September 28, 2015

Mr. Yasukochi and Eiken Visit!

Mr. Yasukochi and the staffs of Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyokai (the Eiken Foundation of Japan) visited Konan high school for the coverage of the magazine "EIGO KYOIKU (English Education)."

They observed a lesson for second year students at 6th period (By Mr. Arishima) and interviewed to some English teachers after the lesson. MR. Yasukochi and three English teachers discussed the current English education of our school and Japan. 

The magazine will be published in December.




September 25, 2015

2nd year students showed their presentations to the teachers in Kagoshima University.

The students in the "UK Project" are working hard on their research project as one of the learning in "SGH" project. Today, eight Kagoshima University teachers were invited to give some suggestions to their research after their presentation in English.

Students are now devided into four groups according to their research interest; Food, Environment, Business, and Sight-seeing. In 50 years, Japan surely faces serious problems that would be caused by population change in these fields.

There were a lot of students who made good progress in their research. Some students carried out fieldwork on their own during summer vacation. So, some of the suggestions given by university teachers seemed "academic" to some extent. 

Go for it, students in the "UK" group!






September 22, 2015

Welcome back, the first "Taiwan Project" members!

At 11:00 today, 15 students who visited Taiwan as a SGH project and Mr. Horikiri, the teacher who went to Taiwan with them came back safe and sound.

They met their parents at the Kagoshima airport. Mr. Komaki and Ms. Kodama, who were the representatives of the members made a short speech to everyone; "We studied a lot in Taiwan. We really thank every single person who has enthusiastically supported us; the school alumni, our teachers and last but not the least, our parents. We'd like to visit Taiwan again. We will make more efforts, so please keep on supporting us." 

We relieved, seeing the students coming out of the door after finishing their entry formalities. They seemed to grow up. They seemed to gain skills and knowledge, such as cooperation skills. They will surely play an active role at school after this. 

We, teachers in Konan, also really appreciate all the supports from various people such as people in the school almuni.  Thank you very much. 






Taiwan Visit 8

Last report from Horikiri Sensei arrived!


Leaving for Kagoshima

We left the hotel around 6am and arrived at the International airport at 6:30 am. It is very crowded! It seems that it would take about an hour to go through departure formalities. Students look sleepy but well. Now they are lining at baggage check-in, eating their takeout breakfast.




Students said goodbye to the guide. They passed through the passport control. Now we are boarding 8:15 airplane CL118. We will fly to Kagoshima. Let's see at the airport soon!


Our Principal's comment: Eight days passed so quickly! Now, I'm leaving here to see them at the airport.

Taiwan Visit 7

The seventh day (Sep 21) report has come!


Anping District Visit

We left our hotel at 9am. It took about 20 minutes by car. We observed some buildings built by the Dutch in the 15th century. Students found that Tainan City played a critical role in Taiwanese history.

Chiayi City

Next, we head to Chiayi city. It was about an hour drive this time. We enjoyed Cantonese cuisine first at a restaurant. This city has a long history with Japan. Forestry used to be one of the main industries of this city, so we visited the Taiwan Red Cypress Museum and a ruin of a station. This area was strongly related to the movie, "Kano" so I was sorry that we couldn't watch the movie yesterday.



Thanks to the driver, we went to Tropic of Cancer there. Today is de facto the last day, so students seemed to want to stay more.

Taoyuan City

From Chiayi, we took the super express train to Taoyuan City, which is located in the northern area of Taiwan. It was just 70 minutes ride. It was so fast. We stayed at a hotel near the airport. We drop in at a shopping center just before we arrived at the hotel. It was the last shopping.

We ate the last dinner at the hotel. Today boys were very hungry again!

In this study tour, students were all well. I was so glad that we would end this tour successfully.


Tomorrow, the report will be published earlier, before they come back.


16 Pictures are here (Slideshow: Music "Haru no Himawari" by TAM Music Factory):

Click to download the slideshow.

