Listservers, Teach My Students!

January 02 2014

I teach English as a Second Language to junior high school students in a small rural town in Japan that is populated mainly by rice fields. I have amazing students, but 99% of them have never been outside Japan. They’ve only seen other parts of the world through TV or the Internet. I'd like for them to see some snapshots of life around the world in a way that (literally) speaks to them personally. And with the power of The Listserve, I have an opportunity to make that happen. I hope you'll help me.

I want to collect short video messages from you, introducing a slice of your life in whatever place you live. It could be a local custom or festival that you're participating in, you could introduce the work that you do, or a hobby. Or it could be as simple as showing us an interesting place in your town, or a local food. It’s up to you.

It doesn't need to be long or complicated, and it doesn't need to be edited. Just a quick video that you shot with your cell phone camera is fine. But however you do it, I have some requests:

1. Please include a greeting to my students, to grab their attention and make it personal: the town's name is Kurobe (pronounced "koo-RHO-bay") and the school is Sakurai ("SOCK-oo-rye") Junior High School.
2. Introduce yourself! Please tell us your name and where you're from, and anything else you'd like to share about yourself (age, birthday, job, interests, favorite movie, etc.)
3. Please pick something to introduce that you can SHOW us on the video! Having a visual to go along with the explanation will make it much easier to understand.
4. Please speak clearly and a little slower than your natural conversational speed.

Send your videos to me at [email protected] either directly attached to the email, or send me a link to it on dropbox/google drive/yousendit/etc.

That's it! All in all, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time, and it would be really fun for my students to get personalized video messages from around the world.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! It's not fair for you to just give your valuable time to my students and get nothing back, so here's the really cool part: every year we do a project in which my students make English commercials to advertise a local food or shop. If this idea works, though, I’d like to slightly alter that project and have them make video responses to your messages! So, if you’re kind enough to send us a video, you’ll get one back!

Disclaimers: I just came up with this idea in the last 24 hours, and although I run my classes, I don't have total control over what we can do. I’ll have to OK this idea with my supervisors. I think it should be fine, but there’s a chance that it won't be—in which case, I apologize in advance. Also, if we are able to do it, there are a lot of people on this Listserve. While I'm sure not everyone will respond and send us a video, we still might get more than we can handle. If we’re unable to make a response for every individual message we receive, I’ll at least send a personal email to apologize and thank you for your time. I’ll also send mass emails to everyone who contributes with updates on how the project is going.

Please email me with any questions, too!

Thank you, and Happy New Year! Have a wonderful 2014!

[email protected]
Kurobe, Japan

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