the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another Great Language Mistake

So today in class I had a student named "Masaki". He's been my student
for almost a year now, and I should know his name.

But I was in a hurry today, and I called him "masaka" by mistake.
"Masaka" means "no kidding?". I realized my mistake almost immediately.
The whole class laughed. Luckily he was laughing too.

Do you see how difficult Japanese can be? ;)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend Highlights

My favorite junior high English teacher is still having tests at the
hospital for internal problems. Please pray for that.

Saw the Japanese dance style Yosakoi festival on the main street near my
apartment, and I ran into friends from the local college there.

Found out most of my friends from the local college are leaving Japan in

Went to karaoke with the staff of Kinokunia, again.

Went to karaoke with my college student friends - that's twice in one

Drove to the next major city with O-sensei to renew my foreign
registration. They said they'd "look into it" and I'm have to come back
and do more paperwork in about a week.

Drove around with O-sensei for fun (and it was great weather), then went
to the Jomon site and learned some things about ancient Japan.

I was on a down slide the last few weeks, but I'm feeling better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

not stupid, shy

This is a quote from one of my supervising teachers, "Japanese students
are not stupid. They are shy. You are talking down to them. You can
speak faster and use longer dialogs. They can do it, you just have to
push them to speak."

This teacher is a bit of an overachiever, and they were talking about
first year high school students. I'm not sure the average first year
high school student works as hard as this teacher, but it did make me
stop and think about how I am teaching my classes.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

rough time

The classes are getting a little heavy. I teach oral classes for every
year of high school and junior high. But half of those are electives
that I plan individually (I can't repeat the lesson after I plan it).
And my days are much fuller of classes than last year.

I know most of the other teachers here still work harder than I do. But
it's getting pretty stressful. If you pray, please remember to pray for
me, my students, the other teachers, and my high school in general. I'd
appreciate it. Thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good joke

So, this Friday the junior high English teacher went to the hospital. I
found out on Saturday and I sent him an email. The word for hospital in
Japanese is "Byouin", but I misspelled it as "Biyouin" (and the
autocomplete on my cell phone changed it to "美容院") which means hair

So the email read, "I hear you had to go to the hair salon. I'm sorry to
hear that, get well soon."

And this particular junior high teacher doesn't even have any hair! We
had a good laugh about it this morning. :)