Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pittsburgh Pole...ka

So... my principal and my English coordinator urged me to decorate my classroom (which is actually a HUGE multi-purpose room) I only have one bulletin board in the room, and it's currently occupied with the Months, Weather, and Seasons, for easy reference. I also have one wall decorated with a world map and flags & information of some English-speaking countries. However, this leaves me with these large concrete poles in my room that are really just blank canvasses waiting to be decorated!! I found some pre-made posters of Opposites (big, small, long, short, etc.) to put on one of them, but the other... I was having a lot of trouble with. So I decided to make it 'The Pittsburgh Pole."
Yes. I was feeling a little homesick when I made this.
So I thought of some words for the kids to learn like... Sports, Football (which the kids confuse with rugby...weird), Baseball (it's insanely popular in Japan.. but the Pirates... ugh... don't even get me started...), and (of course!) Hockey, featuring Sidney (Bing!) Crosby. I also included a photo of a Primanti Bros. Sandwich with the heading "Sandwich," which is definitely a word that the kids know. Rivers and Bridges are also some easy words. I added "Neighborhoods" and "Steel" just in case I have some prodigies...
I just wanted to share this little collage I made. I took special care in the font and the color choices (of course black & gold). The font I used was Arial Rounded Bold. I guess in the case of teaching English to elementary school aged kids in Japan, they don't really learn to read at all. They just learn to speak English. If they happen to recognize a word or two, that's great. I just like to use fonts that are clear and easy to read. Nothing crazy like.. (shudder) Curlz MT or Ravie. Augh. I disdain those fonts with a passion. I guess some people think they're cute and they used them on some of the older flashcards at this school. Why the heck would you ever use a hard-to-read font on an language learning material?! Arial, helvetica, times new roman, verdana, even. Just keep it simple.

So. Yep. This is what I get to do at work. How's THAT for internationalization?!!


  1. I think your bulletin board poles are very clever! And good looking, too!

  2. I love it!!


  3. I think the food is the thing that I miss the most. I am going to go on an eating rampage when I get home.


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