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Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lisa from Scotland!


Hey everyone! I'm back again with another interview in my ongoing series Teacher-authors around the world.

This time I'd like you all to meet Lisa! Her blog is called Okinawan Girl, but make no mistake as she's not from Japan - she's from Scotland!

Click on the image to check out Lisa's blog 
1. Where were you born?
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and was once shipbuilder to the world. Famous Glaswegians include Robert Carlyle, Billy Connelly, John Hannah, Travis and Gordon Ramsay.

Graduation ceremony at University of  Glasgow
2. I believe you have just spent two years living in Okinawa. How did that opportunity come about? 
One afternoon, during the last semester of my undergraduate degree, an advert in The Herald caught my eye. One application form and an interview in London later I found myself on a JAL flight bound for Osaka.

Lisa in Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
One year in Osaka turned into 5. Missing Europe I decided to try out Madrid for 2 years before moving to Okinawa, Japan for 2 years. I’m now back in bonny Scotland. Not sure how long I’ll last as I’m somewhat accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle.

3. Were you teaching Japanese kids or native speakers of English (e.g. Americans, Australians, etc) who were living in Japan?
When teaching in Japan and Spain I was working in international schools. I’ve taught children from all over the world including: Korea, Egypt, China, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Japan, America and England. All of the schools I’ve worked in had a mix of local children as well as international students.

4. What was the best thing and the hardest aspect about living in Okinawa (and/or Japan)?
The best thing about living in Japan is definitely the culture which I find fascinating. I am particularly interested in anything created by Hayao Miyazaki (the creator of Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle) as well as in ninjas, samurai and the language itself.

Lisa in Kyoto, Japan
The hardest aspect to begin with was culture shock and language barrier. When I arrived in Japan my vocabulary consisted of “sayonnara”(goodbye) and “konnichwa”(good afternoon) neither of which got me very far. It is a common misconception that many Japanese people speak English. However, once you get over that and learn the basics life becomes a whole lot easier!

5. Do you enjoy creating educational resources? Why?
My undergraduate degree involved elements of graphic design (using Illustrator and Photoshop) which I really enjoyed as I’ve always been artistic. Creating educational resources allows me to be combine my love of creativity and education.

 


6. Any tips for Scottish teachers looking to join Teachers Pay Teachers (or similar websites)?
I’m not sure there are any other Scottish teachers on TpT. I’d advise them to familiarise themselves with the Common Core Curriculum as well as grammar and spelling differences in American English.

7. I know that Japanese people love to incorporate English words into the Japanese language so they'll say "miruku" for "milk". Were you surprised with that? Do you have any funny stories about language clashes?
It took me a long time to get used to the fact that Japanese people do not understand English words that are part of Japanese language UNLESS you say them using Japanese sounds. However, it works both ways as I realised that I’ve been pronouncing “karaoke” and “sumo” incorrectly for years.
Japanese is not a language that can be easily translated. However, not everyone appreciates this and thus Japan is awash with bad translations. There is a website full of examples: http://www.engrish.com
I took this photo in the Wakayama Tourist Information. It should read “Help yourself to a pamphlet”.

Translation can be a tricky thing!
Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing a bit about your "nomadic lifestyle"! Don't forget to let us know what your next destination is going to be!

Now go check out Lisa's Okinawan Girl blog, her Pinterest boards or like her page on Facebook!


READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Lindy from South Africa


READ: Teacher-authors around the world: meet Rosie from New Zealand


Follow this blog if you don't want to miss the next interview in this series!

Thank you all for reading!

20 comments:

  1. So fun to read about Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing Lucy!
    Laura

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    1. I enjoyed interviewing her and I'm glad you liked the post!
      Thank you Laura!

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  2. It's always fascinating to read about someone who lives and teaches in another country. This is a triple! Japan, Spain, and Scotland!

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    1. I agree it's fascinating and those three countries are so different!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Glad you liked it! Thanks for reading!

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  4. I had no idea you'd lived so many places Lisa Ann! I have even more respect for you now as I could never imagine just picking up and going somewhere I didn't even know the language. Thanks again Lucy for this amazing series! Love getting to learn the back story of some of our TpT friends. :)

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    1. There are so many teacher-authors with very interesting stories!
      I'm glad I can show some of them here!
      Thank you for stopping by, Rhonda!

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    2. Thanks Rhonda!

      It was quite an experience - really difficult to begin with but that made it all the more rewarding when I figured stuff out :-)

      It is actually amazing how much you can express/communicate with a couple of words and gestures LOL!

      Lisa

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  5. What a neat interview series. It is a fascinating read, and makes me feel a little like I have done nothing with my life (kidding...sort of)

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    1. I guess it's not where we've been, but where we're going :)
      Thank you, Miss Martin, for reading!

      Cheers,
      Lucy

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  6. Thank you so much for featuring me in this series Lucy!

    I'm looking forward to seeing who is next :-)

    Lisa

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    1. It was a pleasure, Lisa!
      Arigatou :D

      Lucy

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  7. Lisa - you're a gypsy!! Your class is lucky to have such a well traveled and knowledgeable teacher..... you might have to specialize in geography ;-) Thanks for another great read Lucy - awesome as usual!

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    1. LOL I love that Rosie! Lisa the gypsy......it has a nice kinda ring to it!

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    2. I can't wait for the day we're all going to meet!

      Thank you Rosie :D

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  8. Fascinating read! Thank you both for sharing this great interview! Karen

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Karen!
      Thank you for stopping by :)

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  9. Lisa, I have seen many of your posts on TpT. You always have excellent advice. Now I can see that you are a brave, strong young woman. What an interesting life you lead!

    Lucy, thank you for another interesting interview! Carol

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    1. WOW thank you so much Carol! I've honestly never thought of myself in those terms before but am more than happy to! LOL!

      Lisa

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