The Greenlist of English Schools in Japan

Thoughts and Opinions on Teaching English in Japan, plus many lists of good schools in Japan at our homepage. You can post your resume or job for free too. Check out the homepage!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teachers Games for Vocabulary

A Halloween Party is always fun with the students, especially when Batman and Robin show up!

Teachers Games for Vocabulary (for teaching vocabulary)

by Lyanne Thomas

Who said that learning new words is boring and daunting? Kids need to learn thousands of words so tedious memorization is not a practical and fun method. It is therefore the task of the teacher to make learning effective and fun, and this is where vocabulary games come into the picture.

Read More


Volunteer English teaching for children of Filipinos from Fukushima in evacuation center

Volunteer English teaching for children of Filipinos from Fukushima in evacuation center

Dear FETJ members, friends and supporters,

We hope that most are now in good shape after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation that remains to be the problem needing to be solved by strong prayers. Today there are more than 40 Filipinos evacuees from Fukushima who are staying in Franciscan Church in Roponggi together with around 20 children. Fr. Resty Ogsimer is requesting for volunteers who can handle children activities. Read More


Weather Vocabulary for your Students

The weather vocabulary your students should know

by Lyanne Thomas

The weather is an inevitable topic in our day to day talk. It is often used to initiate a conversation and to break the ice. No wonder why people around the globe love to talk about the weather.

The weather is also one of the most interesting topics you can discuss in class whether with a group of beginners, intermediate or advanced level students.

Read More


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

JETAA Toronto Fundraiser Benefit for Japan

This Friday April 1st, JETAA Toronto will host a special fundraising event in support of the rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.

The event will take place at the Hard Rock Café from 8 pm 'til late. Live perfomances will include Arashido Taiko drummers, the world music of Nhapitapi, indie rock from Olaroks and Cousin Rufu, Kenji Body Paint Black-Light Dancers and more! A silent auction will include trips to New York City, Toronto Raptors merchandise, a weeklong test-drive of a new car, gift certificates for various Toronto shops and services, and much more.

All proceeds from this event go to the Canadian Red Cross earmarked for Japan Disaster Relief. JETAA will be accepting additional cash donations on behalf of The Red Cross at the event, which may be eligible for a tax receipt. If you are unable to attend or would like to donate by credit card, please visit

We urge you to come out and support this important event!

Check out our facebook event page or email for more information.

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011
Time: 8pm til 2am
Place: Hard Rock Café, 279 Yonge St., (map) South of Yonge and Dundas.
Entry Fee: $20

Ages: 19+


On the Future of the Whole World

Though I agree that we need to start thinking about what kind of alternative forms of power we are going to use not just in Japan, but worldwide. I don`t think now is the time to debate this in Japan. We need to deal with first things first, which is getting the people up north houses and safe, and fixing the reactors or burying them if that is what is needed.

Most importantly we need to stay positive that we can get all of the above done in a timely manner. It is still winter up north and will be cold for a few months more.

Read More


Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Teaching English in Japan

  • How do you teach English in Japan?

  • What are the first steps you should take?

  • YOUR Stories Your best, worst, strangest and funniest teaching experiences!

  • How much are the salaries in Japan?

  • Oikawa san of Keio, keeps us mindful of some important aspects of teaching

  • Professor John F. Fanselow of Columbia University Teachers College, observes that what you think is happening in the classroom may not be what is happening at all

  • Jobs in Japan for Americans, the unique American situation

  • How do you learn Japanese for free or cheaply?

  • Conrad Matsumoto enlightens us with his "almost no prep activities"

  • How do you teach young children?

  • Chris Weber gives us his hard won advice on teaching English to Japanese

  • David Martin of EFL Press talks about how to be an Effective EFL teacher

  • Should you teach on the JET Program?

  • How do you teach English online?

  • Devanshe Chauhan explains classroom management for newbies

  • What are the Japanese people like?

  • What should I know about working visas?

  • What are the big schools like?

  • Thomas Anderson weighs in on how he teaches university students

  • Follow Us at Facebook or Yahoo Groups

    Follow us at Facebook

    Follow us at Yahoo Groups


    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Please Donate to Help Japan

    The fickle media is all ready deserting Japan for other if it bleeds it leads stories.
    the biggest disaster in Japanese history continues and we need your help!

    Imagine America losing her west coast.    This is essentially what has happened for a much smaller and less populous nation.    This disaster
    is unprecedented in Japanese history.

    The Latest News from Japan


    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Little Canada English School for Sale!

    Seems like a very good deal to me.  This school is in Ebina, near Ebina train station.

    I was tempted myself but have my hands full!

