Monday, April 30, 2007


Here's another video about greetings. This video comes UGoEigo. Some of the greetings are more formal. Some of the greetings are more casual. If you look at the shape of the speaker's mouth it will help you will pronunciation.

Making Introductions: Levels of Formality

In my classes at Toyo Gakuen University and Takushoku University my students have been studying introductions. In these lessons we looked at formal versus informal language, titles, relationships and the appropriate language to use in various situations.
The video I've posted today is an instructional video about how to introduce people to each other at a party. I found the video through esl teaching resources

VideoJug: How To Introduce People
Click "VideoJug" to go to the website and find more videos. Click "How to Introduce People" to find the text version of the video. You can print the text version too.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shibaura Institute of Technology

Global Issues 1


This is a video from KUNGZOO ENGLISH produced by an English teacher in Korea. The video shows Korean learners of English talking about their values.


Shibaura Institute of Technology

Global Issues 1


In Week 2 we discussed bicultural identity. This video is a performance of Mon Amie La Rose (My friend the rose) by Natacha Atlas. Natacha Atlas has a multicultural identity. She was born in Belgium. Her mother is an English Muslim. Her father was Middle-Eastern. Her great great grandfather was Jewish. She grew up in the Moroccan community of Brussells. She speaks French, Arabic and English. The song she is singing in this video is a French classic.

Natacha Atlas is now one of my favourite singers. J'adore sa voix (I adore her voice).


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Music for Language Learning

Recently I have been using music in my classes again. I have used music in my classes at Toyo Gakuen University. I have used music in lessons to help create a relaxing atmosphere and to set timings for the various tasks we do during lessons. I thought you might be interested in knowing what songs were played.
Last Week's playlist

John Coltrane: My Favourite Things

Miles Davis: Smooch

Stanley Clarke: Swung On

Jamiroquai: Cosmic Girl

Santana: Put Your Lights On

Massive Attack: Everywhen

Nelly Furtado: Afraid

Natacha Atlas: I Put a Spell on You

Robert Wyatt and Jimi Hendrix (playing bass): Slow Walkin' Talk

Soft Machine: She's Gone

Boards of Canada: In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country

Parliament Funkadelic: Tear the Roof Off

The Meters: Just Kissed my Baby

Six of the songs were performed by Americans. Three of the songs were performed by English musicians. The rest of the songs were performed by Canadians, Scots, Belgians, and Mexicans. Can you guess where the musicians in this playlist are from? Leave a comment and tell me your guesses.

If you want to hear more music by these musical artists or any other musical artists, type a name into the search engine of the Finetune Player on the right side of this blog.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE3-Listening

Today I'm going to introduce you to another listening web-site, Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab.

Here's your homework:
  1. Go to Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab.
  2. Listen to a man and a woman talk.
  3. Answer these questions:
1.What is the woman's name?
2. Where is the woman from originally?
3. About how old was the man when he returned to the United States?
4. What is the man studying?
5. What is the woman's job?

Write your answers on A4 paper and submit them next class.
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Today is the anniversary of the birth of two great men, William Shakespeare and Lester Bowles Pearson. Both Shakespeare and Pearson changed the world - using a pen.

Shakespeare is the greatest writer in English literature. He added over a thousand new words to the English language and his plays have been translated into every major living language.

Pearson was a diplomat and a politician. He won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. Did you do something to conserve the earth and protect the environment today?

My Other Schools: Takushoku University and Shibaura Institute of Technology

On Tuesdays I teach at Takushoku University. My classes are at the Hachioji campus. I teach four classes: English Speech 1, a presentation course and English 1, a four skills course focusing on vocabulary and the TOEIC test.

Takushoku University, known as Takudai, is especially well known for martial arts (現代武道). Doug Rogers, a Canadian judoka, was a member of Takudai's team. He won a silver medal in judo (柔道 ) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Takudai is also known for Asian studies. It has language programmes in Bahasa Indonesia
and exchange programmes with Indonesia too. One of my students last year was an exchange student from Indonesia.

