Conference Season Begins

As we gear up for the main season of conferences here in Japan, I decided to have a think about what I’d ideally like to get from the conference fairy: New collaborators – I’ve been looking for and continue to look for other teacher/researchers who share a passion for exchanging ideas, working together on classroom…

Reflecting on a Sunday morning

This week I re-introduced a great YouTube video series called Children: Full of Life It is an award-winning, five-part series documenting the philosophy of a Japanese elementary school teacher and stories from the lives of his students. It is realistic, heartwarming, challenging, sad, and inspiring. I’ve shown it to about 10 different classes now and…

Enneagram for (high-level) students

The mother of all personality tests, the Enneagram has taught me more about myself that I ever learned anywhere else. There is a great FREE test here I did a bit of a cut and paste here to show students their overall personality and also their three levels of healthy, average and unhealthy. This was…

The second Sunday of the rest of my life 1.2

I’ve made two new resolutions seeing as my January plans have all drifted away: 1. I’m not going to join a sports club. I have confidence on this one as I’ve never yet joined a sports club. 2. I’m going to blog every Sunday for a year. Now this one is gonna take some sweat…

Fluency in EFL

According to the Collins English online dictionary, fluency is defined as: fluent (adj) 1. able to speak or write with ease, 2. spoken or written with ease, In all my online searches, fluency always turns up in relation to speaking or writing output, never as listening or reading input. However, here in Japan, it is widely…

A public challenge to me and you

Are there any other bloggers out there who would like to blog more regularly? Needing a little more discipline in your life? Trying to get into the routine of blogging as a way to reflect AND build a readership? Well, I am… I’m gonna take my inspiration from a friend who seems to have the…

Nerves and excitement

I’m off to my first meeting at my new job. I’ll be starting a 3-year full-time contract at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, teaching in the International Studies department from April 2010. This is a big change to say the least. I had grown pretty comfortable in my high school job over the past…

Fluency in EFL: Part 2

I’ve chosen to set the evening aside to return some of my own ideas to Matt, Marcos, Theron, Bernadette and Phil. Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful and helpful questions and opinions. I’m by no means fluent in this fluency discussion at this point, but I don’t mind jumping in and offering what…