Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun teaching moments

After class one day, a third grade junior high student came up to me and asked: "What does 'some of the beach' mean?" (Then added, "I heard it in Bio Hazard.") At first I was totally stumped. I asked the student to repeat the phrase.

This time I heard 'sun of the beach.' I was still confused. Why would there be a reference to beaches in Bio Hazard?! 

After getting the student to repeat the phrase and saying it to myself a couple of times, the light dawned. It wasn't "sun of the beach", but "son of a 'beach'!"

So I explained that 'beach' is what you call a female dog and how it's not a nice thing to say to a person. Of course I also cautioned that it's not something that should be said in school. I'm proud to say that--keeping with my goal of using less Japanese at school--I managed to do pretty much the entire explanation in English! And I'm even more proud of my student for getting what I was saying!

Another recent fun teaching moment was playing the Broken Telephone-Pictionary game (rules explained in this previous post) with the same third grade students during my jishu gakushu class. (An extra English class I teach pretty much on my own for 30min for the first and second grade students, and for 50min for the third.) 

The one that had us all practically in tears laughing at the end of class started off innocently enough with the phrase "cutting cake". The phrase remained mostly unchanged for the first two people (1 drawing, 1 sentence) but then the third student misread "cut" as "cat" and.... Well, you can see the results for yourself!

Check out some other gems from that activity here

I really love this particular class and will be sad (but also proud and happy) when they graduate next month. Ah, the bittersweet joys of teaching...


louise said...

Hi Mel,
I was looking for a bus schedule for the new JR Shichinohe-Towada and I ended up on your blog. I take this opportunity to invite you to an exhibit that will take place at the Towada art center next month..
(since we are from the Province of Quebec the site is in french and japanese) The artists and the curator will be there for the vernissage on March 19, you are welcome to publicize the event with your friends and pupils. Feel free to leave a comment at


P.S. Do you know if there is a bus going from and to Towada city and the new JR station?

Presea said...

Thanks for sharing the info!! I'm definitely interested in checking it out.

The JR Shichinohe-Towada to Towada bus schedule is available as a pdf file from the Towada Toutetsu website.

(The bus costs 630yen one way but service to the Art Center is less frequent than to, say, the Towada (Toutetsu) Station.)

(Sorry, the link is in the scrolling sidebar for "Enjoy Towada City" so it's a little hard to find...)