Japan Talk is a Japanese culture and travel guide. We love Japan more than 3 meals a day.
Publications of the Japan Association for Language Teaching
JALT has a rich history of publishing material on all aspects of language teaching and learning, as well as of supporting writers in this field. In addition to our three flagship publications below, JALT's special interest groups and chapters offer many journals specific to their fields. A full listing is available here.
Fun, engaging methods to track students' progress and/or participation in class (i.e., usually via a sticker or stamp point system card).
Example downloadable reward systems.
Click the rotating snowflake in the lower bottom, left-hand corner to disable the falling snowflakes.
This seminar (originally offered at an SDC) is intended to stimulate critical reflection on some of the foundational concepts that underly almost every aspect of our teaching and interaction with junior high school students inside and outside the classroom. Using material from a youth empowerment program called the "Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program", the seminar seeks to elevate our thinking beyond only "how do I teach English" but also to ask "who really are my students?", "what kind of future do I want them to have?", "what are the biggest struggles in their lives?" and, "what can I do to help?". As JETs, we may not have a lot of power, but every action we take makes a difference, and we can also try to act as catalysts for positive change by encouraging others to ask these and other questions.
- What makes this age special?
- What are our dreams and goals for our junior-high-school students?
- What challenges does this age group face?
- What can we do?
1. What makes this age (12-15) special?
What do you think?
“Falling between the ages of 12 and 15 and representing a transition from childhood to youth, junior youth experience rapid physical, intellectual, and emotional changes…A new level of awareness fosters in them an increased interest in profound questions and in their talents and abilities…During this short and critical three-year period, ideas about the individual and society that may very well shape the rest of their lives are formed.”
2. What are our dreams and goals for our junior-high-school students?
Think about the kind of young people you want your students to become in the near future when they move on to senior high-school and beyond.
a. “Will the youth you envision be characterized by a high sense of purpose? What would they consider this purpose to be?”
b. “On what do they hope they will focus their energies most?”
c. “What would motivate them to work for their ideals?”
d. “How aware do you expect them to be of the challenges facing humanity today? Would they be convinced that they can actually contribute to making the world a better place?”
3. What challenges does this age group face?
“Some views of junior youth do not cast this period of life in a positive light. Popular views, for instance, regard this age as full of confusion and crises. Such thoughts foster conditions in which undesirable patterns of behaviour are spread. [Another] understanding of this age is that of selfless young people with “an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world”. The negative traits they sometimes show are certainly not intrinsic to this stage in human life.
“The key issue to consider then is what the sources of unacceptable patterns of behaviour are that sometimes characterize some junior youth. Two factors require particularly careful thought in this regard. First, the effect of negative social forces on many communities has led to the spread of various social ills that have great influence on how young people view themselves and society. Second, junior youth are heavily affected by the behaviour of adults towards them. Although at this age they are gaining insights into many profound matters, adults sometimes insist on treating them like children. In addition, the difference in words and actions that some adults at times exhibit can be a source of confusion to young people who are looking for standards by which to shape their lives.”
In thinking about the junior youth in your school(s), discuss how they are affected by destructive forces and the patterns of behaviour they give rise to.
4. What can we do?
Describe some of the ways you can help junior youth in your school overcome the effects of these negative forces in society. What are some of the ways you can help them advance their character and intellectual abilities and learn to contribute to the progress of their families and communities? If possible, draw on examples from experience.
Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth (Book 5), Ruhi Institute, Palabra Publications, 2006
“Statement 2: Early Adolescence”, Youth Conference Materials, The Universal House of Justice, 2013
Join the KobeJET website team!
Interested in becoming a contributor to our lessons one of our other resources? Helping with content moderation or translation? These are great opportunities to practice your editing or translation skills, and add professional, visible real-world experience to your resume.
Interested in marketing? We also need help expanding upon and building new English language and living in Japan partnerships, including backlinks and the option for building an ads component to help fund the site.
