Weekly Logs Dec.23-29, 2019


I taught the small class in the morning. Although still one class remained on Wednesday yet, I made it the last class to use that boring textbook. After the class I went to the teachers’ room to make photocopies for the last class of my small class. After the lunch, I evaluated compositions in whole of the afternoon. I couldn’t do it much, because I was tired and went to bed often.



I wanted to teach Japanese honorifics in the last class of the small class in the following day. So I prepared for some PPT slides in the morning. In the afternoon I made another PPT that was for composition class. I wanted the last composition class to be a feedback for homework and summary of the semester.



I continued to make PPT for composition class. From 10 to 11:30 was the last of the small class. I checked audio data in the afternoon because the final exam would be on the following day. Actually I found many mistakes on mp3 files. Fortunately I could correct them one day before. I could finish correction onto Mp3 files by 4p.m. After that I just continued to work for composition class.



I had done PPT making in the morning. In the afternoon was the final examination for listening class of the first grade students. Since the test used audiovisual rooms, it was done not in the final exam week but in the last week which was one week earlier. Two classes were tested simultaneously. There were some minor problems during the test, but the test was done almost successfully. I went to another building after the test to teach the Thursday composition class. I asked students if they got another class this week. They said no. So my class was the only class in the last week of the semester. They said that they had to come to class, but teachers released them soon after checking their attendance. I think that those seasoned teachers were doing 18 over 17 times valuable class each time. As a new foreign language teacher in the first year, I am not doing so well.



I started grading the final exam of listening class in the morning. In the early afternoon, I corrected some of slides for the Friday composition class. I always correct PPT slides based on the results of Thursday class. So it is safety say I did the better teachings for Friday class than for Thursday composition class. Anyway I asked the same question in the composition class in the early evening if they had any classes this week. The answer was the same that there was no class but mine. They said they even did not have to come to class. I told them that I was happy to be with you students in the classroom, so let me do my class.

In the class I made the students write the last composition in this semester. It is a thing that is often done in a Japanese class. Students listen to the first half of the old tale “Kasajizou” and then write the second half of the story without knowing it. Actually I tired the same thing in Thursday class several weeks ago. But at that time the students said they all knew the story. I gave up making them write the second half of the Kasajizou. This time also it was expected that some students knew the story. I told Friday students not to tell the story to others if they knew it. It was just an old tale with happy-ending about New Year. It seems like most of students knew the story or could predicted the ending. I told them I wish them a happy new year at the end of the class. But some students didn’t hear what I was saying because they wanted to go dorm as soon.


Saturday and Sunday;

I graded answer sheets of the final exam that was 1st grades’ listening. I couldn’t do it well because I was too tired. It was of 57 students with 100 questions each. If I could concentrate on grading, I could have completed it in just one day. But it is not yet finished. I took two hours of nap in the afternoon. Two final exams are coming in next week.



今週のお昼ご飯 w52























Weekly Logs Dec.16-22, 2019

It was like sleeping all the time this week.


I taught the small class in the morning, went to the teacher’s room for printing quiz and handouts for that small class on Wednesday, and got back my residence at 11. I slept for a while. I went to the teacher’s restaurant at noon to have my lunch and bought peers and small citrus at fruits shop in the restaurant building. The small citrus was “Kinkan” in Japanese, although I don’t know how to pronounce it in this country. It has good flavor of citrus and is sweet. There are seeds inside but no need to peel off. I like to eat them. In the afternoon, I tried to make PPT for Wednesday listening class, but most of the time I was just sleeping on my bed. I could not continue to work even for one hour because I was so tired.



I was just making PPT all day long, but while doing so, I went to bed quite often to take a rest. I spent 8 hours on Monday and 12 hours on Tuesday to complete the PPT. It means 19 hours this week, but sleeping hours must be subtracted. So it was about 12 hours. After that, I prepared for the small class that was just after the listening class on the following day.



There were two classes in the morning. I taught Japanese honorifics in the second class. Although the class basically uses a designated textbook, articles in it are terribly boring and uninteresting. So I use other teaching materials once in five classes. Since it was almost the end of the semester, I wanted to teach what was so important in Japanese communication. It is Honorifics, which is often said to be too difficult to learn. Yes, I agree, but I think there are some ways to learn them. There are two types; one is raising a person of the topic, the other is lowering down a speaker him/herself. For both types, wording can be done by three ways; the first is verb conjugation, the second is adding prefixes, and the third is replacing some basic verbs with honorific verbs. The reason why I wanted to teach honorifics to my small class was that it would surely be helpful when my students meet Japanese clients, guests, or whoever in the future. And I don’t think it is good if a foreign language class is only for reading. This week I taught “raising a person” type honorifics. I will teach “lowering down him/herself” type next week.

I talked to the chief of Japanese department after the lunch. I asked many questions about how to supervise the final examinations.

