Saturday, November 8, 2008

Special Olympics 2008 Wrap-up!

Wow! What a great day! It is November and still in the 80's! I actually got a bit of a tan today. Well, the Special Olympics was fantastic! I was honored to be a tent manager along with some great people! Here are some pics! I hope to have everyone join us again next year!
Everyone gathers for the opening ceremony!

Entrance of the Special Olympic Torch!

Awaiting the Closing Ceremony!

Simeon, Cesar, Gordon, Naomi

Halloween - English Land Wrap-Up!

Well, we all had a great time at Halloween English Land! Thanks to all the volunteers, interpreters, and kids! As always it was spooky fun! Here are soem pic of the volunteers. I will post more of the kids as soon as I get a chance.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween - English Land Schedule

Following is the a brief outline and a list of the group activities for the Halloween - English Land on Oct. 25th, from 10AM to 12Noon at the Naha Board of Education Hall (3rd Floor) across the street from Yogi Park. As usual, we will sing a song and I have posted Richard of teaching us how to do it. Have a look at the "Happy Halloween" Song. Let's have a great time!

Schedule of Activities

  • 10:00~10:10 Greetings Stretch! / "What's your name? Song
  • 10:10~10:15 Introduce Theme
  • 10:15~10:20 Let's sing the "Happy Halloween" Song
  • 10:20~10:30 Eyeball Relay
  • 10:30~11:15 Group Activities
  • 11:15~11:35 Mummy Wrap Relay
  • 11:35~11:40 Announce the winner of the costume contest
  • 11:40~11:45 Closing Remarks
  • 11:45~11:55 "Trick-o-Treat" Candy Bag Give-a-Way
  • 11:55~12:00 Good-bye Song

Group Activities:

  • Apple Bobbing
  • Grave Diggers (Fishing Game)
  • Slam! (Karuta Game)
  • Dr. Frankenstein (Make a Skeleton Game)
  • Boo! (Crash Game)
  • Ostrich Game

Please start selecting group leaders and if you want the instructions to the activities, leave me a comment with your e-mail addy! Boooooooooo!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Volunteers Needed for Special Olympics 2008!

Everyone interested in volunteering for Special Olympics please contact me asap, new deadline of October 12th! There will be a meeting at Meio University on October 27th at 1800 but I need your names and contact numbers before that meeting. Reason being that you will receive a t-shirt for the event. Leave me a message with your name, telephone number and t-shirt size. Let's have a great time giving back to our community!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Funny English!

Here is a video I hope you will enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Need a place to stay in Naha?

While my friend Richard was doing his Genki English ( yearly workshop here on Okinawa, he stayed at the Naha West Inn in Naha. Not your ordinary hotel but rather an apartment hotel. It was really cozy and very stylish. It includes Internet access as well as a flat screen TV. I liked the fact that it is a gated hotel that offers the feeling of security. There is even a restaurant on the 2nd floor. I was mildly surprised to find out that it is very affordable at only 4500yen a night for a single bed apartment. This would be great for all the JETs that are attending the Mid-Year Conference that need accommodations. I highly recommend this place! Thanks to Richard for introducing this place to my fellow bloggers. Here is more info on Naha West Inn. Check it out!

English Land September 2008 - Under the Sea

We had a great time in September with the kids and volunteers! The theme was "Under the Sea." The Key words were: whale, squid, seahorse, jellyfish, crab, dolphin, shark and dolphin.
The key phrase and response was "What can you see?" "I can see a __." Once we got warmed up with the greeting stretch, we taught the kids the key words and phrases. A big hit was the "Sticky Fingers" game. Another big hit was the "Nemo" game. Kids also fished for cards and guessed the mystery card. We all had a blast playing "Sushi!" (also known as the "Crash" game)
I want to thank everyone for all their hard work and I look forward to my favorite "Halloween English Land" to be held on October 25th from 10AM-12noon. I hope to see everyone there! Keep checking back for upcoming schedule for that event. If you have any questions or would like a listing of the rules of the games please contact me at Stay Genki!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

English Land September 2008

Here is the schedule for the English Land "Under The Sea" Event on Saturday, September 27th 2008 from 9Am to 12noon. I you have any questions please leave me a comment or call me at 080-3844-7987.

10:00-10:10 Greeting stretch and "What's your name?" song
10:10-10:20 Introduce Theme "Under the Sea"
10:20-10:40 "Sticky Fingers" Game
10:40-10:50 "What can you See?" Song
10:50-11:45 Group Activities

  1. "What do you have?" Fishing Game
  2. "Missing Card" Game
  3. "Nemo" Game
  4. "This or That" Game
  5. "Mystery Cards" Game
  6. "Sushi" (Crash Game)

11:45-11:50 "Review" Theme
11:50-11:55 "Good-bye" Song
11:55-12:00 Closing Remarks

If you want the instructions for the games/activities or copy of the official program, please leave me a comment or email me at

Friday, September 5, 2008

English Land September 2008

Hey everyone! The date for the next English Land has been set for September 27th from 10AM to 12Noon at the Naha Board of Education Hall. The theme will be "Under the Sea." I will update you soon on the schedule of the event (games and activities). If anyone wants to contribute an idea or head and activity please let me know! If you want to study the target English, New Vocabulary and song, please visit Richard's site at For further information please send me a comment with you name and contact e-mail. Thanks and hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How about an English Club?