    Little Canada English School in Ebina, Kanagawa


    One-day Certificate Courses in Teaching children

    Language Teaching Professionals

    Click for LTProfessionals website

    One-day Certificate Courses
    in Teaching children

    (for teachers of elementary school children)

    Dates / times / venues

    Click here for addresses and maps

    Tohoku - (a course will be offered free of charge when it becomes possible to do so)

    - Sunday April 3

    Osaka - Sunday April 10

    Nagoya - Sunday April 17

    Fukuoka - Sunday May 1

    Kanazawa - Sunday May 15

    Matsuyama - Sunday May 22

    Okayama - Sunday May 29

    Sapporo - Sunday June (date to be announced later)

    All courses are from 10:00 to 17:30 with a one-hour break for lunch

    Registration / fees

    To register
    Please reply to this e-mail with your name and address, and state which course you would like to attend

    The fee for one day is 9,000 yen for members of ETJ, and 12,000 yen for non-members.
    Membership of ETJ is free and you can join on the day.

    Course content

    About the course
    A general introduction to child-centered learning. All sessions are interactive. Methodology is underpinned by theory, but the emphasis is on how this theory can be applied to the teaching of elementary school children in the Japanese classroom.

    Topics covered
    * How do children learn?
    * Using games effectively
    * Building reading and writing skills
    * Developing communicative skills
    * Integrating songs
    * Lesson planning
    * Developing international attitudes

    The trainer

    David Paul
    Author of 'Teaching English to Children in Asia', 'Communication Strategies', 'New Finding Out', 'Communicate', 'Songs and Games for Children', 'Discover English', 'Discover the World', 'Discover the Universe'.

    To unsubscribe from all newsletters from Language Teaching Professionals, please just reply with 'unsubscribe' as the subject.

    English Teachers in Japan:


    Genki English Newsletter

    Messages In This Digest (1 Message)



    Japan Disaster Relief Sale Till Friday: Every Penny Goes to Japan Re

    Posted by: "genkienglish"   genkienglish

    Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:45 pm (PDT)

