Update about Andrew

Just a brief update. Andrew is now working in Melbourne Australia. He is currently the Education Manager for the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Department of the Lonsdale Institute. He oversees the ELICOS department for both the Melbourne and Sydney campuses. This involves new teacher development, curriculum development, student welfare, and more.

He retains his interest in psycholinguistics and teaching listening, and applying technology to assist in language learning. He is now more engaged in professional development for teachers and teacher instruction.

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Scheduled site maintenance 21st Nov

Maintenance on our servers is scheduled for 21st Nov, from 9am to about 3pm Swiss time (about 5pm to 11pm Tokyo time). All websites will be offline for this time. The return to normal service will depend on how well work can be done, and if they can put us back online sooner, they will. We apologise for the interruption, but assure you it means that service we provide will have ensured reliability and longevity.

Why in Swiss time? The servers are in Switzerland, and maintained by a company on our behalf. We chose Switzerland because they have very strong data protection and privacy protection laws, which benefits you and your users.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

URGENT: Voice Actors Needed in Nagoya

URGENT: Voice actors needed for a short project. The project is to make course audio materials to support English language listening skills development. Two male and two female young-adults are needed. Preference given to Native English speakers, and Chinese or Korean speakers with very, very good English speaking/pronunciation skills.
Applicants should record two one-minute audio files of themselves:
1. Talking about their voice acting skills, or why they like voice acting, or anything related to voice acting
2. Monologue from a movie, play, poem, or any other creative performance written by someone else.
Pay is ¥5,000 up to ¥10,000 per person (for up to 4 hours of work); transport costs will be paid (applicants should be resident in either Aichi, Gifu, or Mie). Recording will be done at Nanzan University (accessible via the Yagoto Nisseki Station on the Meijo Line; https://goo.gl/maps/tamyXHrHcNM2).
Even if you can’t participate in this, please tell others who might be interested and share this weblink.

I hope to record this week, or next. Contact me for details.

Sound recording. CC0 Pixabay, https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-recordering-microphone-55800/

Sound recording. CC0 Pixabay, https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-recordering-microphone-55800/

Hello world!

I’m back! That is to say, I’ve successfully moved my website (Winjeel.Com) from American to Swiss servers with the new host company, HelloSpace.Me. That means privacy and data security are more assured. The Swiss government has far more respect for people’s digital rights than the US government currently does. Anyway, the moving process is done, and it feels good to be back online.

Person holding coffee cup. CC0 PicJumbo.com, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-ceramic-teacup-in-front-of-a-macbook-pro-210658/

Person holding coffee cup. CC0 PicJumbo.com, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-ceramic-teacup-in-front-of-a-macbook-pro-210658/

IMPORTANT NOTICE about Winjeel.Com

Currently, Winjeel.Com is hosted on servers in the United States, but it will move to HelloSpace.Me servers in Switzerland this week. There may be a few days where Winjeel.Com will not work. Sorry about the interruption. I hope to have everything operating as normal as quickly as possible.

The move from the US to Switzerland is because of two reasons, one is economic. Two, the worsening of digital freedoms in the United States is seen as a threat in the coming years. Winjeel.Com will be hosted in Switzerland because of the strong data protection, privacy laws, and commitment to Net Neutrality.

Battle for the Net is today!

Today is a very important day for the internet. Net neutrality is vitally important to us, and to you. The concept relates to our digital rights as published by the Global Trust Centre. Net neutrality, they say, is our access to information (see Rights and Responsibilities for Citizens in the Digital World). Net neutrality was never really embodied in law in many countries around the world, as it was just assumed by default, but it was enshrined in law in some countries including the US. However, some governments have censored the internet and the most famous is the “Great Firewall of China”. The United States government is considering ending net neutrality, and allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to slow or even block traffic from particular websites. This is effectively allowing commercially decided censorship in the United States. The ramifications are that websites like Winjeel.Com could be blocked if US based ISPs wanted to demand a ransom. Ending net neutrality would also set a dangerous precedent, where other countries may follow suit.

Consequently, the Fight for the Future and Demand Progress digital rights groups, and over 70,000 internet-based companies are protesting the US process of ending net neutrality. If you support net neutrality, I strongly urge you to add your name to this petition on the Battle for the Net.

How does a teacher spend his holidays?

