Canada 2019 Day 7

Day 7

Hello everyone. The sun is shining and the sky is blue for our last full day of school here in Vancouver. Today’s program is to have an English class in the morning, and then go bowling in the afternoon.

Yesterday we were not in the classroom as we went to Vancouver to see the city. We first went to Stanley Park, which is a very large park on the ocean in Vancouver. We saw totem poles there, as well as the famous Lion’s Gate Bridge.

After that we went to Robson Street for lunch, and then Gastown, which is a historical district in Vancouver. It was a good chance to do some shopping and buy gifts for friends and family back home.

Tomorrow we will meet at the school in the morning and then take the bus out to the airport. Typhoon number 10 is coming to Japan about the same time as our airplane, so the homepage will be updated if any of the travel plans change.

All of us at the totem poles in Stanley Park.

Fries + gravy + cheese = Poutine! A Canadian classic.

Resting after shopping for souvenirs.

We only had 5 minutes for a bathroom break, so this small french fries was shared by 6 people!

During this trip the students have also been keeping journals that I can check each day. It is a chance for me to get a sense of how they are doing during their homestay hours, deal with any problems, and it also will be a way for them to remember their trip after it is finished.

Canada 2019, Day 4, 5, and 6

Days 4, 5, and 6

Hello everyone. It is Monday morning here in Vancouver, with cloudy skies. However, the forecast for today looks good, and it probably won’t rain during our day trip to the city center. Fingers crossed! On Saturday and Sunday our students spent time with their host families, so I am excited today to hear about what they did over the weekend. I hope they made some good memories and deeper connections to their hosts.

On Friday we had our usual English class in the morning. Then in the afternoon, students watched a Disney movie in English and prepared for some special guests. At three o’clock several Disney princesses came to our school to tell their stories to the students. The show was well done, and they singing voices were very nice.

I have put some pictures below, and will add some more tomorrow when we have finished our Vancouver tour. See you then!

Burning off some energy after lunch!

Our host families joined us when the princesses came.

Rapunzel had some attitude!

Talking with them after the show.

Mr. Allen tried his best princess pose.

Canada 2019, Day 3

Day 3,

Hello everyone. Yesterday at school there was a special guest. She is a member of Canada’s First Nations people, and taught us about different songs and dances used in their ceremonies. We also made a dream catcher.

One other interesting thing was the connection between Japan and Canada’s west coast. Japan has a long written history, while First Nation’s people have a long oral history of telling stories. These two histories often match. For example, there is a story from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation about a night that “the land shook”. The time of that story matches the time recorded in Japan of a tsunami with no earthquake in the Genroku era. Japanese people knew that tsunamis followed earthquakes, but this tsunami had no quake. In fact, the earthquake had happened in Canada, and sent a wave all the way to Japan.

Today we will have more special guests, and then the students will spend the weekend with their host families. The weather looks rainy, but hopefully it is not too bad. See you Monday!

A welcome song with a drum.

Making the dream catchers.

Starting with the small beads.

Finished! Nice colours.

After the dream catchers, we went outside to learn to sing and dance.

Some students were drummers, and some were dancers.

The dancers each had an animal. Here are some eagles.

And here are some bears.

We sang and danced a traditional welcome song.

Communication takes on many forms.

Even our class buddies joined the fun.

See you after the weekend!

Canada 2019, Day 2

Day 2,

Yesterday was our first full day at school. We all met at 9:00 and met our buddies that will be studying with us this week. After some games to “break the ice”, we learned about Canadian money. After lunch we went to America! Kind of… the Canada/USA border is close to our school, so we went to the “Peace Arch”. It celebrates peace between the two countries. After that we explored the town of White Rock. Students had a photo scavenger hunt.

This morning is a little cloudy and cool, so students are dressed warmly. Today they will learn about First Nations people and make a dreamcatcher.

Here are some pictures from yesterday…

Studying in the morning with our buddies.

At the Peace Arch with our buddies.

A message of friendship.

A failed jumping photo.

The Peace Arch park was partly made from donations by children from both Canada and America.

Young at heart.

