2020 Activity Report

March Activity Report

March 2021
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

Apparently, the corona lockdown is now becoming less serious for most of the Mexican states. One can notice how people is gradually returning to bars and restaurants all over the city. Guanajuato is now returning to its original state, filled with tourist making photos and crowded streets, but the absence of the students which are the main soul of the place is still evident. By taking into account that less than 5% of the population obtained the vaccine, this semester will still be online.

For this month, I continued with the lecture reunion and I presented some other readings from the didactic material provided by the office. I could notice that most of the participants are still studying the most basic levels of the program of Japanese language (first and second semester).

This is why I intended to adapt the level of the readings so the students can have a more appropriate experience. The free content of tadoku is perfect for all Japanese students and teachers to follow. At the moment I am using the readings of level zero with the students. After reading loudly two complete stories, I give them a list of vocabulary that is related to the story and then I intent to solve their doubts. The last few minutes I try to solve some other questions from the students. Some of them have trouble with the grammar and other problems that are common among Spanish speakers. During this pandemic, the students cannot interact the way the used to before this situation, so I understand how these students might encounter issues with using the Japanese language in a more natural context. When I was teaching, we used to have a short and simple free talk times and many other speaking-communicative activities. I will continue to dedicate more time to solve their problems during the meetings.

This is the material I created this month for the Japanese language students:

February Activity Report

February 2021
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

For this month I planned to get a short reunion with the new students and share my new “dokkai” group. I wanted to provide students with a wide list of readings and activities to reinforce their language skills. I am very sure that the most complicated ability for a Japanese student to master is reading. Learners must invest a very considerable amount of time to master not only the comprehension of kanji but to make sense of the ideas of the text. I will also send an invitation to all of basic level students to practice with very simple hiragana texts by using the material recommended by TUFS some time ago. There are indeed numerous readings supported by images and audios that make this experience very much immersive. I thought that it was very important to provide readings for all the students so, I will approach these readings depending on the needs of every semester. Therefore, I will start every month with very simple lectures and increase the level of difficulty for the following weeks. At the end, the students will be able to join this class every Saturday at 7.00 pm I also plan to help students with their questions about grammar and general expressions as well. I am willing to change the schedule for the students depending on their convenience.

The dubbing workshop is finally gaining more participants, and we are still discussing about what videos we are going to upload to internet. As I explained to the new members, the point of this group is only to make them use the language and try to have fun with it. I want to mix all the Japanese students from the university and high school for this workshop, because we need as more people engaged as possible.

Teachers will also be provided with the new didactic material I created this month.


January Activity Report

January 2021
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

The situation in Mexico is now getting restored little by little thanks to the lockdown. Despite the fact that Mexico is the third most affected country in the world people are being positive about it. At the beginning of the pandemic, people avoided talking about the virus and infected people, but now the topic has become more explicit through time.

The real problem with Mexico is that there is a noticeable number of diabetes and high blood pressure cases, therefore the population is more vulnerable to all this and all sorts of deseases related with bacteria and virus.

At the end, after a practically two month vacation the new scholar period has began with the same restrictions and safety measures.

For this month, apart from the creation of new didactic material for the Japanese area, I decided to contact the students and share the general information of TUFS. I created a short presentation to talk about the different academic degrees and programs one can apply for.

I made sure to share some links and useful recommendations when applying for an scholarship. I was surprised by finding so many students attending the meeting. From what I understood by reading their questions, there are not only students from humanistic areas who are interested in knowing more about studying abroad. The students of all levels including the high school levels should be informed as well, therefore I will program another meeting next week to make sure the message is widely spread.

The coordinators of TUFS have been receiving a plenty amount of new didactic webpages to help the students with their learning process.

I noticed that it is usual for Japanese learners to put more emphasis on the mastering of structures and syntax rather that on their reading skills.

However, learners might encounter big problems when reading texts written by Japanese native speakers. The plan for this month is to use this new material and program more meetings on zoom to focus on their reading skills and vocabulary.

I will make sure to adjust these lessons to their level and needs.



December Activity Report

December 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

In Mexico, the winter season started with very low temperatures. Some of my foreign colleagues usually tell me that is even colder here in Mexico, because we do not have any heaters or other any other similar devices. People usually use sweaters and lots of blankets at night for this season, there are no many options.

