As promised, this blog will be about the “Idiom of the Week” board. So the idea is simple: put a board up in the hallway with a fun English idiom; encourage the students to use the phrase; change the idiom every week. Little did I know that idioms would not only make no sense to non-English speakers but would be EXTREMELY hard to explain. After a two hour session with my Kyoto-sensei (vice principal) utilizing hand signals, pictures, and online translators (thanks Excite.com) I was able to explain the idiom: “apple of my eye.”
Somewhat discouraged, I found that “like two peas in a pod” is actually an idiom also used in the Japanese. The phrase is uri futatsu which I think just means “two melons” but the implication is the same. And so, I decided that the pea pod idiom would be the best option.
On Wednesday, I had quite a bit of free time and decided to focus on getting the board set up in the hall. The shop teacher hung a cork board for me while I started to plan the design. I kept it simple and just did some basic arts and crafts kinda stuff.
For fun, I made the Idiom of the Week into a competition. The first ten students to correctly use the idiom in conversation–or just in passing–will receive a point. The student with the most points by winter holiday will win a prize. When a teacher heard the prize might be cookies from the U.S. she immediately asked if teachers could play. And so, the first three teachers will get a point and a winner will be decided at the same time.
Hopefully the board will catch on and the students will try to use to idioms. Again, please send me any and all idioms you use or that just sound strange. Oh, also, today at work the shop teacher brought in “edemame” which is a popular snack. Turns out they also are…peas in a pod.