Classroom Japanese: Tenkousei

転校生 (てんこうせい/tenkousei) Transfer student who is transferring out.

転入生 (てんにゅうせい/tennyusei) Transfer student who is transferring in. 

Summer happened and now there’s at least two new kids in every grade, it feels like. It’s cheaper to move in summer. So, it’s not just you. That unfamiliar kid you spotted last month really was new.

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Hi! Friends 2: Lesson 4: Turn right. (ABC)

This lesson is a pretty focused one. I only take three weeks to complete it. The breakdown for those three weeks is very direct. I devote one class period to the places vocabulary. I devote the next class period to directions. And, in the last of the set puts those two things together. Unfortunately, the text book is pretty limiting for this Lesson. The only content they provide is the same map, done two ways. But, you can fudge the boundaries a bit.

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Top 5 Biggest Red Flags in the English Dispatch/ALT Teaching Industry (My own personal shit list!)

Let’s start things out on the right foot: Your employer is not your friend. They are not looking out for you. They do not have your best interests at heart. There. Now we can begin.

I have worked for companies that do all of these things. Some of the pitfalls can be avoided, and I have avoided them. Some of them can’t. If you’re in Japan teaching just a sort of way to see the world and find yourself in your 20’s, then maybe you don’t mind being taken advantage of. If you’re trying to live a life, these red flags become really disruptive. It’s pretty much impossible to find a job in Japan that doesn’t do at least one of these things. The goal, though, is to opt out of as many as you can. Don’t go blindly into the con and get taken for a ride.

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Classroom Japanese: Myouji

名字 (みょうじ/myouji) Family name. Surname. Last name. 

下の名前 (したのなまえ/shitanonamae) First name. Given name. The bottom name when a name is written Japanese style top to bottom with surname on top and given name on bottom. 

サイン (さいん/sain) Sign or signature. 

フルネーム (ふるねえむ/furuneemu) Full name. 

In the Hi! Friends textbook series there is no writing. No spelling. No grammar. No tests. But, they do paradoxically require you to write your name or your friends’ names in various activities and to complete several textbook suggested projects. Every single time I tell a kid to write their name on something, someone has to get super pedantic about it. They ask if they have to write their full name, if they should just write their given name, or should they have their last name in there. It really doesn’t matter 99% of the time, kids. Usually this question becomes a disruptive issue when a class has a weirdo homeroom teacher that insists they switch it up for English class. Hey, kids. In America they do this weird thing where they call their friends by their given names. Odd right? Stop calling your peers by your surnames and ONLY USE GIVEN NAMES FOR THE NEXT HOUR. Nevermind that you’ve been chastised for using given names and skipping suffixes for years now. Do the exact opposite or I WILL END YOU. Oh, here’s the English teacher. Let’s begin. Thanks.

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Hi! Friends 1: Lesson 5: What do you like? (ABCD)

This lesson continues the Yes/No Question grammar pattern from the previous lesson to its logical next step: Open ended questions. It does so by bringing colors and shapes together and applying those to clothing choices. The old Eigo Note series went all out with complete outfits. This version sticks to just t-shirt designs. And, it ends on a general interview activity that combines the Lesson 4 vocabulary with the open ended question grammar. Lesson 4 and 5 together are some of the strongest in the entire Hi! Friends textbook series. As such, my lesson plans for them center highly around the textbook activities, with one large scale project I made myself.

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“Smart School” School Supply Catalogs: A peek into where all that sports equipment and all those craft supplies come from.

You remember those toys they had in PE class? Those bouncy balls we used for dodgeball were so unique. Nobody had those at their house. Same with the little scooters, the parachute, the rope. Mega packs of construction paper. Rolls of poster paper. Big bottles of stinky paint. Here’s the Japanese equivalent.

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