The lockdown in Mexico is becoming more strict than ever before due to the noticeable increase of cases in almost all the country. In this state, the policemen are making sure that all people on the streets are wearing a mask, and depending on the state there are even fines and service denial. The university is still waiting for the vaccine, but the rumors point that the university will remain close for one more semester. This means that the academic activities could be reopened after the summer vacation period which ends in August, which is a shame because I definitely miss to be surrounded by students. The vaccines just arrived some weeks ago, but it seems to be a very slow process until most population gets it. According to the current administration, elder people and medical staff should have the priority to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Due to the vacation period, there is still very few opportunity to reach the students with the new project. We started to discuss which videos were the most suitable for us to dub. We decided to try out some very short Japanese comercials that we tried last year. I will let the students choose the things that they like, but I am suggesting to start with something simple. I will also suggest to the current Japanese of Highschool level of the area to get involved with his students. It would be interesting to have more people woring in this project.

Didactic material created this month:



November Activity Report

November 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

The current situation in Mexico makes it more difficult to predict the actions of the government for next year. It appears that some states have a great increase in coronavirus cases and the lockdown is becoming more drastic in some areas. In case of the state of Guanajuato, a lot of people depend on the touristic activities, but one can notice that the flow of visitors is still very low. Some other states in the south of Mexico seem to have virus under control, and the touristic attractions are gradually receiving more and more people. In case of the University of Guanajuato. Students are still involved in their online classes for the last weeks of the year. Most of them attend to these classes and their final exams by relying on virtual platforms.

One of the most symbolic festival on the region was held this November with certain restrictions, but one could get to ride the fantastic hot air balloons and see the view from above. It was possible thanks to the online platform to see all the events that took part of the festival such as concerts, special transmissions and more activities. The entire festival was updated to its official website. This festival is one of my favorite touristic activities which I highly recommend to local and foreign people.

Main page: https://www.vivefig.mx/

This month I created some more exercises that will be provided to the Japanese area. I am willing to use more platforms to create a wide variety of activities. I am getting involved with a page called Edmodo, and there are some interesting tools that I could be using in the future.

Kahoot: https://create.kahoot.it/share/katakana-03/4fa8c857-b87b-4fff-aaf1-33b4c716ea46


For next month, I would like to re-take some of the dubbing projects we were practicing on last year. We used to have a dubbing workshop that took place in the Japanese area of the school of languages, where we the opportunity to practice the language and talk about the culture. I would like to provide short dubbing projects to help students to get involved on the things they like. The were some aspects of the dubbing techniques that we could not study at that time, but it would be interesting to see the progress of students through practice. Personally, I would prefer to execute this activity face-to-face with students, but I guess that with some video edition programs we are going to be able to have something completed for next month. The students are now about to finish their semester period, so it is then for sure that the students are going to be available for this kind of project. I am excited to see the resulting videos which I will personally upload to YouTube.

October Activity Report

31 October 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

Finally, the online conference is finished and various Universities all over the planet have presented their programs and current situation. I provided my personal Email for those who would like to have a more personalized guidance through the process of applying for a scholarship or going abroad. Unfortunately, there is some uncertainty about the future of scholar exchange-programs around the planet. I personally think that the lockdown could be extended a little longer since there are some reports of reappearance of covid. We are still waiting for instructions from the University.

I planned to go visit the Altar that takes place on the stairs of the main building of UG (pictures of the annual event below), but according to the local diary, this is the first time that this event gets cancelled since the very first inauguration 19 years ago. This was one of the most iconic events of the entire city, but it attracts such quantity of people that it would allow the virus to spread rapidly. Personally, I think that it was a correct choice to cancel this event in order to keep people safe. This Altar is usually set up by the student community and many other supporters. Once the stairs are all covered with traditional food, candy and flowers, the students light dozens of candles when the sun comes down creating an amazing vista. All of objects are there to offer respect and love for those people who are no longer with us. This is just one more tradition related to Día de Muertos (死者の日)

For this month, we provided more touristic spots for the future exchange students to visit. As described in the last month, these cities are normally recommended by local people and students. According to some students these touristic experiences should be taken into account for all foreigners who visit Mexico. I will also provide the link of rest of the didactic material for the students of UG.

