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Event Summary: Introduction to Second Life

By Brian Gerard

Last Saturday, December 4th, the Cypris Society held a hands-on workshop to introduce their virtual environment that offers the opportunity for people around the world to safely interact with each other. This environment offers a unique opportunity for English learners living in an homogenous linguistic environment such as Japan to have meaningful interaction with other English speakers in a virtual world where the use of avatar’s and user handles provides a modicum of privacy. The use of a headset and microphone (or one’s computers built in mic and speakers) allows for auditorial communication. The 3D environments provide both realistic contexts for learners and teachers to interact and include interesting and imaginative environments worth exploration by all users.

Using this service requires a quick download that is available for Windows and Mac platforms. From there registration and customizing your avatar is easy and straightforward. The website and supporting instructions are available in English, Japanese, and others which allows anyone to walk through the step-by-step introduction in the comfort of their native language before entering the brief tutorial to help orient the new user to the environment.

Information about future workshops can be found at To checkout the world of and try it out go to


Inexpensive Japanese Language Classes in Osaka

As anyone who has been here for a while will tell you, one of the keys to living in Osaka is learning Japanese. Not only is it good for your personal and professional lives, but learning to speak a second language can also shape the way you teach. The Osaka International House (in central Osaka) offers several 12-week courses for the mere price of ¥5000, including the textbook. What a bargain! An interview is needed before you can join these classes and OIH will be conducting interviews this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you are interested, you can find more information HERE.


1000000人のキャンドルナイト (One Million Person Candle Night)

Tonight in Chayamachi (Umeda) there will be a candle event called the “One Million Person Candle Night.” There will also be another event next week (12/9 Thursday) in Nishi Umeda.

Here is some video from last year’s event.

Details can be found (in Japanese) HERE and (In English) HERE.