Welcome to LQ Laoshi’s Blog on WordPress

Hi, this is a blog that is a record of my career as a Japanese teacher.

Please visit my photo gallery “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery” (outside of wordpress)

I like playing music on my electric bass. Please visit “LQ Laoshi Plays Electric Bass.” and listen. The following is one of my bass playing.

J. S. Bach, Unaccompanied Cello Suite No.3, Prelude on Electric Bass (4.22MB)

Uncomfortable Writing Experience

I complained the poor operability of wordpress yesterday. I don’t know what is the benefit of blocks. They are just obstacles against smooth writing process. I want to write my sentences as if I wrote on the plain text. I think that it would be better to draft on WORD first and then copy-and-paste the draft on wordpress. Writing and editing on wordpress is cumbersome and time consuming. Probably this is not my idea but what the most wordpress blogger are doing.

Anyway today I am writing this on WORD first. I can also point out other problems. It is slow. When I push the “+write” button on upper right, it takes 20 seconds until it becomes ready to write.

My purpose here is to record my activities as a Japanese (language) teacher. So now I am thinking about making this blog “text-only” (, or mainly text only) and going to other blog service for uploading photographs because handling image (or media) files is also cumbersome here. I will make my mind for this issue in this summer vacation. The best thing is that wordpress could be more user friendly, but so far, I think it would be easier for me to hand-type HTML commands.

Today also, it was difficult to insert images from media library. Sometimes I can insert an image in the first trial, but most of the time I have to repeat try-and -error for just inserting an image between the blocks.

I can’t stand for this more.

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.

Took a Walk to the River, though Rainy Season is still going on

The spring semester was over. Summer break has started. But there is no time for me to take a rest. I have already started preparation for the next semester. Since the day before yesterday, I have been scanning the pictures on textbook so that I can use them on PPT slides. Since today is not rainy (though it’s dark), I took a walk in the afternoon. 

Bridge for Farmers’ Vehicles

Mountains whose heights were about 1000 meter were seen from the bridge.

View from the Bridge

A farmer and her husband were working to harvest onions.

Farmers are Working Hard on the Ground

Oh, by the way, this wordpress writing system is quite inconvenient. It is hard for me to operate. Now I regret starting writing this post. This is terrible.

Growing Rice in the Paddy Fields

I can see five peaks of Gozu Mountain. “Gozu” uses two Chinese Characters for “Five” and “Heads”.

Mountain Gozu behind the Paddy Fields

It is a kind of agony just to write sentences and insert images. I hope someone will change and enhance to make it easy to write and post a blog.

The board is saying “Let us make the river clean”, “You will be punished if throwing trashes and/or dirty matters in the river area”.

Unclear Board saying not to throw garbage

Flowers I saw on the way to the river

I am just wondering how other wordpress users feel about this very poor operability of writing system. I would like to say “This is a torture”.

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 30, 2020

Date: June 30 on Tuesday, 2020 from 15:30 to 17:00 (16:30 – 18:00 in JST)

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: .Streaming of Dingtalk to show PPT presentation.

Numbers of Students:

  – Numbers of attendance by self-claiming onto BBS: 25 students left inputs of “Shusseki”. Three students came late.

  – Numbers of attendance at the end: 26 students sent their answers for 60-question quiz.

Class Activities:

 “60-question quiz” : Since this was the last composition class in this school year, what we had learned was reviewed in the form of quiz. The quiz was to ask the following items:

 – Speech/writing style of Japanese

 – “Da-Dearu” writing style for composition. Questions covered the most of pattern of sentence endings for Noun-, Na-Adj, I-Adj, and Verb predicate sentences with parameters of past/non-past and positive/negative.

 – Proper uses of conjunctive particles

 – Some sentence endings to describe cahanges in time sequence like “te-iru”, “te-kita”, and “te-iku+guess” 

Homework:

No HWA. The students need to prepare for the alternative test for final examination on coming Tuesday.

Issues and Problems:

This kind of test should have been done not in the last class, but in much earlier so that the students could get a good feedback to improve their weaknesses.

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.