Wednesday, 28 April 2010


So, it's been a long time since I posted anything here.

I've been teaching for two or three weeks, now! I say "teaching"... what I mean is doing my Self Introduction Quiz for 15 minutes or so, taking questions of varying strangeness from the class and then letting the main teacher take over while I read out some passages, perhaps choose children to answer a question or set a question.

The self introduction goes something like this....

Good morning, everyone! My name is Gwyneth Jones... you can call me Gwynnie! OK, we're going to play the Gwynnie... Quiz!... So, first question, where am I from? Hmmm... am I from - America? Am I from.. Britain? Or am I from... Japan?
This is of course accompanied by a lot of smiling, acting like an idiot and holding up colourful cards with pictures of the options. I then tell them... Britain! - and get them to clap themselves if they got it right. I then tell them about Britain... including getting out a world map and getting them to guess where it is... then asking - "so - who likes soccer? Do you know... Manchester United?" - showing them a picture of Old Trafford stadium and pretending that my house is right next to it. Well, technically I lived in Old Trafford for a while, but the picture I use is of my house in Wales....

Then it's what food I like... noodles, hamburger, or pizza? The answer is... pizza!
What animal do I like? Cats, dogs, or.... monkeys?? (These kids LOVE monkeys)... it's cats! I then tell them I have two cats, and show them a picture of Dandelion and Burdock (who have been in reality been dead for a few years... morbid? Nah!)...

What is my hobby? It's.... SCUBA diving! Seeing as I've dived a whole 5 times and all. And.... what did I drink for breakfast this morning? Coffee... green tea.... or sake? This gets the biggest laugh, of course, and everyone thinks it's funny to guess sake. But I say it was green tea, just because nobody thinks a Westerner would ever drink something Japanese! (OK, I admit, it was probably coffee... although I've become addicted to my matcha...)....

Then, I might show a picture of my family, and tell them a little bit about Britain (depending on their age). Then they get to ask me questions. These range from the constant "Do you have a boyfriend?" to questions that would put any interview panel to shame... "why did you want to be an ALT?"... to the slightly stranger "what country do you dislike?" (I'm diplomatic, I said there was no country I didn't like so far)....

It's fun, and I'm still introducing myself to some classes, while I've visited others for the second time already. The other day, one of my awesome JTEs (Japanese English Teacher) took some photos of my ichinensei (first year) class for the school files, so I asked if I could have some. I can only post ones that don't show the children's faces, but here we go, Gwynnie-sensei in action - teaching the alphabet, and making sure they can pronounce all the sounds....

Shame I can't post the others, they are so cute!!!!

Off I go for now. Golden Week is approaching.... yay!!!


  1. > Do you know... Manchester United?"

    If any of the kids spit at this point be sure to give them chocolates on my behalf.

  2. Hahaha yeah, if their English was more advanced I might say... "I used to work there. They are evil... never support them!"... but it makes the kids think I'm cool :P

  3. that sooooo cool!
    Way to go

    you look like you were born to teach:)
    As i was reading this the king and i kept poping in to my head - yeh i know, wrong
    counrty,time, job! but hay, i'm a musical theater child!)
    it looks an amazing experiance i'm enjoying reading about it - keep posting
    take care

  4. I'm looking for an alternative way into Japan. My granddad fought for the right to speak Welsh, I'm keeping an open mind but I don't think I could teach English.