Monthly Archives November 2008

Autumn at Sheffield Park Gardens, East Sussex

Autumn at Sheffield Park Gardens, East Sussex Originally uploaded by Anguskirk In a November 4th article in the Daily Yomiuri, Mike Guest wrote about marked language: “phrases like, “Japan’s four seasons” instead of the seasons, or “American joke” for any joke told by a foreigner. Marked by redundancy. ” Many Japanese will insist that Japan […]

futab (new word)

Just learned a new word, thanks to a photo on Flickr. and the urban dictionary. I recommend the following guides: Brett Kelly’s “Evernote Essentials”, Dan Gold’s $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions’ Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap’s free email course on going paperless first […]

The Immediate Method Autumn seminar 2008

The other day, I took part in the 8th Immediate Method workshop at Kobe University. I gave a very brief report on how I’d been using IM in a couple of different university contexts. (A more detailed report was published in the Conversations in Class newsletter #3 (pdf), which can be downloaded from the Alma […]

Where to set the bar for EFL classes at Japanese universities?

(Photo credit: Limbo – “How Low Can You Go?” by sidneysealine3 on Flickr) The other day, I met an acquaintance who, like me, teaches English at a Japanese university. We were attending a wokshop, and at lunch he asked me: is very basic EFL really suitable for university students? Isn’t the bar being set too […]

University students, part-time jobs, and talking about Japan in English

Last Student Loan Originally uploaded by here_for_now In my basic EFL Writing class last week, students created simple questionnaires, then asked each other, collated the results and made a brief report. A couple of students chose part-time jobs as their topic.They then posted their reports on their blogs. One of the purposes of having students […]

Literacy vs digital literacy = fundamental vs derivative?

The Literacy Test for Immigrants Originally uploaded by beautifully_broken762 A fellow blogger and teacher of history in the UK, Doug Belshaw, is working on his Ed.D. and his thesis is on digital literacy. I’m sceptical about “digital literacy” being touted as some completely new kind of animal, unrelated to “literacy”, and after groping for the […]

Is fair sometimes unfair? – Part 2

This is a follow-up to my earlier blog-post Is fair sometimes unfair? I was reminded of the article When Fairness Runs Foul, and of my earlier encounters with the Japanese sense of “fairness” when I read a chapter by philosopher Ayn Rand. Rand is here playing devil’s advocate – illustrating with an example of her own […]

Is fair sometimes unfair?

Life is so unfair sometimes (63/365) Originally uploaded by labspics A colleague recently gave me an article from the Daily Yomiuri. “The Language Connection”, “Cultural Connundrums: When Fairness Runs Foul” by Kate Elwood, Tuesday November 4th, 2008. It compares Western (North American) concepts of fairness with Japanese. Yes, they are not always the same! Intercultural […]

More roundups

Delicious tells me I have 240 bookmarks tagged “toread”! Time for some pruning and trimming, and … perhaps even reading. Yuichiro Edagawa is a Japanese architect. 60 years old, he is still full of energy and plans. He has just published a photo-book that introduces Japan’s architectural heritage, both ancient and modern, to the world. […]

So that’s all right then, best beloved, do you see?

Former Wall Street investment banker, Catherine Austin Fitts, has been blogging about the economy, money and investing for a couple of years now. Her expertise and knowledge are impressive, as is her aim: to help people make sensible decisions that not only make money for them, but also help steer the economy away from a […]