Starting 2016: thoughts from the Miyazu CIR – 2016年を迎える:宮津市国際交流員から

Hi everyone! It’s Jessica, the CIR in Miyazu.

Starting in January, we started a new English conversation group called “Miyazu English Corner” in Miyazu. We host it every Wednesday through Friday and Sundays 2-4 pm. Starting in April we are planning to cancel Sundays. People of the community interested in English who are available between the hours of 2-4 come and try their bests to have simple English conversations with a native speaker. Miyazu’s ALTs also participate when their schedules allow.

Since the group is held in the afternoon participants consist mainly of housewives and elderly retired people. Levels range from people who can have somewhat smooth daily conversations to people who have trouble introducing themselves.

My future goals are to start new activities focused on conveying culture rather than teaching English. Starting next month in March I will be giving lectures once a month about American culture. I always want to work to further establish the duties of the CIR position in Miyazu and try to make it separate from those of the ALTs which I have yet been able to do. I also want to be more conscientious in leaving data and records for the next CIR.

Jessica new year2016年の1月をもって「英語交流広場」という英会話イベントを開設しました。毎週の水・木・金・日の14時から16時まで開設しています。4月以降は日曜日をなしにし平日だけとする予定です。英語に関心があり指定された時間帯に参加できる方を対象にしています。町の英語指導助手にも空いているときに参加していただき、なるべく日本語のない環境を作り市民の方々と簡単な英語でコミュニケーションを取り、参加者の英語力の向上を図っています。




Visit to Joyo High School – 京都府立城陽高校への訪問

On October 28th, Mark, the CIR at Kyoto Prefectural Office and Alice, the CIR at Kyoto Prefectural International Center went to Joyo High School for an afternoon of games, cultural exchange and English language practice.


A word from Mark – マークからの一言

Mark's kilt was very popular マークのキルトがとても人気でした

Mark’s kilt was very popular

Going to the high school in Joyo was really good fun for me. Although my group were a little shy and uncertain of their English abilities, they soon opened up and really made efforts to listen and say as much as they could. I was very strict with speaking only English, and I could tell that they were getting used to listening and understanding things that I was saying. They seemed very interested in the story of my kilt, clan tartans, and how I linked it all with McDonald’s. Ultimately we had a lot of fun playing games and speaking about various things together, and I hope that our talk and the photos we took together of me in my kilt and traditional outfit will be a fond memory for them. Eigo ganbatte kudasai!

Joyo HS城陽市にある高校に行くのはとても楽しかったです。僕のグループが最初に英語能力に自信がなくて恥ずかしかったのに、すぐ明るくなって、頑張って英語で話したり聞いたりすることに力を入れてくれました。僕は結構厳しくて、英語だけにしていたけど、聞けば聞くほどだんだん理解できるようになったようです。着ていたキルト、家門のタータンやマクドナルドとの関係について興味を持ってくれました。一緒にゲームしたり、いろいろなことについて喋ったり、僕とキルトと写真を撮ったりすることは楽しい思い出になったらと思います。英語頑張って下さい!

A word from Alice - アリスからの一言

Joyo HSThe students in my group welcomed me with a sign in French saying “Welcome to Joyo High School” and they were really cheerful about everything.
We played a game to break the ice at first, and then I introduced various things about France and my hometown in a casual way. Even though they were anxious about speaking English, we were able to discuss various topics including life in France, customs but also life in Japanese high school.
None of them had been to France, but they looked so happy to learn many things about my country. I hope it sparked an interest and that they will be interested in foreign languages and French in the future!

Joyo HS私のグループにいた学生がフランス語で「城陽高校へようそこ」と書いた看板で歓迎され、とても嬉しかったです。何でも笑って、とても元気でした。

亀岡市でのサマーキッズプログラム – Summer Kids in Kameoka


みんなで踊った Dancing together

Dancing together

Eric from Kameoka here.
Summer Kids Program, an event for kids to experience foreign games, dance and activities was held on 18th August. The kids had fun learning hip hop dance, a French relay game, the Macarena and much more! The bingo game I organised allowed the kids to become familiar with foreign languages by having them line up animals which were called out in English. I hope the children had a great time with us CIRs.

