Monday, April 21, 2014

Integrated English I for Physical Education Majors B4: Welcome!

Hello everyone, welcome to the University of Tsukuba!
Today I'm going to introduce you to this course. Please click the link to download the course outline.
This semester, we will read and discuss the biography (伝記) of a third-generation Japanese-Canadian (カナダ日系三世) ice hockey player called Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya (狩谷ポール哲彦). In Canada, ice hockey is just called hockey. Maybe you have never seen a hockey game. Let's watch a video showing some exciting moments in hockey.




Pretty exciting, eh? I love hockey! Let's watch another video. This video shows highlights from Paul Kariya's career.




You will learn a lot of new vocabulary in this class. We will study vocabulary using an online vocabulary learning tool called Quizlet. Please click the link to download a document called Getting Started with Quizlet. I have created a class for us on Quizlet. Please click the clink to join the class. Please click the link: IE-I PE (B4) VocabularyPlease study the flashcards for 5 minutes

You should use Quizlet to study vocabulary every day. If you have a smart phone you can download a Quizlet app too! You will also do self study using Super Eigo. Click the link to watch a video showing you how to use Super Eigo.

OK, finally, please leave a comment. Have you ever seen a hockey game? Are you interested in hockey? Do you know any famous Japanese-Canadian, or Japanese-American sports stars? What sport do you play? Click the link to learn how to post a comment.

See you after Golden Week!

Cross Cultural Awareness and English I 2014 Week 1: Welcome!


Hello everyone, welcome to the University of Tsukuba!

Today I'm going to introduce you to the course. Please click the link to download your Course Outline.

Well, as you saw from the course outline, we will be discussing love and marriage in various cultures this semester. Let's listen to a great song by Frank Sinatra called "Love and Marriage".

 As the song says, "Love and Marriage" go together like a horse and carriage. "Love" and "marriage", and "horse" and "carriage" are collocations. (コロケーション、語と語のつながり、語の配列、連語(法)、連語構成語) Can you think of any more collocations related to the topic of love and marriage? With your partner, please make a list.


Now, let's learn some vocabulary. We will be using an online vocabulary learning tool called Quizlet. Please click the link to download a document called Getting Started with Quizlet. I have created a class for us on Quizlet. Please click the clink to join the class. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English Vocabulary. Please study the flashcards for 5 minutes

Now let's share our opinions about love and marriage with the people sitting next to us. Would you like to get married some day? 

Our first reading is about a marriage tradition in Botswana. Please look at the map below. Where is Botswana? The titles of our first reading is Brides for Sale. What do you think you will learn from the reading? Finally, please leave a comment. Do you think that marriage must include love? See you next week!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Presentation 2 Autumn 2013 Last Class

Hello everyone,
Well, we've come to the end of this course. I hope you enjoyed it. I have enjoyed it very much. I'm very grateful to Clair Taylor and her students at Gifu Shotaku Gakuen University, and David Mearns, Brentson Ramsey and their students at Hisar Hazırlık High School in Istanbul Turkey for making this course very special indeed.
Today we are going to watch and listen to our final projects.
Thank you for being such wonderful students. I hope you will check your Voicethread presentations from time to time to see if anyone has left a comment for you, and I hope you will continue to use the internet for learning English, other languages and other things about the world.
本当にどうもありがとうございました!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013: Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Extra Review

Hello everyone,
Well we have come to the end of the semester. Today we are going to try an experiment (実験). We are are going to try to collaborate(協力する) on a review document using Google Docs. Please click the link:
The University of Tsukuba IE-2 The Sign of Four Review.
Each group will make review questions for one category on the test. After that we will answer the questions.
Also, let's study vocabulary using Quizlet. UPlease click the link: Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Vocabulary Flash Cards.
Good luck on the test!

Monday, January 20, 2014

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 14: Online Grocery Shopping and Final Test Review

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to talk about customer service and online grocery shopping. Japanese shops are famous for good customer service. In Japan people say, "お客様は神様です (okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu)", which means, "The customer is a god", right? In English we say. "The customer is always right!" Today we'll read an article about how customer service is changing in the United States. After that we'll read about online grocery shopping. I have never done any online grocery shopping, but I'm thinking of ordering some meat and cheese from The Meat Guy. It's difficult to find some meat in Tokyo, lamb for example. It's also difficult to find nice cheese. I love good cheese such as Cheddar. The Meat Guy is a company based in Nagoya that imports meat and cheese. Click the link above. Do you see any meat and cheese you are interested in trying? Would you ever order groceries online? 