A lot of people think that teaching is a great job. You work for a while, and then you get long holidays. In fact, the opposite is true. In Japan, the academic year runs from April to January the following year, which means the holidays is but a week away now. During semester, most teachers work nearly seven days a week during semester. We spend our free time marking student work, planning, preparing, and getting ahead on tasks. Actually, for the first few weeks of each semester I struggle to keep my head above water with all the tasks that need to be done. So, what about holidays?

Person holding coffee cup. CC0 PicJumbo.com, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-ceramic-teacup-in-front-of-a-macbook-pro-210658/

Person holding coffee cup. CC0 PicJumbo.com, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-ceramic-teacup-in-front-of-a-macbook-pro-210658/

The holiday time is a busy time for me. A point lost on a lot of people. They work Monday to Friday, from nine to five, and when they leave work, they completely stop thinking about work. In contrast, I have research to do. I have syllabuses to prepare. I have exams to mark and submit. I have reading to do (reading about the latest educational psychology theories), and so forth. However, most importantly, I have write my thesis and try to get published. Consequently, when the holidays come, it’s not a relief for me, it’s a chance to catch up on the things I need to do.

Voice actors needed

Four voice actors needed to help produce dialogues for classroom materials.
Date: Thursday 15th (9am – 3pm), or Sunday 18th September (11am – 5pm, may be flexible), or Sunday 25th September (11am to 5pm).
Location: Nanzan University.
Role: Voice actors.
Pay: ¥5,000 to ¥8,000 (depending on skills).
Transportation fee: Maximum (about) ¥500 each way.
Others: Additional work may be required in 2017. Voice actors will need to sign an industry standard talent release form (available only in English).

Studio mixing audio board. CC0 by Grupo Glam For 2016, https://www.pexels.com/photo/studio-mixing-audio-board-38125/

Studio mixing audio board. CC0 by Grupo Glam For 2016, https://www.pexels.com/photo/studio-mixing-audio-board-38125/

Applicants
Age: 18 to about 29
Gender: 2 Males & 2 females. Preferred: one male and one female native speakers (of any region), and one male Korean and one female Chinese speakers of English with very good or near native-like pronunciation (the female Chinese speaker can be from China, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, etc).
English skills: Very good to native-like pronunciation.
Other skills: Voice acting skills, especially able to use a range of emotions.
Other info: Preferred: people who are likely to stay in Nagoya for more than a year for additional work. May need to meet for a brief interview and script reading on Friday 9th Sept, or Thursday 15th Sept. Contact me for details of application including what voice sample files are required for application.

Deadline:  Applications accepted until positions are filled. Contact Andrew Blyth via the email address here to apply and for more information.

Managing Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. Having too much and too little is damaging. We need to have a work-life balance to live normally. This means we need about a third (⅓) of the day work, ⅓ play (family & friends), and ⅓ sleep. If this balance is different, then you will have problems managing stress. This presentation is a brief introduction to stress and how to manage it. This presentation was given at the annual meeting of Aichi Gogaku Volunteers on the 18th June 2016.

Presentation slides & notes: Stress Managing in everyday life.pdf.

CC0 Startup Stock Photos 2014, from https://www.pexels.com/photo/notes-macbook-study-conference-7102/.

CC0 Startup Stock Photos 2014, from https://www.pexels.com/photo/notes-macbook-study-conference-7102/.

What is stress? Selye was a famous psychologist who studied stress. He said:

“Nowadays, everyone seems to be talking about stress. You hear it not only in daily conversation, but also through television, radio, the newspapers and the constantly increasing number of conferences, stress centres, and university courses that are devoted to the topic… The businessman thinks of it as frustration or emotional tension, the air traffic controller as a problem in concentration, the biochemist and endocrinologist as a purely chemical event, the athlete as muscular tension. This list could be extended to almost every human experience or activity, and somewhat surprisingly, most people… think of their own occupation as being the most stressful. Similarly, most of us believe that ours is “the age of stress”, forgetting that the caveman’s fear of being attacked by wild animals while he slept, or dying from hunger, cold, or exhaustion, must have been just as stressful as our fear of a world war, the crash of the stock exchange, overpopulation or the unpredictability of the future.”

– Hans Selye (1907 – 1983, cited in Walker, Burnham, & Borland, 1994, p704).

Walker, M., Burnham, D., & Borland, R. (1994) Psychology, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.