Arnold Schwarzenegger Calls AEON English School

While I’ve been (and still am) waiting for my websites to move to their new web host, I’ve had some time to catch up on my favorite podcasts. One of those podcasts is from Gaijin-in-Japan.com, and recently in Mike’s 82nd podcast, we got treated to this brilliant prank call to an AEON English school in Japan: Arnold Calls English School There are lots of similar ones on ArnoldCalls.com, and you’ll find a load of them […]

Don’t Forget Your Pencil!

Time for a quick rant about my job as an English teacher in Japan. Before continuing, please read my disclaimer. This post is about children who forget to bring a pencil to class. Do I even need to say more? Surely that’s like going swimming without you’re trunks! If you’re going to school, take a pencil. It really shouldn’t be any more complicated than that, right? Why then, do I have kids who repeatedly forget to bring a pencil? […]

Disney English System for Japanese

I just learned from my wife that she has sent off a request for a free Disney English System sample DVD. It’s widely accepted that if you want your child to be proficient in a foreign language, then you should start their learning from a young age. The last decade has seen Japan’s “English conversation” schools fall over themselves trying to recruit students at a younger and younger age. For example, when I started working […]

Walk the dinosaur

When I was a kid, thirteen to be exact, Was (Not Was) released a song called ‘Walk the Dinosaur’, which was a huge hit in 1988. It’s one of those songs you don’t forget, and I tend to sing it to myself every time one of my elementary school students chooses the ‘dinosaur’ from a bunch of stamps I use for homework and rewarding the kids at the end of each lesson. Today, in my […]

Kancho – A Japanese pastime

“Kancho is the ancient art of clasping your hands together, and playfully poking your friend or enemy,…in the rear. It is also called “The Friendly Enema”, and is practiced by children in schoolyards and classrooms around the world. Kancho.org is dedicated to spreading the good news about Kancho.” Source: www.kancho.org When Japanese kids first started shoving their fingers up my bum about ten years ago, I was more confused than shocked. I mean, why would […]

Think you can teach Japanese kindy?

I’ve been teaching at Japanese kindergartens for years now, and I always have a lot of fun. The key to success in teaching these classes is to be fun and energetic. While some “proper” teachers complain that they came to Japan to “teach”, and not dance around like clowns, I believe that if your style of teaching is entertaining then your students are going to learn a whole lot more from you… or at least […]

Laughing at the guy who can’t speak English.

I had intended to write about something completely different but I came across this video which I just had to post here. It’s a Japanese game show in which if you laugh, you get the cane. What do they laugh at? Well, although they try their best to keep quiet, it’s hard not to crack up when watching this guy try to speak English… If you can’t view the video, you can see it here […]

Back to School: Rule Reminders

Since I’m back to school tomorrow, I’ve been thinking again about my ESL lessons, and remembered an interesting moment from last term. I was getting frustrated with one of my kindergarten classes so right at the start of the lesson I told the children that if they crawl under the tables they will lose all their points. I usually give my kindy kids four points at the start of the lesson next to their names […]