Before we start, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2 Vocabulary.

Finally, the test is next week Monday the 27th of January at 12:15 sharp. You can download your study guide by clicking the link. 

Have fun studying and good luck next week!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013 Weeks 13 & 14: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century

Hello everyone, Happy New Year!
Today we are going to watch a modern retelling of The Sign of Four. This version of The Sign of Four is an episode in an animated television series called Sherlock Holmes in the Twenty Second Century. In this series, Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life 300 years after his death. The reborn Sherlock Holmes solves cases with his partner Watson, who is a robot. Before we watch the video, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Vocabulary.

OK, now let's watch the video and do the quiz. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century - The Sign of Four.

If you enjoyed that video, perhaps you'll enjoy this one too - Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century - The Hounds of the Baskervilles.

Here are the dates for the final test:
Monday 4th period - 27 January
Tuesday 3rd period - 28 January
Wednesday 1st & 2nd periods - 5 February

Finally, here is your study guide for the final test:
There will be 50 multiple choice questions on the test. There will be vocabulary questions, and questions about the setting, characters, plot, and dialogue.
Study hard!

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 13: Shopping!

Image by Caden Crawford
Hello everyone, Happy New Year! This is our first class of 2014. After today's class we have only two more classes. The final test will be held in the last class, which is on 27 January. I'll give you a study guide next class.
Today we are going to read an article about an interesting shopping mall. Can you think of any interesting shopping malls in Japan?  Before we read the article, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2 Vocabulary.



Ok, now let's read the article and answer the questions in our text book.
Next week we'll talk some more about issues related to shopping. Have a nice week. See ya!



Wednesday, January 01, 2014

OMG!! I've been tagged.

Image downloaded from Tea & Snippets
Happy holidays everyone!
I've been tagged, and I have been given a blog challenge, but what does that mean? Well to be "tagged" in a blog challenge is like being tagged in the school yard game called Tag. Tag is called 鬼ごっこ (Oni gokko) in Japan. I was tagged by a great teacher in Greece called Sophia Mavridi. Sophia challenged me to share 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions; then challenge 11 more bloggers by tagging them on my blog. 
So here is the task:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger- in this case it would be me…
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has asked you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
So here we go:
1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger
As I said above, Sophia Mavridi is a Greek teacher of English that I met at Wired in or Out: The 1st International ELT Symposium at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey in December 2012.  She teaches in Athens and she is in the process of completing a Master's degree at the University of Manchester with a focus on educational technology. Sophia is very kind and generous. She has shared recipes for delicious Greek food with me. I would love to work on a project with her in the future.
2. Eleven random facts about myself
  1. My full name is Michael Denley Francis Stout. If you include my confirmation name, my name is Michael Denley Francis Edward Stout. I'm named after all my fathers. Michael is my father's confirmation name and my paternal grandfather's middle name. Denley is my maternal grandfather's middle name. It was his mother's surname. Francis is the name of the priest who was the celebrant at my parents' wedding ceremony, and he was also the priest that baptised me. Edward is my godfather, and my sponsor at my confirmation. My name has often been an inconvenience. For example, when I got married in Japan, the staff at the city office where I went to register my marriage got confused because I have two middle names. No one has middle names in Japan, and they are under the impression that everyone else has only one middle name. Well, despite the fact that I had all the forms already filled out it took over an hour to get officially married. 
  2. It is very ironic that I became a teacher. I never wanted to go to school, and I never enjoyed school. It wasn't until graduate school that I enjoyed being a student. I look at this as a gift. I have had classes filled with students like I was, and I understand them.
  3. I attended 4 primary schools. From the age of 5 till the age of 11, I lived in a town near Toronto that was evolving from a rural area to a suburban area. Every time a new school was built I was transferred, but none of my mates were transferred, so I got used to moving and short-term friendships. This is probably why I've never been homesick living in Japan, but if we had Facebook in those days, i probably would still have a lot of those friends today.
  4. I used to be a night owl, but now I'm an early riser. I have no clue why I've changed.
  5. I have struggled with my weight most of my life. I was "husky" as a child, but I took up smoking as a teenager and suddenly I was slim, very slim. When I turned 30 I started to gain weight again. I couldn't lose it until I came to Japan with very little money. In the first 4 months I lived in Japan I lost about 15 kilos, because I had no money to buy food. Once I started earning more money I started gaining weight again, and after I quit smoking I gained even more weight.
  6. I like swimming. When I was in Grade 6 I belonged to the swim team at my school. I practiced every day after school. Despite this I didn't lose any weight. I was very slow. I was last in every race I participated in, but I still enjoyed it very much.
  7. I do not have a drivers' licence, and I never have. Based on the number of saplings I've run over on golf courses it's probably a good thing I don't drive cars.
  8. I am addicted to reading. I must read. If I don't have a book or internet I'll read adverts on the train or even the stuff written on a cereal box. When I first came to Japan, I learned the Japanese syllabary called katakana by reading adverts and signs while I was standing outside having a smoke.
  9. I have had some bad luck in my life, but I've also had a lot of good luck. For example, when I got hired by a language school in Japan, I was posted to a school in Ageo, a city north of Tokyo. That school had 10 teachers. Four of those teachers are still teachers today, three of us got Masters degrees in TESOL. A lot of what I learned about teaching I learned on the job at that language school and some of the best teachers I've ever met were teachers I met there. Most of the stories you'll hear about language schools in Japan will be negative, but my experience was very positive indeed. Guess I'm just lucky.
  10. While I was teaching at the language school I mentioned above, my trainer, Craig Stevens asked me if I wanted to go to a presentation offered by the local chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teachers (JALT). After that I joined JALT, enrolled in the Temple University M.Ed (TESOL) programme, became a secondary school teacher and eventually a university professor, and I served JALT in many capacities including Director of Public Relations.
  11. I received my first degree from the University of Windsor. The person who tagged Sophia, Doug Peterson, is an instructor at the University of Windsor. Doug Peterson and I follow each other on Twitter too. It sure is a small world, and it's getting smaller every day.