木津川市のブライアン氏からの声 – Brian (Kizugawa)  voice


I had a lot of fun in Kameoka. We got down with the kids and parents with cool hip-hop moves and had a nostalgic time doing the Macarena. I have been slacking off on exercising lately, so I was especially happy to work up a sweat at the event. Keep your body moving! I hope to see you at the next event!

精華町のジェーク氏からの声 – Jake (Seikacho) voice

みんなで踊った Dancing together

Dancing together

私は国際交流員として働き始めたばかりので子どもと一緒に遊んだり取り組んだことがあまりありませんでした。そして、子供達の前に踊ったり遊んだりするこ とも、もちろん初めてでした。しかし、なれてきて一緒に動物ビンゴで遊んだりマカレナという踊りを学ぶのが本当に楽しかったです!子供達も嬉しそうだった から安心しました。またサマーキャンプみたいなイベントに参加できるのを楽しみにしています!

I just started working as a Coordinator for International Relations so I had never done a kids even before. It was my first time to stand in front of a crowd of kids and dance around so I was really nervous. After I got used to it though, I really enjoyed dancing around with everyone and playing animal bingo! The kids all seemed really happy to be there and that made helping out that much easier. I can’t wait to do an event like that again!

京都府国際センターのアリス氏からの声 – Alice (Kyoto Prefectural International Center) voice

「フレンチ・コーヒー・ショップ」のリレーレース "French Coffee Shop" relay race

“French Coffee Shop” relay race

I’m really glad I got to have fun with the children in Kameoka for one day thanks to this event.
We had children from all ages, ranging from very young to the last year of elementary school, so I decided to do a fun game in which anybody could participate. I called it “the French Coffee Shop” and had participants put an apron on, hold a plate with paper cups full of ping pong balls in one hand and rush accross the room as fast as they could.
Lots of laugher and good memories were made on this day!


異文化理解サロン「京都府のALTが語る日本の英語教育」 – Japan’s English Education told by Kyoto Prefecture ALTs

Alice from KPIC here!
Summer has finally come. What are your plans?

ALT kouzaToday I would like to tell you about an event I did on June 15th.
I invited 3 Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) working in Kyoto Prefecture high schools to come and talk about English language education in Japan.
With the Olympics in 2020, English education is becoming more and more important in Japan and in Japanese schools.



This trend could be seen in the number of applications we got and the popularity of the event.


ALT kouzaOur first speaker was Erin Noxon. Originally from the US, she is now teaching at Sagano High School. She told us about educational technology, a new concept emerging with all the new technologies available nowadays and how they can be used to help improve language learning and the experience in the classroom. She told us how students can be considered “digital natives” which means they were used to new technologies (IPads, smartphones, networks, computers etc.) ever since they were kids, and that teachers are mainly “digital immigrants” which means they have to adapt and learn how to use these technologies. Based on the use of these technologies and categories of people, she talked about the differences in the learning process and how teachers can use them to their advantage when teaching.


ALT kouzaOur second speaker was Pablo Lozada. Born in Mexico and raised in the US, he is currently teaching at Ayabe High School. He talked about psychology in the classroom, and how he established rules for team teaching to get the students to be more involved and so they clearly see the goals of each class. He gave us indications about the do’s and don’ts to have an effective team teaching and responsive classroom.


ALT kouzaThe last speaker was Kelly Caballero, from the US as well and teaching at Kyoto Subaru High School. She spoke about what she does and her duties in her school so people know what ALTs are and what they do in their everyday work.
Her high school being a business school, her students have special projects such as learning about Kyoto culture and introducing it to foreigners (the Gion festival for example), or creating their own department store for a few days and selling original products using local ingredients and culture.


Thanks to the 3 of them, participants were able to have a deep insight into the diversity of an ALT’s job and the various aspects of English education. The talk was also entirely in English, so I hope it helped the participants with their practice of the language!