2017.12.14 Thursday FT

7-8pm 3 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks, it was another good day at Velco!

We had another day of incredibly divisive topics! Namely, are you OK with pineapple on your pizza (the American version,) or are you OK with pineapple in your subuta (the Japanese version.) Opinions are divided and strong, but the conversation was good! (It also left us hungry…)

We also discussed my inability to wear hats without looking like a fool. Life is a struggle for some!

I recommended an album of instrumental Christmas music to the class, here is the artist.

See y’all next week for our last class of the year!


2017.12.09 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 5

17:30-18:30 | 6



Hey! It was so good to see some familiar faces today. Long time no see, indeed!

We spent some time catching up, with everyone updating me on their lives. On the other hand, I didn’t have much to update anyone on since I didn’t travel anywhere hehe.

One student went to Sydney, Australia on a solo trip. He chose that city because it’s safe, has beautiful scenery, and has English as its first language. He visited some of the popular tourist destinations within the city, and also an animal/nature reserve outside of the city.

Another student was busy travelling locally and overseas for work. We asked if it was fun travelling overseas, to places like Barcelona and China. Unfortunately, she was travelling with her boss, and couldn’t relax and have fun like you normally would on a holiday overseas.

We then shared our experiences with attending work parties (like Christmas or End of Year parties) and whether or not we can have fun at such parties. Everyone agreed that they just can’t relax and have fun because they have to be proper and well-behaved around their colleagues. I then talked about the differences between a wild party and a tame party. You usually use these adjectives to describe animals. A wild cat going crazy, and a tame cat being well-behaved.

Thank you so much for joining my class! Hope everyone has been having a great weekend so far! 🙂


2017.12.07 Thursday FT

7-8pm 4 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks,

It was another good night at Velco!

Today we talked a good bit about our favorite subjects back in school. It seems like history and the “sengoku era” were quite popular here in Japan, especially among our male students. Though we did have one student who didn’t enjoy any subjects! I think for me it would have to be history and English.

We also talked about the historic rivalry between Gion and Ponto-Cho here in Kyoto, something I had never heard of. The culture and history of this city are incredibly interesting.

See y’all next time,

2017.12.06 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 1 student

14:00-15:00 | 1 student



Hi! It was a nice relaxing day at VELCO today, with just the two of us there.

We talked a little bit about figures of speech, as the student was curious about how you would say “to a T“, and what it meant. At first, I was also a little confused when I read it out. This phrase can also be written as “to a tee”, and that’s exactly how you pronounce it. To a tee (tee as in t-shirt).

It means exactly/precisely/perfectly. 

“This dress fits me to a tee.”

“The music for the dance was timed to a tee.”

So what does the “tee” or “T” mean? It’s not confirmed, but most people believe it comes from the word “tittle”. It’s a strange and very unimportant word. It basically refers to the little dot that is above the letter “i”, “j” and the dot below the exclamation point.

When you write a sentence out, sometimes you might be careless and forget to put the dots on the letters. So that’s why, when you do something “to a T” or “to a tee”, you’re doing something “to a tittle” / precisely/exactly/perfectly, remembering all the little details, such as the little dots in the letters. Little tittles. Hahaha.

Thank you so much for coming to my class! Especially because you work so hard during the week, I really appreciate you taking the time to practice your English with me. 🙂


2017.12.03 Sunday: FT

14:00-15:00 | 2

15:00-16:00 | 3



G’day~ I was covering for my husband’s class today. I apologize if you were expecting to have him as your teacher, and instead you got me! Haha!

We read the fairy tale (a simple children’s story about magical creatures) Little Red Riding Hood. The version we read was rewritten as a poem, by a famous English author, Roald Dahl. It contained some words that are a bit more advanced, and it was pretty fun taking turns reading out the poem.

We also read some short and funny poems. For non-native English speakers, sometimes it’s hard to understand jokes in English, not just because of the difficult words used, but also because of the different cultures and ways of saying things. Understanding and appreciating English jokes is something you can definitely learn to do, with practice. As for me, I definitely want to get better at understanding Japanese humor, to improve my overall Japanese capability!

For our casual conversations, we talked about exercising and ways to reduce swelling. You know how, sometimes, when you wake up in the morning and your face looks quite swollen (腫れた) or puffy? One student shared that she massages her face every evening to prevent that.

We also spent some time talking about Disney songs, as one student expressed that she really likes Disney music, and it helps her with learning English. As a class, we listened to the first few lines of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, and slowly learned the meaning behind some words and what the character (Ariel) was trying to say.

That’s all!

Thanks for joining me today! See ya on Saturday or Wednesday~

2017.12.02 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3

17:30-18:30 | 4



Greetings! It’s December now, and I really can’t wait for Christmas. 🙂 ❄❄❄

Christmas is celebrated all around the world, and it’s celebrated differently depending on the country. We learned about how people in countries like India and Greenland celebrate Christmas. The students mentioned that the reason why the Japanese eat fried/roast chicken on Christmas, it’s because it’s similar to how the Americans eat turkey on Christmas. I didn’t know that at all! It was really interesting to learn.

Apart from the usual talk about Christmas celebrations, gifts and food, we also talked about other celebrations that are similar to Christmas and New Year. In Singapore, the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year, and the Hindus (Indians) celebrate Deepavali or Diwali (also known as the Festival of Lights).

The students and I exchanged interesting facts that we knew about the superstitions involved in Chinese beliefs, like why certain numbers are lucky or unlucky. We then started talking about superstitions and supernatural things in general (ghosts and stuff!).

Thanks for joining my class!

2017.11.30 Thursday FT

7-8pm 4 students
8-9pm 4 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco! In spite of the colder weather we managed to have a good crowd of students.

I a lot of us are recovering from colds but we all managed to “tough it out”!

We talked a bit about our weeks and what we had done so far. Here were a few of the things our class had done:
A pair of students did 5 hours of karaoke together Wednesday
One student was on her fifth day in a row of attending Velco classes
One student unfortunately had to work all week
And one student went on a research trip to northern Hyogo

I enjoyed a nice viewing of the Christmas movie “Elf”, which I highly recommend!

See y’all next time!

2017.11.29 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 3 students

14:00-15:00 | 4 students



Hi there! It was a fun and (surprisingly) busy class today! Really happy that everyone came today. Hope you all had a great time!

We talked about a variety of things- Christmas shopping, job satisfaction, and qualities that we look for in a romantic partner.

Only one student said she would be buying Christmas presents, and the others said it’s not in their tradition to do that. Some students said they would be buying Christmas-related food to celebrate, such as roast/fried chicken and strawberry cake with cream. I’m going back to Singapore for Christmas, and I’ll definitely be eating lots of cake (any kind of cake!) and putting on weight. Sigh!

We also talked about some of the student’s jobs (work) and since they work in the service industry (supermarket, hotel, etc.) they have to work long hours and sometimes, even overnight for their night shift. It’s really hard work!

Lastly, since all of us in class were women, we talked about our love lives (the plural form oflove life” – your romantic relationships), and what we look for in a man. Does he have to be tall? Muscular? Rich? One student mentioned that she wants a man who is soft-spoken (speaks gently, with a calm and quiet voice).

Thank you so much for coming to my class!


2017.11.25 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3

17:30-18:30 | 2



Hi there!

On my way to work, I saw a throng of tourists entering Nijo Castle. A throng is a large group of people. Crowd, throng, horde, mob all mean the same thing, but with a few differences.

Crowds are usually people gathering closely, and pressing together.

    • crowd gathered outside the store

Throng and horde suggest movement and pushing.

    • throng of reporters
    • horde of shoppers

A mob is usually a disorderly crowd with the potential for violence (chaos).

    • an angry mob

Anyway, we played a game of Taboo this evening. I included some new words this time, and everyone did spectacularly well! Everyone used different methods to try and describe the hidden word.

Afterwards, we had a casual chat, and two slang terms came up. Gold digger and wingman.

The normal use of the term ‘gold digger‘ is to refer to someone whose job it is to dig up gold, like in a gold mine or something. But it can also be used to refer to someone (usually young and attractive) who uses their charm to attract a rich person, so he/she can have some of that money.

The normal use of the term ‘wingman‘ is a pilot or airplane that flies behind and outside the leader of a group of airplanes in order to provide support or protection. But when used in a casual slang context, it refers to a friend you bring along to a social gathering (at a bar, party etc.) so he/she can help you find a date.

Based on the normal definitions of the two terms, you can see how their slang counterparts got their meanings.

Thank you for coming to class! 🙂

2017.11.26 Sunday FT

2-3pm 4 students
3-4pm 4 students

Hey folks,

It was another great day at Velco.

Today we talked about a few videos and commercials from Japan that are really popular in America right now.

One is this clip from a game-show that has gone viral:

And one is the second half of this milk commercial that Americans seem to find incredibly strange:

After that we spent some time talking about other things that Americans tend to find strange about Japan including Ikezukuri and Odorigui.

See y’all next time,