    Genki English Newsletter April 2011 I'm sure you have all read the news reports and seen the TV pictures from Japan. Luckily I was on the other side of the country when it struck and both myself and the Genki English are all fine. Over on the Genki English blog we have collected over 100 messages to Japan <\ for-me> from teachers around the world and my post about the irresponsible English language media incredibly even led to me being quoted in the Wall Street Journal this weekend. Now it's time to really ramp things up …. I still want to do more, so I'm trying something new. I haven't done this before so I'm a little nervous, but let's see how we go… I'm sure you also want to help the thousands of people whose lives were devastated by the tsunami. That was the real horror story here. So for the next 5 (now 3 as we started Monday!) days, until Friday 25th March. If you buy the Teacher's Set Download Pack <> ( ) , you'll get a *HUGE* $10 discount. Eh, Only $10? There's a reason! It's because every penny of the money you pay for the pack <> I'm going to donate to the Red Cross & the tsunami relief effort. All of it. The $10 off is just a "bribe" for you to act now, I really want to give as much as possible. I NEVER discount the pack, and in fact it is going UP in price soon. If you've been on the fence about buying the Genki English Download Pack <> . Now's the time to buy! <> You get the discount, your kids get the best lessons they've ever had and the kids in Japan get the money. I'll cover the fees… Now to tell the truth there are credit card payment fees, server fees and lots of other stuff like that. But I'm going to cover all those myself. Every penny you pay gets sent to the Japanese Red Cross. Why? As I wrote before, there was no panic but there are huge areas of the country where towns, villages, schools, houses and homes have been washed away. The nuclear threat was media made, but the devastation of the tsunami is very real. And although we see the devastation on TV there isn't that much really we can do sat here where we are. I usually believe that using our own skills, abilities and talents is better than simply cash donations at times like this. I've put my blood, sweat and tears over 12 years into making the Download Pack <> and it is my primary product, the biggest source of income I have and probably, if not THE, best English teaching system in the world. So that is what I am giving as my donation. I will do more in the future, but for now, I'm hoping this is enough. They made it … [268] A lot of kids are without anything where the tsunami hit. But you know it's because of a lot of those kids that we all have Genki English today, the songs, the games, the picture cards. I really mean it when I say most of the ideas for the lessons come from kids, and a lot of those ideas came from the kids when I was touring it what are now the tsunami areas. Some of the kids you see in pictures on the site they are right in the middle of all this. So it only seems right to give them all the money from the sales. You stingy beggar – only till Friday! Bear with me – there is a reason! It's because I know that if I offer it for a month people will go "Oh, that's nice" but then get busy and not act on it. So I'm keeping the time short. VERY short. You'll only get the discount and the donation till Friday March 25th Midnight Japan time. I'm hoping we'll sell a LOT. It's priced in dollars so we should meet five figures. Six figures would be totally amazing – it's a goal for us all to try and meet! Plus First 50 Get an extra special bonus Plus to make it even better for you, for the first 50 people who order from right now will get the Hip Hop Advanced Genki English Download Pack included for free. All the cool Hip Hop songs that you've seen work magic on Margit's kids last month, the mp3s, the grammar worksheets, the games, the works. Everything. You get for free. Again I've never offered these together, it is an amazing gift. The 50 is counting from when the offer went live, so there are only a few of these left. They may even be sold out by the time you read this. so get your order in now. <> Why not the CD packs? This offer is only for the Download Pack <> . With the CD packs too much money is wasted on pressing, printing, packaging and postage. With the download pack, and if I cover all the expenses, then every single penny gets to where it needs to be. Plus the Download Pack <> uses less fuel and uses less energy. I think everything in Japan this week has shown us how important reducing energy is. This is the most economical, the most ecological way to get the best education for your kids, and hopefully a little light to the kids in Japan. If you already have All the Genki English volumes…. I have a special request for you. Please in the blog comments write up some words about how the Genki English pack has changed your classes People only buy things if they see how much they are helping others. If they see what a good investment it is and how it can transform their classes they'll want to buy it more. Has it made your kids happier? Or more eager to learn? Has it cut down on your preparation? Or brought you more students? Has it made your students happier? Or improved their English? Put it in your words and let the teachers who are on the fence see what an amazing way of teaching this is. Please don't buy the pack again (I know you want to!) It's much more efficient to simply donate the money yourselves. And of course write up in the comments below.\ -all-the-money-goes-to-help-japan <\ k-all-the-money-goes-to-help-japan> But If you already have a FEW Genki English CDs…. Get it now! <> . Treat it as a free/paid upgrade – you'll have all ten volumes and super easy to use menu – and all the money is your donation to charity. More bonuses and bribes to come …. I want to give you more. Keep an eye on the blog, I'm polishing up a few more bribes and bonuses to give to you for buying this week. Everyone who buys will get them all so get your order in now <> . In fact the more we sell the more motivated I'm going to be to come up with extra bonuses for you all! How can I trust all the money will get there? It looks like the Red Cross is the best place to donate the money. All the sports stars, pop stars and large organisations in Japan seem to be going through them. (If you have other suggestions then please put them in the comments.) Usually I donate directly to governments or educational charities, but this time I guessed you would all prefer somewhere that is internationally recognized. I'm doing this for a reason, because I want to and because it is what I think we should all do. I pretty sure this is the best way. Finally … Even if you don't care about Japan, then still buy the pack now <> . There's a reason it is used in thousands of schools around the world and featured in countless press and TV articles. It works. It brings energy and life to your classes and makes your students, and their parents, learn more than you could imagine and keeps them begging you for more. If you need an instant boost of energy in your English lessons right now, then this is the program for you! Details are here <> and here is the direct link to buy it now. <> Today is your chance to get it for a bargain price and help the people of Japan. But only for the next few days. If you have questions please let me know and please tell everyone you know about the offer! Let's make a huge difference together! Be genki, Richard P.S. The servers are going to be under a lot of strain and all the email support I will be doing myself. Everything *should* run 100% smoothly but it might take a little time for me to reply to messages. Let's see how much we can raise, tell your Facebook and Twitter friends and let's buy the best English system in the world now! <> <>


    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Review of some Good Websites that offer Free Grammar Worksheets

    Review of some Good Websites that offer Free Grammar Worksheets

    English Grammar worksheets play a very important role in teaching ESL to students of all ages. These work sheets are carefully prepared to inculcate various elements of learning the English language. Teachers and instructors can use these worksheets to help their students in any particular aspect of the grammar in which he is weak and needs help.

    Read More


    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    In the Aftermath of the Disaster

    An official associated with the Jet program, who spoke on condition of anonymity
    revealed the following story:

    "What are you gonna do to get us out!"   The JET teacher in southern Honshu, shouted into the phone reciever.

    The Claire (Jet Program) representative tried to remain calm though he wanted to
    punch the gentleman from southern Honshu right in the mouth.   

    This JET teacher down south had obviously become paranoid by the news reports from abroad.
    His particular southern Honshu town was in no danger from a tsunami or the recent earthquake.
    And far outside the 80km evacuation zone set up by the Canadian and US government especially
    and the 30km limit set up by Japan.

    The Claire representative had a very good friend that was caught in Sendai.   So felt this
    particular gentleman in the south selfish.    Fortunately the Claire representatives friend managed to survive.  

    Unfortunately we have all been victimized by the media.    It was pointed out by a reader,
    that the media poses as a caring medium, while doing its best to spread panic and sell

    The Claire representative kept it together.  Didn`t slam down the phone, and calmly explained
    why Claire would not be getting this particular teacher "out of Japan now!"    There was no
    danger to him.