September 21, 2015

Taiwan Visit 6

The sixth day's (September 20th) report has arrived!


Leaving Hengchun Eco-Farm

We started eating breakfast at 7am and left the eco farm at eight. We moved to Tainan City and it took about two and half hours.
We were planning to watch a movie "Kano" that was produced in Tainan. "Kano" depicts high school students in Chiayi city, which we were visiting. However, we had region code problem with the DVD, so we couldn't play it on the bus. It's a shame since the dvd was delivered by Mr. Nakamura, the JTB staff!
I guessed students would be tired, but they were still so energetic. They enjoyed singing, talking on the bus.

Tainan City Visit

We first visited Taipei Confucius Temple. We felt the long history. Everything is very old. Surprisingly or not, we found a shaved ice stand! We ate shaved ice with a lot of cut mangos. The girls seemed very happy. We had Dan zai noodles, which was one of the popular foods in Taiwan, then walked to Chihkan Tower, which was built by a Dutch. They also enshrined Zheng Chenggong. After this Tainan tour, we headed for Wusanto Reservoir.



Wusanto Reservoir

On the way there, students took a nap. After the arrival, we first visited Hatta Yoichi Memorial Museum. We watched a video about Chianan Irrigation. We studied what Mr. Hatta did in Taiwan again. 

After browsing various documents and others, we actually visited the Dam. We saw the statue of Mr. Hatta and were moved. The dam was so big. As the proverb goes, "Seeing is believing." Students were excited. Please take a look at the pictures.




Arriving at a hotel in Tainan City

We moved back to Tainan city again and arrived at a hotel near the station. We had dinner. We enjoyed Sichuan cuisine. It was so spicy that everybody almost screamed in pain.
Students are so different now. They eat a lot and don't hesitate to talk to local people. They became out going. Two boys didn't stop eating until the last minute. They must have had 4 cups of rice, at least.

Well, that's all for today. I'd like to relax. Tomorrow will be the last day that we can enjoy this tour.


Our principal's comment:They will come back soon. Tomorrow, they will arrive at Kagoshima Airport. I hope I can update this report before they come back.

As always, you can enjoy the slideshow of 24 pictures taken in Taiwan. (Music "Atorie karano Nagame" by TAM Music Factory)

Click here to download.

September 20, 2015

Taiwan Visit 5

The fifth report from Taiwan on Sep 19th arrives!


Good bye to host families

The students stayed with their host families in the morning. I met with them at noon at boys and girls schools. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to say goodbye. "You can call us Father and Mother in Taiwan," that was the words from some of the families. 謝謝.



Ecofarm Visit

We headed for Ecofarm with 16 Taiwanese people, including students and two geography teachers and a teacher who spoke Japanese from Pingtung high school and three university students and Mr. Sato from National Pingtung University. We had the surprise lecture about the geography and history in the bus! That's the reason why we named this study tour "Learn in Taiwan!"
It took about two hours to go to Hengchun Eco-Farm. We strained something in the water. What was it?


The guide explained about the plants in the farm in English. We enjoyed chatting and relaxed. We walked around the farm.


The last study tour schedule for today was opinion exchange. Students talked about their future career, dreams, or the country they will be 20 years later. I asked them to think why high school students should try to solve problems such as depopulation. Taiwanese high school students had very good opinions as well as university students. It was very stimulating for Konan students. (I led this workshop, so there is no picture about this workshop. Sorry.)


At last, we enjoyed the BBQ! We talked a lot, and eat a lot. There was no difference between the way of BBQ in Japan and that in Taiwan, but the foods were not the same! For example, we served fried bread instead of noodles!


During the BBQ, I exchanged some information about schools in Taiwan and Japan with teachers in Taiwan. We found some similarities, but the most different point was that teachers do not change schools in Taiwan! Students enjoyed talking, singing, and dancing, but the time of leaving came. Konan students walked to the main gate with Taiwanese students to see them off. They were very friendly until the last minute.



