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  • Small Beginnings
  • Interactive Website
  • Role-playing
  • Online Dictionary
  • Night Owl Chat
  • Scott Gorman
  • Barbecue

Small Beginnings with lots of gratefulness

 Today is the first blog and it is appropriate to say thank you to
several people. Without the help of Sadahiro Saito, this website
and blog would not exist. Thank you Sadahiro!


 Did you know he created the Nikaho City website? I also
want to thank my wife for support and encouragement, the
students for allowing me to change their weekly lesson schedule
so I could work on the website, and finally for Kristin’s
assistance on the website. Thanks everyone!!!


 Well, let’s begin with our beautiful city Nikaho! Did you know
the city has a small portion of its website in English? Click
“Nikaho City” on my home page and the English portion of the
site will open up. It has lots of great information about our city.
A company was hired to translate the site; however, they also
received generous editing contributions from our local ALT,
Mr. Alex Miner. Great job Alex!


 Did you also know another local person contributed their talents
to the city’s website? Kristin narrated the video clip. She has a
perfect voice for it! If you have not listened to it, click the video
link on the page and listen to heaven’s voice.


 Let’s talk about other things concerning our city. It can be anything
you like. I wanted to show people a small gorgeous part of the
Kisakata coastline. I decided to take my video camera out to Misaki
Park to capture the beauty from out there. As the saying goes,
“a picture is worth a thousand words”. Just click "here" to view it.

    Interactive Website

 This is week four of my blog and I’m really enjoying it. This week I want to explain to you what I am trying to do with this website. The keyword is “user interactive.” In the next year I will be trying to give the website an interactive section where adult students can practice and learn English in various ways. The plan for the future is to create 5 interactive tools, such as the blog, a music corner, a live monthly talk show, Skype night and a few additional ideas that I will explain later.


 I invite you to look at our new “Music Corner” link. It is still being designed; but has some great music for you to enjoy. It will feature one famous and one local musician along with their lyrics. If you have the motivation you can translate the lyrics and send them to us so other people can read them. If you have any suggestions for how to improve the Music Corner, click on the “send us your suggestion…” button. The song, “Oops, I did it again” by Britney Spears will be in our karaoke collection at school. You will have a chance to sing it at our adult Halloween costume/karaoke party on Oct. 31st. You can find all the party details on our new “Event Calendar”.

 Well, that is all for now! We hope to hear from you via the blog comment box, the music corner suggestion box or maybe see you at our Halloween party. In the meantime I will be working on the live monthly talk show. Until next time!



Role-play for Language Development

 Two weeks ago I wrote about my desire to increase my vocabulary. I have been learning lots of new words this month. It’s a lot of fun. Has anyone else been learning new vocabulary? There are so many strategies in learning a language.

  I remember I used to role-play and pretend I was two different people. I would play each person's role and have a conversation about a specific topic. It was enjoyable to change my moods through the characters. The exercise helped me to think in Japanese, use new vocabulary and force me to verbalize the language I had learned.  This was really important. Click "here" to see me role-play.

  What strategies are you using these days? Are you writing emails in English to friends? Are you reading books? Do you have a conversation partner? Are you watching movies in English? Send me an email and tell me the ways you are learning English this month. Until then...

Online Dictionary 

 Well, let’s get started with today’s blog topic. Several people have asked me if I will put more Japanese into my website. The answer is yes, but not every page will be translated into Japanese. My intention with the blog was to translate difficult words for the readers; however, Kristin might have solved everything. She found a great pop-up website dictionary application called, “Popjisyo.com”. The URL address is Popjisyo.com. It’s really easy to use.

  Open Popjusyo.com and put in my web site’s URL address into the Popjisyo URL browser. Make sure the translation is English to Japanese. Next, just click “Go” and it will take you to my website. Open the blog page and begin reading it. When you don’t understand a word, put your mouse on the word and the Japanese definition will pop-up. It seems to be really convenient.

  We would love to have some of you try it and let us know if it is a helpful tool for your English language development. At the moment the online dictionary does not work on all of my webpages because I use i-frames for some of my pages. I apologize for this. Popjisyo works on this page so try it.


Copy: http://ses-kisakata.com/blog.html

Click "here" to open popjisyo.com

Paste: http://ses-kisakata.com/blog.html
into popjisyo's URL box. Click: Go

You will now be able to use the on-line dictionary.