    The danger though tremendous, was isolated up north, in spite of sensationalized, Fox News reports to the contrary.    Though Fox News was not alone in the hype.   CNN and others
    are guilty as charged.    Fox just happens to be this scribe`s most hated news outlet.

    In future it is probably best to try to get your news from many different sources.


    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Life in Japan Now - Don`t Believe the Hype in the News

    I was just interviewed by a radio station in Montreal about the state of life in Japan now.
    I told about how we are struggling along. Dealing with aftershocks, the occasional new earthquake,
    as well as long lines at gas stations, and the lack of milk, bread and some other kinds of food.

    If you want to know what is going on in Japan:

    Don`t watch Fox News, I don`t recommend CNN. BBC is pretty good. The Real is better.

    While this tragedy has been absolutely terrible for those up in the Fukushima area and some other
    parts of Tohoku, Japan, and my heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives, their friends and relatives and the very courageous people trying to stem this disaster now.

    I want to say most of us are healthy in Japan. And frankly it doesn`t help to have to deal with the hysteria coming from
    abroad, along with everything else.

    The greatest danger is psychological. My doctor, brother in Vancouver said some people are freaking out. I read on the West Coast of the USA, people are heading inland! This is an overreaction.

    Maybe you will remember that near Las Vegas many years ago, they did not one, but many above ground nuclear explosions.
    People didn`t freak out nearly as much as now, and that was frankly much more dangerous than what is happening in Japan these days.

    If you are outside of the 80km limit set by Canada and the USA -around the nuclear reactors in Fukushima,
    you are safe. That is my take, and the take of the vast majority of experts. If you want conspiracy theories,
    I`m sure you can find some. But no sense poisoning your body with medicine you don`t need, nor
    dragging your family away from home. I haven`t, and I am not suicidal.

    We go about our daily lives in the
    shadow of Mount Fuji. Today I went for a walk and enjoyed the sunshine. And thought how lucky I am to be alive, and to have a great wife and three lovely kids, and I said a prayer for the people up north

    There are a few of us Canadians here in Japan. In case you are worried about anyone over here,
    or just want a less sensational and more real take on what is going on, you can check out my blog I update it with balanced news and my own take on things.

    I look forward to meeting some of you at a future teaching conference in Japan or abroad.

    Kevin Burns


    JETAA Newsletter (Toronto, Canada)

    As the world has watched the unfolding devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, JETAA members have been especially affected. Many of us have friends or even family in the hardest hit areas, and some have spent days trying to contact people amid unreliable phone networks and power blackouts.

    There are many positive stories: people connecting with loved ones or of dramatic rescues in the news; but there is also destruction, fear and loss of life. Seeing this happen to a country we lived in, and to the people we came to know and love has been hard, when most of us are far away and seemingly unable to help.

    But we are not helpless. We can lend our support in many ways. That is why on April 1, JETAA Toronto will host a special fundraising event in support of the rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts so needed in Japan.

    The event will take place at the Hard Rock Café. There will be live music and a silent auction with trips to New York, CN Tower tours and other prizes with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross's efforts in Japan. For more on our fundraising efforts please see this article

    We urge you to come out, gather your friends and family and support this important event.

    Check out our facebook event page or contact for more information.

    Date: Friday, April 1, 2011
    Time: 8pm til 2am  
    Place: Hard Rock Café, 279 Yonge St., (map) South of Yonge and Dundas Sq.
    Entry Fee: $20


    David Paul`s Latest Newsletter

    Language Teaching Professionals

    Click for LT Professionals website

    Click for ETJ website

    E-mail Newsletter
    Monday February 28th

    Reliable information

    With so much conflicting information, it is very difficult to assess the dangers.
    The following websites seem reliable and are regularly updated:

    ELT News
    BBC News
    Huffington Post

    Russell Willis of ELT News is especially to be applauded for his thorough updates.

    Human stories

    Over 14,000 dead or missing
    The number of people who have died or are missing continues to climb

    American teacher walks 20 hours to find girlfriend
    Tsunami survivor's amazing trek

    Amid Sendai's devastation, a father seeks his daughter
    An elderly father looks for his daughter

    Four-month-old baby, 70-year-old woman found alive
    Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out - and Japan met its tiniest miracle

    Boy continues lonely search for family members
    Boy searching for his whole family

    How to help

    Send a message of support or donate to Save the Children

    Donate to the Red Cross

    Donate to Doctors Without Borders

    One-day courses in teaching children

    Certificate courses in teaching English to elementary school children.
    These courses will go ahead in some areas of Japan

    A course will be run free of charge in Tohoku when it becomes possible to do this.

