Hello. I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. Classes are going well at HIUC Osaka. In my reading and writing class, we have been working on listing order paragraphs and making summaries. The students had to write two different listing order paragraphs. One was about the attractions that young people in Osaka can enjoy. For the other paragraph, they could choose one of the following topics: a dangerous job, a dangerous sport, or their favorite place to relax. We focused on having lots of specific details. They also wrote a couple of journals using listing order. They are getting better at using this style of organization. Now we are going to move on to ‘how to’ paragraphs.
They have also worked on making clear and concise summaries. The most recent summary was based on a ten page story about Mary Jemison. She was a young woman who lived in America in the 1700s. She was English, but she lived as a Native American for most of her life. The students had to read about her, and then make a summary about her life.
In the listening and speaking class that I am teaching, we have been looking at the art of telling stories. We looked at different techniques storytellers use in order to make their stories more entertaining. For example, good storytellers include dialogue in their stories, and they use different voices. They also change the speed of their voice to change the feeling of the story. They can speak slowly and softly to make the story sound scary or quickly and loudly to make the more exciting. We have also practiced telling some short stories of our own. Next, the students need to choose a story and tell it to the class. They need to use dialogue, different voices, gestures, and the other skills that we have studied. I am looking forward to hearing their stories.
Finally, I had a nice surprise the other day. Michelle, one of our old students, came by to visit. She was home in Japan for a short visit during summer break. She is going to college in Seattle, and it sounds like she is having a good time. We talked about the classes she took last year and the classes that she would take this year. I was happy to hear that her grades were very good. It is always nice to talk to former students.
Have a good week.