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Broome tells Japanese city to stop dolphin slaughter

Location of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture.
Image via Wikipedia

Last semester, we read in our textbook about the Australian town of Broome.

Well, Broome was in the headlines today, in an article in the Japan Times. Broome is apparently twinned with the city of Taiji in Wakayama. The two cities have a long history: people from Taiji emigrated to Broome in the early 20th century to teach the local people how to dive for pearls.

It appears that Taiji is now famous, or infamous, for an annual slaughter of dolphins. This slaughter has been given a great deal of negative publicity, and this year, despite the long history and the close ties between Broome and Taiji,

The local council in Broome voted unanimously Saturday to send a warning to Taiji to end its dolphin “harvesting,” council head Graeme Campbell said Monday.

At the same time, a documentary has been made about the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter, and has already been screened in the US. The English version of the Asahi newspaper has the story:

A U.S. documentary film that features footage of the annual slaughter of dolphins in a tiny cove in Japan has stirred waves of controversy here since its release at the end of July.

Moviegoers who have seen “The Cove,” directed by Louie Psihoyos, said they were stunned by the cruelty of the killings, captured by concealed cameras.

Many newspapers have blasted the traditional coastal whaling practice in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, which is not subject to the International Whaling Commission‘s ban on commercial whaling.

Map of Japan with Wakayama highlighted
Image via Wikipedia
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Interactive Writing #12: July 10th, 2009

  1. Returned old papers
  2. Individual conference with each student to discuss her summary of chapter 3
  3. Homework: Report on chapters 4 & 5
  4. Next week (July 17th):
    1. vocabulary test (same as the one in April)
    2. summary of chapters 6 & 7
  5. Exam (July 24th): write a 300-500-word book report on “Diddakoi“.¬† You must show me that
    1. you have read the book (i.e. you know the story, and can give examples from it (including actual words and sentences from the book)
    2. you know something about gypsies and about Rumer Godden – i.e. you have done some background reading
    3. you have read some reviews of the book (e.g. here or here or in Japanese here)
    4. you have thought about what you have read: you have some questions or some comments about the themes in the book (themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work) (e.g. a comparison with a story with similar themes)
    5. you have your own opinion about the book – show me you are a human being not a parrot.
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Research in English #12: July 10th, 2009

  1. Checked answers to homework unit 3 part 2
  2. Some comments on multiculturalism:
    1. is multiculturalism “good”?
    2. why?
    3. “discrimination” means to tell good from bad
  3. Checked answers to page 26 T/F
  4. reading and writing: page 28 #3 – check “A” or “D”, then write your opinion about the law
  5. listening: Unit 4 – “Voting, a tough choice”
  6. Next week: I will give you another vocabulary test. This test has no effect on your final grade.
  7. Exam (July 24th): You will be asked to write about two topics from the following list:
    1. Sheep farming (in Australia, of course)
    2. Deportation and convict settlers
    3. the Gold Rush
    4. the rabbit problem (including myxamatosis)
    5. Australian constitution
    6. Australia in WWI and WWII
    7. Australian heroes
  8. Homework (for July 17):
    1. Find an essay or article about Australia
    2. summarise it in English,
    3. compare it with something similar
    4. provide the reference
    5. Unit IV part II worksheet
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Interactive Writing session #11: July 3rd, 2009

Kes (film)
Image via Wikipedia


There WILL be an examination – July 24th. (In today’s class, I said there would not be an examination: that was incorrect).

I will tell you more about the examination next class – July 10th. It will be a reading and writing exam, based on the two textbooks we have used this semester.

July 3rd lesson plan.

  1. Diddakoi“, page 24 ~ page
  2. Watch 2 sections of the movie Kes This movie was made at about the same time as the Diddakoi book was published. The main character, Caspar, is not a gypsy and he is older than Kizzy and has a brother. There are a few similarities: he has no friends (like Kizzy), is bullied (like Kizzy), and although he has a mother, she does not look after him well and they hardly ever see each other.
    1. Caspar steals a young kestrel and takes it home. Then he steals a book on falconry to learn how to train the kestrel. He trains the kestrel.
    2. We see Caspar at school, taking a sports lesson. He is not good at sports, he does not have any kit, and he is bullied by the sports teacher, who behaves rather childishly.
  3. What differences or similarities do you see between Britain of the 1970s and Japan of today?

N.B.: many of you wrote that in Britain the age of voting is 21. This is incorrect. In Britain the age at which people can vote is 18. In the movie, the librarian tells Caspar that, in order to borrow a library book, he must get the card signed by someone over the age of 21 and on the electoral roll (i.e. someone who lives in that city).


Write a report about chapter 3 of Diddakoi. Your report should be about 150 words. It must include:

  1. a summary of the main (key) points or events of the chapter
  2. an explanation of why these points or events are important for the story as a whole
  3. a comparison with another story you know, your own experience, or a news item
  4. your evaluation of the chapter: did you learn from it? If so, what? Be specific, and give details from the chapter.
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Research in English #11: July 3, 2009

Indiana Jones
Image via Wikipedia
  • Poster presentation
  • Check the meaning of the following:
    1. idol
    2. idolize
    3. romantic
    4. romanticize
    5. discover
    6. invade
    7. conquer
  • Watch this short scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. What does this tell you about cultures?
  • Discuss your homework with a partner: why did various people¬†emigrate to Australia?
  • What do you think of
    1. White Australia policy?
    2. Australia’s multicultural policy?
  • Homework:
    1. For July 10:
      1. Textbook : read page 25 and answer the Comprehension questions on page 26
      2. Complete the worksheet Unit IV Part I
    2. For July 17:
      1. find a newspaper or magazine article about Australia (the article can be in either English or Japanese),
      2. summarize it,
      3. compare it with
        1. another news article
        2. a movie or story you know
        3. your own experience
        4. the case in Japan,
      4. then give your own opinion about the contents of the article
      5. Length: 150~200 words.
      6. Here are some BBC news articles about Aborigines
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    Research in English #10: June 26th, 2009

    1. Poster presentations
    2. Comments on presentations from the instructor: what are the main themes or concepts of Australia? Some examples are –
      1. very long history of aborigines (“dreamtime“)
      2. colonialism – discovered by Capt Cook in 1778
      3. “melting pot” policy until World War II(~1939)
      4. multicultural policy after World War II (1945 ~
      5. gold rush
      6. huge land area; much natural beauty
    3. Returned: Unit III Part I worksheet
    4. Collected: (remaining Unit III Part I)
    5. Homework:

      1. Unit III Part II worksheet
      2. Why do so many people from so many different countries emigrate to Australia? Choose 2 ethnic groups from the charts in the textbook and write about them.
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    Aborigines in the news

    Arnhem Land, Australia.
    Image by Rusty Stewart via Flickr

    The BBC writes that a report has come out in Australia about Aboriginal social and economic trends. The report is not good:

    The report measured 50 key indicators of disadvantage, and found that there has been no improvement in 80% of them.

    There have been no gains, for instance, in literacy or numeracy rates.

    In an otherwise bleak assessment, one of the few areas of improvement was employment.

    Prim Minister Mr Rudd

    called this a devastating report which was unacceptable and required decisive action.

    The BBC article has links to several other stories about Aborigines living in Australia today:

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