    April 3 - Tokyo
    April 10 - Osaka
    May 1 - Fukuoka
    May 15 - Kanazawa
    May 22 - Matsuyama
    May 29 - Okayama

    All courses are on Sundays

    Click here for more detailed information

    New ETJ website

    ETJ has a new website. More widespread announcements on this
    will be made when things have settled down in Japan

    New ETJ site

    Hands-on interactive learning

    Philip Garden, a teacher in Kyoto, has put together a wonderful
    range of felt-board stories for children. They offer all kinds of
    possibilities for teachers of children.

    Click here for more detailed information

    Events coming soon

    Sunday March 20 - Nagoya
    ETJ: Cynthia Akazawa - 'Teaching special children'

    Sunday April 3 - Chiba
    ETJ: Various speakers

    To unsubscribe from this newsletter please just reply with 'unsubscribe' as the subject

    English Teachers in Japan:

    English Teachers in Japan:


    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Japan Nuclear Update - British Embassy

    Japan Nuclear Update - British Embassy

    I have just returned from a conference call held at the British Embassy in Tokyo. The call was concerning the nuclear issue in Japan. The chief spokesman was Sir. John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and he was joined by a number of qualified nuclear experts based in the UK. Their assessment of the current situation in Japan is as follows:   * In case of a 'reasonable worst case scenario' (defined as total meltdown of one reactor with subsequent radioactive explosion) an exclusion zone of 30 miles (50km) would be the maximum required to avoid affecting peoples' health. Even in a worse situation (loss of two or more reactors) it is unlikely that the damage would be significantly more than that caused by the loss of a single reactor.   * The current 20km exclusion zone is appropriate for the levels of radiation/risk currently experienced, and if the pouring of sea water can be maintained to cool the reactors, the likelihood of a major incident should be avoided. A further large quake with tsunami could lead to the suspension of the current cooling operations, leading to the above scenario.   * The bottom line is that these experts do not see there being a possibility of a health problem for residents in Tokyo. The radiation levels would need to be hundreds of times higher than current to cause the possibility for health issues, and that, in their opinion, is not going to happen (they were talking minimum levels affecting pregnant women and children - for normal adults the levels would need to be much higher still).   * The experts do not consider the wind direction to be material. They say Tokyo is too far away to be materially affected.   * If the pouring of water can be maintained the situation should be much improved after ten days, as the reactors' cores cool down.   * Information being provided by Japanese authorities is being independently monitored by a number of organizations and is deemed to be accurate, as far as measures of radioactivity levels are concerned.   * This is a very different situation from Chernobyl, where the reactor went into meltdown and the encasement, which exploded, was left to burn for weeks without any control. Even with Chernobyl, an exclusion zone of 30 miles would have been adequate to protect human health. The problem was that most people became sick from eating contaminated food, crops, milk and water in the region for years afterward, as no attempt was made to measure radioactivity levels in the food supply at that time or warn people of the dangers. The secrecy over the Chernobyl explosion is in contrast to the very public coverage of the Fukushima crisis.   * The Head of the British School asked if the school should remain closed. The answer was there is no need to close the school due to fears of radiation. There may well be other reasons - structural damage or possible new quakes - but the radiation fear is not supported by scientific measures, even for children.   * Regarding Iodine supplementation, the experts said this was only necessary for those who had inhaled quantities of radiation (those in the exclusion zone or workers on the site) or through consumption of contaminated food/water supplies. Long term consumption of iodine is, in any case, not healthy.   The discussion was surprisingly frank and to the point. The conclusion of the experts is that the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami, as well as the subsequent aftershocks, was much more of an issue than the fear of radiation sickness from the nuclear plants.   Let's hope the experts are right!See More

    By: Paul Atkinson


    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Matty`s makes the List!

    On Matty`s School of English in Yokosuka

    "I taught at Matty's for almost two years. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The teachers, staff, and especially the owners of Matty were just great. The kids were always wonderful and the work was just a joy! Believe me, the sun was always shinning because the people I met were so kind."

    --Julie Lambert                             More on this great English School in Japan


    Nuclear Meltdown? Don`t Fall for the News Hype!

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    2011 Japan Writers Conference

    Terry Yearley
    ETJ Tokyo
    Empowering Learners and Teachers


    This is to announce the Fifth Annual Japan Writers Conference. It will be in Kobe this year at Kobe Shion Women’s University on October 15th and 16th. Please mark your calander and plan to join us. 

    This is also a call for presentation proposals. All published writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers who would like to lead a session are invited to submit proposals. Those who have presented at past conferences are (of course) welcome to submit new proposals. But we especially encourage proposals from new submitters. One of the strengths of the past Conferences has been variety, and the best way to foster variety is to feature new presenters each year.  

