Today I had my last ever lessons with my first year Wednesday classes. Next year they’ll be all grown up and entering ni nen sei (second year), where they aren’t forced to (and thus don’t choose to) take English. I think on balance the Wednesday classes are probably my favourite, especially the second class of four students. And I get to teach with the wonderful Takemoto sensei.

Today’s classes were really fun. The first (being at 9am) always starts a bit slowly. First we had the song of the day- Don’t Look Back in Anger. Last week I had to cope with Des’ree’s “Life” (which includes such poetic lyrics as ‘I don’t want to see a ghost, it’s a sight that I fear most, I’d rather have a piece of toast’), so this week I got my reward. Then we moved on to our current topic, travel. I showed everyone my passport (the general consensus seems to be my spikey hair was cooler than my current fluffy look), we reviewed months in English, then we moved onto a roleplay. It was at this point that I read out the line “What’s the purpose of your visit”, and everyone burst out laughing. I still don’t know why. However, at various points for the rest of the lessons, Okamoto-kun would should out “purpose!” at the top of his voice, sending everyone into further laughing fits (this is the guy who in another lesson shouted out “calpiss” every so often…the name of a strange Japanese drink. It didn’t help matters that I couldn’t stop myself grinning every time he did it).

The second lesson only featured two of these four characters today. Chi-chan (left) felt ill, whilst Nishio-kun (who as my friend and previous JET at Shonan points out does scarily look like Eddie Izzard at times) decided to go home. Hmm. Anyway the two who turned up are both pretty bad at English. Plus they don’t really try, are always distracted by each other, and keep trying to take photos on their phones every lesson, which inevitably ends up with their phones (and sweets) confiscated. But they are very funny. At the start I declared Futaba-chan to be very strange, which she is (third from left). She decided she liked the word, so wrote it on her hand in luminous green pen.

For the rest of the lesson her and Yurika-chan would randomly leap up and start shouting “strangie, strangie, strangie, strangie!”. They did give me gifts though, which was very nice. Finally, in homage to their new-found favourite English word, they drew this display at the end of the lesson. It sums them up well…