

On 1st and 2nd day, first of all, I wanted to know about Boston. I visited several places, especially Trinity Church was very nice and impressive.
I couldn’t enter it but I found that the atmosphere was solemn at first glance.
Through these two days, I could acquire that Boston was really big again.

From 3rd to 5th days, I attended the WFNS sessions.I listened to many respectable sessions, and it made me realize that
Japanese neurosurgeons were so great and the presentations by Professor Hongo were wonderful. His presentations had contents about clipping of aneurysm and Robotics.
They were so not only clear-cut but also visible and intelligent that I wanted to make a presentation like them some day. I was very proud of a member of our team Shinshu University in Japan.

Of course, the sessions were very wonderful, but many encounters were also the same. I met many professors and residents. The meeting with them stimulated my motivation.

Also every night, lavish ceremonies were put on, which were at the Symphony Hall, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Marriott Hotel, etc.


Monday, 19 October 2009

Happy graded readers

I was glad to be able to put a couple of ideas from yesterday into effect immediately in my classroom today! New classes and a new graded readers gave us all the chance to talk about the books we were going to read - predicting the genres, storylines etc. Some group work so we could all see what the titles are for the next 20 weeks (each class will read one title a month), and pair work describing what the plot might be. Every time we changed partners, we had less time to get our message over - led to much speedier descriptions and less concern about making mistakes. Lovely!

I also showed them that, given the books are at a level they can manage, they ought to be able to read them relatively quickly. Of course, they didn't believe me. Work it out for yourself. Say you have 7,000 words in a book, and you know most of them, even a slowish reader should be able to read at least 250 words per minute. So...really, that book you could read in your lunch hour, right?!

Of course, it doesn't work out that way, but I hope with a bit more carrot and less stick this time (I am not insisting students turn in written work to show they have comprehended the story - that is for self-study. Don't do it = missing a great opportunity to improve your reading skills. The students' reading skills - not mine!) I am looking forward to seeing a fresh crop of reactions to these readers in three/four weeks here.

Subscribe to make sure you don't miss anything - even better, "follow" this blog by clicking on the link in the right hand margin! Must dash - have a book to read :)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Not enough time to study

Hi!Jim. This is Kanako.
Thank you very mach for your nice lesson.
I was very interested but I can't continue.
Because of hard my work.
I want to concentrate on work in the latter six months of the term
though I want to study English.
Jim is very powerful teacher for me.
Please teach the student happy English a lot. ^ ^
Best wishes, Kanako

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Classic British Literature

Ayako has just finished reading Emma by Jane Austen. Her teacher interviewed her about the story:

Who's the main character?
The main character is Emma Woodhouse. She's beautiful, clever and rich, and she lives very comfortably.

What kind of story is it?
It's a love story.

Where is the story set?
In England.

What did you like about the story?
It had a happy ending.

What did you not like about the story?
Everyone's feelings are not mutually understood.

Would you recommend this book?
Well, I think that reading this book becomes a study of love.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Exciting new tool!

Good news for busy readers - you can now listen to this blog!

Click on the "Listen now" button at the top of any posting - yes, it`s that easy.

Why not subscribe - then you can find updates automatically? Listen while you do the housework, drive your car, sit on the train or eat in a restaurant. Go to the ODIOGO icon on the right side margin. Click!

Another cool way you can improve your English with the masters of simple technology for learners at Luna!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Postcard (homework)

Dear Tana
Hope you’re OK. We’re having a nice holiday here. We arrived three days ago, and we’re staying in a cheap hotel in a coastal town.
Yesterday we went to see the castle like in a picture book. It is very pretty, I’m like a princess.
At the moment we’re sitting in a café by the sea. It’s very beautiful scene.
But the food tastes bad. There are a lot of Japanese restaurants, so we don’t have a trouble about meal.
We usually go for a walk on the beach, because the sunset is very beautiful.
We want to see you this sunset.
See you on Monday.
From TOMOKO xxx

Monday, 12 October 2009

Holiday Postcard (homework)

Dear Tana

Hope you're OK. We have a holiday here!
We arrived yesterday in Aomori.
We saw “Nebuta Matsuri” last night.
“Nebuta Matsuri” is famous festival in Japan.
You can see it in picture. We had a good time.
I came here with my husband together. But this is'nt a honeymoon!
See you next Monday.
from Mutsumi

Holiday postcard (homework)

Dear Tana!

Hope you're OK.
I arrived in Athens in Greece last night and I am staying here for four days.
So I am staying at the hotel where I can see the ruins of the Acropolis.

Today I came to the island by one day cruising, that How beautiful the sea is!
In Athens, the whole town is historic spots.
Here is also delicious seafood and there are many kinds of yogurts.
Tonight I will eat Greek foods in a Greek restaurant TAVERNA !

