The Joys of Checking Japanese Student’s Schoolwork

The core fundamentals of teaching English at junior high schools in Japan are writing, reading and listening. You’ll see that “speaking” is strangely missing as it’s not assessed through established tests, stupidly. But I think that students tend to find that writing English is the most difficult aspect of learning the language. Anyway, one of my responsibilities is checking students written assignments, which is something that can sink you further into depression or provide comedy gold.

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The Challenges of Junior High 2nd Graders in Japan

It’s that time of the week again, the day where I have to teach the second graders. Now, when I started teaching at junior high schools (JHS) this year, I really had no idea what I was going to get into. At my previous placement I had only taught at elementary schools (ES), a completely different domain. Occasionally the local ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) would participated in International Days where we’d go to a JHS and do cultural activities based on our nationalities. I taught cricket once while my Irish mate showed off his hurling skills. But from these one-off events you’d get hints and glimpses at what students were like. Continue reading “The Challenges of Junior High 2nd Graders in Japan”

Things Japan Does Better than the UK: TRAINS

Back home, I’d rarely use the train unless travelling to London or the odd trip to Leeds. During my time at the University of Nottingham, I’d frequently take the “National Express” coach service to get home rather than deal with Northern Rail’s incompetence. Not only was it quicker, but more importantly it was cheaper. However after moving nearer to Hiroshima last year,returning my lease car and leaving ten minutes from the station, I’ve been travelling to work by train everyday. Continue reading “Things Japan Does Better than the UK: TRAINS”

New Years in Japan

Well the New Year’s celebrations are long over and most people are back to work and school. Looking back at my winter vacation, it seemed to disappear in a flash. I shouldn’t really be complaining seen as though most of Japan’s workforce can only dream about two weeks of holiday. But while I didn’t travel anywhere particularly special, it was a relaxing end to the year.

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Star Wars “Fever”

After watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Christmas Eve, it seems that my girlfriend and I have contracted “Star Wars Fever”. In fact, my late Christmas present from her was the Imperial Shuttle Tydirium (from Return of the Jedi) in Lego form. I sorely want the AT-AT set, but I don’t think I want to splash out the exorbitant amount of cash on eBay. Anyway, we ended up watching

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