    Please forward this to any friend or colleague who would be interested. If you know someone the conference organizers might approach—either living in Japan or planning to visit Japan next fall—please send us your suggestion. If you have contact information, that would be a great help. 

    Detailed information follows, but briefly, a proposal needs to include a brief bio, including publication credits, the type of presentation you wish to make, a title, a summery of 50 words, a longer abstract (150 words) and any special requests you might have. Standard sessions are fifty minutes long, but if you have something special in mind, please let us know and we will accommodate if possible.

    Presentations on all genres and all aspects of writing and publishing are welcome. The deadline for presentation proposals is June 1, 2011.

    As in the past, the Conference will be free and open to all who wish to attend. This is possible because all the presenters and organizing staff volunteer their time and talent, and the use of the site is donated by the hosting institution. As a result, the Conference cannot offer any payment, reimbursement, lodging, or help in securing visas or travel permits. So please don’t ask.

    Proposal Guidelines

    When planning your proposal, keep your audience in mind. Your listeners will be writers and others, such as translators, editors, publishers, and agents, concerned with creating the published written word. While teaching, literary studies and private self-expression are certainly worthy activities, they are not the focus of this Conference. Ask yourself as a writer or other word professional these questions:

    What information do you have which could be useful to others? 
    What writing, rewriting, editing, or marketing techniques have worked for you? 
    What topic would make for a lively and enlightening discussion? 
    What publishing or other professional opportunities do you know about? 
    What will an attendee take away from your fifty-minute session that he or she will find worthwhile? 

    You may submit more than one proposal. 

    The only qualification one needs to be a presenter is to have published. This does not mean that you need to have published a lot or in some high-profile journal. Your book (if you have a book) does not have to be on a best seller list. You do not have to have won any awards or to have appeared on TV. You simply need to have written, edited, translated, or otherwise worked on a piece of writing which has made it to the public eye. That is, published. 

    Proposal Deadline and Format 

    Using the following format, please send your ideas for a presentation by June 1, 2011. Send your proposal in the body of an email (no attachments) to both these addresses:

    In your subject line give your name, “JWC,” and the date.

    In the body of the email, give:

    1. Your name (or names)
    2. Contact information (email, telephone. These remain confidential.)
    3. Your publications (Need not be complete, but give names of journals and genre for short pieces; title, publisher and date for books; venues and dates for plays, and so on) 
    4. Title of presentation. (20 words or less)
    5. Type of presentation (short lecture with Q&A, craft workshop, panel discussion, reading with Q&A, etc.)
    6. Short summary of the presentation (50 words or less)
    7. Abstract of the presentation (150 words or less)
    8. Personal and professional biography (50 words or less. Include mention of your publications, as this will be part of the Conference program)
    9. Anything else, such as special equipment needs or questions.

    Your proposal doesn’t have to be a “finished” document to submit. There will be time to shape and polish your ideas for a presentation. But there are a set number of session slots available and if you are interested in having one of them, please let us know soon. Again, the deadline is June 1, 2011.

    John Gribble 
    Bern Mulvey
    Co Co-ordinators,
    2011 Japan Writers Conference


    Some Good ESL Resources for Teachers

    There`s a very good grammar eBook for free that I downloaded myself and so did one of our teachers.  Check out " Just Enough English Grammar."

    I think it is good and it is free!

    EFL 4U is good.  You probably know of that one already though.   Kurt makes materials for teachers in Japan.
    Not free but worth the money in my opinion.


    Saturday, March 05, 2011

    A Fairly typical Contract in Japan?

     Below was the old Kevin`s English Schools contract.  I just post it here for the interest of teachers who may be coming to Japan.   I think it is pretty standard.  We had a clause on not opening your own school near us (within a few kilometres) for a few years after teaching for us.  I knew we could never enforce this.    It was just to discourage the jerks who might work for a short time then jump ship, and start up their own school nearby.   (Unfortunately it sometimes happens.    People lie and never intended to work for you for a long time.)

    It was to protect our family business.    It would be pretty unfair to hire someone then have them set up their own school right in the neighbourhood.     You may have to imagine how terrrible this can be if you are in a small market, and have your own business.     It can be devastating.    It can make the difference between paying off your house and losing your house.     I don`t feel I am being dramatic, just realistic, and honest.

    Of course, I am not a lawyer, but my understanding of contracts is,that whatever both parties agree to, and sign to, makes the contract valid.  So you can put pretty much anything in a contract if both parties agree to it.     I could be all wet on this, but that is my take.     If one party refuses then the contract must be changed, or they agree to not work together.

    In Japan you will find often unfortunately, that what you have been promised is completely different from what you get.    This is part of the culture here.   I`ve gone into this at the main website.

