2017.09.21 Thursday : FT

Time:

19:00-20:00 | 3 students

20:00-21:00 | 3 students

*************************************

Summary:

I had the pleasure of having a trial student attend my class tonight. She was actually a student at VELCO eight years ago, but felt that there were too many students per class back then (around 10-ish per class? O_o), and she couldn’t effectively practice her English. Well, tonight I believe we all had a great time talking with each other and the conversation was quite lively! We talked about music and art, since everyone’s from creative backgrounds and have an interest in music- from classical to contemporary.

At one point, we were discussing the health of our parents, and one student mentioned that her father is still active and dexterous, despite his old age. I discussed the word ‘dexterous‘ a little further- It comes from ‘dexterity‘, which means the ability to use your hands skillfully. It can also mean the ability to think and act quickly and cleverly. For example, a brain surgeon or any doctor in general must be extremely dexterous, as they need to use their hands to complete complicated tasks.

We also shared what we felt are our greatest accomplishments in life. Most of us felt that we haven’t yet achieved our goals, so we’re still on the journey to that “greatest accomplishment”. Always striving (to try very hard to do or achieve something) and continuously improving yourself is a good life philosophy to have.

In the next hour of class, one of the students told us some very exciting and shocking news. This November, he would be moving to Southern China to study the insect ecology in the rainforests there. Everyone in the class was taken aback by the news, and we all wanted to learn more about this new development in his life. (be taken aback: to be shocked or surprised, especially by something that someone says or does to you.)

We started talking about getting bitten by creatures in the forest, such as mosquitoes and leeches. I learned two new things about mosquitoes from the students. Firstly, mosquitoes are attracted to a particular bacteria on our feet, and some people produce more of that bacteria than other people. That makes them more susceptible to getting bitten by mosquitoes. Secondly, the musical note of A (or ‘la’ in do re mi fa so la ti do) can also attract mosquitoes, perhaps because it sounds like the buzzing sounds they make. (susceptible: easily affected, influenced, or harmed by something / capable of being affected by a specified action or process)

That’s all for that evening! Thanks for joining me in class, everyone!

広告

2017.09.20 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 2 students

14:00-15:00 | 1 students

*************************************

Summary:

Hey there! Thank you for coming to my class this afternoon! We talked about ideal qualities/traits that we would like our boyfriend/girlfriend/partner to have. You can say that a person with those ideal qualities is your type of person.

“Tall, dark and handsome- that’s totally my type of guy.” 

“I understand why you broke up with her. She wasn’t your type.”

You can use your type to label other things that are ideal to you, such as food, events, places, activities, etc.

“This is my type of party! There’s free food and good music!”

One of the students is heading to Tokyo next month to watch Takarazuka Revue, and to go sightseeing around the city. We gave her some pointers on where to go around Tokyo, and mentioned that the Ueno National Museum of Nature and Science is a great place to visit. There are lots of stuffed animals* on display, among other wonderful exhibitions.

*Stuffed animals: In this context, we are referring to dead animals that are preserved by a taxidermist. This term can also describe soft animal-shaped toys for children.

In the last hour of class, we chatted away about the student’s plans for the near future, like what kind of job she could work at in America. She showed me some of the housing estates that she and her husband were considering. I’m really excited for her and wish her the best in her new life in the States!

2017.09.16 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3

17:30-18:30 | 4

*******************

Summary:

One of our VELCO students will be moving to America next week, so she’s been spending extra time and effort studying English before the big move! According to her, she usually takes BF lessons and such, but she decided to bite the bullet and take a FT class today.  The other students and I were very interested in learning more about why she’s moving to America, and how the whole process has been going for her, so the conversation for the first hour was mostly about that.

(bite the bulletdecide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.)

Somehow, we ended up talking about things that are on our bucket list. It’s basically a list of things that someone has not done before but wants to do before dying. One student pointed out that the origin of this term could be from another figure of speech, which is to kick the bucket, which means to die. Anyway, I just Googled it to confirm his suspicion, and yep, that’s where bucket list comes from! As for the origin of the saying ‘kick the bucket’, it’s quite morbid. Perhaps I’ll share it in my next class…

Thanks for coming today! Great job, everyone!