We went down to the nearby stream to see fireflies. The guide led the way for us and other guests. She spoke Japanese so I calculated her age. Oh, I thought too much.

Small troubles are always inevitable in foreign countries, but all the students are well. Weather is nice, too. I'd like to make this trip fruitful until the last day. Tomorrow we will head to north by bus in the morning. In the afternoon, we are going to visit Tainan City and Wushantou Dam designed by Yoichi Hatta, a Japanese.

Today's comment: We cooked something today, but when will we eat them?

Please enjoy the slideshow of 25 pictures. (Music "Itsu no Hika" by TAM Music Factory)

Download from here (Click to download).

September 19, 2015

Taiwan Visit 4

Taiwan Report 4 from Horikiri Sensei arrives!


The time passes really fast today too!


Students gathered at Pingtung Zhong Shan Park which located in front of Pingtung Girls' High School. They were full of energy! They were all excited and talked about the homestay. We walked along the park to visit the boys' school, which was the first high school we planned to go today. On our way, we browsed the morning market a bit.


Pingtung National Boys' High School Visit

It is widely known that schools in Taiwan always welcome us. It was true! Lots and lots of students were at the main gate and waiting for us! Later, they explained that actually all the students were at the gate. The principal also welcomed us. We were overwhelmed with joy! Boys were so energetic!


In the welcome ceremony, two groups had a chance to show their presentation. They did better than yesterday. As a teacher, I was very happy. Students worked really hard to make themselves understood. After the ceremony, they experienced leather craft with Taiwanese students. During the work, Konan students talked with them, using Kanji, the Chinese characters, which was what we really intended to. We had lunch there. The leaving time came too soon.


Pingtung National Girls' High School Visit

The students in the girls' school warmly welcomed us here too! They performed strings and showed cheerleading. We enjoyed their performance. Another two groups showed their presentations in the girls' school. I guess it was difficult for the first year students to make a good presentation which listeners could understand clearly, but they definitely did their best. Good Konan students! In the girls' school, they participated in lessons. Students were really happy to go to classrooms and welcomed everywhere. Maybe it might be the first time for boys to be welcomed by such a great number of girls! I was stimulated by the teachers in Taiwan had already introduced "Active Learning," in which students engage in lessons actively, and that all the English lessons were taught in English.


End of the day

The last lesson was Japanese class. After that, they met their host brother or sister and went home. Today is the last day of the homestay. I'm looking forward to hearing their "stories."

Today's comment

Surprisingly, there were some girls in the boys' school while there were some boys were enrolled in the girls' school. They studied arts, such as music or paintings. There were also four exchange students in the boys' school and they went to the girls' school together. The fourth day ended successfully thanks to the teachers and students of the both schools. We really appreciate it. They must have been very busy preparing for our visit. My students should feel the same way. Tomorrow, we are going to visit Hengchun Eco-Farm. Students will exchange their opinions with Taiwanese students. I hope they will have a good time.

The best comment of today: Nothing is better than milk tea with tapioca after work! (By Ooki and Hikari)

Me? I enjoyed the night market.


Our principal's comment:

You must have been very nervous to show your presentations, but you did well in these two days. Taiwan Study Tour members, I'm proud of you. Go for it!!

Today we received more pictures than yesterday.You can enjoy the slideshow of the 26 pictures. (Music "Akogare-Iro" by TAM Music Factory") Download (Please click here.)

September 18, 2015

Taiwan Visit 3

A new report has arrived from Mr. Horikiri!

Preparation for the presentation

We had breadfast at 7:00. We enjoyed sandwich with tea. Students stayed up late last night to prepare for the presentation, so some of them seemed very sleepy. We started rehearsal from 9am at one room in the hotel. After that, we left the hotel at 11am.