If you have problems, click "here"to watch a video.

  Watch the video to see a visual explanation on how to set up the dictionary on my website. Once you figure it out you can use it on other websites as well. Good luck!

  Finally, if anyone finds a useful language tool or an interesting internet site, please share it with us and we will try to pass it on to all our readers. Well, that is all for now, until next time!


 Do you know what an owl is? Yes, it’s ”ふくろう” in Japanese. Can you guess what a person is called who likes to stay up late? Yes, the person is called a “night owl”.

 I’m a night owl; so last month I started our online “Night Owl Chat” time. I think it is going to be fun! Anyone can join a session and talk with me and up to three other people at the same time. All you need is an internet connection, a computer, and headset. Just download “Skype” onto your computer and then sign-up for the weekly “Night Owl Chat” time. 

To read more about the opportunity to chat, go to:
If you would like to read the information in Japanese, then go to

 I believe there are lots of people who would love to try it, but are real nervous about trying it.  Remember, the purpose is to enjoy talking with people and improve your English a little.  Another nice thing is that it is free! Try it, you might like it! Hope to talk with you.






A Tribute to Scott Gorman, our Sister City Goodwill Ambassador

  Our good friend, Scott Gorman, passed away on June 20, 2009.  Who was Scott?  He was first and foremost a wonderful, unique man who lived in our sister city, Anacortes.  He was an avid supporter of the Anacortes International Exchange Association.  I met him 13 years ago through the Kisakata/Anacortes exchange.  It was at that time that our friendship blossomed.

  He was instrumental in the exchange program from the beginning.  He dedicated countless hours of volunteer work to help the youth experience a foreign culture.  He participated in the exchanges, building bridges of friendship and showing us how to make lifelong friends. Scott did a little of everything, from supporting fundraisers to preparing the students for the exchange and helping them process their experiences.  He was always willing to do an unpopular task to make sure the exchange would continue.  It was regrettable that he had to retire from the activities owing to health reasons.

  He lived here in Kisakata for six months on a Fulbright Scholarship.  He was constantly working to deepen the ties between the two cities through his work and writing.  His generosity and humor brought joy to many people.  Words cannot begin to describe the person Scott was, and the effect he had upon people.  Scott, we cannot begin to thank you enough for your generous, selfless dedication to the exchange.  Above all, thank you for being true to yourself, and thank you for being such a kind, gentle, and giving person.

  It is through the exchange that I experienced a wonderful friendship with you, albeit short but sweet.  We will miss you dearly, but you will live on in our hearts forever.  Scott, I will be singing your tune…please listen from above.

  His memorial service will be in Anacortes on July 12th. Below is another tribute to Scott from a good friend here in Kisakata.

追悼 My Dear Scott Gorman


会ったみんな、バイバイ!じゃあね、see  you again. って手を振り、笑顔を振り撒き
去っていったのだろうと思います。  私も笑顔で見送りたいと思います。来世は、差別の

またね。  Setsuko




BBQ June 13, 2009

Hello everyone, it’s Kristin writing the blog this week!  I’d like to tell you about the flea market and BBQ that took place last Saturday.

  The flea market at Nemunoka was a great chance to get rid of everything we no longer use in our homes.  There were many popular items, such as an exercise bike, Mariners souvenirs, homemade crafts, clothing, and more.  The sunny weather brought many interested buyers!

  The BBQ at Seishi Park was a great success!  Over 80 people came to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and drink lots of beer.  There was a great turnout of ALTs from all over the prefecture, and many Japanese people also came.  We had a great music performance by Tomoko Saito, who played the guitar and sang her own songs.  Many people had a great time eating, drinking, and socializing – thanks to everyone who came!

  I’d like to thank the following volunteers who helped make this BBQ possible…

  Akemi Ito and I worked very hard to plan the BBQ, and I cannot thank Akemi enough for her hard work.  She is a super volunteer, and without her help, we wouldn’t have had a BBQ.  Akemi, you’re a superstar!!

  Ei, Suzuko, and Keiko (from Matthew’s eikaiwa) helped me and Brett prepare the potato salad, hamburgers patties, and all the other food for the BBQ.

  Megumi Konno, Yuko Ishigoka, Mari Sato, Yui Sato, Fumiaki Oba, Song Liang, Brett Rawson, Jinko, Tamaki, and Yoshinobu Shirase all worked hard to help make the BBQ a success!