Canada Trip Day 1

Day 1,

We have made it to Canada safe and sound. After getting our suitcases at the airport, we went downtown to a market called “Granville Island” to look around and get a snack. After that, we took a bus to “William of Orange Christian School”, which is where we will have our lessons everyday. As we got closer, our students got more nervous because they were about to meet their host families! At the school we went to the gym, met our host families, and said goodbye for the evening.

This morning everyone arrived at the school on time and ready for the day. Today’s plan is to have an English lesson in the morning, and then go to the “Peace Arch” border crossing to have a picnic in the afternoon. After the picnic lunch we will look around the small town of White Rock, and then come back to the school at 4pm.

Here are some pictures from the first day:

Getting ready to go at Kansai Airport.

Our 787 getting ready for take off.

Granville Island public market. Delicious gelato and local fruit!

Mango was the most popular flavour.

Arriving at the school, getting nervous to meet our host families. Look at that nice blue sky!

See you tomorrow!

Your English quiz for today. Here are the rules for the school garden.

“The Calm Before the Storm” – July 2019

Hello everyone,

Today is the last day of classes for term 1. It feels like yesterday that the new year started, and now it is time for summer! The next three days are parent-teacher interviews, so this afternoon the students have study time while teachers get ready.

In English we call this situation the “calm before the storm”. It means that there is a peaceful time before a very busy time. It is a chance to prepare, so don’t waste it!

Students, also, have a storm of summer homework. So for today and the next three days at home, hopefully they can use the calm time to get a lot of it done. Then they can enjoy their holiday fully. Do your best!

Volleyball Day 1 – July 2019

Hello everyone,

Today is the first day of the high school volleyball tournament. When I came to school this morning, there were already many students practicing outside! It was very early, but they had lots of energy. Good luck to everyone today!

There are three important words you should know for volleyball.

Number 1: Bump!

Number 2: Set!

Number 3: Spike!

Have fun!

Shin-ai Junior College Visit – July 2019

Hello everyone,

Yesterday the first grade junior high school students met at Shin-ai Junior College for a day of studying and activities. It was a big challenge for students, because they had to meet at the college. So, before the day each student had to submit homework where they researched their transportation and time. At 9am everyone was there with no problems. Good job!

Our program was:

  • A lesson from Mr. Ito about disasters.
  • A lesson about design from Mr. Izawa.
  • Lunch!
  • Touring the school.

Here are some pictures from the day.

Mr. Ito’s talk…

Mr. Izawa’s lesson…

Getting the clay…

The final result… they will be delivered to students after they dry and fired…

In the bridal salon…

Rain – July 2019

Hello everyone,

We are in the middle of tests and it is another rainy day. Actually, English has a lot of different ways to talk about rain. Here are a few of them:

It is drizzling outside.” This is for light rain. If you are not outside for a long time you might not even use an umbrella. You will be “damp” in this rain.

“I was caught in a downpour,” or “I was caught in a shower.” No, you are not taking a shower in your house, but this is a quick rain that catches people by surprise. You will be “wet” in this rain. You also sometimes say “It is raining on and off,” which means it will rain a little bit at a time all day.

“It’s really coming down out there,” or “It’s pouring.” This is for heavy rain. If you don’t have your umbrella you will be “soaked,” or completely wet.

What about “It is raining cats and dogs”? You sometimes see this in textbooks… but nobody says that in daily life these days. It is a good reminder that language is always changing, and what we study must change with it!

Good luck in your last two days,


Eiken Interviews – June 2019

Hello everyone,

Tests start this week, and on Sunday the Eiken interview test will take place. Most of you are probably taking the test at Wakayama University, but check your mail carefully for the place.

No matter if you are taking grade 3 eiken for the first time, or challenging the pre-1 level, some of the skills are the same.

  • Be confident. When you make your greeting, have good eye contact and a clear voice. The first image you make is the most important, and will help you with your attitude score.
  • Read loudly and clearly, with your back straight. You don’t have to read too quickly. Where there is a period or a comma, take a breath.
  • Look at the interviewer when they ask a question. It is easier to understand when you look at someone’s face, rather than looking at the card.
  • If you miss a question, don’t panic. Many people miss a question and still pass the test.

Don’t forget to practice before you go. The test questions have a pattern, so learn the pattern and you can focus on your ideas. If you need any help or advice, come talk to me!