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カテゴリ:English Journal( 75 )

Learning by Doing

I have met many people who say they want to learn English but are simply too lazy to do so. Most don’t want to put in any effort, they just want to magically wake up one day speaking the language. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way and you have to make some effort to learn. I made a deal with a friend of mine that we learn by doing something we both enjoy. For example, he really enjoys cooking and I enjoy learning how to cook. I told him that since he loves cooking, he should try to learn the English associated with cooking. He agreed and I also decided that I would try to learn the Japanese equivalent so I would have an easier time reading recipes and learning how to make Japanese cuisine. I’m looking forward to trying this experiment. I’ll let you know what happens and how our “learning by doing” lesson goes!
by hello-eigo | 2015-02-17 15:15 | English Journal

Homesickness

Every once in awhile I still experience homesickness in Japan. You would think that after living here for two and a half years I would be used to living here. Sometimes it’s still a shock to hear only Japanese everyday and I still get frustrated that I can’t buy certain food and other goods I took for granted while living in the U.S. Going abroad and choosing to live in another country can be difficult but I think it’s one of the best and most rewarding choices one could make. The things you learn about another culture and making new friends is absolutely priceless and I would never trade it for the world! I tell all of my students they should go abroad at the first opportunity they can because they’ll be exposed to so many new and interesting things. I still remember my first trip abroad, how nervous I was, yet I was excited and happy and wanted nothing more than to keep traveling, meet new people and see new places. But no matter where I am I will always miss something from the U.S.
by hello-eigo | 2015-02-12 19:52 | English Journal

Groundhog's Day

Yesterday was Groundhog’s Day in the U.S. A groundhog is an animal that belongs to the marmot family. The most famous groundhog in the U.S. is Punxsutawney Phil. Every year, the townspeople of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania dress up in formal clothes and awaken the groundhog to predict whether or not there will be an early spring or if there will be six more weeks of winter. Poor Phil is a hibernating animal and I cannot imagine someone waking me up just to see if I run back to my warm bed or not. If Phil sees his shadow and runs back to his home, there will be six more weeks of winter. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, then there will be an early spring. It’s an old superstition but it’s always fun to follow in the news. This year, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means there will be six more weeks of winter. I’m happy because that means it won’t be hot for awhile yet!
by hello-eigo | 2015-02-03 14:03 | English Journal

Language Dreams

One of the best experiences I had as a student was studying abroad. From a very young age, my dream was to live in a foreign country. I knew I had to work very hard in order to achieve my goal. When I was in middle school, I began studying foreign languages seriously, first Latin, which gave me a foundation in the Romance and Germanic languages, and later Spanish and French. When I found out I would be going to Mexico to study, I devoted my free time to learning about the culture and, most importantly, exposing myself to Spanish. I watched TV and movies in Spanish, I went to supermarkets that catered to Spanish speakers, I read books and practiced using Spanish everyday. My mother supported my efforts even though she couldn’t help me study since she hadn’t studied Spanish since high school. My efforts paid off and I became nearly fluent in Spanish while living in Mexico. What I want my readers to understand is in order to become a good language speaker, you must work hard and have discipline. Language learning takes time and dedication, especially outside of class. You will not become a proficient English speaker overnight and only in class once a week. You must work hard and do the best you can inside and outside of class.
by hello-eigo | 2015-01-27 14:14 | English Journal

Frustration!

Have you ever gone to another country where you didn’t really know the language and you had an emergency? What did you do to make yourself understood? Were you angry that people couldn’t understand you? Did you know a few words of their language and tried your best to convey what you needed? English can be frustrating but they key is to at least say a few words of what you need. For example, if you lose your cell phone, know words like “lost”, “cell phone”, and “help”. But what do you do when people begin talking to you quickly and you just can’t understand? My suggestion is to stay calm and know how to say “sorry, but I don’t understand. Please speak slowly.” Chances are, the person trying to help you will do that and be patient with you as you figure out your emergency together. I can relate to language frustrations. Not being fluent in a language can be frustrating but never give up learning and trying your best. The best time I had learning a language was when I was in Mexico. I had been there for about a month with other people from my university and we decided to go to KFC. Among all three or four of us, we knew a good amount of Spanish but not enough to order different cuts of chicken. A friend of mine wanted chicken wings but none of us knew the word for “chicken wings” in Spanish. So she acted out what she wanted, flapping her arms and pointing. The staff laughed at us, we laughed at ourselves and the other customers laughed too. It was funny and a great way to learn a language. My advice to you, don’t get too frustrated when learning English. Have fun with it just as my friends and I did with Spanish. It’s also a great way to make friends.
by hello-eigo | 2015-01-20 15:14 | English Journal

Becoming an adult

Yesterday was Coming of Age Day in Japan. Before I came here, I had no idea what it was. Some of my adult students described it to me and I thought it was nice that when people become adults in Japan, it’s celebrated. We become adults at age 18 in the U.S. but we don’t typically have a party to celebrate. Rather, depending on the family and culture, we have big parties at ages 16 and 21. Some families in the U.S. have parties for their kids when they turn 13 or 15 because in some cultures, those are viewed as the ages when kids become adults. Of course legally, they are still kids until they turn 18. I hope to one day be able to attend a Coming of Age Day ceremony in Japan because it sounds like it’s a lot of fun. What do you typically do after the ceremony? Do you have a party with friends and family?
by hello-eigo | 2015-01-13 13:52 | English Journal

New Year's Resolutions

It’s my second day back at school and I feel somewhat refreshed after my holiday. I didn’t do anything particularly special but it was nice nonetheless as I caught up on my sleep and did a lot of cooking. I ate traditional Japanese food and spent a lot of time with friends. I even got to visit a small shrine with an amazing view because it is on top of a mountain. Some of my wishes for the New Year already came true and I hope I am able to stick to my New Year’s resolutions. Do you know what a New Year’s resolution is? It’s one or more goals you make for the upcoming year. Most people are unable to stick to their resolutions because they are unrealistic or very difficult to accomplish. I never accomplish mine, but this year, I am absolutely determined. So far, it’s going well. What are your New Year’s resolutions? What do you hope to do this year that you weren’t able to do before? Good luck with whatever your goals are!
by hello-eigo | 2015-01-06 14:32 | English Journal

Christmas Vacation!

It’s almost time for Christmas vacation and I’m very excited! This year I’ll be staying in Japan for the holidays, the same as I did the first year I was here. I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas and New Year’s in Japan with my friends and really experiencing a proper New Year’s here. I do miss my family in America and would love to be home with my mom opening presents, watching holiday movies on TV (yes, even at my age my mom still buys me presents and stocking stuffers!) and eating freshly baked cookies. Sometimes it’s good to do something new and different, especially when it comes to experiencing another culture. New Year’s is very different in Japan compared to America and seems to be much more of a family-oriented holiday rather than a big party amongst friends. I can’t wait to eat traditional Japanese New Year’s food, of course, vegetarian style, and visit a shrine on January 1st. The one thing I want most for Christmas and New Year’s is to go to the Maldives and spend time on a beach. Maybe next year! What are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s? What do you want to do?
by hello-eigo | 2014-12-16 14:27 | English Journal

Snow

When I was a kid, one of my favorite times of the year was winter because it would almost always snow. Snow sometimes meant an early release from school or school being cancelled early that morning. I loved the excitement of getting up early in the morning and watching the news, waiting for the announcement that school would be closed. Sometimes there would be a one- or two-hour delay, but I always wished for a day off so I could play outside or spend the day napping. Once I became an adult and began working, I realized that “snow days,” or days off from work or school, were few and far between and it was very rare that my job would be cancelled for the day because of snow. But still, the excitement remained from when I was a kid and I’d get up early to watch the news and hope they would make the announcement that my work was delayed or cancelled for the day. Living in Kurashiki, I have only seen snow a few times and only once have I ever seen it actually stick to the ground for a day or two. In a way, it’s a good thing because it means I can still bike, but sometimes I do miss a good snow to signal that winter has arrived.
by hello-eigo | 2014-12-09 15:28 | English Journal

Volunteering

I used to love doing volunteer work back home in the states, especially during the holiday season. Every year my family would cook extra food for Thanksgiving and Christmas and deliver it to families and single people we knew didn’t have a lot of money or maybe couldn’t afford to buy food. That stuck with me and when I was in college, I used to volunteer a lot, including at a homeless shelter, teaching Spanish-speaking adults English, and even helping adults pass an exam to get their high school diplomas. I think I liked volunteering so much because my parents taught me that giving to and helping others should be a part of your life and that not everyone is as fortunate as others. I wish I could continue volunteering while living here in Japan, but with the language barrier, it’s a bit difficult and also I don’t know where to go to volunteer. Do you volunteer your time to help others? Is that something people typically do in Japan? I’d love to know!
by hello-eigo | 2014-12-02 14:44 | English Journal


倉敷・英会話HELLO、啓心塾から日々の様子をお届けします。


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〒710-0065
岡山県倉敷市花の街通り
56-1
TEL:086-434-0860
   (10:00~19:30)
定休日:水曜日

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