2018.02.14 Wednesday: FT

13:00-14:00 | 1

14:00-15:00 | 0

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Summary:

Hallo! It was another chill day for me and the one student who came for class today. We mainly talked about his occupation and previous work experiences. He reminds me a little of Liam Neeson’s character in the movie Taken (96-jikan). He has a very specific set of skills, skills that he acquired over a very long career… Hehehe.

He shared some very interesting and somewhat dark stories from when he was working in Tokyo. Everyone at his company was overworked and it resulted in some tragic incidents. It was really eye-opening to hear about such things and I really hope the work environment and balance gets better for him, and everyone affected by similar problems!

That’s all for today. It was a really short class 🙂

Thanks for coming!

広告

2018.02.10 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 5 students

17:30-18:30 | 3 students

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Summary:

Yo! This evening’s class was really fun! One of the students had invited his friend, a regular at VELCO Umeda but a newcomer at Shijo, to class tonight, as they were planning on going to a puzzle game event later together in Kyoto that evening.

After a round of introductions and getting to know each other, we talked about what sort of things we would spend a lot of money on. Some of us like to splurge on travelling, and others on branded clothes. One student quickly admitted that he doesn’t indulge in expensive unnecessary things at all and only buys what is cheap and necessary. That makes him a “frugal” person. (careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way)

We also did a short vocabulary/pronunciation exercise about words that contain ‘ch’ in them, and the different ways to say them. For example, ‘ch’ is pronounced in three different ways in each these words: machine, chicken, chemistry. Lastly, we talked about two American TV shows on Netflix (E.R., Altered Carbon) and one anime (Inuyashiki).

That’s all for tonight! Thanks for coming to class, guys!

2018.02.07 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 1

14:00-15:00 | 0

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Summary:

Hi there! Today’s class was really chill. Apart from the casual conversation we had, we also did some pronunciation exercises that help you sound more natural when speaking English. The English language is a somewhat tonal language, and some English words in particular sound better when you say certain parts of the word louder/softer or with more emphasis than other parts. We mainly focused on the American way of speaking English, but we briefly touched on the aural differences between British English and American English. (aural: like audio- relating to the ear or the sense of hearing)

Thanks for joining me for class!

2018.02.03 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3 students

17:30-18:30 | 2/3 students

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Summary:

Hi there! It was great seeing familiar faces today, as well as some new ones! We had a trial student join us first, then a regular VELCO student joined later. The VELCO student mentioned that it was his first time attending a Free Talking class, and that I should “go easy” on him. Well, I didn’t have to hold back at all! Everyone in class was amazing and really great at keeping up with the conversation. Definitely one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve had so far.

Go easy (idiom):  to treat someone in a gentle way and not criticize them or punish them. “Go easy on the new students.

We talked about our careers, and how some jobs can be quite depressing and tiresome after a while, especially those where you either have to work long hours or kowtow to your supervisors/bosses.

Kowtow (verb): to agree too easily or eagerly to do what someone else wants you to do : to obey someone with power in a way that seems weak. This word comes from the Chinese Cantonese word kau tau 叩頭, which sort of means to bow your head so low and deep to someone that your head touches the floor.

Some of us work sedentary jobs, so we make it a point to go to the gym to get some necessary exercise.

Sedentary (adj): involving little exercise or physical activity. Sedentary jobs are usually desk jobs, where you sit at your table all day long.

We also talked about our favorite types of movies. Within our class, the men preferred realistic non-fantasy movies of the drama/romance genre, while the ladies liked the opposite- science fiction/fantasy/thrillers. I suggested a Netflix show to a student, which I believe is right up her alley.

Right up your (or her/his/their) alley: to be the type of thing that you are interested in or that you enjoy doing: “Kate loves dancing, so salsa lessons would be right up her alley.”

We talked about a bunch more stuff but I think I wasted too much of this post’s space with word definitions. That’s all for today then!

Thanks for coming to class!

2018.01.31 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 1

14:00-15:00 | 1

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Summary:

Hi there! We had a pleasant and enjoyable conversation this afternoon. Since both the student and I regularly go to the gym, we discussed our fitness routines and shared tips on how to achieve the results we desire. We also talked about countries that are uncommonly traveled to, like Slovenia. Lastly, we told each other about our respective siblings, and how our childhood with them was like. Actually, we talked about a lot of random topics, apart from the ones I wrote about! 🙂

Thank you for coming to class! Goodbye, January~

2018.01.28 Sunday: FT

14:00-15:00 | 1 student

15:00-16:00 | 0 students

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Summary:

Hey there! It was a chill Sunday afternoon. Both chill as in cold, and chill as in relaxing! The one student in attendance has previously admitted that because he isn’t confident of his English-speaking abilities, he prefers being in a class that has more than one student. Well, too bad for him! It was just the two of us, hahaha!!