Talking an hour, I got back my residence at 2, and went to bed. I fell asleep like straight-down (?). When I woke up, it was already getting dark.



Fatigue had accumulated. I had decided to have a kind of speech contest in this week’s composition class so that I could minimize my preparation for PPT and evaluation of homework. But for just in case the contest ends early in the class, I tried preparing PPT that could cover up 10 minutes or so. It was about a type of adverbs of Japanese, which requires a certain expression in the end of sentence. I wanted to finish this PPT making in the morning, but I was so tired and had headache. I didn’t feel good when I tried moving the cursor and clicking something on computer screen by mouse. It was feeling like my nerve breaks down. Making just a few slides took more than two hours.

I taught two classes in the afternoon. Listening class went well on time. Composition class was so-so. 12 pairs made their speeches. One pair talked about Sakura (cherry flowers) in Japan. I commented that I had become 50 already and every April I saw Sakura flowers, I thought whether or not I could see Sakura flowers in next year. If I could survive one year I would be able to see it, if not, unable to see that beautiful flowers in spring. A Japanese thought like that. Anyway, almost no time was left for explanation of adverbs after the speech contest. I didn’t do that and let the students go dorm five minutes earlier to the end. After the class I went back my residence and prepared for the small class until cooking for supper.



I taught in the small class in the morning and another composition class in the early evening. I forgot what I did between the two classes. Probably I had been on my bed. I was too tired to work. I could not use PPT for adverb things on Thursday compositions class. On the other hand, I could make a lecture about it in Fridays composition class because there were still 15 minutes when speeches ended. Students seemed to be tired and wanting to go dorm soon, but I was sure that what I was showing was very much helpful for them. I had a dinner with another native Japanese teacher. Two bottles of beer were not bad, but I ate too much.



I ate too much on Friday night. So I didn’t feel hungry. I didn’t eat a breakfast. It was like my stomach was also tired as bad as my brain. I graded quizzes of the small class and evaluated summary composition that were last week’s homework assignment of two composition classes. I took nap many hours but could not get rid of fatigue. I didn’t go outside all day.



I continued evaluation of compositions. But I slept a lot in day time. I went to the university restaurant for lunch and to a grocery store to buy vegetables for the week. I forgot to buy tomato. Price has gone up a lot for the vegetables because of the season. I could not finish the evaluation for two classes. But I was not in a hurry. Since I no longer have to prepare for the listening class, I had more time to spend for my small class and composition classes. Anyway what I found on compositions were a ton of errors that I had already explained many times to students. Good students learn and do not repeat the same errors. But bad students don’t learn and repeat the same errors again and again. It seems like there are barriers around their recognition. I told them to use post-position”-o” with a transitive verb. But no matter how many times I did say the same thing, this is not recognized by some students. I realized that repetition doesn’t work at all. What I am saying is just bouncing back by the strong barriers. Perhaps that strong barrier is useful to protect their self establishments in one way, but in other way it hinders their learning. I think I need to understand why this happens and to think of a way to make a “hole on the barrier” so that what I am saying can reach to their recognition.



















Weekly Logs Dec.9-15, 2019


At the beginning of the small class in the morning, I asked them if they had already checked the class schedule of the second semester. Some said yes but they also said that they did not find my name there. I told them that I would not teach for them in 2nd semester. As a native Japanese teacher, I am expected to teach students of Japanese major. So I said them that it was very rare for a Japanese teacher like me to teach students who were not Japanese major. After the class I went to the teachers’ room and corrected students’ drafts for the monthly newsletter. Since I was waiting for other teachers who had their lunch, I missed my lunch in the teachers’ restaurant. I was making PPT for listening class in the afternoon by 7:30p.m. I evaluated some compositions in the night.



Once I ate my breakfast, I started corrections for drafts of monthly newsletter. I sent OK for the final draft to one of five students. And then I continued to work for PPT of the listening class. It was ended by 6:30p.m. It took 12 hours in total this week to complete PPT slides for 90 minutes class. As soon as I finished it, I started another PPT that was for composition class. I stopped working at 8 p.m.



I taught two classes in the morning hours. Two hours in the afternoon were spent for newsletter thing. I sent OK to two students for their final drafts. I continued to work to make PPT for composition class on Thursday and Friday. At 9 p.m. I stopped working without finishing it.



Since the deadline was coming on Friday for the newsletter, I got up at 5:30 a.m. and sent corrections to two students in the morning. I needed to complete PPT in the morning hours, so I worked on it from 8 to noon. I taught in the listening class for the 1st grade in the early afternoon and then in the composition class in the early evening. I regretted that I made students write short essays during the composition class. Writing takes time. So I usually make students write their compositions as homework. But this time I wanted to cover up my ill-preparedness by writing activity during class. It must have been boring but difficult task for the students to write an essay by analyzing a graph (bar charts). After the classes I got back my residence and tried reading and correcting as many as possible by 9 p.m. because I hadn’t finished evaluation of Friday class’s compositions that were homework assignment of two weeks ago.



