Saturday, August 19, 2017

Short report: A find-someone-who activity

In the morning on Aug. 12, at PIGATE's Special Summer Session (SSS), Mr. Nobuyuki Takaki led a find-someone-who activity, which he introduced with "instruction checking questions" (The PIGATE Blog, 2017.06.01), and 10 interaction prompts that he'd printed on a large envelope (snapshot below).

2017-08-12 12.38.44.jpg
Find-someone-who interaction prompts for the SSS, 2017.08.12

Afterwards, when participants had shared their findings, and were reflecting on the activity in general, Mr. Takaki made a point of mentioning that it had been an integrated-skills activity, in which participants had listened, read, spoken, and written. When I feigned surprise that participants had used all four basic skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) during the activity, Mr. Takaki reiterated the point, so I'm quite certain that participants got it.

Paul Beaufait, The Prefectural University of Kumamoto
ボーフェ ポール, 公立大学法人熊本県立大学

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Play space necessary

Image source:

"The most powerful learning experiences often happen when children are simply given the space to work things out on their
own — to come up with their unique way to occupy [their time]" (Gallup, 2017, p. 1).


Gallup, Inc. (2017). Time to play: A study on children’s free time: How it is spent, prioritized and valued [PDF]. Available from

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

International teacher survey: OECD country comparison ...

There ... [was to be] a graphic display below (hopefully;-) of results from the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2013). It appeared in a 2014 news article entitled:

Teachers love their job but feel undervalued, unsupported and unrecognised ...

[However, the embedding code hasn't worked, so I've removed it.]

There's a four-page summary of findings from Japan here:

Complete results are available here:
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Monthly special topic: Summer vacation homework


Summer homework, to the best of my recollection, wasn't a big thing way back when I was growing up in Missoula, MT, half a century or so ago. As a matter of fact, the concepts of homework (school work) and vacation—"freedom or release" from school (, vacation, definition 3), still seem diametrically opposed. Air-conditioning wasn't a big thing in many places, either.

Reading, however, was a big thing, at least in my family. Visits to the public library downtown were, generally speaking, a weekly affair. During the summer they may have been even more frequent.

Though the archive photo below predates my childhood reading career by a few years, and the children's coats (and the date stamped on on the back of the photo) suggest a colder season, the Children's room was in the basement of a Carnegie grant-funded library building. That basement remained pleasantly cool throughout the summer!

Children and books at the Missoula Public Library (1956)
Image source: Montana Memory Project (

As I recall, there were story hours once a week, and children could get library cards as soon as they could sign their namesin cursive not printed script. However, the one book per child checkout limit proved irksome.

Once I'd gotten hooked on reading, one of my parents had to check out extra books to get us through the week. It wasn't too long before they had to persuade the librarian to let me check out books from the upper-elementary school stacks.

The old library building now is home to the Missoula Art Museum (, which offers a wide-range of art experiences for children (

Missoula Art Museum (Google).PNG
Missoula Art Museum, 335 N. Pattee St., Missoula, MT
Image source: Corey McClure (May 2017), Google Maps (

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Friday, June 30, 2017

2-Minute Tips: Smart Passwords ( (2016, October 25). 2-minute tips: Smart passwords [YouTube video]. Retrieved from

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Classroom practice: Using instruction checking questions (ICQs)

This post showcases a presentation that Taishi Kaneko (KU, Fac. of Educ., M2) used for a demonstration and discussion of instruction checking questions (ICQs) at the PIGATE gathering earlier this month (2017.05.13). Taishi began to develop his interest in ICQs while studying overseas last year.

If you have comments or questions regarding ICQs and their use or potential, please feel free to spell them out in comments on this post. Suggestions of and pointers to related resources also are welcome.

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My Club Activity by Ms. M. Kamioka (KGU, Engl., 4th yr.)

This post showcases a presentation that Misaki Kamioka, a 4th-year student in the English department at KGU, delivered to the PIGATE gathering in the KGU Learning Commons earlier this month (2017.05.13).

It is a pleasure to be able to share Misaki's slides for viewing by PIGATE members who were unable to attend her presentation in person. It also will be a pleasure to have her, her classmates, and her peers take part in future PIGATE gatherings.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Skidamarink: Super Simple Songs & Wee Sing YouTube videos

Skidamarink is one of the songs for young learners that Mr. Takaki introduced during the PIGATE gathering on ... [May] 13. Here are a couple videos of the song from the Super Simple Songs and Wee Sing YouTube channels.

If you use songs and gestures like that with young children or older learners, please shout out in comments on this post to let us know what your favorites are and how you use them.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Online Teacher Summit and SNSs

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During an Online Teacher Summit (, April 2nd through 9th, Central Time in the U.S.) that I attended to the extent possible given the time difference and a busy beginning of semester here in Kumamoto, I took a couple of small steps to broaden my online base; I added Instagram and Pinterest to my repertoire:

Though I've begun networking with Instagram, it isn't immediately clear what extra-social (i.e., educational) purposes it may serve. Yet with Pinterest I have created a few boards with help from suggestions that Pinterest sends, via email and notifications, of related pins to consider for new boards such as:

While most of the networking and sharing for the Online Teacher Summit took place via Facebook, various online meeting spaces, and video playback sites, my LinkedIn and Twitter networks have been growing simultaneously.