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<   2010年 02月 ( 9 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Daddy in Japan!   

Hi everyone!
As you know my father came to visit me in Sapporo for 3 weeks.
It was very tiring but a lot of fun! I've been travelling for 5 years now and that was the first time we travelled together...
He came many times to see me working with children, took part of the conversations in Chit Chat cafe, and saw me singing.
For him it was also an opportunity to see not only the scenaries in Japan but also the real Japanese life.
He loved the snow festival and took a lot of pictures...i loved it too, particularly the ice sculpture with different endangered species from Hokkaido.

We first visited Noboribetsu and enjoyed the hot spring there. I didn't think it would be so nice in winter but... at least for people who love silence, trails in the nature, and the hot spring!
After that we flew to Tokyo, took the Shinkansen to go to Kyoto and the train to Nara where we saw wonderful temples and experienced the famous Ryokan. One of them was situated just in front of Kyoto river, in Potoncho street exactly, where we were taken care very well.

In Tokyo we wanted to try the "Capsule hotel 105", hot bath included...amazing experience! I loved it personnally even though it was quite expensive for woman.
Of course no need to say that Japanese restaurants, sushi bar and green tea was a big part of our trip...Coming to Japan without eating Japanese food would be a shame! It is a part of the Japanese culture.

When we came back to Sapporo, there was no ice sculptures anymore...such a shame!
My father left last Saturday and brought back in France unforgettable memories...Japan has never been a country he planned to visit before, but he was so happy for coming here, meeting my bosses, my friends, my lovely children, being wished his birthday, that I could see his eyes shining...


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-27 16:57 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Winter is over!!!!   

Hello guys! How are you?
I hope you had a great winter. Now winter is coming to end. The snow is melting and it has started to rain instead of snowing. Soon I can start using my bicycle. Did some of you go and see the snow festival? I went and it was beautiful.

I think that everybody is now watching the Vancouver Olympics. I think Mao-chan will get the gold medal! And I want Miki to come third. GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Japan

It’s soon March and I have been working in chit chat café for one year now. Wow! Time flies! In March the baseball season is starting and on Wednesday I am going to watch Fighters Vs Hanshin tigers. I am going to watch the game because I want to see Jojima.
So that’s all from me.

See you in chit chat on Saturday.


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-26 20:05 | 英会話 教師 札幌

My new job   

Well, I’ve had an eventful time since I came back from the UK. I’ve
found myself a full-time job! Unfortunately, this means I won’t be
able to work at Chit Chat so often, but now I know that I will be able
to stay in Sapporo for a long time. You will still see me in Chit Chat
occasionally though – and I will definitely still come to the
international parties.

So you’re probably interested to hear about this new job I have. Well,
I’m now an ALT in one of the junior high schools here in Sapporo.
That’s a public junior high, not a private one. It’s in a nice area,
and the students are all great. Well, I suppose some of them are a
little bit cheeky, but I wouldn’t say there are any students who are
actually bad.

Because I’m an assistant (ALT stands for Assistant Language Teacher),
I am always team-teaching with a Japanese Teacher of English. This can
be both good and bad - some of the teachers who I have team-taught
with were exceptional and I really learned a lot from them. Others
weren't so good. But I think on the whole team-teaching has been very
good for my progress as a teacher - maybe more so than if I had just
been teaching on my own.

Having said this, it has been three and a half years since I started
teaching. I'm now at the stage where I want a class for myself! I have
the experience, I have read a lot about education in the three years,
and my Japanese is probably just about good enough now to teach by
myself. (Maybe I need to practise more kanji though.) Unfortunately,
in my new job I have less responsibility than I used to, not more. The
teachers are very big on teaching grammar directly to the students,
and they spend lots of time doing grammar explanations and worksheets,
and I only get to do the occasional warm-up and I have no real input
into the planning of the classes.

This might have something to do with the previous ALT. I'm not sure.
It certainly takes a long time to develop a good teaching relationship
between ALT and JTE. It's a shame that I can't do more for the
classes, because I know that if we did most of the things I suggested
then by the end of three years of junior high school we would end up
with students who could actually speak English! Not to mention being
much more accurate in grammar and spelling.

It looks like I might not need to think about this too deeply though,
as I will probably be moved to a different school from April.
(Actually, I will probably start in May - a policy of Sapporo City
Board of Education which I'm not too happy about.) Either way, trying
to get the teachers to change the way they teach when there's only one
month left in the school year might be pushing it. They're struggling
enough just to get to the end of the textbook.

It feels like I've only just got started on this subject, but I'll
sign off for now. You can look forward to more of the same in my next


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-25 17:12 | 子供 英会話 札幌

Bicycle versus car   

Hi everybody!

I had a pretty interesting conversation last night with my friends and I would like to let you know about it and, if we meet in the chit chat cafe, know your opinion about it.

Here is the topic: is having a car really essential nowadays?

I am a real defender of the "No" about this. Why? Because we can do most of our daily journeys with other ways of transportation: by walk, by bike or with the public transportation. Obviously, it depends on the place you're living in, some people really need a car. But my opinion is that most of the people could live without, especially if they are living in a big city.
Here is something you can try to do: take a pen, and write down the advantages of using a bike against the advantages of using a car. Here is my list of the bike advantages:
- Less expensive
- More healthy
- Better for mood (in France, most of people become another person when driving, yelling at everybody around)
- No parking problems
- In most of the situations, it's faster
- No traffic jam
- No need to have a driving license

The last point is for me the most important. If the global warming previsions become true, I want to be able to look at myself in a mirror and think that I've done my best not to be a part of it. Many people think "everybody has a car, if I also have one, what does it change?" and here is the point where I don't agree. Each action that we do, each product that we buy, has an influence on our environment. And buying a car has a big influence.