In the daytime I just evaluated compositions. I could finish by the class in the early evening.


Saturday and Sunday:

Of course I tried working, but I have been so exhausted by hard work. I have not taken any single holiday since the semester started. I wanted to evaluate 40 some compositions, to prepare for my small class, and to start PPT making in this weekend. But I have spent most of the time on the bed. I have taken several times of nap, but my headache remains.

I found that several compositions were written in Desu-masu style. This made me very sad. I have told them so many times to write their compositions in Da-dearu style. They just continue to ignore what I said. How can I make a caution for them? I was taught in the training course for Japanese teaching that a teacher was responsible for anything, everything. So I cannot blame them. Students don’t understand the importance of writing style in Japanese. It was my responsibility to tell them.

It was just like go and back between bed and computer in this weekend.



















1836組は 12月20日(金)

1837組は 12月19日(木)


発表内容: 私の好きな日本のホップカルチャー


原稿: 必ずスピーチ原稿を作成すること。提出はしなくて良い。書き方も指定しない。1人あたり2分以内、ペアで4分間で発表できる文量にすること。

方法:ひとつのペアが4分間の口頭発表をする。パワーポイントは使用しない。ペアのチームワークを評価するので、二人が ばらばらな発表をしてはならない。人々の前で発表するときは、人々の方を向いて発表するのが原則である。それが難しいときは発表のスクリーンを見ながら発表するが、今回は口頭発表である。人前での発表に慣れていない学生は、今回は原稿を見ながらの発表をしてもよい。発表の時に原稿を棒読みすることは本来はダメであるが、今回はスピーチ原稿で作文した内容が 聞いている人に伝わることを重視する。




・とても 興味深かった:5点



・あまり 興味がわかない:2点

・ぜんぜん 興味がわかない:1点





・あまり 良くなかった:2点




This is to inform 1st grade students about homework assignment of the listening course. You need to do the following by the next class on December 18th or 19th.

Homework Assignment (作业)

We will learn 9-2 in the next week.

(1) Listen to the track 9-2-00 that is “Kiku-mae-ni” on page 124 of section 9-2.

Note that audio says “Kiku” between “Nihongo” and “Nomu”, although “Kiku” does not appear on the textbook.

(2) Do 一、二、and 三 on page 124 through 126 of the section 9-2.

The audio has some problems. Please note the following when listening to it.

二、1. Two subjects of the sub and the main clauses are different. They are “fireworks” for the sub and “I” for the main clauses. Note that, in most of the case, it sounds incompletely if the sub and main subjects are not the same when they are connected by Te-form of the verb in the sub clause (“-atte”, in this case).

  1. The conversation is politically incorrect. Calling soccer men’s sport is unacceptable.
  1. Quite ugly conversation.
  1. The man says “Oshaberi-wo shi-tari”. In standard Japanese textbook, the “verb-tari” construction uses “tari” twice, not once like in this conversation.

三、2. It is very bad because the lady insults the man by saying “It is rare for you to read a textbook”.

Weekly Logs Dec.2-8, 2019


I am so tired that I cannot continue to work long hours. I actually spend many hours on my bed even in daytime his week. On Monday I taught in the small class and made photocopies of handout in the morning. The rest of the day was just making PPT for listening class. I took a nap for an hour. These days I cannot have time to study English, though, I read English a half hour before going to bed on Monday.



I made PPT for listening class all day. I took a nap in the afternoon. If I didn’t take a nap, I could have not continued to work.



I taught two classes in the morning. I took a long rest on the bed until 3p.m. It took two hours for me to evaluate 5 students’ compositions. I started another PPT making for composition class at 5 p.m. I stopped working at 8.



Whole of morning hours were spent for making PPT for composition class. It was from 7 to noon. I taught two classes in the afternoon. After I came back to my residence, I graded quiz that I gave to the small class on Wednesday. It took two hours. It seemed that it was difficult for them to write Japanese Kanji correctly.



I evaluated fluency of dialogues in the small class in the morning. They didn’t seem to have practiced well. Although I had to evaluate many compositions by the class in the early evening, I gave up. I was on my bed for two hours between morning class and composition class. I tried to evaluate more compositions after the class until 9:30p.m. I got five drafts for the monthly newsletter in the night.



The time for correction is shortened, while the number of the drafts increases this month for the monthly newsletter. I have to proofread 5 articles by next Saturday. I usually check four times to complete drafting. Time is limited, so I wanted to finish 5 drafts in one day. The reality was that I could finish only 3.



I proofread two drafts that I could not finish yesterday. Some students sent me the second drafts already. Drafts’ go-and-back between students and me continues. In the meantime I had to start PPT making for the classes in the coming week. But I didn’t feel I had energy to continue to work.

This week’s log is shorter than usual. I don’t have time to write in detail. And actually I feel like my memory is blurred.