The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

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English 101: Get to Know the English Department – Mr. Berg

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Photo by Kamakshi Bhavnani

Introduce yourself! What class[es] do you currently teach, how long have you been at ASIJ, and what do you like to do outside of school? 

I teach AP Lang and English 10 this year. 

I’ve been at ASIJ 9 years now. 

Outside of school I like to read, run, walk the dog, travel, cook, listen to podcasts, and watch soccer.

When did you discover your love for English? Did you always love it?

Always. As a kid I used to sneak in extra reading time at night by reading after bedtime with a flashlight under the covers, not realizing that my parents could see what I was doing.

What is your opinion on AI (Chat GPT)? How, if at all, do you incorporate it into your teaching?

It’s amazing, and it worries me. I think it potentially poses problems for the development and appreciation of human creativity and imagination, especially in kids.

I’ve incorporated it by having students critique the quality of its literary analysis for a book we’re studying.

Which is your favorite English skill: Reading, Writing, or Speaking?

Writing is the hardest, and the most satisfying, to teach.

Please give a book recommendation and explain why students should read this book. 

Anything by David Sedaris. He’s clever and funny, and a great storyteller.

If you could teach a course based on your niche interest, what would it be? 

Hamlet 24/7 – This course would be a deep dive into the greatest work ever written in English, through a variety of different genres.

What do you want students to take away from your classes? 

That books are as powerful as iPhones. That writing helps us understand things more deeply. That we should strive to say what we mean and mean what we say.

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About the Contributors
Sami Torii
Sami Torii, Writer
Hello! My name Sami Torii and I'm a senior at ASIJ. I've been at ASIJ for about 3 years now and before Tokyo, I lived in Hawaii. As a new member of Hanabi, I intend to explore the craft of writing and hope to cultivate the knowledge of both myself and Hanabi readers.
Kamakshi Bhavnani, Photographer

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