Weekly Logs: Jul.20-26, 2020

Photographs of This Week

July 20, Monday

I typed what was in the conversation textbook from the section 5 to 7 whole day. This was a preparation for the coming semester. I have to prepare as much as I can before the semester start on August 31st.

I opened my new blog in “goo” after the supper. That was not “google” but “goo”.

July 21, Tuesday

Getting on a local train around 8:30, I went to Niitsu for shopping in the morning market. The morning market in Niitsu is held only on the day with 1 and 6 for the first digit of the date. When I came back to my parents’ house, I uploaded photos that I took in the market, to my new blog. Uploading photographs onto wordpress is cumbersome, so I decided to upload photos onto the goo blog. After that, I finished typing sentences in section 8 of the conversation textbook. Section 1 through 8 will be taught in the first semester, so I had already had text data of what is written in the textbook.

July 22, Wednesday

I made “LQ Laoshi” mask in the morning. That was the second one. The mask was not against corona virus but for hiding my face. After that…I was just taking a rest on the bed for the rest of the day.

July 23, Thursday

I sent some documents of national health insurance and property taxes from a post. Other than that, I spent most of the time on the bed. I was so tired because of the hard work in the spring semester. I didn’t feel well.

July 24, Friday

I went DIY shop in the morning. I bought a saw that was for trimming stems of trees. Since I have worked hard for online teaching since March, actually the trees in the garden are now chaotic. I have to cut them short. But I didn’t have a good saw for cutting branches of the trees. After I came back from DIY shop, I recorded my bass playing. The music was “SOEUR MONIQUE” by F. Couperin. I went to haircut in the afternoon.

July 25, Saturday

It was just yesterday, but I have already lost my memory about yesterday. I uploaded “How to Make Origami Crane” on this wordpress blog with many photographs. But I decided not to upload many digital photos here. It is very difficult to insert photographs onto a post. I have to try several times until I successfully insert a photo.

July 26, Sunday

Yes, it is today. I got on a local train and visited my relative’s house in the morning. There are many blueberry trees in the garden. And. you know, it is July that is the season of blueberry. I thought I could make some blueberry jam in the afternoon. So I prepared glass bottles that were suitable to pour jam before I left home. Actually no one lives in that relative’s house. There are so many empty houses in Japan where the society got aging. When I got to the house, I saw there were no blueberry fruits on the trees, almost nothing. If the birds had eaten blueberry, there should have been white droppings on the ground. But I didn’t see any bird feces on the ground. I remembered that the same thing had happened last year. There was no blueberry fruit on the trees in the month of July. So my conclusion was that someone took blueberry without permission. I was disappointed by that, and just came back home by the earliest train.

In the afternoon, I went to a supermarket. After shopping, I dropped by a flower shop in order to buy some flowers to offer to my dad who passed in February. While a lady was cutting and binding some chrysanthemums, I found small sunflowers in the glass case. Then I thought I wanted to add just one sunflower to the flower bundles. Now it is the end of July, that means the season is summer, sunflower is the flower of the summer….. But I missed the chance to ask her to add sunflower. After all, my dad wasn’t a person who cared about such a little tiny thing (whether or not there is a flower of the season in the flower bundle). I thought it was okay. And I paid 1100 JPY (10USD), then left for home.

Weekly Logs: Jul.13-19, 2020

July 13, Mon.

I had to grade students’ performance in the second semester. I taught 3 subjects for 4 classes. In total, I calculated 111 students’ scores. I had already graded the class 1837’s conversation course and the class 1939’s listening. I input those onto the university’s system on Monday, and I tried to calculate scores for composition classes for 56 students of the class 1836 and 1837. I was just doing that all day.

July 14, Tue.

Actually the deadline for reporting students’scores was on that day. But actually I couldn’t make it. I input scores temporarily onto web form, but did not fix them.

July 15th, Wed.

In the afternoon, I decided to repot the scores and submitted them. I cleaned the room after that. Since March, I had continued to work day and night for preparing online teaching with a lot of PPT slides. So the Japnese style 8-tatami room had become quite dirty. I just threw flush cards for verb conjugation because I didn’t think I would use them again.

July 16th, Thr.

I took a rest many times on the bed because I was tired for the hard work I did in the semester. I continued cleaning the room in the morning hours, and in the afternoon, since the sky was clear with sunshine; I took digital photos of pictures in the conversation textbook. So I had started preparing for the coming semester. I know that it would be better to use a scanner than use a digital camera for that purpose. But actually my scanner is 200 miles away, I mean, my scanner is in Kanto region. If I went there for scanning, thickets for high speed railway would cost much such that I could buy another scanner. And the second wave of corona virus infection is now hitting in Kanto region. So I don’t want to go there now.

July 17th, Fri. and 18th Sat.

I had just processed the image files that I took in the form of digital photos.