Are you a pro at social media engagement? Help us build KobeJET's social network presence on Facebook, Twitter, and others - getting the word out about our extensive collection of lessons and resources for the greater Japan ALT community and beyond!
If you're a current JET and would like to become involved with the site administration, responsibilities can be broken into a few categories.
- Content Contributor
- Add new lessons, songs and lyrics, recommended locations and more
- Translate lessons, etc. to Japanese to help these resources reach non-native English speakers
- General administration
- Approve or remove new account requests
- Let new JETs know about the site and how to set up an account/become involved
- Update current JET/school lists as necessary
- Content moderation
- Manage (create/remove) announcements on the homepage with relevant news
- Promote new lesson submissions among JETs and teachers
- Encourage translation of lesson submissions to Japanese to help native Japanese teachers better access and use the resources.
- Longterm sustainability
- Promote and manage the site and its resources on social media - Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Discuss what is needed to remove KobeJET from the blocked sites list for KIIFs and school internet - https://www.kobejet.com/announcement/open-letter-kec-and-school-education-division
- Assess ongoing tickets and work with site administrator (David Dowell) to get them resolved
Send us an email and get involved!
KobeJET is an online resource for English teaching and living in Japan. The goal is to facilitate the sharing information pertinent to living and working in Japan, educational methods and lesson plans, and community engagement.
The site represents an enormous amount of collaborative effort and donated time by a very large, dedicated team including, but not limited to:
Cheyanne Bardsley, Kobe ALT 2014-2019
Rory Harnden, Kobe ALT 2010-2012
Camden McAllister, Kobe ALT 2014-2016
Tomohiro Nakamura, Kobe OTE
Tomoe Otani, Kobe OTE
Hannah Perry, Kobe CIR 2015-2016
Bailey Roberts, Kobe ALT 2015-2017
Ayumi Sawada, Kobe OTE
Joy Sung, Kobe ALT 2014-2018
Keiki Tada, Kobe OTE
Georgia Tate Troha, Kobe ALT 2015-2019
Isaac Tombleson, Kobe ALT 2016-2019
Tiffany Tomcal, Kobe ALT 2015-2019
If you know someone who is missing from this list, please contact us at email@example.com!
KYOTO JETS is a website run by the current PAs in Kyoto City and Kyoto Prefecture for the purpose of distributing information and providing support.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact one of the Kyoto PAs at any time!
Tofugu started out as a college course project in 2008. It was rooted as a Japanese language blog for English speakers. Over the years Tofugu began to find its niche and evolved into a full-time business.
Today there are two facets of Tofugu: the blog and the company.
Most people are familiar with our wonky Japanese language and culture blog, which is what you are seeing at this very moment.
We write about Japanese topics we're passionate about, so hopefully you like the same things we like. We also write about our travels in Japan, do reviews on products, write guides to help you with Japanese, and make videos too.
The other face of Tofugu is the company. We design Japanese language learning tools to tackle specific areas where people have difficulty.
Organic Center & online shop
There are many options to exchange money in and out of Japan. Better rates can usually be found upon arriving in a destination country when traveling. Airport rates can also usually be worse than exchanges one your pass through immigration, but this can depend upon the country and situation.
Feel free to include your personal experience with any countries you've travelled in!
A popular news source in Japan provided in English
Expedia Japan -
Student Universe empowers young adults to experience the world with discount travel. For students and those under 26, our cheap flights, hotels and tours make it affordable to travel anywhere you want to go. Although we specialize in student and youth discounts, most of our promo codes apply for all ages.
Let me introduce the Triage Triangle. This is a helpful tool in helping you decide who to ask for help. Don't be afraid to ever seek support, but it's important to be mindful of the people you are asking!
Public transportation in Japan is infamous for its punctuality and customer service. However, thanks to Murphy's law a number of factors can cause delays or even complete suspension, such as natural disasters, "human accidents" (either someone fell on the tracks or jumped), malfunctions, or bad luck.
