LONDON

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I have been spending this weekend alone in London and working on my research inside the hotel where I am staying. There is a Japanese restaurant in the same hotel. The chef and staff are Japanese. That has made my stay exciting and comfortable.

I thought that it is really nice to savour the moments of being alone for a couple of days. Inside the hotel, I started making my fieldwork notes, adding some definitions for my research method and fieldwork plans. I have been able to do more productive reading and writing while having some comfort because of a change in the environment.

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Week 21

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My Ethics applications are nearing completion. I had a meeting with my primary supervisor to get her feedback on my draft of the applications. I also have a meeting with an expert on Research Ethics next week.

My work environment has changed a bit. I moved into another shared office, and I got a larger, shared desk, with separations between workstations. My colleagues are in the same room. We have air conditioners in the room!

My goals for Week 22:

  • Complete the final version of my Ethics applications (send revised documents by Tuesday morning)
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Structure one chapter
  • Expand the literature review on pragmatics

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Summer Week 4

One of my students told me that she has been struggling to keep up with the lessons and that she wanted me to explain every single detail of the target language. Although it has not been easy to pay attention to the understanding of 14 students in the conversation-based class, I tried to analyse why she found it so difficult to learn. There might be other students who feel the same way. It might be something I’m lacking.

For the other class, I give much information without using slides and I take time for each activity. I will also try to teach her class more slowly next time, and prepare a reference of grammar explanation and activity materials. Like I felt in the last semester, this has two sides. I would like to help their learning as much as possible but it actually requires a huge commitment.

There are five more weeks until I finish all of the lessons. I will try my best because it would be wonderful if they found it interesting to learn the language!


Week 20

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It was unusual that I slept more than 12 hours a day for four consecutive days this week. After waking up, I spent the day reading, writing and teaching, and I still felt sleepy. That made me feel stressed, ‘What unproductive days!’, ‘How stupid I am!’.

I concentrated on writing up my Ethics forms on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The period of time when I was writing them was productive. After submitting them, I went for dinner with my colleagues. I eventually achieved my goals for week 20!

During our dinner, I talked about my anxieties to my colleagues to get some advice. They told me about how they felt the same way during the first six-month period and how they became more confident as they progressed. They cheered me up, but my worries never vanish, maybe because they look clever enough to deal with it.

I am going to an Indian restaurant with Luca tonight. A weekend treat is an essential part of each week.

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Summer Week 3

Little by little, I have been learning how native English speakers learn and understand the Japanese language. I also found that I need to slow down the pace of lesson and make sure that students fully understand the content of the target language. As a consequence of intentionally spending more time on each activity, I think that the students grasp the grammatical structure of phrases and sentences, which might be an essential part for adult learners.

The classroom usually has a U-shape desk arrangement for 20 seats. But today, there were two column arrangements for each 10. We used one column for ten of us. It actually worked very well. I was able to stand and talk closer to the students than usual. They looked more relaxed, and I was a bit surprised about how desk formations affect the class environment.