3. Sophia's questions and my answers
  • What was the conference you enjoyed the most in 2013?  I attended only two conferences in 2013, both overseas. I attended TOSCON13, which was a really good experience for me because it was the first chance I had ever had to present in my home town Toronto. I also met up with some friends from Japan. The other conference I went to was World CALL 2013 in Glasgow. At World CALL, I got to meet some of the great teachers who belong to my Personal Learning Network (PLN). So, it's a tie. They were both fantastic. I can't choose.
  • Facebook or Twitter? Why? I'm getting sick of both of them to be honest. Too many reasons to list.
  • Do you know any nickname(s) your students have given you? I'm sure they have some nicknames for me, and I'm sure I don't want to hear them. I've never liked any of the nicknames people have given me.
  • Do you prefer reading on screen or on paper? Depends. I love reading web pages and such online, but I also like reading books. I love the smell of a new book.
  • What’s the best blogpost you have ever written?  No clue. You tell me, I don't know. I don't write blog posts with that in mind.
  • Are you a morning or a night person? See above
  • Name 3-5 digital tools/apps that you use with your classes on a regular basis. I love Quizlet, Voicethread, and English Central.
  • What was the most unusual food you have ever eaten? What was it like? Wow, hard to choose. I've eaten a lot of unusual food. Perhaps the most unusual food I've ever eaten was Shirako (白子), which is called cod milt in English. It was OK, but I haven't gone out of my way to eat it again. I'll try anything once.
  • Have you ever lived in another country other than the one you live now? Where was it? Well I'm living in Japan now. The only other country I've lived in is my home country, Canada.
  • Imagine you won a scholarship to attend an ideal conference anywhere in the world. Where would that be? This is a difficult question to answer but I guess I'd have to say an IATEFL conference in London. That would be so so very good for me, or TESOL in Toronto, which is going to happen in 2015. I REALLY want to go to that conference!
  • What’s your biggest pet peeve? A pet peeve is a small thing that really annoys you. I can't think of anything small that annoys me. Big things annoy me, like dishonesty and hypocrisy.
4. My turn to tag in alphabetical order – hopefully you haven’t been tagged already 


5. My questions
  • Why did you become a teacher?
  • Do you do teacher research? Why, why not?
  • How important is music to you?
  • Where is your favourite place in the world?
  • Do you eat to live, or live to eat?
  • What's your favourite word (in any language, but if it isn't English, please transcribe the word in roman letters and tell us the meaning in English)
  • Can you share an "あそうか!" (Eureka) moment with us?
  • Can you give us an example of a time you learned something from a student?
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • Can you paddle a canoe?
  • What are your favourite novels?
...and that's all.
Happy New Year everyone!!!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CE-II Autumn 2013: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone:
Today we are going to learn about Christmas in various cultures. First, let's look at a Christmas video card I made in 2010.