If your bus/train is delayed or running so late that you can't get to work on time, please be sure to do the three following things:
- Call your workplace and tell them that you will be late/won't be coming in to work. (This will apply as Special Leave.)
- Go to the stationmaster and ask for a Delay Certificate (電車遅延証明書, densha chien shoumei sho).
- If you choose to take a different train line/bus from your usual route, be sure to write it down on your Transport Reimbursement Form.
Here are links to service information for public transportation in Kobe (some might be in Japanese only):
- https://trafficinfo.westjr.co.jp/list.html (general info)
- https://www.train-guide.westjr.co.jp/kobesanyo.html (clickable interactive diagram that shows the locations and delays of each train)
- https://trafficinfo.westjr.co.jp/kinki.html (clickable Kinki Region diagram)
Hanshin: http://rail.hanshin.co.jp/ (home page w/ latest info) and http://rail.hanshin.co.jp/railinfo/ (more details)
Kobe City Bus: https://kobe.jcld.jp/KobeCityTransport/Notification/ (you are expected to call them...)
Kobe City Subway: http://kobe-tp.city.kobe.lg.jp/subway/info.html
Kobe Electric Railway: http://www.shintetsu.co.jp/cgi-bin/railinfo/unkou.cgi
Hokushin Kyuukou (Shin-Kobe to Tanigami tunnel): http://www.hokushinkyuko.co.jp/railinfo/unkou.cgi
Rokko Liner: http://www.knt-liner.co.jp/rokkolinerinfo/
平常どおり運行 service will operate as usual
運行しておりますが、service is still in operation, however...
見合わせ suspended until further notice
ダイヤ乱れ／ダイヤが乱れ service disruptions
____分以上の遅れはございません There are no delays over ___ minutes
____により Due to ____
For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the data controller is Timbers Space ("Timbers Space", "us", "we").
We take your privacy seriously. We acknowledge and agree that any personal data of yours that we handle will be processed with great care and in accordance with all applicable data protection laws in force.
By visiting our websites, and, at your discretion, submitting forms available, you accept and consent to the practices defined in this policy. If you are under 16 years of age you must obtain parental consent before providing us with any personal information.
The information we collect
We collect personal data of our employees and potential employees, clients and prospective clients, suppliers, business contacts and website visitors.
This data may have been obtained either directly from you (for instance, by signing up for a newsletter or by requesting a quote) or indirectly from third parties such as public authorities, public websites and social media, affiliates, suppliers and vendors.
We may collect and process the following data:
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including: name, age, gender, email address, home address, phone number, marital status, religion, income, and education.
- Other non-PII data that you voluntarily provide by filling in forms on our website. This includes, but not limited to subscribing to newsletters, registering for an event, downloading a white paper or an ebook, or requesting a quote.
- If you contact us, we will keep a record of that correspondence.
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How we use the information
The information we collect can be used to:
- Manage our contractual relationship with you
- Review and assess your job applications
- Facilitate our communication with you.
- Manage our business operations.
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- Undertake data analytics and to improve your experience on our websites.
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- Notify you of changes to our services
Sharing Data with 3rd parties
Information we collect and receive may be disclosed to third parties in and out of the European Economic Area to the following categories of recipients:
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- To any competent law enforcement body, regulatory and government agency, court or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary (a) as a matter of applicable law, (b) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights, or (c) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person.
- To any other person with your consent to the disclosure.
How we protect the information
We protect your personal information in the same way that we protect other confidential information that we have access to. We use reasonable physical and technical safeguards to help prevent access by any unauthorized parties.
We will retain personal information for so long as reasonably needed by us to provide our Services. We may also retain and use such information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
We use third-party vendors to provide our services. Such vendors provide to us hardware, networking, software and storage. The facilities of these vendors may be located outside of the European Economic Area, and your data will be subject to their data security policies.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any personal information breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator should a breach occur, when legally required to do so.
If your personal information is protected by EU data protection law, you have the following data protection rights which you may be able to exercise by contacting us using the contact information provided on our contact page:
- The right to be informed - You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data
- The right of access - You have the right to access their personal data.