Kahoot: https://create.kahoot.it/details/katakana-quiz/14b9d3d1-6261-4d37-a16a-6f56e94d4378

September Activity Report

30 September 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

For this month I was able to present TUFS to the students on the university of Guanajuato. I made a short presentation containing the most relevant information about the academic degrees and the requirements for going abroad. The transmission was seen by 35 students, and the brochure provided by TUFS was also shared in the main page of the university of Guanajuato. To see the conference and the transmission in detail I will include the links to all the topics seen during the conference.



For this month we are cocreating a presentation with the most important touristic spots that are located close to the city of Guanajuato. This “must visit” places and cities are intended to encourage the foreign student to get to know fantastic cities recommended by the Mexican students. The presentation contains some advice and general information about the most famous places and their singularities.


On the other hand, this year the Film Festival of Guanajuato (GIFF) was held in streaming platforms. Due to the pandemic situation the festival was approached a little bit different this year, but the concept is still the same as always. The city offers the opportunity to watch a wide list of movies to the audience (most of them free cost). Some of the movies were projected of a dam close to one iconic park of the city. The people watched the movies of the festival while eating popcorn on a tiny boat. This event was held at night, for some days. The stars and water produced a very singular atmosphere.

See the images attached below.

August Activity Report

31 August 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

During the first week of September I will present TUFS to the students of the university of Guanajuato. I will point out at the impact of coronavirus and how has affected the situation of many exchange program students around the world. Although it seems that the experience of going abroad has no sense at all in this moment, it is still possible to proceed with the application for next year. The date for the conference will be September 7th at 12:00 pm (Mexico time). It will be a short presentation about the general aspects of being a student within the TUFS program as well as some other current issues with the lockdown. Some other aspects like last year presentation and the procedure of the application for the TUFS scholarship will also be discussed.

This month, I refreshed some of the online activities including more questions and pictures to them. I also included some more artist and information related to Japanese and Mexican artist to the Prezi presentation. This time I looked for recommendation from different websites. The artist and exercises can be seen in the link below:




The situation with coronavirus seems finally to be getting better for us Mexicans, yet all establishments recommend to maintain very cautious behaviors. It is also important to mention that Cervantino Festival is not going to be celebrated this year, which I personally regret because it is one of the most important cultural events not only in Guanajuato but in all Latin-American. This street shown on the pictures are usually full of people during the festival, but I hope everything will return to normal soon.

July Activity Report

31 July 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

The University has decided to reopen some of the administrative activities, yet the offices and all academical activities will remain closed. The rise of Coronavirus cases is now getting to its worse state since everything started, and the university has not even provided an official date for the actual returning of activities.

As already mentioned, my teacher formation encouraged me to keep creating some didactic material for later use with the students of Japanese. For this month I took some material that I created last year and modified it. Additionally, since I think that teachers should match technology and education, I am still creating some online quizzes about kanjis and grammar for the Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken which is the official Japanese proficiency. There is still a lot to do to convey the plans I have for the creating of material for Students. I personally believe that it is very important to apply these quizzes with the students once the lockdown is over, because I would like to receive some feedback from the students. I want to make sure that the students understand the instructions and if they can follow the dynamics of the online-application.

The presentation about Mexican and Japan Music is still growing:

New quizzes for later use:



The following pictures show some of the material I have made for Japanese students in the past when I was doing a professional service for the university. I took some of those exercises and changed the contend and the level of grammar. The one on the left is a simple sentence-constructor with particles and vocabulary and helps students to understand the role of “word-particle” structure of the Japanese language. The other sheets on the right are meant to make students conscious about the range of “politeness” that can be expressed through the use of Futsukei or Masukei. I m still creating some more materials related with more advanced grammar.

June Activity Report

30 June 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

As the situation with the quarantine continues a little longer, all activities will remain online. According to the University of Guanajuato, the administrative activities will return to their normal conditions on the last week of July. I am still looking forward to work in the office was assigned a few months ago.

For this month I planned some more quizzes related with basic kanjis of the Japanese program. I will continuously modify the quizzes and making them longer by adding more questions. The program used in the language department is based of some lections of the Mina no Nihongo method, which I personally studied. I added some kanjis from the units five, six and seven, which are normally the kanjis that are thought to children in Japan. I realized that at this level it is tough for basic level students to find new ways of learning kanjis. I think it is important to approach kanji with the use of technology and that is why I am still creating more activities that involve getting in touch with electronic devices.

I made sure to include some instruction in their mother tongue to make it more dynamic and not get them stuck in the same type of activities. I consider that students could get more interested on a activity if it is a little bit challenging.

As for the presentation about the Music of both countries, I have not received an answer from the TUFS student’s opinion yet, but I am still receiving help from the Japanese students of the University of Guanajuato. We keep deciding about which artist represent their country the most. The list will include celebrities from the past and present times. I hope we can all share it with the two groups of students after the quarantine.

Didactic material:



May Activity Report

31 May 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz

Due to the quarantine situation, all of the activities will remain online for some time. All of the material and activities that I planned are intended to be executed in front of the students. I am willing to apply these activities in the future and look for more ideas with both groups of students. The government decided to extend the quarantine one or two more months, unlike Japan, which is coming back to its normal state.

As previously done in the past month, I continued with the creation of didactic material for the Japanese section of the University of Guanajuato. I made sure to include quizzes to improve the recognition of the Keigo forms, which I personally consider to be especially difficult for non-Japanese speakers. I wanted also to include some of the most basic kanjis from the program of studies. The platform that I am using is based mostly on quick quizzes that contain some distractors to the right answer. The player who responds the fastest (with correct answers) is the one who wins.

For this month, I asked some of the students of the Japanese section of the University of Guanajuato about which artists and singers might represent the cultural spirit of the country. Some of them commented that in the case of Mexico, it would be necessary to include some artist of the “golden age of movies”. We chose to include Pedro Infante and Sheena Ringo who are not very known among Mexicans in general, but at least for some students was worth to mention. The idea is to create a data base with the opinion of both student groups, which are the Japanese students and the exchange program students. We will continuously add more and more relevant artists for us.

April Activity Report

30 April 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Marco Antonio Vázquez Muñiz


Hello! My name is Marco. I’m 28 years old. I have been a language teacher for four years. My favorite things about Japan are the language and the kindness of the Japanese people. I’ve been interested in Japanese culture since I was a child, and now I know many new things about Japan, so I like it even more. The good things about Mexico are the character of the people and the colorful scenery. I want to know more about my country’s culture and Japanese culture. I am happy to help Japanese and Mexican people interact. The university is still closed, but I look forward to starting soon.

In this report I will show the progress of the creation of material I planned for April using the platform kahoot. Finally, I will bring some new ideas and activities to work on during the whole month.

Due to the situation of quarantine in Mexico, there was not any opportunity to gather together with the students. However, there might be the chance to apply what I made for the students next month (hopefully). The University and its offices are not opened for the moment, so all the activities will remain online. Consequently, it is not possible to continue with the usual activities within the university.

I started a project of creation of material last year when I was teaching Japanese, but I stopped since I started to teach Spanish online. This month I have been reorganizing and creating more questions and activities. The activities were created according to the Japanese language program of the University of Guanajuato. The platform I used is called “kahoot” which as been getting much more recognition between teachers nowadays. By using this platform, one can create virous types of quizzes and puzzles about any topic. Students can follow the questions and or presentations and interact in real time. I have some experience using this method and students seem to enjoy it. I am willing to play and cocreate more material with the students in a future.

The following links lead to the games I have been creating and modifying:








The government of Mexico and the University of Guanajuato have decided to extend quarantine. Therefore, it would be convenient to keep creating material for later use. In this month, I would like to contact some students and cocreate some presentations about Mexican artist and their work. I personally think that it would be interesting to show exchange students about the artist students use to listen. I also create some more activities using the platform kahoot for later use. This time, I will focus on more advanced levels (fifth and sixth semesters). At this level students need to get used to various kenjogo and Sonkeigo expressions. I personally think that this type of grammar is particularly difficult to learn for most western languages. I think that one can find plenty of basic material from internet and other sources, but it is quite rare to find material to practice this level of language.