In the past, there were Twelve Days of Christmas. This period was known as Christmastide, or Yuletide. The twelve days of Christmas started on Christmas day and ended on or before the feast of the Epiphany (the 6th of January). In some cultures, gifts were given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. This tradition is rarely practiced now, but a song about it is still sung, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Now let's watch another video. This is a Canadian version of the popular song. List the twelve gifts in the Canadian version. What kinds of gifts would you give in your own Japanese version?

That's all, have a safe and happy holiday. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013 Happy Christmas!

Hello everyone, It's Christmas Eve. Happy Christmas. Today we are going to finish reading the Sign of Four, and then we'll talk about Sherlock Holmes and Christmas. First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four Vocabulary.

OK, let's listen to a Sherlock Holmes story set during Christmas time. This story is called The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Let's listen to the story, then answer some questions about it.



Well then, how do you think the diamond got into the goose's stomach, and who do you think stole Lady Morcar's diamond? We'll find out...next time.

Finally, Sherlock Holmes is what we call an iconic character (偶像視される[に祭り上げられる]役). This means that he is such a well known and well loved character that he is like an idol, and he represents the "ideal detective". Therefore, Sherlock Holmes has appeared as a character in many stories, even science fiction. Sherlock Holmes has even appeared in the popular British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. In last year's Doctor Who Christmas Special, the Doctor disguised himself as Sherlock Holmes. You can see a clip from the programme below.  Enjoy, and have a safe and happy winter holiday!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013 Sherlock Holmes - the Sign of Four, Chapters 7 -10

Hello everyone, Today we are going to read chapters 7,8,9,10 of Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four. First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Vocabulary Flash Cards. Below is the last part of the animated version of Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four. By the way, the voice of Sherlock Holmes was played by Peter O'Toole, who passed away last Saturday. Watch the video and do the quiz. Enjoy!

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 11: First Flight of the Wright Flyer

First flight of the Wright Flyer
Hello everyone,

Today we are going to read about the Wright Brothers. First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2.

The Wright brothers successfully flew a independently powered airplane in 1903. Flight technology has improved rapidly and soon space tourism will be possible.




Let's watch a TED talk by Burt Rutan and learn about the future of human flight. Click the link to watch the video.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013 Sherlock Holmes - the Sign of Four, Chapters 5 & 6

Hello everyone, Today we are going to review chapters 5 & 6. First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of four Vocabulary. Now let's watch part 3 of The Sign of Four.After you've watched the video, please answer the questions. Enjoy!

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 10: Electric cars

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to talk about cars. Our reading is about electric cars, and the video below is about hydrogen cars. First, let's learn some vocabulary. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2 Vocabulary.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013: Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Chapters 3 & 4 Review

Hello everyone, Today we are going to review chapters 3 and 4. First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four Vocabulary Flashcards. Now let's watch Part 2 of the animated version of Sherlock Homes: The Sign of Four. While you watch the video. Please answer the questions.

For homework, please read chapters 5 and 6 and answer the questions on pages 36.37,42 and 43. Enjoy!

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 9: The Fast Track

German ICE train
Hello everyone,
Today we are going to talk about high speed trains, also known as bullet trains. In Japan we call these trains 新幹線 shinkansen. Germany, France, China and some other countries also have high speed trains. Look at the picture on the left. In the picture on the left you can see a German Inner City Express (ICE) train. I took the picture when I was travelling in Germany.

Before we begin reading, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2 Vocabulary Flashcards.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Presentation 1 Autumn 2013 Week 8 Final Presentation Part 2

Hello everyone,
Today is the last class! Today we will edit our presentation scripts, make our slides and start to rehearse our final presentations. You will do your final presentations during the exam week from 16 December - 20 December. The day and time of your final presentations will be the same day and time of your class, so the Tuesday 5th period class will do their presentations on Tuesday 17 December during 5th period, and the Wednesday 3rd period class will do their presentations on Wednesday 18 December during 3rd period.
OK, let's get started preparing for the final presentations.
Enjoy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013: Introduction to Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to start a new detective story, Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle was born in Edinburg Scotland on 22 May 1859. He was a doctor and a writer. He is perhaps the most famous writer of detective fiction ever. He is even well known in Japan. The popular Japanese fictional Detective Conan  (名探偵コナン) was named after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

The Sign of Four is the second novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was written in 1890. The story is set in 1888. The plot is complex. It involves events that take place in India, the Andaman Islands, and England. 

Let's learn some new vocabulary. Please click the link: Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four Vocabulary Flashcards.