- The right to rectification - You have the right to have your inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete.
- The right to erasure - You have the right to have your personal data erased.
- The right to restrict processing - You have the right to request the restriction or suppression of your personal data.
- The right to data portability - You have the right to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes across different services.
- The right to object - You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances.
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling - You have the right to restrict or object to automated decision-making processes or profiling based on your PII data.
This version was last updated on June 7, 2018.
Within two months before your residence card expires, go to your local Regional Immigration Office with the following documents:
- Application form
- A 3cm x 4cm photograph of yourself, taken passport-style within the past 3 months (please write your name on the back)
- Your residence card
- Your passport OR certificate of status of residence
- Optional: Application for Indication of Name Using Kanji Characters on the Residence Card (only if you wish to have your name indicated both in alphabet and in kanji characters)
- Click on ファイル (File) at the top of your window.
- Click on オプション (Options) at the bottom of the list.
- Click on 言語 (Language) on the left side, and then change the ポップヒント言語の設定 (Tooltip language setting) on the right side at the bottom.
Much thanks to Matt Pulzford for looking this up and writing up a mini guide.
In response to inquiries about emergency procedures, CIRs Nicole and Daniel put together a list of some general advice below:
Emergency procedures are different depending on the type of emergency, and missile tests and strikes require different actions than the natural disasters covered in the materials you have already received. In the case of any type of widespread emergency, information will show up on the official Kobe City website, but in rapidly developing situations, it may be available only in Japanese.
Should there be the possibility that a missile drops within Hyogo Prefecture, anyone with a phone purchased in Japan, and anyone who has subscribed to emergency alerts with any phone, will be notified immediately with an emergency alert telling you what is happening. Some of you who have lived in Japan for extended periods of time might have experienced a phone warning like this before when an 3.0 earthquake or stronger happens. Your phone will buzz loudly (even if it is on silent) and you will receive a message stating that a missile has been fired, and instructing you to immediately evacuate to the inside of a building (reinforced if possible) or underground. Your phone will continue to buzz, and any TVs or radios that you have connected to power should immediately turn on, notifying you on what is going on. There should also be extremely loud sirens going off all around your neighborhood, so please do not worry about missing the notification alarm, as you will definitely know. If you are at school, follow the directions of the other staff or copy what they do, if no one is actively giving directions.
When inside a building make sure to stay as low as possible, away from any windows and if possible under a table or other sturdy fixture for added safety. Go to an interior room or space if at all possible (a space that does not have any outside walls or windows). There will not be much time to evacuate in case of a missile strike. You will have an approximate 3~10
minute window once the alarms have been sounded, so make sure to get inside a building or underground immediately. Should you already be in a building it is advised to stay there. If there is indeed a strike and the building you are in is undamaged, shelter in place. If you must venture outside, be sure to cover as much skin as possible with long, layered clothing, and place a mask or handkerchief over your nose and mouth.
Should you get any type of dust, debris, or (perish the thought) fallout on your person, cut your clothing off (do not pull over your head, to reduce the chance of getting anything in your eyes, nose, and mouth) and wash thoroughly with plain soap and water as soon as possible. Avoid applying any personal care products such as lotion, hair products, conditioner, or other sticky or greasy substances.
The Hanayama & Tamondai guidebooks do have a section dealing with what to do in case of emergency, however, these are mainly intended for natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis, so please bear in mind that evacuating to your designated shelter may not be the best course of action in all cases. However, the neighborhood guides do contain information on creating an emergency bag with water, food, and supplies, and it is recommended that you do so and store the bag in an easily accessible place in your home. You may also want to make a smaller one to keep at your primary workplace. These types of bags are valuable and potentially life-saving in any type of extreme event.
The information we have provided is not intended to cause you undue alarm, but as we have been getting questions about what to do "in case", please do have a read over the above information and formulate an emergency/evacuation plan for yourself in your most frequented environments.
