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Showing posts from August, 2018

City Hall & Education Boad

On August 24, 2018, we had a wonderful meeting with Higuchi-sensei, the Mino City Education Board Chair. The English Teaching Assistant from the US (who was there via the JET Program) was also in the meeting. During the meeting, Milton spoke in Japanese about our gratitude towards the citizens of Mino, showcasing how welcoming the citizens of Mino have been during our stay. The American TA also talked with us about the more challenging and enjoyable aspects about teaching English and living in Mino. On September 4, we went to City Hall to meet with the deputy mayor. In the beginning of the meeting, Milton once again spoke in Japanese, showering praise on the citizens of Mino regarding how eager they were to welcome us to their town and how they enjoyed spending time with us during our stay. Afterwards, the deputy mayor and we talked about how we could continue the program in the future.

School Visits

High School English Speech Coaching:   We coached three Mugi High School students who would be participating in the English speech contest. First, we edited their manuscripts, smoothing out stories that could be told naturally, as well as correct any grammatical aspects that are not conveyed naturally in English. Then we helped them how to pronounce these words properly, speaking with emotion that helped with the story’s flow. We truly enjoyed the time with these three students! School Visits We visited the Mino Middle School and the Nakauchi Elementary School, observing how students study at these schools. On the day we attended, students were learning to put out a fire with a hose. With arms outstretched, they also practiced Kanji (Chinese characters) stroke order. Similar to the kindergarten students, the kids served lunch and clean their classrooms. The reason for them cleaning: there are no janitors in these schools!

Mino Cultural Events

Evening Community English Conversation Class   We taught two different levels of English conversation classes to over 40 students, ranging from kindergarten students with their parents to middle-aged adults. These classes were held twice a week throughout five evenings during the two-week stay in Mino.  The students were eager to learn English from native speakers, despite the serious Typhoon 21 that occurred on September 3rd. Many kinds of people came to speak English with us, including a film reporter from the local cable TV station. This event was so popular, that it resulted in having it covered by local newspapers and a cable TV station. Cooking Class   On August 25, 2018, visitors and natives cooked together as part of the cultural exchange. We learned how to make two dishes, one from each side of the world: Japan’s Okonomiyaki and Pasta with Italian Tomato Sauce from the Western culture.  The Japanese participants learned that American fathers/husbands often aid i


Inuyama Castle and Cormorant Fishing (Ukai)   Originally built in 1537, the Inuyama Castle is located in the city of Inuyama of the Aichi Prefecture, overlooking the Kiso River.  A national treasure, it is one of the only twelve original castles that have survived multiple natural disasters and wars since the Feudal Age.  The group climbed many steep steps, witnessing a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside with a detailed history by our knowledgeable tour guide.   Cormorant Fishing (Ukai) is a traditional fishing method which uses trained cormorants to catch sweetfish (known here as ayu).  This practice has been around for over a thousand years, and is prominent around the Nagara River in Gifu City and Seki City, where the master fishermen have official patronage from the Emperor.   Before moving along, we all had a Bento Box dinner in a small boat. This was followed by sparklers, with the group going out in boats as they watched the fisherman and their birds c

2018 Mino Boston Exchange Program Begins!

On August 19, 2018, Milton Coyhendall & Grace Hillaker arrived the Gifu Hashima Shinkansen Station in Gifu Prefecture, who were welcomed by members of the Mino Boston Club.  The two visitors would stay in Mino until September 6th. Milton Coyhendall is an experienced ESL teacher, with over 10 years of English teaching experience to Japanese students in numerous universities in Boston. Grace Hillaker is a student at University of Massachusetts Boston, and has been studying Japanese over five years.