On Saturdays I teach at Shibaura Institute of Technology. I teach Global Issues and English Listening Comprehension.

S.I.T is a prestigious university specialising in engineering and science. Its president is Leo Esaki, a Nobel laureate.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE4 - Speaking

This week our lesson was about meeting people. Therefore, I have posted a video to help you practice meeting people. This is a video podcast called The Daily English Show. It's done by a teacher from New Zealand. You can subscribe to The Daily English Show through iTunes. The show has four parts: The introduction, Stick News, Conversations with Sarah, and Question/Answer.

You can read the English script by clicking:

You can read the Japanese translation by clicking:

Your homework is:
Follow the instructions in the third part - Conversations with Sarah.

  1. listen and repeat.
  2. practice the conversation.
  3. When you're finished click comment.
  4. Write a comment about the video.
  5. Sign your comment. Write your class name, your first name, the first letter of your last name, and your seat number.
For example:

Hi Mr. Stout. This homework was interesting and fun.
N05 Toyotaro D. 01

Your homework is due one week from your last class.

If you want you can get more practice on The Toyo Gakuen University English Lounge website, or just come to the English Lounge and have a chat. I'll be there at lunch time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Canadian Constitution

On the 17th of April 1982, Queen Elizabeth the second signed the Constitution Act 1982 into law. This was a very important day in Canadian history. On that day, Canada patriated its constitution (憲法) and became fully independant from Great Britain.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Conversation Strategies: Spelling

This video comes from a fantastic site called Real It shows people from many different countries saying their name. Sometimes it's difficult to understand. Therefore, the interviewer asks "Can you spell your name?" This video shows that spelling is an important conversation strategy. Enjoy

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE3-Listening Week 2

This week the lesson is about introductions.

Your homework is to watch William's Personal Information Video. The video comes from is a website for freelance teachers in Madrid Spain.
Watch the video and listen to the instructions. Follow the instructions.

Write your homework assignment on a piece of A4 paper.
You must submit your homework in class on Monday the twenty third of April.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University Freshman English 3 - Listening

This is my first blog entry for my Toyo Gakuen University students. Today I will introduce you to a great website. The website is called English Language Listening Laboratory on-line (ELLLO). ELLLO has hundreds of conversations that you can listen to. It has quizzes too.

Your homework is to listen to a conversation between Mr. Stout and a Canadian man called Simon. The topic is music. Listen to the conversation and answer these questions:
  1. What group from Vancouver do both Mr. Stout and Simon like?
  2. What group does Simon hate?
  3. What group does Mr. Stout hate?
Write your answers on a piece of A4 paper. You must submit your answers in class next Monday, the sixteenth of April.

You can listen to the conversation by clicking here. After that click "PLAY AUDIO". You can read the script by clicking here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University: My New School

On the first of April I started work at a new school. Toyo Gakuen University. Today there was a barbeque at Toyo Gakuen University. I had a chance to meet and talk with many first year students. I also cooked. I cooked beef, pork, sausages, green peppers, and shitake mushrooms. I had a very good time.

In the picture below I'm with one of my new colleagues, Darrell Hardy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Fastest, Toughest, Coolest Game on Earth

This is a great music video that shows why hockey is the best. Enjoy!!!

Anniversary of the Modern Olympic Games

The first modern Olympic games were held in Greece. The opening ceremony was on 6 April 1896.The next Olympic games will be held in Vancouver in 2010.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Anniversary of Gandhi's Salt March

On the fifth of April 1930 Gandhi arrived at the seashore, completing the protest march. This march was called the The Salt Satyagraha. Gandhi and his followers walked over 380 kilometres.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Tribute to Martin Luther King Junior

Today is the anniversary of the assassination (暗殺) of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.

This is a video project done by some young people.

I think that the lesson of Dr. King's life is that if you have a dream and you work hard, your dream will come true.

