Instructor: Trevor Jones
We have had a very busy few weeks with a lot of students graduating from our school and we have welcomed a new group of excited students.
Firstly it has been very sad to have to say goodbye to so many wonderful students. It really has been a great year and while being extremely happy that they are moving onwards and upwards, we will miss them dearly. It has been nice to see that a lot of students have joined up with each other on Facebook, and have become close to previous HIUC students, and thus have formed a great network of friends. These friends will help them adjust to life aboard, become a great form of support, and maybe be important connections for the future. We had an end of year party for them at HIUC and it is was touching to hear individual speeches from each student. One student in particular, who always had problems speaking in front of groups was able to overcome his fears and produced a speech which brought many to tears. On a lighter note, one student had lost her voice completely and used words written in large text on a notebook to get her point across. It was very funny. All in all, the party was very fun especially the students drawings of the teachers.
Regarding the new students, it has been a pleasure to have them for orientation last week. The students came in for the mornings and had 2 lessons, one based on dictionary skills and the other based on improving speaking confidence and fluency. From the outset the students were very keen and we enjoyed a very pleasent week. The students did a lot of pairwork and group activities and participated very well. They have also adapted very well to the all English speaking environment, and except for the occasional Japanese word, they have tried hard to use only English. Towards the end of the week the students wrote and performed a roleplay about a visit to a zoo, based on the vocabulary we had been working on that day. The roleplays were very funny and involved lions and bears escaping and the students hunting and catching them, with their hands!!?
We now have a couple of weeks before the term starts and the weather has turned nice here in Tokyo, so I hope everyone can get outdoors and enjoy the weather and we look forward to starting a new year soon.