Now that you've finished your introduction at school, what are you going to do next? If you are teaching at JHS, how about starting up an English club that introduces your members to world culture as well as learning English that is not taught in the class room. You have basically the freedom to teach whatever you want instead of being the human tape recorder... "Repeat after me...zzz... I used English club to teach about American Holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. I planned many activies as well as lessons for each holiday. Kids love it! ( I did too!) If you plan this well, you can approach your Principal and request for funding. Many schools have a club fund and more than likely you can get some funding if not all of it funded. It is also normal for kids to pay for extra-curricular activities. I never charged my students more that 500 yen. Most of the time, I was lucky to have donors, volunteers and even the PTA help out. You may even hold an "International Day" in your class. There is an organization called JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) here on Okinawa that may be able to assist you in planning an "International Day". Kids can research and prepare questions, teach about Okinawan culture, song and dance to foreign visitors that JICA can send to your school. You can even join the school broadcasting club and teach a couple of kids to be DJs by playing foreign music, saying the school lunch menu, school functions, or even the weather report in English. Whatever you decide, English club could be refreshing and a great chance to actually get to spend some one-to-one time with your students. Have a great year!

Here is the contact info for JICA on Okinawa:

Okinawa International Center
1143-1, Aza Maeda, Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture 901-2552
Tel: 098-876-6000 Fax: 098-876-6014

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your First English Lesson

Welcome to Okinawa and especially the "Yambaru" -northern part of the island. It's your first day at shougakkou (elementary school), what might you encounter? Well for starters, you will be shown the way to the teachers' room. There you will be introduced to the staff. It would be great to have an short introduction in Japanese handy. Information to share would be your name, where you are from, and some interesting tid-bit about yourself (I like diving...). Short and sweet. If you need help preparing an introduction(Shoukai) in Japanese, I would be happy to help you. You will soon be escorted to the classroom or gym depending on whether they want the whole school to meet you at one time. You can also use the same introduction with the students.

Once introductions are over you will attend your first class. Classes are suppose to be team-taught. That means the homeroom teacher is suppose to take the lead and you are the assistant. If you are lucky, you don't have much to worry about on your first day but more than likely you will have to conduct the class as the lead because the homeroom teacher is limited or does not have any English speaking skills. Regardless, you must be ready for the unexpected and always try to keep a positive relationship. That relationship will be the key for your connection with the students.

In the classroom, you can elaborate on your introduction. Asking the students if they can locate the place you are from on the map is popular. Over sized, color pictures of your family, friends, pets and hometown are also interesting for children to see and spark-up a conversation. Also something simple as introducing yourself and saying "Nice to meet you" while shaking the hands of students goes a long way. You can spice it up by saying it in another language or in your local area slang or even giving them a high five (known in Japan as a "high touch"). You could ask them questions like what does the Japanese flag look like? What does the Okinawa Flag look like? What does the city flag look like? You will be surprised to find out that many students including teachers don't know the answer.

Teaching a local song or finger play or even your area language is also great to do with the students. There are many songs and games to try as well that you can play like, rock-scissors-paper, greetings train, mingle, name card game.

Well if you need further assistance please contact me at or post a reply. Once again, welcome and enjoy your time here!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Moar Engrish

Here are some more Engrrrish Pics. Can you find the errors?

This menu just hurts me just to read it!

Gotta have some of this!!!

What does this sign really mean? What is "flashing?" Have you ever "flashed?"

Is "sencer" British English?

Engrrrish In Okinawa

This is dedicated to all English mistakes: words, grammar, images. Can you find the errors? Send me your pics!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Genki English CD8

Hey Everyone! Richard has just released Genki English CD8. Here are the topics you will find on the CD:

Education Video

Richard of Genki English turned me on to this. It is a short film used in India to show how public schools are not helping their students. It is worth a watch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

English Land Pics Sent in by Gordon

Hey everyone! Gordon has graciously sent in some pics of English Land July 2008, "Bugs!"
Click on the following sight to view! Thanks Gordon!

Monday, July 28, 2008

English Land July 2008

We did it again and English Land keeps getting bigger and bigger! There were about 90 or so kids that showed up to learn about bugs! The target was "What's that? It's a ~." There were eight stations for the kids to practice the new target and words. Everyone had a blast! Thank you to all the volunteers and as always the kids for coming out!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I strongly believe in the power of volunteering. I was brought up in a rural area of Texas and I remember my parents working in the fields as early as the age of 5. I remember times like that with my family growing up. Those were some of the happy times for my family and I.

The work ethic was instilled in me this early in my life but I was also taught to give back to my community as well. I remember it started doing little things like donating my used clothes and giving small offerings to the church every Sunday.

These days I find myself doing many things to give back to my community. I volunteer teaching English in Okinawa Japan, I am active at my community center, I often donate clothing and books to needing children and so on. My life is much more satisfying when I give of myself.

In the future, I may call upon you, my friends, to give of yourselves as we try to make Okinawa more beautiful by fostering friendships and more importantly gaining an understanding of each others cultures.

Buena Suerte!