Today we had Chinese cuisine! It was so delicious. Everybody enjoyed the lunch, but unfortunately we couldn't clear up all the dishes. At the restaurant, we had some surprise! We met teachers of the girls' school we planned to visit tomorrow. We were a little bit embarrassed!



National Pingtung University

Students and teachers in the university welcomed us warmly. There were about 50 students. We prepared presentation in English, but teachers asked us if it's possible to make some of the presentations in Japanese, so we changed our plan a little bit. Konan students were a little bit nervous since almost of all the things they had there were the first experience for them. They ended presentations successfully, but they also regretted as, "We could have made them better." "It could have been better." Everybody said they would like to try again tomorrow. Very good students.
After that, university students showed us some presentations, and Sato sensei gave us a lecture. We enjoyed the stay there.



Ikegami Library

We went to Ikegami Library with 15 students of Pingtung University, which was called "Heito" university by local people. It took about 30 minutes. This library was built 15 years ago by the local people, in memory of Dr. Ikegami, who remarkably contributed to the medical services of Taiwan. We again had hearty welcome there and talked with them. Mr. Ryu, from the facility, requested us to sing us the school song. We proudly sung our school song. Mr. Ryu also praised students' attitude and manners.


Meeting Hostfamily 

Students met their host families at Pingtung Girls' School. Girls were a little bit nervous or excited at the beginning, but soon they became friendly. I was happy. After that we moved to Boys' School and boys met their host families. Boys were not so excited nor nervous. Boys are boys, wherever they are.



Today's comment

Thanks to the tremendous supports from a lot of people, our study trip again went well today as scheduled. I am really grateful. Students must have a good time talking to their host families now. They are very positive, enthusiastic, and cheerful. Tomorrow we will meet at a park at 7:20. I'm sure I will see their happy faces next morning. 

Me? I enjoyed dinner with our kind guide at stands which are very popular in Taiwan. 

Editor's note: pictures can be downloaded from here, including all the pictures shown above.  Download 150917_taiwan.mp4. (Music "Sanpo-michi" by TAM Music Factory)

September 17, 2015

Taiwan Visit 2

A new report on Sep. 16th from Horikiri Sensei arrived!

"We arrived at hotel at 8:30 pm in Taiwan time. We had an earthquake but almost of all the students were fast asleep, so they didn't notice it.

Next morning, we had a kind of "full breakfast" and left the hotel, heading to a robot factory. It was rainy again, but today we were planning to move by bus or train, so it's not so bad. 


Shayye Robot Factory

We visited a company, which originally produced reduction drive. Now the factory is producing robots for entertaining. Students enjoyed its demonstration. Some of them actually manipulated some of the robots.




They had Shabu-shabu, one of the most popular Japanese foods. We didn't know why, but it tasted a little bit better than that of Japan, and of course, everybody ate too much. Oh, no!

Hsinchu Science Park

We visited the area Hsinchu, the area known as the center of IT. In this area, businesses and academia are jointed and it is also supported by the Taiwanese government. Here, staffs in the park explained about industries of the area, using movies. Students were surprised the scale of the park or the strong support of the government to the city. They never stopped taking notes. They again learned a lot.

Taiwanese Shinkansen Ride

Everybody had big bags. The train was, of course, same as  that of Japan. It was really comfortable.


Arrival in Takao

We changed from a train to a bus. We visited Lotus Pond, 蓮池潭. We relaxed there. We had fun browsing around fruits shops and drawing fortune papers.




Next, we had Hakka cuisine as a dinner. Students ate so much that the tour guide was surprised. She bought some Tapioka Milk tea. They always eat, laugh, sleep a lot here in Taiwan. I think this is the most important thing when you visit a foreign country.

Tomorrow's Schedule

They are going to make presentations in Pingtung University. They will hhomestay. They practiced Chinese in the train or bus. I was impressed. From now on, I am going to help students preparing for presentations at the lobby of the hotel. They will prepare for it until noon at this hotel.