2017.09.14 Thursday : FT

Time:

19:00-20:00 |  4 students

20:00-21:00 |  5 students

*************************************

Summary:

It’s been a long time since we all last saw each other in class, so we spent a fair amount of time catching up over some snacks that I had brought back from Thailand and Singapore. (Catching up over <a meal/drink/snacks> is a common phrase in English. “Shall we catch up over a coffee next Tuesday?“)

We talked about places we’ve been to recently, the things we’ve done and the people we’ve met up with. Notable words used were:

Posh (elegant, fashionable, usually upper-class /// “That fine dining restaurant looks very posh with its fancy luxurious furniture.“)

Paranoid (having or showing an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc. : feeling or showing paranoia /// “I usually become paranoid about ghosts and monsters after watching horror movies.“)

Sedentary (doing or involving a lot of sitting : not doing or involving much physical activity /// “I live a sedentary lifestyle because I work in an office, sitting all day.”)

Hearse **I spelled it wrong on the board in class, please forgive me!!!** (a large car that is used for carrying a coffin to a grave /// “If you show your thumbs while a hearse is passing by, your father may soon die an untimely death!”)

The topic of superstitions and old wives’ tales came up. An old wives’ tale is a story that is superstitious and is considered as unscientific or incorrect. After sharing some superstitions and stories with one another, we concluded that they all have some truth to them, and they’re extremely interesting nonetheless!

Thank you all for coming today! I’ve really missed our lessons together~!

2017.09.13 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 1 students

14:00-15:00 | 1 students

*************************************

Summary:

I had just returned the day before, from a month long trip around Asia. It feels great to be back at VELCO!

We caught up with each other on what’s been happening in our lives since our last lesson together. I shared stories about my travels, and she told me all about when her son visited her from Tokyo for about 5 days. They went to various places around Osaka and Kyoto, and unfortunately, as it was during the Obon week, it was really crowded! It was especially packed at the aquarium, where there were not only Japanese tourists, but loads of Korean and Chinese ones as well.

The topic of surgery and minor facial vanity procedures came up, and we shared our thoughts and opinions on that. I feel like it’s getting common for women (and men) to get plastic surgery done, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! (Typing this out now, I realize it seems like I might have secretly done surgery during the month I was away from Japan but haha, no, I didn’t. I just got a haircut. 😀)

We chatted away about a variety of things for the rest of the class, such as the student’s experiences with volunteering as a Japanese teacher for foreigners in Osaka. It was really interesting stuff, and I hope maybe one day, we could trade places and I could be her student!

Thanks for coming today!

2017.08.12 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3

17:30-18:30 | 4

*******************

Summary:

We continued learning more phrasal verbs, such as drop in, drop by, drop off, drop out. As you can see, there are lots of different ways to use the word ‘drop’! Drop in and drop by generally mean the same thing (to informally visit a place). Drop off can either mean to take something to a place and leaving it there (“Just dropping off a letter at the post office.”) or to fall asleep unintentionally (“I keep dropping off in class because it is so boring..”).

We discussed a few other topics such as relationships and different kinds ways people can identify themselves sexually (heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, bisexual etc.).

This was the last class I’d teach before I embark on a month long holiday. I’ll be back with lots of souvenirs from my travels! I hope no one forgets me while I’m gone! Hehehe.

2017.08.09 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 2 students

14:00-15:00 | 1 students

*************************************

Summary:

We had a trial student join us for today’s lesson! I, along with the other student present for the class, really enjoyed talking with her, and we all had a similar sense of humor. The three of us spend most of our time as housewives, while doing part-time work on the side. So we shared our own experiences living this sort of life, and all the daily things that are a part of it. When we started talking about cooking, one student declared that she’s a terrible cook, while the other said she’s usually too lazy to cook complicated dishes. But both of them will still give their best effort when cooking for their husbands!

We spent a portion of the class learning a selection of idioms, such as being ‘on the fence‘ about something. It means you’re undecided about something and can’t choose between either choice. Taking something ‘with a grain/pinch of salt‘ means that you should not take something (usually a comment, information or advice) too seriously. For example: You should take what you read on the internet with a pinch of salt, since it could be untrue.

In the next hour, we chatted about the student’s trip to Barcelona, and I shared some other places in Spain that she should visit the next time she goes there. We also talked about the upcoming Obon week, and the different kinds of souvenirs you can bring back home when visiting your family.