In all emergency cases, once the immediate danger has passed, do your utmost to get in touch with your school, ward team leader, one of us here at the SED, and CLAIR. Everyone who dutifully signed up for the CLAIR emergency net as asked at orientation should get an email from them soon after an emergency asking for a reply so that they can confirm your safety. If it's possible for our office to call and email, we will be reaching out to you at the same time.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with any of us here at the SED. Thank you.
Nicole & Daniel
To show a Prezi presentation offline, you simply need to open and fully load in a browser tab the Prezi you wish to present. Then you can disconnect your laptop/KIIF from the internet and still safely play the Prezi within the browser.
- If you close the browser or the tab with the loaded Prezi, you will need to reconnect to the internet and load it again before you can play it.
- As always with KIIFs, if you close or allow the laptop to enter sleep mode you will need to reconnect to the internet to log back in.
There are potentially other methods to actually download Prezi digital copies to your computer that you can then show, but I always used the method above without issue and never explored this potential option.
- Find the Fare Adjustment Machine near the gates. It should be yellow and say 乗り越し精算.
- If needed, press the "English" button to change languages.
- Insert your commuter pass in the upper left ticket slot. (Do this with any small ticket, magnetic ticket, or IC card.)
- The screen will indicate how much money you owe. ("~~円不足です")
- Insert bills and coins in the appropriate slots. BTW you can stack multiple bills!
- (If charging funds to an IC card, the screen will ask you if you need a receipt. 領収書あり=yes 領収書なし= no )
- The machine will then beep loudly to remind your senile ears not to forget your teiki, fare adjustment ticket, and change.
- Insert ONLY the fare adjustment ticket in the ticket gates, and you're free!
Attached is a link to a super-useful YouTube video made by Hanshin Railway.
Attached is a Quick start up guide on how to Open a file in PS, set it up to work with, and save the file after the image is edited.
There is also a brief breakdown of recommended Adobe programs.
This document also contains helpful links to free tutorials and websites that can help you become the PS master you have always wanted to be.
Finally there is a guide on how to download and install custom Actions to your Photoshop program that will enable you to edit your images with a simple click of the mouse.
January 27, 2017
Call out for lesson plans!
As we approach the end of the year, you know those awesome lessons you made that the kids loved and really helped them practice their English - while learning about different cultures and being FUN!!
Now is the time to memorialize your awesomeness with the greater Kobe JET community and beyond! Simply go to “Teaching” in the main menu and select “Add lesson” to share your pearl of education.
We’re asking any ALTs who have not yet registered their schools or school information to please do so as soon as possible. The list of missing ALTs can be accessed by logging in and accessing the Tools menu in the upper right at:
“Tools” > “Schools” > “Unassigned ALTs”
This is important for KobeJET.com to be the best resource possible – facilitating school event registrations, basic communication between Guidance Division, school staff and ALTs, and upcoming feature support.
What’s new with KobeJET.com?
With many additions to both the behind-the-scenes functionality and user interface, KobeJET.com has a lot to offer!
Now you can:
- Advertise your KICP or DS, locking in those volunteers while making it easier for the CIRs to approve and get everyone’s shuccho forms out early
- Upload and use your favorite songs to teach lyrics and share an immersive, exciting exchange with your students in the original country of karaoke
- Host or explore events happening in and around Kobe
- You can now set a minimum or maximum number of available spots
- Browse popular and recommended restaurants, sightseeing locations, and more - shout out to Tyler for getting this started!
- Find reward system cards and materials for use in your classes, and add your own
- Ask all your nagging or curiosity questions regarding the mysteries of Kobe JET life;
- How to fill out forms, send a furikomi, handle your taxes, or apply for time off
- Weather warnings, finding a dentist, women’s health information
- And more!
- Or submit answers to unanswered questions - by going to “Resources” in the main menu and select “Ask a question!”
How can I help out, and how do I get involved?
