I'm Lorizin from Kangaroo Island in Australia. I'm an English teacher and I also care for orphaned baby kangaroos at the wildlife sanctuary on our farm. Baby kangaroos are called 'joeys'.
Two of our kangaroos, Kaoru and Miharu have been given Japanese names by a couple of my Japanese students who learned English with me.
Did you notice that both names end in the 'ru' sound, the same as in the word 'kangaroo'? Some of our other kangaroos are Rugi, Sandyru and Royru.
Do your friends like kangaroos and koalas?
I am starting an online club for children, called The Joey Club. There will be stories and information about Kangaroo Island, Australia and Australian animals, and a penpal club for Japanese children who would like to practise writing in English to Australian children. Perhaps Kaoru and Rugi will do some writing too!
Do you think your friends would enjoy this?
With a friendly wave from over here on Kangaroo Island,
Hello Lorizin! Lulu and Roy were happy to get your message from Kangaroo Island! (I printed it out for them and they read it at breakfast.) They like the idea of The Joey Club and they think their friends would like it, too. (Just a footnote to that: Kids in Japan, younger than junior high, don't generally have enough English ability to write letters.)
Anyway, I expanded on your message and asked them a few more questions...
What do you think of kangaroos?
Lulu: They're cute, and hoppity-hoppity!
Roy: They're cute, but when they attack, they're kind of scary.
[Adam's note: You'll soon see the "kangaroo attack" Roy is referring to...]
How about koalas?
Roy: I've never seen a real koala before. I want to see one.
Lulu: They're cute because the babies cling to their Mommies. I want to cuddle one.
[Adam's note: One of my favorite stuffed animals as a child was a little koala named "Kokwa." I have no idea why I named it "Kokwa" or why I still remember its name.]
Would you like to go to Kangaroo Island in Australia?
Roy: Yes, because there are lots of kangaroos and I want to see them jumping around.
Lulu: Yes, because kangaroos are cute and I want to pet one. But I don't want to pet a big one because Daddy got attacked by a big kangaroo.
[Adam's note: Here's the evidence, friends...]
Thank you for your message, Lorizin! Have a happy (hoppy?) day on Kangaroo Island!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
So you think your friends would be interested in kangaroos and koalas. When the Joey Club starts - it will probably be a few weeks - I'll write and tell you, and you can tell your friends.
Please tell Daddy that next time he feeds a friendly kangaroo he should squat down, and hold the food down low. That way the kangaroo will also stay down low. The kangaroo in the photo thinks your Daddy is making him stretch up to get the food. Kangaroos are very strong, and have very sharp claws; they can hurt if they scratch your arm when stretching up to get food that is being held up high and away from them.
Standing up tall in front of a male kangaroo can also make it think you are challenging it to a fight, so it is always important to stay down low! But the kangaroo with Daddy does not think that. I can see by the little smile on its face that it just thinks your daddy is playing a game.
If you would like to see more photos of our kangaroos and other Australian animals, have a look every now and again at my personal Facebook page, and the page for Shalom Valley Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary. I am gradually putting more photos there.
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9