Dr. King is dead but his dream is alive.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kona and Honolulu Holiday in Paradise Part 7

In this blog entry I'll tell you about my trips to Kona and Honolulu.

On March 20th my wife and I drove to Kona. On the way there, we stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant next to a marina. I had a Philly Steak Sandwich.

After that we went to Cosco. I bought 3 Aloha shirts for only 30 dollars. Then we went to Kona. By the time we got to Kona it was dark. Before bed we relaxed on the balcony. There are no coqui in Kona so we couldn't enjoy the coqui singing. Still it was nice. The next day we went to Waikoloa beach. We spent the day swimming and laying on the beach. We also read. I really like to spend a day at the beach with a good book. We did the same thing the next day. After that we returned to Hilo.

Back in Hilo we spent most of the time relaxing. Two of the meals we had were really special. First, we had Loco Moco. It's a popular Hawai'ian breakfast dish. There are many kinds of Loco Moco. The one I had was made of rice with spam, Portuguese sausage, hamburger and a fried egg on top covered in gravy. We had Loco Moco at a famous restaurant called Cafe 100. Cafe 100 has been destroyed by a tsunami twice.

The other special meal we had was another barbeque at Mr Turchi's house. We had barbequed tuna, roasted onions and potatoes, asperagus and salad. Ono Kine grindz!!

We also ate some delicious sweets before we left Hilo. We went to Big Island Candies.

There were many Japanese at Big Island Candies buying omiage. For information about Big Island Candies in Japanese click here.

Finally we left Hilo and flew to Honolulu. We spent two days at Waikiki relaxing, reading and swimming.

The end

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Holiday in Paradise Part 6

In this blog entry I'll tell you about some interesting things that I saw at Hawai'i Volcano National Park.

These are pictures of the Kīlauea Caldera and Halemaʻumaʻu Crater
To learn more about a caldera click here.

There are some forest areas around Kilauea, and there are some very interesting trees in these forests.

Another interesting sight at the Park is The Thurston Lava Tube. There are some pictures of The Thurston Lava Tube below.

The last thing we did at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was go to see the lava flows. A few years ago it was possible to stand very close to the flowing lava. It's still possible but very difficult because lava flows are far from a road.

Next time: Kona and Honolulu
Holiday in Paradise Part 5

In this blog entry I'll tell you about the luau I went to. A luau is a traditional Hawai'ian feast.

As we were returning to our car, we noticed that a luau was happening at the house on the edge of the lava flow. This is a special house because the lava stopped right in front of it. By a miracle the house was saved.

The luau that night was being held in order to raise money for a Hawai'ian school. The cost was thirty dollars. All the work for the luau was done by the students and teachers.
The menu at a luau is very special. One of the most famous dishes is called kalua pig. Kalua pig is a whole pig roasted slowly all day in an underground oven. The underground oven is called an imu.

The entertainment at a luau is very special too. There is music, of course, and hula. At this luau the music was played by teachers. The instruments that they played were guitar, contrabass, and Hawai'i's most famous musical instrument, the ukulele. We were very lucky at this luau because some famous hula masters were there, The Kanakaʻole family and Keali'i Reichel.

The picture above is the cover of the Keali'i Reichel CD that I bought.

Next time I'll tell you about our trip to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Walkin' on the Moon
Holiday in Paradise Part 4

In this blog entry I'll tell you about some of the amazing landscapes I saw in Hawai'i.

On my 4th day in Hawai'i I visited the site of the Kilauea eruption that destroyed the towns of Kalapana and Kaimu. Kilauea is the youngest and most active volcano on the Big Island.

Little by little some plants are beginning to grow again.

Some people in the community bring coconuts and plant them.

The lava flow that destroyed Kalapana and Kaimu also destroyed a famous black sand beach. Fortunately a new black sand beach is forming.

The lava flow has created some spectacular seascapes.

To be continued...