My Corner of the World

For my students, and others interested in learning English

June 17, 2012
by barbsaka

Rainy Season

It’s rainy season now in Kyushu.

Rainy season

Image: kimubert

Today it’s not rainy at all. It’s very sunny and hot! During rainy season, the hydrangeas bloom. They’re called agisai in Japanese. There are many different types of hydrangeas!


Here’s a video about the ajisai train, in Hakone, Japan.


How about you? Does your country have a rainy season? What’s your favorite thing about rainy season?

April 22, 2010
by barbsaka

Pirate Adventure (a book review by Satoshi)

Pirate Adventure Cover

Biff was reading the book about pirates. And she said “I don’t like pirates. Biff’s friends came to play. She showed the magic house. They didn’t believe her. She showed the magic key. The magic key made children get smaller. Children went into the house. And when they open the door there is a beach. They played on the beach. The pirate found the children. The children were very afraid. Pirates took the children to the pirate ship. And children are very surprised because it was a party! Children ate and played. And children went home. Then Wilf found the little hat.

This book is the kind of story I like. Because one pirate is very funny. This pirate is wearing glasses and baseball cap. If you like funny stories you will like this book.

Note: Pirate Adventure, by Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta, is from Stage 5 of Oxford Reading Tree, published by Oxford University Press.

February 2, 2010
by barbsaka

Where would you go?

Cold winter days make me think of the beach.

P6290324I like to snorkel, so I spend most of my time under the water.

Ishigaki is an island near Okinawa, Japan. These are some of the colorful fish you can see in the water around Ishigaki.


If I could go anywhere, I’d go to Ishigaki.

What about you?

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

December 16, 2009
by barbsaka

How to Make a Paper Balloon

The ladies in the Wednesday Shinfujin class made this video as a class project. They chose the subject, wrote the script and planned the filming. At the beginning, they were very nervous about making a video, but they did a great job. I’m very proud of them and their video. I hope you enjoy it, too, and will try making your own paper balloon!

Origami Balloon from Barbara Sakamoto on Vimeo.

Here’s a copy of the written instructions:

How to make an origami balloon

1. Start with a square piece of paper.

2. Fold the square to make a rectangle.

3. Fold the rectangle in half to make a square.

4. Place the square so that the folded edge is on the left and open edges are on the right and at the bottom.

5. Open each of the squares to make 2 triangles.

6. Fold both of the tips of one triangle up to that they go to the top.

7. Turn the paper over and do the same thing again.

8. Now you should have a diamond with 4 tips at the top.

9. Fold the right and left corners in so that they touch the center point of the diamond.

10. Turn the paper over and do the same thing again.

11. Each of the folded corners makes a triangle with a pocket on top.

12. Fold each of the top tips down and into the pocket like this.

13. This is a 2-step fold, to lock the edges of the balloon together.

14. Fold the tip first so that about ¾ is in the pocket. Crease the fold to make a sharp edge. Then fold the remaining edge and stick it inside.

15. This will make it so that your balloon stays together.

16. Do the same for each tip.

17. Blow into the open end of your balloon.

18. Now you have made a paper balloon.

October 8, 2009
by barbsaka

Seven Random Things About Me

Do you know what random means? If not, use the Ninja Words link in the left sidebar to look it up.

Here are seven random things about me.

1. I have lived in 19 places.

2. I grew up in a house that was 5 minutes from Disneyland.

3. For two weeks in junior high school, I wanted to be a flight attendant (instead of a teacher).

4. I can curl my tongue in half lengthwise.

5. I have snorkeled the reefs of 11 islands around the world (so far!).

6. I have almost always had dogs for pet, but I have also had a parakeet, a ferret, guinea pigs, hamsters, goats, and a horse.

7. I can repeat all of the 50 United States in alphabetical order (as long as I sing them).

Now, it’s your turn. Share seven random things about yourself. Remember to be safe online!  Don’t share  any specific information about yourself. You should never put information online that tells exactly where you live, what your full name is, what your phone number is, exactly where you will be, or information that would let anyone find you.

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