Category Archives: EDUCATION

How to Speak in Japanese Number Code

Source: Gaijin Pot
How to Speak in Japanese Number Code

The first time I noticed that Japanese people are a fan of number codes was on a rainy Saturday evening. I got a text message from my girlfriend asking me if I was going out with her. Being really tired, I wrote back that honestly I was going to spend the night at home with a book. Her reply? “221”.

221? I remember looking at that message for a long time. What could it mean? I know, I thought, it must mean that before we were doing something together “2” and now we had gone from a couple “2” to 2 solos “1”.

Wait a second? Did that mean she wanted to split up with me?!?

In fact, she was using a Japanese code language of numbers. To decipher this language each number corresponds to a sound in the language.

  • 1 is い
  • 2 is に or じ
  • 3 is さ or み
  • 4 is し or よ
  • 5 is ご
  • 6 is ろ
  • 8 is はち, は or や
  • 9 is く

Therefore her message should have been read じじい (a slang phrase for an old man). She was calling me an old guy for not going out with her!

Hmmm, maybe I was happier when I thought she wanted to split …continue reading

    

Applying to Teach in Japan from Overseas: A Basic Guide

Source: Gaijin Pot
Applying to Teach in Japan from Overseas: A Basic Guide

My route to a current, stable life in Osaka wasn’t the most direct one. Before landing in my current home, I worked in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Okayama and Hong Kong. Along the way, I successfully secured employment in Japan from abroad not once, but twice — and under quite different personal circumstances.

Eligibility requirements, of course, vary depending on your country of origin, your level of education and your Japanese ability. Still, there is a basic process that applies to all who wish to come here to teach.

Positive prep

Before you begin, think about why you want to teach in Japan and make sure to keep that in mind as you slog through your applications (it’s likely that you’ll fill out more than one). The important thing during the process is not to give up. It can be hard playing the waiting game when all you want to do is jump on a plane and be in Japan already. But stick with it, stay positive, and you will get there.

Read:

5 Reasons Why Teaching in Japan is Amazing

5 Reasons Why Teaching in Japan is Amazing

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Duolingo for JHS Students in Japan

Pretty good, as long as you can avoid the pitfalls

Duolingo classrooms

Last year I recommended Duolingo to one of my students: a junior high school boy who had been struggling with English.

He got really into it, doing a lesson a day or so for the last six months. His score on the last school test of the year? 96%.

I’ve played with Duolingo to review my French, German, and Spanish skills, and to have a go at Swedish, but they also have a teacher dashboard where you can track student progress.

You can set up classes (see the image at the top of the post) and see class and student progress:

Class progress

Student progress

Best of all, it’s free and optimized for smarphones and tablets. You can also use it on a computer, but I think the mobile version is better (less typing).

Beginners and low-level students can start at the beginning, and more experienced students can take the level test and skip the easier lessons.

For students who don’t have their own smartphones, I ask them …continue reading

    

Iga Ueno Castle – The Castle in a Ninja Village

Iga Ueno Castle

If you’re interested in ninja, you should visit one of Japan’s oldest ninja villages in Iga Ueno.
But the ninja village is not the only thing you can find there. There’s also Iga Ueno Castle – which was the main reason for me to visit as the castle hunter I am.

cute star smilie Visited: May 14th 2010 cute star smilie

Iga Ueno Castle is located in Mie Prefecture (map) which makes it a nice day trip from either Kyoto or Osaka.
Like mentioned before, Iga Ueno has more to offer than just the castle, so it’s well worth a visit – and you can easily do all of them in one day.

You can find the castle within Ueno Park (*not the famous one in Tokyo) which is just a short walk (5-10 mins) from Iga-Ueno Station.

Iga Ueno Castle

Iga Ueno Castle (伊賀上野城) is also known as Hakuho Castle (白鳳城, White Phoenix Castle).
It received that name because of its floor plans and beautiful structure.

Iga Ueno Castle

While the construction of the castle began in 1585 …continue reading