2020 May-June Business class reading assignment

In response to student demand for a semi-long term reading assignment, I have assigned the following for my Business class students.

Reading assignment:

Read the three (four if you count the additional reading) related articles linked below. We will discuss it together in class about a month from now (specific date will be decided next class).




Additional recommended reading:



This is a relatively long and challenging read compared to what we typically read in class, which is why I have given you a month to complete. Give it a try reading it on your own and if you have any questions (I expect you will) you can ask them in class before the discussion date.

The first link is a BBC article talking about a controversial memo (an opinion statement) written by a former Google employee which ultimately lead to his termination.

The second link is the original memo by the former-employee. It is crucial you read the original memo in order to understand the aforementioned BBC article and to have a meaningful discussion on the topic. Make sure you read it.

The third link is a response to the memo by a personality psychologist which is referenced in the BBC s article.

The fourth link is some more responses to the memo by other scientists and psychologists.

I recommend reading the BBC article once more after reading the other links.

It’s a challenging assignment on a arguably controversial topic but I think it will generate some very good discussions. So try your best and remember; always feel free to ask any questions. I’m always here to help!

2020 Riki Online – Presentation (プレゼン英会話)

Topic for 5/25

My strength and weakness and why I’m sharing it with you.

*If you are looking for details on the reading assignment for my Business class, click below.


Hi everyone!

Ever since the Japanese government declared a state of emergency, our lessons at Velco has gone online. Until the situation settles down, we’ll be practicing English together online.

If you’re new to this class, here’s an overview of what we do.

This is an intermediate to upper-level presentation class for those interested in improving their presentation and speaking skills regardless of their need for it at work.

At the end of each lesson, we decide on a topic together for next week,
so you can think/prepare on it over the week. I’ll also post next week’s topic here.

Participants will take turns presenting, give constructive feedback to each other and discuss the topic together as a group.

Our goal is to develop practical and effective communication skills, not only for formal business presentations but also for everyday conversations, by improving clarity and conciseness in our speach and exploring ways to better captivate our listeners.

Generally speaking, lessons tend to be casual and conversational, and we mix in some Japanese as necessary as well. If you’re curious, feel free to stop by!

2018.11.28. Wednesday. Free-talk and Business


3-5pm 1 student

Today we discussed culture and collectivism versus individualism, and whether or not true individualism exists.


6-8pm 5,7 students

Today one of the students had an interesting question for the class; how can your express your thoughts in a more logical way? Each one of us took turns answering and sharing our views.


8-10pm 7,5 students

Since we had a fairly large group today, I split you guys into two groups, one group arguing that it’s better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest, and the other group arguing for the converse. We practiced how to organized your thoughts and express them in a logical and structured manner.

2018.11.21. Wednesday: Free-talk and Business


3-5pm 1 student

today we talked about various train lines and their cost effectiveness as means of transportation.


6-8pm 3,5 students

Today we talked about our experience  traveling and living in foreign countries, things that make us feel nervous, and so on.


8-10pm 5,3 students

Today we read an article about how reading the news affects your intelligence. We went over difficult words and discussed the contents together as we read through.



2018.11.19.Monday: F2

7-9pm: 5,2 students

Tonight we talked about how we organize and keep track of schedules, plans, and goals in our personal and professional lives. Do you have a schedule book or an app to keep track of your schedule? Do you make to do lists? What habits do you find useful to improve your productivity?

2018.11.14. Free-talk and Business


1-3pm 3,4 students

Since we had a couple of new students today, we talked about your background, what you do for fun and what are some of your hobbies.


3-5pm 2 students

For the first howh of today’s business class, we read some articles and practiced summarizing and rephrasing them into your own words. For the second hour, we practiced rapid output by responding to random topics from bag as quickly as you can.

2018.11.5. Monday: F2

7-9pm 2 students

Today we talked about how one of the students is going to move soon. I also took some time to emphasize the difference between ending verbs like annoy, excite, interest, bore, with ~ing vs ~ed. It can make a huge difference which one you use and you have to be careful not to mix them up!

2018.10.31. Wednesday: Free-talk and Business


3-5pm 2 students

Today we discuss some social/political topics such as; what do you think about having surveillance in all pubic places (streets, park, etc) so that the police can identify criminals more easily. What are the pros and cons of such Society?

6-8pm 5,4 students

Today we discussed topics related to driving. Are you a good driver? Have you ever been in a traffic accident? How was your experience with the insurance company and how did the insurance company decide to cover for the damage?


8-10pm 3,4 students

For today’s business we did some debates are topics of debate included:

Should the Japanese government invest in a mission to Mars?

Should animal testing be banned?

Is it necessary to increase consumption tax to 10%?