OK, now let's read chapters 1 and 2. For homework please read chapters 3 and 4. Also please answer the questions on pages 20,21,28 and 29.
Enjoy!

CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 8: Free Bike Programs


#1040 abandoned bicycles
Bixi Toronto May 2011 Hello everyone, Last week we talked about trash. Look at the picture on the left. These are abandoned bicycles. Often, abandoned bicycles become trash in Japan. Many of the bicycles are in good shape, and they are still ridable. What a waste? In other cities, abandoned bicycles are reused. Throwing away perfectly good bicycles is a terrible waste and bad for the environment too, don't you think so? Free bike programmes are one example of how abandoned bicycles can be reused. Today we are going to read about a free bike programme in San Francisco.

Bixi, a bicycle sharing programme was developed in Montreal, Canada. Bixi has spread all over the world now. There is a Bixi system in my hometown, Toronto. If you visit Toronto you can get around the city on a Bixi bicycle. The cost is low. It's good exercise, and it's good for the environment.






Are there any environmentally friendly programmes in Japan to reuse abandoned bicycles? Do a Google search. Use these keywords for your search: abandoned, bicycles, Japan, programmes, reuse.
After that, post a comment here. Tell us about the programmes you found.
See ya!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Presentation 2 Autumn 2013 Week 7: Project 2

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to  finish working on our first project and start working on our second project.
First, let's do some speaking practice using English Central.
Now let's finish sharing our first Voicethread presentations with our Tsukubadai Presentation II Autumn 2013 Group, After that, please watch 3 of your classmates' presentations and post 3 comments on each. That's a total of 9 comments.



Next, let's share our presentations with a new group called Gifu and Tsukuba. My friend Clair Taylor has agreed to show your Voicethread presentations to her students at Gifu Shōtoku Gakuen University, and they will post some comments and questions for you too. So please check your Voicethread presentations from time to time to see if you have any new comments.

OK, here are the instructions for our next project:
Your second project is a group project. You should work in groups of four. You will present a text related to your major. I have prepared some texts for you. Here are the steps in the project:
1.     Read the texts
2.     Choose a text related to your major from the choices provided
3.     Listen to the recording and mark the stressed words, the pauses and the full stops. Look at the example below.

4.     Show your paper to the members of your group. Your papers should be the same.
5.     Make slides for the text – 2 slides for each group member
6.     Upload your Powerpoint to Voicethread.
7.     Share your presentation with your group members:

  • Go to your My Voice Page
  • Click on the gear menu icon in the corner of your Voicethread presentation thumb nail
  • Click Share
  • Selection our Tsukuba Dai Group
  • Scroll down to find the members of your group
  • Click the pencil icon to make it turn gold.

  
 8.  Record your presentations
Please finish your presentations by next class.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Presentation 1 Autumn 2013 Week 7: Final Presentation Part 1

Hello everyone,
Some of the greatest inventions ever were invented by Japanese, instant ramen for example. For final presentation, you will invent something, and present it. Today we are going to write the script. Please click the link: Final Presentation worksheet.

Please write your presentation scripts and deposit them in my mailbox outside the 4th floor lecturers' room by Monday 25th November.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Integrated English 2 Autumn 2013: Chapter 6: The story ends and we discover whodunit!

Hello everyone.
Well, we have come to the end of our story. Today we will review the final chapter, and then do the quiz.

First, let's review some vocabulary. Please click the link: Death on U Street Chapter 6 Vocabulary.



Next week we are going to start a new story. Our next story is Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four. Let's watch a cartoon version of  The Sign of Four. Please click the link: The Sign of Four Part 1. Please study the Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four Vocabulary List.

See you next week!


CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 7: Down in the dumps

Hello everyone, Last week we talked about endangered and extinct species. Let''s review. Please click the link: CE-II Autumn 2013 Week 6.

Today we are going to read about the largest garbage dump in the Middle East. You can see a picture of Hiriya below. Hiriya is in Israel.

Downloaded from wikipedia
First let's study some vocabulary. Please click this link: Cross Cultural Awareness and English 2.

There is a park in Toronto that was once a garbage dump. It's called Centennial Park. You can see a picture of the ski hill in Centennial Park below. 


Centennial Park Ski Hill
Uploaded to Flickr by Boblink

So, how do Japanese deal with garbage? According to the New York Times, over 80% of garbage in Japan is incinerated. Click here to see an interesting story about garbage in Japan by the New York Times: Trash in Japan - 44 types of garbage
What do you think of the way Japan deals with garbage? What do you think about sorting garbage? Please leave a comment below.