There are several ways to get involved with the KobeJET.com website:
- Website development and administration - there will be a meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the development of KobeJET sustainability practices and procedures documentation and select the next site administrators for the website.
- Content management - a small team will be needed to provide content moderation, editing, and maintenance support for the website. Duties will include looking after content for SpeakRaku and the new Songs feature, KICP and DS pages and registration, Information and Glossary, community content, and more.
- Translation - there is already an official KobeJET.com translation team that has been hard at work on the site navigation and content, creating a fully functional Japanese version of the website for use by Kobe City BOE employees, teachers and school staff.
Those interested in website development, administration, and content management can get in touch with David Dowell.
The KobeJET.com translation team points of contact are Bailey Roberts and Isaac Tombleson.
If you take sick leave, this form needs to be stamped by both your Kyoto-sensei and Koucho-sensei before being sent to the Guidance Division.
If you are sick for 5 or more working days (weekends and holidays in between included), you also need to submit a medical certificate. Attached is a pdf of the sick leave form + example of what a medical certificate should look like.
Kobe City website has maps showing the likelihood of certain common hazards during extreme weather events. You can click the tabs at the top of each map to toggle between different alerts.
Hazards related to heavy rains: http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/safety/prevention/map/hazardMap/index.html?lay=do
This set of maps covers hazards related to heavy rains. In order, the tabs are landslides, river overflow, storm drain overflow, underground facilities flooding (like the subway), tsunami, and seawall breach.
Tsunami hazard map: http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/safety/prevention/map/hazardMap/index.html?lay=tsunami
Hyogo Prefectural site hazard maps are more English-friendly, but require you to select your location with more specificity: http://www.hazardmap.pref.hyogo.jp/english.html
In addition to these maps, there are many great resources on the Kobe City website, so you may want to take the time to get familiar with it. Quite a lot is available in English and other languages as well. http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/
Whenever typhoons or other severe weather events affect Kobe, please keep an eye on the homepage for current conditions and alerts. Please make sure that you know where your nearest evacuation center is, and that you have a bag with essentials ready to go just in case. Here are some more useful links:
Please always remember to use caution and common sense whenever you travel outside during a storm or extreme weather event. Remember, you can call 119 at any time for help during an emergency: http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/foreign/english/img/119dial_eng.pdf
[Rab*bit] n. 1st year JET. seen everywhere; bright eyed, high spirited.
[Ta*nu*ki] n. 2nd year JET. cunning, wary of youth; beware their new sempai status.
[Pan*da] n. 3rd year JET. comfortable, astute; play their cards close to their chest.
[Owl] n. 4th year JET. wise, watchful, reflective; can be a great ally.
[U*ni*corn] n. 5th year JET. proud, rarely seen, an enigma; magic rainbows.
Related: Can order shirts through Zazzle at this link here.
You have 3 options:
1. Take Byoukyuu (Sick Leave)
2. Take Nenkyuu (Paid Leave)
3. Take Tokkyuu (Special Leave)
Byokyuu (can only be taken in full-day increments)
Call your principal to let them know that you will be taking sick leave. The first day you take leave, go to a clinic/hospital/pharmacy to get a checkup/medicine. Make sure to get a receipt that has both your full name and the date printed on it. When you return, fill out the Sick Leave Form and have it stamped by both your Principal and Vice Principal. Then submit it with your receipt to the Education Division.
If you are sick for 5 or more days (including weekends and holidays within your sick leave period) within a one-month period, you must get a medical certificate from your doctor and submit that to the Education Division as well.
Nenkyuu (can be taken in hourly, half-day or full-day increments)
Not recommended, but if you really can't see a doctor to get that receipt, it is possible to use your precious nenkyuu. No paperwork required, just call your school to let your Principal know.
Tokkyuu (can only be taken in half-day or full-day increments)
This type of leave is rare and granted very sparingly. In the case of taking it instead of sick leave, women can take it for menstrual pain as unpaid leave.
Question: What do you call really old onigiri?