    This contract was originally based on the old ECC contract (where I had worked), - so I had a copy of it, and made changes of course, to suit our situation of being a small school.    ECC if you are not aware of this, is one of the largest in Japan.

    There has been much debate about legalities on the internet to do with teaching and contracts.  Again the law seems very strict.   Yet most Japanese companies do not follow the letter of the law in terms of labour relations.   Nor do government controlled agencies.    My wife works for the Japanese government, she is a junior high school teacher.   She frequently works unpaid overtime.    So do most Japanese.

    I don`t say the above is right.  I just say that is the way it is in Japan.No one pays much attention to the law unfortunately.    People work really hard here, and that is what is expected.    I never expected so much from our employees.    But I am Canadian.

    I was editing our KES homepage and need to update the website.   I don`t plan on hiring anymore full-timers for our school but wanted to keep a copy of this old contract just in case, and to share it as an example for teachers.    I`m sure you can find things wrong with it.  I am not a lawyer.   I tried to be fair when I made it.   I did consult with my brother who is a lawyer.    And as I said, I based it on the contract of one of the largest English schools in Japan.

    I think a contract tends to evolve over the years as you find things missing and find things that need to be changed.    Anyway, here it is:


    Contract With Kevin's English Schools               

    This contract is made by and between Kevin's English Schools 2659-4 Tsukahara, Minami Ashigara City,Kanagawa Prefecture, 250-0117, Japan and Tom Smith. Hereafter called the teacher.
    This contract will remain valid for the period of one year, beginning the_____________________ day of ________________________and ending on the ______________________ day of ____________________________________.

    During the first twelve weeks probationary period of the contract, the teacher may be terminated by Kevin's English Schools with one week written notice, for failing to perform his/her duties to the satisfactionof Kevin's English Schools. The twelve week probationary period clause can be waived if marked with an 'X'here___.  By marking the previous blank with an "X" Kevin's English Schools agrees to waive the probationary period. (This is sometimes done for teachers with previous training and/or experience.

    The teacher agrees to use his/her skills and expertise as an English teacher at Kevin's English Schools andcooperate with Kevin's English Schools in attaining its' educational goals.  Kevin's English Schools will renumerate the teacher and assist him/her to secure the proper visa status by guaranteeing her/his employment. After the probationary period, or if it has been waived, this contract may be terminated with one month prior written notice by either the teacher or Kevin's English Schools.

    Kevin's English Schools shall pay the teacher a salary of ______________Yen/Month for up to 28 hours of teaching per week.  Overtime shall be paid at the rate of 14,000 Yen/Month for work over 28 hours per week and up to 29 hours per week. Another 14,000 Yen/Month shall be paid for overtime work over 29 hours per week and up to 30 hours per week. A contract completion bonus of 100,000 will be paid after all bills related to the teacher`s apartment have been paid.  
    The teacher agrees to attend school events and staff meetings approximately once per month. The teacher isn`t paid any extra for attending these. School events may be parties, picnics, hiking trips, or other enjoyable activities. The teacher will be paid the cost of commuting to and from these events.

    *The teacher shall be paid for the cost of commuting to and from work. This will entail the payment of the teacher's public transportation costs. The teacher shall be paid train and/or bus fare to and from work.

    *The teacher will not be paid for transportation to and from Japan.
    The schools will have two weeks of holidays in August and during the Christmas/New Year`s period. Teachers will be given exact dates later. The teacher will be paid her/his usual salary for these vacation days.

    All Japanese national holidays are observed except for a few on Mondays. The teacher will be given a list of which Monday national holidays are work days.

    * The teacher will receive two regular days off per week. These are_______________________________________________________.
    The teacher agrees to never teach his/her own private lessons in any of our schools or apartments, nor to allow anyone else to teach lessons within our schools or apartments. The teacher agrees to not start her/his own English school (defined as five or more students taught English by the teacher) within 6 kilometres of one of our schools, for a period of up to three years after the termination or expiration of this contract.

    The teacher may teach part-time at another English school, as long as her/his work performance is kept to a high level, as deemed by Kevin's English Schools.
    The teacher agrees to encourage potential students to study at Kevin's English Schools, and to promote our schools in general.

    During the two week training period the teacher shall be paid 1,000 Yen/hr for the two weeks of training,plus transportation expenses to and from work and home. The training salary consists of the time the teacherspends in classes observing teachers, teach.

    The teacher agrees to allow some events to be held in his/her classroom. This is required as the teacher is living inone of our schools. No pets are permitted in the school or apartment. The teacher agrees to keep the apartment cleanand in good order. The teacher agrees to pay rent for the apartment of 63,000 Yen/Month, and all utilities.