I’ll be gone for about a month, starting next week, to do just that (visiting family back home in Singapore!). I will definitely bring back some souvenirs when I return~

Thank you for coming to my class!

2017.08.05 Saturday : FT

16:30-17:30 | 3 students

17:30-18:30 | 5 students

*************************************

Summary:

Heya! One of the students shared that she had spent her morning, earlier that day, running alongside the Kamogawa river, as part of her training for the upcoming marathon in Kyoto next year. Everyone in the class was very impressed, including me, as we struggle doing cardio. Cardio is the shortened version of the term ‘cardiovascular exercise‘ (exercises that cause the heart to beat faster and harder for a period of time, such as running, aerobics, cycling, etc.).

And speaking of things that make your heart beat faster and harder, we also talked about horror* movies and scary experiences. First, we discussed our favorite horror movies- both Western and Japanese. Then, we scared ourselves even more by recalling the scariest/spookiest situation we’ve ever been in, in real life. *There’s also another genre of movies that’s called gore. Gore basically means gruesome and bloody, so gore movies are movies that have a lot of violence and blood! They may not necessarily be scary, like the way Ringu is scary, but they’re still quite terrifying!!

One student, who was extremely busy with helping out at her daughter’s school’s summer festival event for the past few weeks, was able to finally join this evening’s class. Yay! Everyone in class shared their own summer festival experiences from when they were still in high school. It was interesting to hear about the differences between those who had grown up in the city, and those who had grown up in a rural countryside area.

We spent the rest of the time just chatting away, and one student mentioned that she would be quite busy in these upcoming months with work. She then added that she will still be attending class, as much as possible, even with her limited free time. That made me feel really happy about my teaching job here at VELCO. I truly appreciate everyone coming to class and being so hardworking at learning and practicing English together! 🙂

2017.08.03 Thursday : FT

Time:

19:00-20:00 |  students

20:00-21:00 |  students

*************************************

Summary:

Hey there! Thank you for coming to my class. Apologies for the delayed post!

We spent some time catching up on what everyone was up to this past week and earlier during the day. Catching up has many different meanings, depending on the situation you use it in. It’s a phrasal verb, which means a group of words that functions as a verb and is made up of a verb and a preposition, an adverb, or both. In this context (“We spent some time catching up on what everyone was up to…“), it means to talk to someone you have not seen for some time and find out what they have been doing.

In the context of driving a vehicle, or walking/running, you can catch up with someone/something. It means to go faster so that you reach the person or vehicle in front of you. “I tried running away from a wild dog, but it caught up to me and bit my legs.

And in the context of achieving or learning something, you can catch up on something. It means to improve in order to reach the same standard or rate as someone or something. “You really need to catch up on your homework if you want your grades to improve!

We discussed several other phrasal verbs in class, such as “add up“, “back down“, “black out“, “break down“, “count on“, and “drag on“. As you might have been able to tell, it’s in alphabetical order, and we only reached the letter ‘D’! There’s a lot more to learn, and I look forward to sharing them with you next time! 🙂

 

 

2017.08.02 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 2 students

14:00-15:00 | 3 students

*************************************

Summary:

In the first hour, both students had recently gone on a vacation- one to her hometown in Sado Island, and the other to Barcelona. They shared the experiences in their respective destinations, as well as some souvenirs! I received a lovely knitted mini stuffed toy of a toki (white crested ibis) bird, which is a highly endangered bird in Sado Island (these birds used to be extinct, but a few were imported back onto the island, and preservation methods were implemented to sustain their population.) And the class and I shared some delicious dried figs from Spain (there were some remaining, which we kept in the school, and I secretly ate more the next day, hehe). Thank you to the students for their kind consideration and generosity! 🙂

In the next hour, we were treated to a short verbal presentation on the orchid praying mantis (Google it, it’s a really cute insect!) by one of the students whose profession involves researching insects. Everyone asked questions afterwards, and the student answered them very well. Overall, it was an excellent presentation, and we all learned a lot from it.

My friend, who is visiting Japan for the very first time, joined the class for both sessions and the students took turns asking her about her background and such. They gave great recommendations to the both of us of wonderful places to visit around Japan. I really need to visit Sado Island and the surrounding islands around Okinawa!

Thank you to everyone who came today! It was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon.