Thursday F -Class, March 22nd, 2018

19:00-20:00 – 4 students

20:00-21:00 – 3 students

What makes a sport, a sport?

That was our main topic of discussion today. We covered many discussions on how we categorize sports. Our sports mainly focused on skill? Strategy? Competitiveness? We came to the agreement that while Chess is competitive we don’t think it should be considered a sport. What about something like Curling? Or Darts? Surely there is a high level of skill involved but there seems to be no physical ability involved. We were’t able to come up with an agreed solution just yet, but it definitely led to some interesting discussion!

We also discussed the very competitive basketball season going on with the march madness college basketball tournament in the US. Why is it so popular and the similarities it carries with the High School Baseball competitions here in Japan!

That’s all for today! Stay Dry!



2018.03.21 Wednesday: FT

13:00-14:00 | 2

14:00-15:00 | 1



Heyo! Thank you for coming to class this afternoon! One of the students is a long time veteran student at VELCO, while the other had only recently joined last month. The conversation was really active and enjoyable despite the difference in VELCO rank hahaha. A few months ago, I had prepared a list of English idioms and other figures of speech that came from Shakespearean literature, and today, finally, I was able to discuss it in class. Phrases like “a dish fit for the gods” or “good riddance” are fairly common in the English language, and they originated from Shakespeare. I hope you found it as interesting as I did, and once again, thanks for coming to class and for all your hard work!

Wednesday, March 21st – F – Class

19:00-20:00 – 0 students

20:00-21:00- 1 student

Happy First day of Spring everyone!

Let’s hope the weather clears up soon!

For my class today we talked about the many types of museums in Kyoto. Which ones are fun to go and which ones are our favorites. We also talked about the zoo and aquarium in Kyoto. I really like the Aquarium and I have a season pass! Did you know it only costs 2400? That means that after going twice it pays for itself!

We also moved the discussion to onsens and where are some great places to visit onsens! I am going Hakone next week so hopefully I can see some great Sakura while relaxing in the onsen! I can’t wait!

Because I only had one class today the blog is a little short!

That’s all for today!


2018.03.18 Sunday FT

14:00-15:00 | 4 students

15:00-16:00 | 3 students

Great to see everyone this afternoon. I hope you are as excited as I am for cherry blossom viewing, coming very soon! I am still wondering if everyone seems themselves as a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person. Today I had a conversation with a friend who told me pessimistic people actually believe there is no glass, that is how pessismistic they are. I thought it was quite funny! Anyways, hope you all have a great week. Take care!


2018.03.17 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 4 students

17:30-18:30 | 2 student



Hi there! One of the students had just come back from his trip to Egypt, and it was very enjoyable asking questions and hearing about it. The whole trip sounded really amazing and we were left wishing that we could have gone too! Two particular words discussed during that conversation were “claustrophobic” (when we were talking about the tunnels in the Egyptian tombs) and “vandalism”/”vandalize” (when we were talking about how unfortunate it is when tourists vandalize historic places).

In the next hour, the students were movie and TV buffs so we spent that time sharing what we’ve watched recently and are hoping to watch soon. Super fun conversation! Anyway, the word ‘buff‘ has a lot of meanings, and in this case, it means ‘fan‘, like in ‘anime fan‘ or ‘I am your biggest fan!’. All the meanings of the word buff can be found here.

Thank you for coming to class! 🙂

Wednesday, March 14th – F-Class

19:00-20:00 – 1 student

20:00-21:00 – 1 student

Hello from Shijo!

Today we only had one student for the night class but we still had some great discussion. We talked about what makes movies really stand out to us. The small attention to detail here in there that can be seen throughout movies is very important to me! For example, in the recent movie Baby Driver music is very important. In one scene the protagonist removes the right headphone from his ear and at the moment the music stops playing on the right side of the movie theater. Very very small detail but was really fascinating to me and if you aren’t paying attention you might miss it.

Our second discussion focused around motorcycles! The different sizes in japan and the regulations surrounding them! I won’t bore you with all the specific details that we got into but we talked about our first motorcycles and what makes the motorcycle life different. I really want to take my motorcycle lesson test here in Japan, I just have to find the time to do it!

That’s all for today!


2018.03.14 Wednesday: FT

13:00-14:00 | 3

14:00-15:00 | 1



Hi there! What a great day at class today. Two of the students had a common reason for studying English, which was that they are both moving out of Japan- one to Singapore and one to China. It’s interesting that despite both of those countries being predominantly Chinese, it’s still a good choice to learn English in preparation for them. However, it might be helpful to learn some Chinese phrases just in case!

In the next hour, we talked about a variety of things- such as our childhood and the pros/cons of having a son/daughter. We also learned and discussed some advanced vocabulary that you can use when describing people, such as cynical and eccentric.

Thank you for joining me for class! 🙂

2018.03.11 Sunday FT

14:00-15:00 | 1 student

15:00-16:00 | 4 students

Great to see Miki again and Naomi from Otsu school today. We talked a lot about beauty but secretly what I was hoping someone would mention would be the beauty of the cherry blossom trees, I’m so excited for the flowers to bloom! I had mentioned a few idioms related to beauty in today’s class but there were a few others I didn’t mention which I’d like to share here in case you are all interested.

dressed to kill – dressed very nicely, for a special occasion

not a hair out of place – someone who looks perfect and clean

look like a million bucks – look good, attractive

take my breath away – someone is so beautiful that you cannot breath when you look at them

As always, please bring any words or phrases you would like to know how to say in English to the next class and we can discuss together. Enjoy the lovely weather this week!

2018.03.10 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3 students

17:30-18:30 | 1 student



Hey hey! I’ve got to be honest, this class felt so relaxing and casual that it didn’t really feel like a ‘class’ to me, but more like a regular friends get-together session or something. And I think that’s great! That means the students’ conversation skills are really good. 🙂

There were two English sayings we discussed in the first hour. The first one was “single and ready to mingle“. “Mingle” means to socialize with others, usually in a casual, low-stress situation (like in a bar or at a party). Therefore, this phrase means that someone is single (unmarried/not in a romantic relationship) and ready to meet other potential partners. The next saying is “don’t beat yourself up” or “beat yourself up“. To “beat yourself up” is to blame and scold yourself very harshly. So if you see someone very stressed and angry at himself over something he did, you can tell him “Hey, stop beating yourself up about it!“.

In the next hour, we talked all about Hollywood movies, actors and actresses. It was great fun just casually chatting about our shared interest in such things! One term that was brought up was the “uncanny valley“. I had a tough time explaining its meaning but if I had just Googled it in class, I would have found out that it originated from a concept from a Japanese robotics professor. “不気味の谷現象” is the original saying, and the English term ‘uncanny valley’ was derived from there. Really interesting stuff!

Thanks for joining me for class~ 🙂


2018.03.07 Wednesday: FT

13:00-14:00 | 0

14:00-15:00 | 3



Hi there! Today’s class was quite interesting. Each student was at a different level of English from one another, but everyone was equally hardworking and eager to learn! We started with the basics- introductions, jobs and hobbies- and built conversations around the students’ answers. We also discussed why each student is learning English and ways to practice at home.

Overall, perhaps it was not the most educational class for more advanced students, but it’s always good to revisit the basics! 🙂 A couple of the students were also very helpful when I wasn’t able to understand some Japanese parts of the conversation. Thank you for coming to class!