    The teacher pays her/his own telephone fees.
    The teacher does not have to pay key money.
    This is to certify that this contract was signed this_______________day of____________, in the year,______________,by
    Manager                                                                                  Teacher


    Friday, March 04, 2011

    Post Your Resume for Teaching Positions in Japan

    You can post your resume for free at the homepage.    Many employers
    read the resumes at the premier site on teaching in Japan:


    Employers post your Teaching Jobs in Japan for Free!

    The employment ads at How to teach English in Japan have always been free.
    Employers can post an ad of any length, advertising for teachers in Japan.
    These ads are still free.


    Jobs in Japan

    Many new teaching jobs are listed at our blog.    Check it out!

    Many schools and institutions are hiring teachers to start in April or for a summer start.

    Read More


    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    On Testing Vocabulary

    On Testing Vocabulary - English Vocabulary Test Reviews: some good tests for your students.

    by Lyanne Smythe

    A list of good vocabulary tests for English learners:

    Expert Rating 

    Passing the Expert rating's English vocabulary test is a way of getting a highly recognized certification.

    Their English vocabulary test includes homophones, commonly confused words, antonyms, synonyms, definitions and inferred meaning. The test is composed of 40 multiple choice questions which has between 2 and 8 options, 1 or more of it may be correct. This is a timed test of 40 minutes.

    Read More


    English Grammar Book Reviews

    English Grammar Book - Good grammar books for students and teachers.

    by Lyanne Smyth

    A good grammar book is a must have not only for students but for teachers as well. There are numerous grammar books on the market, it is therefore important that you choose if not the best, the good ones worth their price. Do not be fooled by the catchy covers, instead look inside to check if indeed it is a book worth buying.

    Read More


    TESOL Guatemala

    TESOL Guatemala: how to teach in Central America?

    Want a change from teaching in Japan?  How about sunny Central America?

    by Lyanne Smythe

    With Mexico to the north, Belize to the northeast and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast, Guatemala is one of the most bio-diverse countries in Central America. Not only is Guatemala a historically significant country and a paradise, it is also a hot bed for English teaching.

    Read More


    Genki English Newsletter March 2011

    Genki English Newsletter March 2011

    1. Game of the Month: Kiss Sara
    2. Teaching Videos from Okinawa
    3. And finally


    Wow, we've actually had so many great new games on the site this month it's been hard picking one. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for a new ebook of games coming hopefully soon!


    1. Game of the Month: Kiss Sara

    After the rather sad news from New Zealand last week, I made this the "game of the week" for this week. It's from Mido Farid and is very sweet. It's very popular with the ladies and I�'m sure would also be a huge hit in High School.

    By the way Sara is Mido�'s daughter.

    1. Divide the board in two and draw a baby on each side.
    2. Divide the class into two teams. Each team is responsible for one baby.
    3. Ask the first students from each team a question.
    4. If the answer is correct draw a kiss on their team�'s baby.
    5. At the end of the game, the team with the most kisses wins!

    If you really wanted you could erase a kiss if a team got a question wrong. But I�'m sure you�fd never be that mean!


    2. Teaching Videos from Okinawa

    I had a 3 day workshop in Okinawa last month - over my birthday weekend. I took quite a lot of video, some of which is already online:

    Cops & Robbers "What are you doing?" - great for older kids!

    5 Minute Phonics Plan - for when you don't have much time.

    Alternative "What time is it?" gestures:

    What's your favourite ...? lesson in video:

    Plus a new video Teachers' Vocal Warm Ups to help protect your voice coming up on Friday:


    3. And finally - Tokyo, Asia & Europe

    I've just been asked by Seigakuin University to do two lectures for them on July 16th. So I'm also thinking of doing a full two day workshop on the weekend after, the 23rd & 24th July, in Tokyo. Would you be interested? Hopefully it would be a small group one where you get to teach in front of everyone and we rip you to pieces, sorry, give you lots of constructive feedback. It's a great way to improve.

    I'm also looking at a workshop in Cambodia in April and maybe even a mini tour of Europe & Eastern Europe later in the year as well.

    If you're interested in any of these then shoot me an email at:

    And enjoy all the new things on the site.

    Be genki,


    Richard J. Graham
    The Fun Way to Teach.
    Primary School Games, Songs and Ideas


    On Obama and Education in America

    "He's doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education ... the idea that we're testing kids and we're tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We're training them, not teaching them."

    --Matt Damon


    Tuesday, March 01, 2011

    David Paul`s Nelson`s Column

    I'm writing Nelson's column once  a month (or, at least, that's the plan), and have just made a new entry, 'Herd of humans'.

    This is my first time to write a blog, and I would be glad to receive feedback and comments. There is a place to submit comments at the bottom of the column.

    English Teachers in Japan: