11/27/2018 8 participants

Really Yellow Ruler X3, 早いで

In today’s talk, we initially focused on pronunciation.  Many people are intimidated by creating sounds which native English speakers consider correct, or easy to understand.  This is a skill which can be reproduced with practice and can be honed relatively quickly compared to the acquisition of vocabulary or the application of grammar.  In the first segment, our group focused on R-words and L-words to create games which can hone pronunciation of difficult words.  We used words which are difficult for native Japanese speakers, but there are many others.  I will include a link below for practice.

These methods are used by actors to improve their speech, and there is no reason we cannot use the same methods to help our pronunciation as well.

In the later segments, we read a couple of news articles and reverse translated them, which I then summarized on the board so that our group could gain insight into concisely communicating key components of current events.  This skill is critical, as it reflects our everyday need to synthesize and present information to others.




Today was another great session with an energetic group of participants.  We started with general discussions and updates to catch up with recent events everyone experienced.  We then discussed a new method which we experimented with using a news app to learn how to better communicate information.  The name of the app is:


Using this app, each member of our 6 person group read a line which was in Japanese to themselves, then made their best attempt to explain the meaning to me in English.  The next step was for me to find the most efficient and effective way to communicate this information into American English and write the sentence on the board.  This allowed the members compare their collective explanation to my version of the information.  This process is useful because it allowed the entire group to understand the difference between the way they are communicating their ideas, and the way I, as a native English speaker, perceive that information.

Everyone in the group seemed to find the exercise useful and interesting.  We had a trial student, and she appeared to enjoy the exchange and found the method useful.  After this session, we spent time to discuss more about the news article on Carlos Ghosn and other current events.  I truly enjoyed the exchange and I look forward to our next session.

2018.11.15 Thursday:G1単語編、G1テキスト編

19:00-19:50 3 students

20:00-20:50 2 students

Unfortunately it was my last day in Velco today 😦

最後のlesson は・・・単語編




For, during, while の違いについて


For:前置詞→For 2 weeks, For a year, For ages, For a while(期間)

During:前置詞→During summer holiday, During the meeting


While:接続詞→While i was reading, While he is talking

While の後はS+Vです。

Thank you so much for everybody who joined my lesson ! I had awesome time 🙂

See you somewhere 🙂

2018, Tuesday 13th

Trial Student: Hironori Kawamoto (Hiro performed our course quite well.  He participated in a new MRE [Main idea, Reason, Example].  Though he is not certain he can keep up with the speed of the other students, I am confident he can do quite well in the course.

Today I had the great fortune of meeting several returning students.  We started the class with something new.  I created an idea supporting format based on previous classes.  First, I had the students self evaluate their proficiency gave them 90 seconds to read a passage.  After the reading time, I had the students turn the paper over and give their best description of what they understood about the passage.  Though most students did not know many of the details, they were able to get the main points of the passage quite effectively.  To prove they could perform well, I gave them some questions based on the passage without allowing them to read it over again.  Although, many of the questions required review of the passage, many of the students did quite well with the answers.  After, I revealed that this was a sample TOEFL reading comprehension passage.  We then evaluated the questions which proved that understanding all of the details of the passage were not required in order to correctly and efficiently answer all of the questions.  The students were also relieved to learn that the normal format of the test allocates 20 minutes and permits the test taker to review the passage as frequently as they wish.

The second half of the course was a discussion of current events.  I truly enjoyed the session and look forward to meeting the students again.

Yesterday, 11/6 English workshop

On Tuesday, our group of 8 discussed interesting topics.  For the first hour( 7-7:50), we critically analyzed a news article and related the information back to how westerners use information to either prove or disprove information, and how that contributes to knowledge sharing. The topic was based on pollution, and some of the fallacies and assumptions that can exist in the news, and how to identify those flaws.  From that point, we assessed how it is useful understand key English words and phrases and how to build useful dialogue to engage in meaningful debate.

For the second session, our group practiced methods to improve dialogue in English without having to focus on remembering specific words.  We built on previous strategy from our previous session to include specific stances on topics, providing reasons for those stances and finally specify examples supporting those reasons, so that the chances for miscommunication are minimized.  The format occurred as follows:

Idea/opinion:  My shoes are the best.