When I get back from the trip, let's meet.
OK then, good bye

Your student Kazuko Maruyama.

The Big Picture

The picture that Takahanada Kumiko and Shioiri is kind of a key part of this book.

My favorite part is a key in the recipe for arresting Shioiri.

I think it was terrible he come close to being killed by only one picture.

Moreover, I like that the ending is very happy.

Kohei Maruta

Postcard (homework)

Dear Tana

Hello !!

I had very tired trip. I arrived two weeks ago and I stayed in small Hotel.

I went to volunteer house yesterday.

At the moment. I am going to supermarket. I bought food an

d souvenir.

My favonrite area is Victoria Memorial a silent area.

It’s besides very noisy.

I usually rest in the evening in the hotel room and then made dinner. It’s noodle….

I want to go home.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Thank you Tana

Jim was unable to teach one of his favourite classes this afternoon, so the boys joined their old classmates for a larger than usual lesson with Tana. I am told they had a lot of fun!

Hard to believe? Not at all!
Thank you Tana

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Puzzles and trains

We just can't help ourselves at the moment, having so much fun with numbers and colours - and animals and fruit and so much more. We are starting to 'organise' things into sets, and remember where things are. Puzzles and matching activities are a lot of fun, discovering connections as we go.

We were also very busy this morning figuring out how to put the train set together. It was a bigger job than we expected, and it took all hands to work it out! It is no ordinary set either - there are whistles and crossing noises, and even flashing lights on the bridge.

Bad news is that our favourite video got eaten by the machine. It will be a while before we can replace it, but the girls already know and can sing the 'Green, green grass' song. No one likes trolls very much, so we don't sing that song! A new one we learned this week instead was the Grand Old Duke of York, along with marching up and down!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Well done Yuko

Congratulations Yuko, on passing KET at the first attempt. Although Yuko has not been with us for long, she is very motivated and managing to pass this exam so soon has given her a lot of confidence to 'gambarre' and shows her that she is doing the right kind of studying. Hard work does pay off!

We are looking forward to more of our students 'be brave' and show us what they can do in October (YLE) and November (KET & PET)....and looking forward to seeing more successful and pleased looking students getting their certificates.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Pre-school hijinks

Our littlest learners are having a great time with Naomi and Jim, and are constantly coming up with golden chunks of new language. The beauty is that they are learning entirely in context and using words and phrases completely naturally - surprising even us with the speed they are taking things in and reproducing them. We have noticed there is a lag between them being exposed to certain words or expressions and them reproducing. Seems a good sleep or two is necessary for the rough input to be reorganised & processed - Jim is sure dreaming is an important part of this mental magic trick.

Two weeks ago the girls could not 'do' a large ABC floor puzzle and lost interest very quickly. This week a completely different story, as they worked together and at pace to put all eight feet of it together! Wonderful stuff and so pleasing to see the beginnings of teamwork as well.

Thomas is a favourite, and matching the flashcards & telling us the names of the many engines (again and again, because we can't remember!). Organising things is a key stage of learning, and without being asked a couple of different 'systems' soon took shape & needed negotiating to a conclusion. What was agree was that the window sill was the best place to put them all!

Another task we were delighted to see take shape was making sets - in this case felt shapes with velcro on the back. All the same colour but needing 'moving' and putting back. langauge of counting and colours, as well as prepositions and asking for clarification all come into play. That rising intonation to make a question - starts right here!

We have not been neglecting our songs either; we have heard that the songs from the Three Billy Goats video we've watched a couple of times are being sampled at home. "There's grass, green grass, all along the river" all in one go! So we went for a nice little walk along our own river looking for trolls under the bridge. None there, but we did enjoy finding some big insects which could jump a long way, beautiful butterflies and flowers of every colour we could name. (Bad news = the machine ate the video on Friday. Oh no!)

Our pre-schoolers are learning so fast it staggers us!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Mystery

My name's Misaki and I'm a high school student. I've been reading The Blue Diamond. This story was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As you know, he wrote a series of Sherlock Holmes stories. This story is one of them.

Two days after Christmas, Holmes received some lost articles. They were a hat and a goose. In the bird there was a blue diamond! Whose was it? Holmes looked for the owner of them.

I like this story because I did not know what was going to happen. It's very fun. I recommend it.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Letter to a friend

Dear Sayaka,

This is just a quick message, because I'm really busy.
We're all getting ready for XANXUS's sixteenth birthday.
There's a small party today afternoon in the Squalo's room,
with about 8 friends.
So this afternoon we're cleaning and tidying up. Lussuria is
cooking in the kitchen and Bel is helping him. Levi is putting
up decorations in the room.