July 19th , Sun.

I finished the image processing in the morning. The number of pictures for one semester was about 280. Those were to be used on PPT slides. And then I started typing the Japanese sentences of the textbook so that I could use them also on PPT slides. These works should be done during summer vacation. Once the semester started, it would be disastrous for me to do such works as preparation for the class. In the afternoon, I went outside and paid money for the national pension. I forgot to pay for April and May because I was so concentrated on making online classes. It was about 300 USD, which was a cost of living in this country, JAPAN.

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Conversation) on July 3, 2020

Date: July 3rd on Friday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

Course: Japanese Conversation 4

Used app: Streaming was used at the first, and then Video conference was used i n the second half of the class. Both are the functions of DingTalk. Dingtalk’s BBS is also used to show the students some images.

Numbers of Students:

 – Attendance check by the students’ self-claimed input of “Shusseki” onto BBS : 26

  – Attendance check at the end of the class by the names appearing on the streaming show windows: 21

Class Activities:

(1) Review of the last class by PPT slide show streaming

  – The listening material taken from section 12-1 of “Dekiru Nihongo” in which Park-san says that she doesn’t feel well to her friend Yamaguchi-san.

  – The students repeated some practices for several expressions included in the conversation like the particle “-mo” for emphasizing how much it is, another particle “-shika” for emphasizing how less it is, suggestion “-tara douka”, and doing something A without doing something B “-naide,”

(2) Learning the new part of the conversation between Park-san and Yamaguchi-san.

 – Using Dingtalk’s function of video conference, the class learned the new part of listening materials that follows what we had learned. It included “-trashii” and “-naide,”

Homework Assignment:

– No HA.

Issues and Problems:

 This was the last class in the second semester.

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Composition) on July 3, 2020

Date: July 3rd on Friday, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 (9:00 – 10:30 in JST)

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Streaming of Dingtalk to show PPT presentation.

Numbers of Students:

  – Self-claming attendance on BBS by inputting “Shusseki”: 25

  – Attendance check by the submission of 60-question quiz at the end of the class: 23 

Class Activities:

 – Almost identical to the composition class on Tuesday for the class 1836. What was learned during the first and the second semesters were reviewed in the form of quiz with each having four selections.

(1) Speech/writing style of Japanese

 Japanese speech/writing style varies from situation to situation. You use honorifics to elderlies and teachers, polite expressions in public,  and casual expressions to your friends. Foreign Japanese learners often speak and write Japanese with mixing those different speech style. Further more, writing Japanese has clear distinction between “desu-masu” style and “Da-dearu” style. “Desu-masu” is also used in spoken Japanese but “Da-dearu” is usually only for writing.         

(2) “Da-Dearu” writing style for composition.

 So the important thing for the students to learn is that they learn to use another type of Japanese language style that is different from what they usually learn in their textbook. This has been continuing to be a quite big issue in the composition classes. Many students were sticking to “Desu-masu” even if I told them to write in “Da-dearu”. It seems that changes in language style to adapt the situation are beyonf imagination to the students. In order to measure how well or bad he/she operates “Da-dearu” style writing, all the parameters were taken into the quiz;

Past/non-past for tense, Positive/negative, and four predicates: Noun, Na-adjective, I-adjective, and Verb predicate sentences. 

And several sentences ending with auxiliary verbs were added. Those were of conjugation type of I-adjectives (ex. -tai) or Na-adjective (ex. -youda)        

(3) Proper uses of conjunctive particles

It is so important to learn many conjunctive particles in order to write a complex sentences. But most students can use only “-kara” and “-te/de”. Several other conjunctive particles were examined if the students could choose them.   

(4) Sentence ending to describe changes in time sequence

Expressions “te-iru”, “te-kita”, and “te-iku+guess” were reviewed.

 

 Homework:

  – No HWA.

Issues and Problems:

 The first class that I had as a Japanese teacher in university was the one for this composition class for 1837 class. Through the first and second semeters, I have learned a lot of things. I know that I haven’t had enough experience to teach Japanese language yet.   

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Conversation) on July 1, 2020

Date: July 1st on Wednesday, 2020 from 15:30 to 17:00 (16:30 – 18:00 in JST)

<This was a supplementary class that was done in irregular hours>

Course: Japanese Conversation 4

Used app: Video conference on DingTalk. 16 png images were uploaded on BBS in order for the students to look at. In the meantime the teacher was using power point only on teacher’s computer screen. The PPT slide was used to show the teacher some scripts and to make it easy to play mp3 audio for listening activity. 

Numbers of Students:

 – Attendance check at the beginning

   : 20 students input “Shusseki” on BBS as their self-claiming attendances.

   : 24 students were confirmed to be connected to the video conference.

 – Attendance check at the end

   : 17 students sent me four sentences that were a task given to them.