Despite his lack of confidence, the conversation during the class was great. We discussed topics that were not about traveling or hobbies, so the conversation was quite advanced, in my opinion! We shared our outlook and perspective on our own individual lives, and how we live according to what we believe is the best for us and for others. My outlook on life will probably change, according to the student, when I get a bit older and hit the dreaded mid-life crisis. We also briefly talked about public speaking, and how you can learn from listening to speeches by famous people.

Thanks for coming to class! Farewell, Sunday F class!

2018.01.27 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3 students

17:30-18:30 | 2 students

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Summary:

Hello there! Great job to everyone who came tonight and spoke at length about a couple of difficult topics. We talked about clean energy such as hydrogen fuel, and the pros and cons of electric cars. It was really interesting hearing everyone’s opinion on this topic, and I definitely learned some new things tonight.

Next, we talked about the ageing population in countries like Japan and Singapore, and what has been done to fix this problem and whether or not the current solutions are effective. A common solution in both countries is to give women incentives (things that motivate and reward you to do something) for having children, such as shopping discounts or extra maternity leave. Definitely some good discussions this evening!

Thanks for coming for class and for all your amazing hard work! 🙂

2018.01.24 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 2 students

14:00-15:00 | 2 students

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Summary:

Heya! We were joined by a trial student today, and it was great hearing both students talk about their (coincidental) shared experiences in Canada. They each spent several months studying English there. They shared that the winter in Canada is brutal, as it goes 20°C below zero. Brrrr! And they also talked about the food they ate there, and the awkward tipping culture (giving waiters/waitresses tips) in North America. I also chimed in with my similar experiences as an Asian foreign student in a Western country.

In the next hour, we talked about going to the gym. It seems like a lot of people, including me, are more actively going to the gym this year. Perhaps we all share the same New Year’s resolution to become healthier! 🙂 Since Valentines Day is coming up, we shared a little about the things we do to celebrate it. Whether you’re in a relationship or happily single, we all agreed you should treat yourself and eat lots of chocolate.

Thanks for joining me today! Stay warm, everyone!

2018.01.21 Sunday: FT

14:00-15:00 | 3 students

15:00-16:00 | 4 students

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Summary:

Hullo hallo! I thoroughly enjoyed today’s class. In the first hour, we held an engaging and interesting discussion about a couple topics, one of which being the #metoo movement, and the other about the most recent Star Wars movie. Regarding the latter, two of the students had watched the movie and both admitted they liked it, while the third student hadn’t watched it yet. I too watched that movie, and, in contrast, disliked it. So we all had a little debate about the movie, and also explained the movie’s plot and our respective opinions to the third student.

Now, regarding the former, we each gave our thoughts on the whole sexual harassment awareness issue, and whether or not we think it’s moving in the right direction or not. The class was equally divided in terms of gender, and our ages were quite varied as well, so there were some good insights from everyone.

Former & latter: These words are useful for when you’re talking about two things, and want to refer to either one of them easily. Former = the first one you mentioned, latter = the second one.

In the second hour, we talked about insects and the future of eating them instead of traditional meat. The students were very averse to the idea of eating insects, unless the insects were in the form of something normal looking, like a burger patty. (averse: having a feeling of dislike. Not to be confused with the word ‘adverse’ which means to oppose or be harmful)

Lastly, I also shared some tips and tricks on how to say things more politely or less offensive, especially in a work environment.

That’s all! Thanks for coming to class~

2018.01.20 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3 students

17:30-18:30 | 3 students

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Summary:

Hello! We spent most of the first hour of class talking about horse racing, gambling and, lastly, a student’s upcoming trip to Singapore in September, as part of a massive company-wide paid holiday that occurs once every 5 years. Can you imagine over 700 employees travelling together to one country? The amount of itinerary planning, and cost of accommodation, logistics, etc,… It’s incredible!

The next hour was spent learning some tips and tricks on how to sound more polite in English. It’s definitely more difficult to speak politely in Japanese, so you guys are way better than us native English speakers when it comes to being polite! The general rule for speaking politely in English (and in most other languages, I suppose) is to extend (to make longer) your sentences as much as possible. For example, if someone asks you out for dinner, but you want to politely say no, you should not just say “I can’t go.”. Instead, say something like, I’m afraid I can’t go.” or I’m sorry but, I can’t go.”. You can even add on uselessly polite things afterwards like, “I’m afraid I can’t go, but I appreciate the invitation nonetheless.” Blah blah blah! The possibilities are endless!

Thank you for coming to class! 🙂