I work as a university lecturer teaching English conversation and discussion courses in Japan, and over time I’ve gradually moved away from “talk about your hobbies” to “talk about the state of the world” – I found that my students react well to this, and once they get warmed up very much enjoy talking about important social issues in English.“How I teach 私の授業の教え方 (English)” の続きを読む
May 5, 2021
Somewhere along the line the International Olympic Committee decided to treat Japan as their footstool. But Japan didn’t surrender its sovereignty when it agreed to host the Olympics. If the Tokyo Summer Games have become a threat to the national interest, Japan’s leaders should tell the IOC to go find another duchy to plunder. A cancellation would be hard — but it would also be a cure.“PODCAST: ネット通訳担当tensaimon 22: オリンピック略奪 Olympic Pillage” の続きを読む
December 18, 2019
In late September 2019, an estimated 6 million people joined climate strikes across the globe, demanding urgent action to address the climate emergency facing our planet. Rallies in global metropolises such as London and New York saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets. Meanwhile in Japan, a country of 126 million people, marches drew a combined total of less than six thousand. After the country had suffered months of record-breaking rains, floods and heatwaves – where were Japan’s climate strikers?“Podcast: ネット通訳担当tensaimon translates 15: 日本の気候変動デモ参加者はどこ Where are Japan’s climate strikers?” の続きを読む
The Social Dilemma映画によってソーシャルメデイアは利益のために私達をそのソーシャルメデイアになるべく長く時間過ごしてくほしい。問題は、そのための一番効果的なのは、怒りと対立・・・これは（現在アメリカに行っている）民主主義崩壊を促す。
民主主義 #polis #vtaiwan
The Social Dilemma (movie) shows that social network services promote outrage and division because that leads to more views which leads to more profit- and to the breakdown of society and democracy (as is happening right now across the world, particularly in the US)
By contrast, Polis is a social network that promotes and amplifies agreement, so we can find our common ground.
THIS IS THE FUCKING ANSWER!
Get it started in your locale!
Anyone know anyone in okinawa who might be able to help??
democracy #vtaiwan #polis
I just posted something on Facebook using someone’s preferred pronouns of “them and their”, which I know is an issue that riles some people up, so I want to explain that issue as I see it:
If I started calling you, and referring to you, as “dickface”:
– “Hi dickface””morning dickface how’s it going?”
– “fancy a quick pint after work, dickface?”
– “have you seen dickface lately?”
– “Let’s invite dickface to our meeting, he might have some useful input”
I don’t think it would take very long before you got pretty pissed and asked me to stop.
And having been asked to stop, the considerate (of your point of view and experience) thing for me to do is to stop.
The #blacklivesmatter movement has (I hope) got us all thinking about how to be anti-racist – how to be part of the solution not part of the problem.
However, I think we are going to find that being anti-racist is much broader than simply anti-black-and-brown-people racism – being anti-racist means being anti-oppression, and in this short post I’m going to try to explain why I think we classroom teachers (I talk in particular about language teaching because that’s my profession, but my point applies to all teaching) have some learning to do. Let me start with something surprising:
As language teachers:
- I don’t think we should be telling our students HOW to speak – I don’t think we should be judging THEIR utterances by OUR “native-speaker” standards. We should be helping them develop ideas about THEIR OWN standards, and helping them work towards THOSE standards, not our own.
- And I don’t think we should be telling them WHAT to say – I think we should be helping them to find THEIR OWN voices, to say what THEY want to say, not what WE want them to say.
Yes, as educators we have a role: we can suggest topics and roads of enquiry, and prod them with questions to encourage deeper thought.
IF that’s what they want.“#blacklivesmatter means we teachers have some learning to do…” の続きを読む
Japan (finally) declaring a state of emergency over Covid-19 means teachers and schools are all scrambling to come with ways to teach online. After a (online!) meeting yesterday I came away with what I think is a pretty good fast-starter arrangement for online teaching, so this post is to give you what I know so far, so you’ve got something to build on.
This method (hack?) uses google classroom as the primary method of communicating with your students to tell them about video classes, set assignments etc, and pretty much any audio/video chat application for doing the actual lessons.
(Zoom is popular, and has a great “breakout rooms” feature, tho it does have well-documented security issues – see my short discussion below)
UPDATE 2020-04-10: I realized it’s possible to simplify this even further:
1. A method of sharing links and short messages with your students: Google Classroom might be good (especially if you want to set assignments, share documents etc) but to get online teaching started all you really need is a group for each of your classes in ANY messaging app: once you have them all in one place, you’ll be able to arrange meeting etc to further organize.
2. A method of talking live with your students: any group talk-to-each-other app, some teachers may even feel that no video just audio will work, which will broaden the possibilities
1. open up google classroom from your google (personal) account
2. top right hit “+” > create a class“How to set up to teach online in a hurry” の続きを読む
I’m in a caustic mood today (“caustic mood” = 暗くて皮肉的な気分). I mean this post is humor and sarcasm though with a serious point. Enjoy:
How to think things in the 21st century (a guide for beginners):
1) believe in X(ism) and define it as you choose.
2) compare EVERYTHING to your definition of X – all opinions, people, news, documentaries, politics, perspectives, science, EVERYTHING
3) denounce EVERYTHING that is not EXACTLY “X” as you define it (and all people who do not exactly believe this X as you define it) as wrong/stupid/ignorant/immoral/evil“how to think things in the 21st century” の続きを読む
As you know I follow this story quite closely, and I can confirm that these figures are an accurate representation of the science. The problem of course is politics: right now it is looking very unlikely we will avert this. Which basically means most humans are going to die in the next few decades.
However there is a silver lining (if you can call it that): at 1.5-2.0 degrees the massive crop failures and resulting famine, whilst leading to enormous suffering and death (from starvation and war) in the short term, will lead (once enough humans are dead) to a collapse of the world’s civilization: at that point carbon emissions will drop to (near) zero, and since nature abhors a vacuum, trees and animals will take over again – those trees will absorb CO2 which in time will cool the earth again.“the climate emergency: trajectories and options” の続きを読む
WARNING: this post contains (quoted) racist language
People often comment that I am of a somewhat darker complexion than the average white England person. In the mid-eighties, when my family moved to the white largely rural-working class village of Charfield in South Gloucestershire, I started attending the local comprehensive school (Katherine Lady Berkeley’s school, or KLB) and this quirk of my appearance quickly gained me a new nickname: “Paki”
(explanation: the word “paki” is a shortening of “Pakistani” and in England is derogatory slang for someone of east Asian origin).