Class Activities:

(1) Listening and comprehension

  This class used a listening material from “Dekiru Nihongo”. This activity was continued from the Monday class. It was taken from the section 12-1 on the beginner-intermediate book (Yellow) of Dekiru Nihongo. The conversation between Park-san and Yamaguchi-san included the following expressions:

  -1: Use of particle “-mo” to emphasize the extent that is big, many, frequent, and so on

  -2:  Use of particle “-shika” that is always followed by negative expression behind: This was also emphasizing, however, “-shika——nai.” emphasizes the extent that is small, little, less frequent, and so on.  

  -3: Suggestion “-tara doudesuka”

  -4: Doing something A without doing something B, “V1-naide, V2 suru”

The listening materials were segmented for these four expressions. In each segment, I did my teaching as follows:

  <1> Asking a student to describe the situation looking at a picture shown on BBS.

  <2> Listening to audio by playing mp3

  <3> Asking a student several questions to confirm his/her understanding

  <4> Rote exercise of the new expression (one of four listed above)

  <5> Listening again with showing the script of the conversation.

(2) Writing four sentences using the expressions of the day

  The students were told to write four sentences using four expression learned today. They sent them to me at the end of the class. 

Homework Assignment:

– No HA.

Issues and Problems:

  Of course the improvement is necessary for the above procedure <1> through <5>. This was not the best for students’ learning.

Online Teaching for Class 1939 (Listening) on July 1, 2020

Date: July 1st on Wednesday, 2020

– 1st and 2nd sessions from 8:00 to 9:30 (9:00 – 10:30 in JST)

– 3rd and 4th sessions from 9:50 to 11:20 (10:50 – 12:20 in JST)

Course: Japanese Listening 2

Used app: Video Conference and Streaming on DingTalk. Powerpoint were also used only on the teacher’s computer display. An excel spread sheet was distributed to the students.

Numbers of Students: 27

   – At the beginning of 1-2 session, all the 27 students input “Shusseki” on BBS as self-claiming attendance.

   – At the end of 1-2 session, 26 students submitted an excel spread sheet which was to fill the blanks and complete the table for basic verbs’ conjugation.

  – At the beginning of 3-4 session, 27 students input “Shisseki” on BBS.

   – At the end of 3-4 session, all the 27 students were confirmed their attendance by checking their connection to Video conference. After all, this day’s class was a kind of final examination. So no one dared to be absent.

Class Activities:

1-2 session:

– Oral examination: A student was called one by one to video call in reversed order to their student ID number. He/she pronounced some Japanese words. The teacher recorded audio. It was thought that this oral test could be finished in 1-2 session. But it didn’t. Only 17 made it in 1-2 session.

3-4 session:

– The rest of the oral examination: 12 students were called to the video call. One student was asked to do it again because the teacher had lost the audio data.

 – Teaching: The oral examination ended at around 10:40. The class continued to learn using video conference. The teaching was about expressions “V-te ageru” and “V-te morau”in order to know how to use “give and take” transitive verbs that needed not only particle “-o” but also “-ni”.      

Homework Assignment:

– No homework was assigned.

Issues and Problems:

– The issue is, you know, how to evaluate 27 audio recordings of oral test.

Online Teaching for Class 1836 (Composition) on June 29, 2020

Date: June 22th on Monday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

<This was a supplementary class on irregular time>

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video Conference on DingTalk. BBS was supplementary used to show PNG images that was the instruction for procedures of 1-minute speech and QA session.

Numbers of Students: 28

 – At the beginning:

     – Self-claiming attendance by the means of input “Shusseki” onto BBS: 28

     – Attendance check using the video conference monitor: 26

– At the end by sending photos of composition: 25

Class Activities:

  Each student made his/her one minute speech about tourism in a particular prefecture in Japan. This was done in the order of student ID number.

  There were question and answer times for each speech when it was ended. A student to ask a question was assigned randomly so that other students would try to listen to the speech. It is important to know how to ask a question in a conference where many people are gathering. So the teacher instructed the students at the beginning of the class about how to make a question in a conference.  

  The teacher controlled the progression of speeches. In order to give every students chances to speak, the time that one student could spend was getting shorter and shorter towards the end.

Homework:

No HWA

Issues and Problems:

 Most of students wouldn’t like to listen to other students’ speech. So I assigned a questioner randomly. All the students just made the same question that I prepared for them as examples. Some questioning students didn’t know what prefecture was talked. I should have recorded such an incident and reduced his/her score for grading.    

Online Teaching for Class 1939 (Listening) on June 29, 2020

Date: June 29th on Monday, 2020 from 9:50 to 11:20 (10:50 – 12:20 in JST)

Course: Japanese Listening 2

Used app: Video Conference on DingTalk. 10 PNG images were uploaded onto the class BBS so that the students could see them separately during the video conference. Although the Powerpoint were also used, it is not to show, but to help the teacher conduct the class activities.

Numbers of Students: 27

–  25 students input a Japanese word “Shusseki” as a self-claming attendance on the class BBS.

– 25 students were confirmed to connect to the video conference.

So it may seem that two students were absent, it was more complicated.

Student A self-claimed, was not confirmed the connection but answered to my call.

Student B did not self-claim, was not confirmed the connection, and was not contacted by me during class.

Student C did not self-claim, but was confirmed the connection, and answered to my call during the class

So the conclusion was that there was not a perfect way to confirm the attendance of a student.

Class Activities:

Class hour 3:

– Review of construction “V1-ta toki, V2-masu” and redo the exercises that were already done in the last class. Teaching materials came from Min’nano Nihongo I (red) section 23. Those were shown to the students by PNG images on the class BBS. The practice also included “V1-nai toki, V2-masu”.

Break time between class hour 3 and 4.

– One student was called and talked with the teacher 3 minutes.

Class hour 4:

– Listening to a conversation titled “Dou yatte ikimasuka” that was from the section 23 of Minnano Nihongo I

– Listening to “Inu-no Seikatsu” that also came from Minnano Nihongo. This was actually intended for a preparation for the alternative homework of the final examination. I planned this activity as dictation. But the time was running out when the class got to this activity. So I changed the activity from dictation to listening and writing a short sentence that would express a student’s impression.The students were asked to send their short sentences to the teacher at the end of the class.

Homework Assignment:

– Homework assignment was given as the alternative measure for the final examination. It was a dictation task. The instruction and the listening material was uploaded on the class BBS. The students needed to submit what they wrote on a sheet of paper in the form of digital photographs by 8 in the morning on Wednesday.

Issues and Problems:

– Conversation listening activity in the 4th session was incomplete. Not only just to make the students listen, I should have checked whether or not a student understand the conversation and made them their own conversation in a similar situation.

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Conversation) on June 29, 2020

Date: June 29th on Monday, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 (9:00 – 10:30 in JST)

Course: Japanese Conversation 4

Used app: Streaming and Video conference on DingTalk.  Dingtalk’s BBS is also used to show the students some images.

Numbers of Students:

 -(1) Attendance check by the students’ self-claimed input of “Shusseki” onto BBS : 24

 -(2) Numbers of connections that the video conference window indicated:25

  Students who are recorded by both (1) and (2) : 21

  Recorded only by (1) : 2,   Recorded only by (2): 3

 – Attendance check at the end of the class in the form of quiz: 19

Class Activities:

(1) Redo of the last time’s exercise and Doing new exercise of today for causative-passive sentences. These were done in the form of streaming show of PPT presentation. The streaming was ended and the class continued by changing to video conference style.

(2) Conversation exercise in pair. This was also a practice for the test that would be held in the evening of the day. So the pair was identical to the one in the test.

(3) Conversation skit from Dekiru Nihongno Yellow, section 12-1

 – A use of particle “-mo” was introduced. That was “-mo” to emphasize a big portion or “how much it is”.

Homework Assignment:

– No HA.

Issues and Problems:

The class had finished the designated textbook that was titled for conversation but actually was simply a grammar workbook. I chose a material of “Dekiru Nihongo” in order to make teaching could be for conversation as well as I could. I chose the part also as a preparation for the oral test in the evening.

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Conversation) on June 28, 2020

Date: June 28th on Sunday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

<This day was the day to have classes on Friday>

Course: Japanese Conversation 4

Used app: Video conference on DingTalk.  Dingtalk’s BBS is also used to show the students some images.

Numbers of Students:

 – Attendance check by the students’ self-claimed input of “Shusseki” onto BBS : 21

 – Numbers of connections that the video conference window indicated: 21

 – Attendance check at the end of the class in the form of quiz: 17

Class Activities:

(1) Listening a conversation including passive and causative sentences.

   Audio was taken from the Chapter 13-2 of “Dekiru Nihongo (yellow)”

(2) Exercise to review passive and causative sentences

  Exercises were C2 on Sec.37 for passive sentences and B3 on Sec.48 for causative sentences. Both were from “Min’ano Nihongo II”

(3) Rote exercise of verb conjugation from Te-form to Causative-form+”te”

(4) Redo of sentences “Causative + Morau/Ageru/Kureru” 

(5) Practice of Causative Passive sentences

Homework Assignment:

– No HA.

Issues and Problems:

  I could ask questions to all students at least once. But time was short. I couldn’t finish what I prepared for today.

 Many students were absent. They might have lost his/her enthusiasm learn from me.

 But for the students who attended, I think I could make the class activities somewhat interactive. It was not as good as in real classroom, but I tried to do my best. Sometimes connection was unstable or with much noise. Online teaching is not so good as people are saying on TV.