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-24 14:17 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Snow Festival in Sapporo   

In my country (Czech Republic) Sapporo is well-known especially for its annual Snow Festival. Usually there are short coverage about it on Czech websites or TV, so many people know it, and some of them have been influenced by it, so they organize similar event (but of course in much much smaller scale!) in my country.

As long as I have been living already for three years in Sapporo, this year it was my 3rd Snow Festival - of course I went to see each one and enjoyed all of them very much. This year I went to see snow statues for the first time in the evening, so could enjoy also the illumination and plenty of concerts on the snowy stages. It was wonderful, crowded and fun! It is just a pity that the snow festival lasts only one week, I feel always so sorry for the people who are making the statues, which can enjoy only very short “life”. But anyway, maybe the wonderful things lasts always only short time - what makes them so great and unforgettable indeed:-).


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-19 17:09 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Thought I love Japan's winter!   

Hi everybody! How are you? Surviving the winter? Do you have a lot of warm clothes?
One thing I noticed is that a lot of Japanese, even in very cold days don't wear a warm jacket and hat with a scarf. More than that, some girls wear skirts. I would never believe it, if someone told me that and I didn't see it for myself. Also foreigners from warm countries put autumn clothes on and argue that it's very cold. Of course it is!

On the other hand, people from countries, where it can be very cold (like me, but not only) wear a lot of winter clothes, sometimes too much and sometimes it's too hot because of that.
Anyway, Sapporo's winter is pretty cold and with a lot of snow, which causes a lot of trouble sometimes. But I like it. It's much more people-friendly here than winter in my city. But it's still cold. :)

Be careful outside, it's very slippery and cold!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-17 18:20 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Happy Valentine!   

Today was Valentines Day and I got some fresh mini choco pies from my wife. She is really good at baking these kind of tasty things. Also a student of mine gave me some tasty orange-flavored chocolate sticks from Daimaru. Oishikata desu! :)
How do you feel about Valentines Day in Japan? Did you give some chocolate to your husband or boyfriend today? What do you expect to get on White Day? I think the way the customs of Valentines Day changed in Japan are really interesting. Especially the part about giri choco.

Why is it necessary to give chocolate to people you don't love or maybe not even like? How did this change develop and why? Did you give giri choco to your bosses or co-workers today?

I'm really curious about your opinions and can't wait until we meet at Chit Chat Cafe and talk about it.

See you soon,


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-16 14:33 | 札幌 英会話 教室 求人

New staff, Hajimemashite!   

Hello everybody!
I'm a new staff in Chit-Chat cafe, my name is Yann and I come from France. I started working there last week. It's my first experience working in this kind of place, and I think that the concept is very interesting. It's a good place to learn about different cultures and make new friends.

I've also attended the chit-chat party last Saturday, where I could get to know some of you. For the ones I couldn't talk to, I hope to see you next time! I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere there, so I'll definitely come next time.

I'm very interested in history, so if some of you share this interest and want to know about France history, don't hesitate to bring this topic during the conversation. I also want to know more about Japan history, because it's a new kind of history for me, very different from the French one, especially because of the different relations the two countries had with their neighbours.

I hope to see you soon in chit-chat cafe!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-05 17:37 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Three things I can’t live without (well, at the moment anyway)   

Hello Chit-Chatters! Hope that you are all happy and healthy! Thanks to everyone who came to the party on Saturday and I hope that those of you who went to second parties all had a good time.
Today has been the coldest day that I have probably ever experienced in my life. It was so cold that I was worried that my blood might freeze!!!! I’m hoping that it will be at least a degree warmer tomorrow!

Well, I would like to tell you all about three things that are part of my daily routine (sorry to those that have already heard this in Chit Chat). First of all, every morning and every evening now I always have a glass of aojiru. On the box it says to have one sachet of aojiru mixed with water a day, but I’m a pretty tall guy, so I thought that two would probably be better. A lot of people say that aojiru tastes bitter and unpleasant, but I love it!

Secondly, I always have a can of sardines on toast in the morning. I mix a tablespoon of tomato puree with a can of sardines and heat it for a few minutes and then put the sardines on a slice of toast. A delicious and healthy breakfast (well, I think so anyway!). Not sure if Yuka appreciates the smell of 鰯every morning though!

Thirdly, and I have to thank Peggy for mentioning how delicious they are, it has to be Purin Daifuku! I thought that it was a strange combination at first, but after trying one a few weeks ago, I fell in love with them. I don’t really eat a lot of sweet foods, but Purin Daifuku is simply wonderful! You can buy it in some supermarkets and convenience stores, but please make sure that you buy the Nichiryo variety, as this is much better than some of the other types on offer. Inside the daifuku, instead of the normal sweet beans, there is a mixture of custard cream and caramel sauce. If you get the chance, buy one today!

Would love to hear about things that you love too (especially anything abnormal!).
Please wear lots of warm clothes when you go out and be careful when walking as it’s really slippery out there at the moment.

See you soon


by chitchatcafe | 2010-02-03 16:26 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン