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カテゴリ:English Journal( 75 )

Food Tasting and Grammar Tips

I have had yet another fun week at Hello! On Monday the 17th, we had our first official Momotaro recital practice! Everyone did such a wonderful job rehearsing their speeches and practicing the play. We still have a long way to go with memorizing lines and speeches but I think we were successful and everyone will do a great job in the recital!

Last week, I officially began my Japanese lessons so I can survive in Japan and communicate more effectively with the students’ parents. I was a little disappointed in my lessons because it was a review of everything I know (hajimemashite! Megan desu! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu (bow)) but I want to work hard at Japanese and be able to express my feelings and make lots of Japanese friends!

Other fun things that have happened in the last week: I tried natto, ume, and mozuku for the first time. Of those three things, I only like mozuku! Ume is very sour and natto, well, I think you have to get used to it to like it. I really like mozuku though and hope to eat more of it!

I am really enjoying everything here in Japan: teaching, meeting new people, trying new foods, and learning about the culture! The best part of it all is teaching and seeing improvements in students’ understanding of English!

Word/Grammar Tip of the Week:

I noticed that some adult students and Japanese friends are very formal in their conversation when speaking about what they will do this weekend. For example, they say “I will spend time with my friends.”

For more natural conversation and to sound less formal, you can say “I am going to hang out with my friends this weekend.”

Hang out (conversational slang). To hang out with someone means that you spend time with someone. You might go to the movies, go shopping, listen to music, have dinner with, or just have conversation with your friends. You are spending time with them, or hanging out with them.
by hello-eigo | 2012-09-24 15:29 | English Journal

Meet Megan!

Hello everyone!

Meet Megan!_a0164603_1434246.jpg

My name is Megan and I am the new English teacher at Hello!

I am having fun meeting all of the students and everyone has been so nice. I am learning so much about Japan and the culure and it is very exciting! Elisa-sensei has been so helpful and is introducting me to the students and the classes so that I can be a very good teacher. I am very happy to be here and look forward to beginning my teaching!
by hello-eigo | 2012-08-30 14:04 | English Journal

For Love of Tango Buchou and Sushitrain Slots

Hi everyone!

It's here again, your Monday Hello English blog, brought to you by Elisa sensei. I'm no longer going by the pen name Goo-sensei as it's rather overcast today, which I LOVE being from Seattle and all.

This weekend, I had a delicious sushi train dinner with my co-workers. At the restaurant we noticed that there was a slot on the table where you could insert all your sushi dishes. What a dangerous concept! What is to stop you from eating 15 or 20 plates of sushi? The only thing that stops me from eating 20 plates is that everyone at the table can see my growing mountain of 100 yen plates. Since I don't want to hear them whispering 'That girl is really eating 20 plates of sushi?' or see their judgmental stares. I usually stop at 10.

With this slot invention, I don't even know how many plates of sushi I consumed. But it was well over the recommended 10 plates, I'm sure. Ahh! What freedom!

Secondly, I went to see Hotaru no Hikari (spoiler: Bucho does a 3 minute tango dance, dressed in drag) at the Movix theater with Acco on Sunday and was delightfully surprised to be given my drinks and popcorn on a bright orange tray that fits right into the cup holder on the theater seat! How convenient and great! No more holding popcorn on your lap and spilling all over, now you have a portable tray! Sasuga Japan!

I have yet to find an satisfactory translation for 'sasuga' - literally means 'as I would expect from'...but it just doesn't sound natural. I'll keep you posted as I ponder this conundrum.

See you next week readers!
by hello-eigo | 2012-07-23 16:59 | English Journal

Where is the Turkey?

I've noticed that Japan is a very international place. If there's something you want, there's a good chance you'll be able to find it. Japan pretty much has everything!

I thought I finally found an exception when I was trying to find shoes my size. Everywhere I went, all the shoes were too small. After two weeks of searching, right when I was about to start making my own shoes from kabocha skin, I finally found a store that specializes in larger sizes. Yes, I had to go to the Japanese version of a "Big and Tall" to find my size shoes, but I found them nonetheless.

As Thanksgiving draws near, I'm reminded of the one thing that does not exist in Japan: the turkey, god of bird meats. From the stores I've searched and other turkey-loving foreigners I've talked to, I've accepted this unbelievable situation as fact.

Even though I've found beef in Japan imported from the States, I guess turkey didn't get its visa cleared with the Japanese government. How can Croc plastic shoes make it hear before turkey?

Happy TurkeyDay anyway! I'll just have to go to the sushi train to stuff myself this Thanksgiving holiday.
by hello-eigo | 2010-11-15 20:24 | English Journal

Halloween Parties

The Hello Halloween parties were great!

The kids all showed up wearing amazing costumes. Some were spooky, some cute, and some funny. The most popular costume choice by far was a witch. Others dressed as pumpkins, superheroes, movie characters, and princesses just to name a few.

We played musical chairs and a bean bag toss game. They kids enjoyed musical chairs and it didn't take them long to figure it out. The bean bag toss, on the other hand, was a bit tricky. The object of the game was to throw a bean bag into a bag full of candy, which seems easy. Actually doing it was a bit difficult, so the kids moved closer to the bags, which greatly improved their accuracy.

The evening party with the adults was just as fun. Not as many people dressed up, but there was some delicious food and a nice brass performance.

As for me, I was Lupin the 3rd, but not many people recognized it. I had the clothes, the gun, and the sideburns, but the blond hair kind of threw the whole thing off.
by hello-eigo | 2010-11-01 14:57 | English Journal

Japanese Pumpkin

Even though I still haven't uncovered all the unique and tasty groceries Japanese supermarkets have to offer, I'm slowly getting familiar with them.

My most recent grocery adventure was purchasing and cooking kabocha, or "Japanese Pumpkin" as it's called elsewhere.

It was one of the hardest vegetables to prepare and cut. It was like I was using a plastic disposable knife, even though I was really wielding a butcher's knife. Speaking of wielding, an actual sword would have probably been a much better tool in this case.

After about two hours of wrestling with the kabocha and researching kabocha recipes, I finally sat down to eat.

Mmmm Mmm, the kabocha was amazing! I can't wait to eat it again, only after I buy a sword of course.
by hello-eigo | 2010-10-18 20:24 | English Journal

Halloween Time

Kids, get your costumes ready! Dentists, get your brushes ready and mirrors polished!

It's almost halloween!

While growing up, I would always be extremely eager to go out trick or treating, rain or shine (well, we went out at night, so really just "rain or no rain"). During years with cold or snowy weather, we still went out, not so much to trick or treat, but to rake in some loot-


I've been Donald Duck, Frankenstein, Super Mario, and even Death.

As the years went on, Halloween parties became the thing to do, although sometimes friends and I went trick or treating in high school. We'd say "Trick or treat!" and the people who answered the door would often remark that we seemed a little old to be trick or treating.

Between the traditional trick or treating and parties, along with modern events, movies, music, and activities, Halloween is a huge celebration in the US and one of the most enjoyable as well. I just wish people would start handing out steak and vegetable dinners instead of candy.
by hello-eigo | 2010-10-14 21:25 | English Journal

Dragonball and learning English

Alright! I'm almost finished with my third manga book since arriving in Japan, the first volume of Dragonball. It's thus far my second favorite manga, mainly because I find it hilarious and amusing to no end. My all time favorite manga, Akira, will have to wait. It doesn't have furigana so my kanji power will need to be as powerful as Tetsuo before I can read it.

What does all this have to do with English?

Well, I think reading comics or manga, even if you don't normally do so, is a superb way to learn any language. The difference between reading books, which normally use many difficult words, some of which you'll never need, and comics, which contain nearly one hundred percent dialogue, is night and day.

When I pick up a book in a language that I'm studying, the reading process is painstakingly slow, and really not a whole lot of fun. Contrast that with a comic book, where I'm flying (relative to book reading) through pages and rarely looking up unknown words because I can infer the meaning through the pictures, and you'll see a comic book is a much more enjoyable way to study. More fun equals more motivating, which leads to more time reading and studying the language.

With that, I'll leave you with the name of my favorite English comic, "Calvin and Hobbes." For a little guy, he uses some pretty big words sometimes, but it's well worth reading anyway.
by hello-eigo | 2010-10-04 20:23 | English Journal

Best Electronic Dictionary?

First, I should preface this post by mentioning that I'm NOT a spokesperson for Apple. I'm a guy who wants the best and most efficient dictionary for learning Japanese.

I was getting tired of carrying my dictionary and kanji book around a while back, so I started looking for a good electronic dictionary. What I ended up finding was the iPod touch.

The iPod touch is hands down much better than any electronic dictionary I've seen. While it's true that I'm using it to learn Japanese, I know there are just as many (definitely more actually) apps and resources available on the iPod for the English learner.

The best part? The iPod is the same price (or cheaper depending on the dictionary).

So, before you buy an electronic dictionary, check out the iPod touch and see if it will fit your needs better.
by hello-eigo | 2010-09-28 21:22 | English Journal

Comic Book Hotel

I still don't quite understand what the real purpose of a "manga kissa" (漫画喫茶) is.

Sure, they've got lots of manga and movies, but there are an abundance of manga/movie rental stores (like TSUTAYA!) for those who want to read and watch on a budget. Also, isn't it more comfortable to read in your own home? For me it sure is.

They also have an internet connection, but so does almost everyone these days.

So how do these places stay in business? What do they provide that people can't get elsewhere?

The only reason I can surmise is that they're a quick, easy place to get a sub-par night's (or day's) sleep. I've done it a few times. It's similar to when I need a place to crash (crash- slang for sleep) for the night and my friend lets me sleep on their floor or couch. Except this particular "friend" has a giant collection of comic books, DVDs, complimentary drinks, internet and video games.

So, while I still don't think of a manga kissa as an ideal way to spend my free time during waking hours, I do recognize their function as a cheap comic book hotel for those times when you just need somewhere to sleep.
by hello-eigo | 2010-09-17 14:30 | English Journal


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