New Videos

Posted on February 23, 2010 | evankirby

We've finally gotten around to cleaning out a few old hard drives full of videos at school, and we posted 10 or 15 of them on Youtube. You can access them through the GenkiJACS Youtube channel here, or see them neatly categorized here:
GenkiJACS Videos Page
There's still more coming, as soon as we can find the time to do a bit of minimal editing. Happy watching!

Hakata-ben Room Names

Posted on February 21, 2010 | evankirby

Room names

When we moved in to the new GenkiJACS school a year and a half ago, we gave all the classrooms numbers instead of names, to make it easier for students to find their way around. But it always felt a little boring to just refer to them by their numbers, so last week we added a Hakata-ben phrase to each room’s name. For those of you who don’t know, Hakata-ben is the local dialect of Fukuoka. Some of our students get quite good at speaking it by the time they finish (hi Frank!), so we wanted to give them a helping hand.
The picture above is an example from Room 3, 「しっとう」(“shittou”), meaning “I know”. In Hakata-ben, the present progressive verb ending ている (“te iru”, “am -ing”) is replaced with 「とう」, so for example:
知っている -> しっとう
持っている -> もっとう
食べている -> たべとう
寝ている -> ねとう

To make a question in Hakata-ben, you add 「と」 to the end of a sentence, instead of the standard 「か」. So “Do you know?” is 「しっとうと」. The most iconic example is “Have you taken one?” “Take” is 「取る」 (“toru”), so the Hakata-ben is 「とっとうと?」 (“tottouto?”). Sounds nice, right?

On the Occasion of Our 5-Year Anniversary, a Short History of GenkiJACS

Posted on February 19, 2010 | evankirby

Friday the 19th of February marked GenkiJACS 5th anniversary! Five years since we first opened our doors in 2005, in a tiny apartment in Daimyo that we had converted into a 3-classroom school. GenkiJACS was so popular that first year that we had to rent extra classroom space after only 4 months! The main staff in the first year were Rie-sensei, Miyuki-sensei, Mika-sensei and Mayumi-sensei. With the exception of Miyuki-sensei, who is off to raise a family, those staff are still with us today. The first GenkiJACS location was small but very home-like, and it contributed to the family atmosphere of the school. We’re still amazed that people would come from around the world to visit that apartment in Daimyo, but come they did!
We moved to our current location in the wonderful Grand Building in spring 2006, about a year after we opened. When we first moved in here, we had 6 classrooms in total, along with a small student lounge, and a tiny space for teachers to prepare. And just in time! At the peak of our second summer, we had 30 students studying at the same time, quite a squeeze!
After the busy summer season was over, the school took teachers on a staff trip to Korea for a well-earned couple of days’ break, and the school settled down for the quieter winter period.
In summer 2007 we had our first big tour groups, in the form of two groups from Finland that filled the school with the beautiful Finnish language for 6 weeks in summer! At the peak, we had 50 students studying together!

New GenkiJACS Intro Video

Posted on February 16, 2010 | evankirby

Our new school introduction video is complete, and online! Many many arigatous to Luke Javelle, the wonderfully talented former student who put in all the hard work to edit and produce this video.
The video covers the classes, school facilities, teachers, activities, events, accommodation and Fukuoka City itself. We hope it brings back happy memories for former students, and gives other people an idea of what the school is like.

And here it is on Youtube!

Great things about Japan!

Posted on February 08, 2010 | evankirby

We put up a piece of paper on our noticeboard asking students to write down some if the things they think are great about Japan. Here’s what we got:

1. 旅館・温泉 (Ryokan / onsen, traditional inns and hot springs)
2. プリクラ (Purikura, print club photos from vending machines)
3. Japanese food
4. 食べ放題・飲み放題 (tabehoudai/nomihoudai, all you can eat and drink)
5. 寿司 (sushi)
6. まんだらけ (Mandarake, a giant comic/specialty shop near the school in Fukuoka)
7. 敬語 (Keigo, formal Japanese)
8. クレープ (crepes): There are loads of great crepe shops all over Fukuoka. You’ll have to try one!
9. 博多弁 (Hakata-ben, the local Hakata dialect, which people say sounds quite cute)
10. イケメン (ikemen, attractive young men)
11. ガンダム (Gundam)
12. ティッシュ (tissues): People hand out tissues with ads on them on the street.
13. 一風堂 (Ippudo, a local ramen chain)
14. かっこいい男の人 (kakkoii otoko no hito, handsome men)
15. 百金 (hyakkin, hundred yen shops)
16. ゲームセンター (game centers, amusement arcades)
17. かわいい女の子 (kawaii no onna no ko, cute girls)
18. おにぎり (onigiri, rice balls)
19. イングリッシュ (Engrish, the Japanese form of English)
20. 公衆トイレ (koushuu toire, public toilets): They’re always clean, and free!
21. レストラン・サービス (restaurant service): Japanese restaurants almost always have great service, even without tips!
22. 電車 (densha, trains): The Japan rail network is extensive, and fairly cheap…

Student art

Posted on February 04, 2010 | evankirby

A picture students left on the whiteboard at school this morning:

20100204-whiteboard picture (Custom).jpg

Almost looks like Anpanman!