Reason for having opinion: My shoes look good, and they make me feel like my outfit is complete.

Example of reason:  When I wear my shoes, I feel like my attitude and confidence improves.  Because of this, when I am in difficult situations like interviews or dates, I do not carry the same pressure or stress compared to times when I do not wear the shoes I like.

Conclusion: For these reasons, I believe my shoes are the best.

Please note that this is only an example, and in no way related to how I feel about my shoes.  But, this helps to illustrate the logic which was applied in our session.  It helps build the format for expressing individual reasoning, and limits another persons ability to form a unique interpretation of what we expect to communicate.

Finally, we discussed our language goals throughout the session.  I shared the fact that while I am working diligently to improve my Japanese, my goal is not perfection, but instead persuasion.  I am not perfect in English, but I no longer put effort into improvement.  Instead, my goal for communicating in language is to be able to persuade others.  That allows me to become effective in business, friendships, relationships and life.  In a sense, this relieves a bit of pressure, and helps me to refocus on my goal, which is simply to be better than I was yesterday.

I was very happy and honored to share time with people who are diligently working hard to improve their communication skills, and I look forward to sharing the experience with others moving forward.

2018.11.3 Saturday Pronunciation Master; Free Talking (F3)

Tonight in Pronunciation class we used a card game called AGO Phonics to do a warming-up drill. The students read 3 words printed on a card, such as “tree; truck; trumpet”, and then they read just the digraph or blend on the card. In this case /tr/.

In Free Talking tonight we first talked about interesting, funny, or disappointing news stories. Some links to articles we discussed:

Shibuya Halloween 2018; Kiwis Claim Australian Island for New Zealand

We also talked about celebrities and other well known people who have some “X factor” about them that makes them very likeable, or respected. Usually not just good looks!

Thank you everyone for coming tonight, enjoy your Sunday!


18:00~18:50 3 students
19:00~19:50 3 students

I shared some phrase useful in daily life such as “It’s meant to be.”
Most of the people face issues that they don’t come up with what to say in conversation. I believe these phrases help you to talk smoothly and am planning to share more of them in the future.

2018.10.25 Thursday: 発音マスター、テーマ別プラクティス、イディオムとボキャブラリー強化

発音マスター:6:00~7:00 6 Students
テーマ別プラクティス:7:00~8:00 7 Students
イディオムとボキャブラリー:8:00~9:00 8 Students

Today we practiced some new tongue twisters like usual~


We had a video lesson about a new Starbucks that was opened in Washington D.C.

Some of the new phrases we learned today are:
-Sign language
-Go down the counter
-Write down your order


What do you do when you want a day off?

How do you slack off on your job?

How do you motivate yourself everyday?

Why do you think we have to write a motivational letter by hand even though we have Microsoft Word?

Do you drink alcohol? If so, what kind? And if you don’t, what do you at a Nomikai?

Do you have any dark pasts after a Nomikai?

Have you ever lost your memories while drinking alcohol?

Since we didn’t have time to cover today’s idioms, We’ll use the same idioms we did today next week~

Thank you for coming today!


2018.10.25 Thursday; F2

19:00-19:50 F2 4 students
20:00-20:50 F2 4 students

We talked about;

● Which countries we recommend to a person who is not familiar with traveling abroad.
● Which countries to recommend in the Asian region.
● Which countries to recommend in Europe.
● Why, where we recommend those places.

ruins - 遺跡
institute –  研究所

In the second lesson, we had a discussion on the question below;

● When you become elderly, would you want to live with your children or live   alone  at a nursing home?

Thank you very much!


2018.10.18 Thu. F2

19:00-19:50 F2 8 students
20:00-20:50 F2 4 students

We talked about;

  • Do you give money to beggars or homeless people?
  • Do you think it is helpful for them?
  • What do you think of custom of giving a tip in the U.S.?

I was in Germany for a week and saw some people on a street holding a paper cup to ask for some donation. We have homeless people here in Japan, but beggars are not really our culture. Those people may or may not have a good reason not to work, but I always wonder if giving some money to them is actually helpful in the long-term. So I wanted to ask for different opinions in the class.

welfare benefits /money   生活保護
public assistance 公的な援助
halfway 半分

Thank you for coming tonight!