Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Daily English Show goes to Canada

Hokkaido's favourite English teacher, Sarah, has gone to Canada and she's producing the Daily English Show from Canada until October. This is the first show from Canada. In this show Sarah talks to a man called Matt from Oakville. Oakville is near Toronto. I lived there for 5 years after university.

One of the interesting parts of this show is that you learn about Toronto slang and Canadian spelling. You also learn about WWOOFING and organic farming.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. This year in Toronto many events are being held including readings by Asian Canadian writers including Kerri Sakamoto and Paul Yee. Also, concerts including Tabla Fusion. In addition, special classes are being held including origami, tea ceremony, Kamishibai, and Chinese Opera.

According the United Nations, Toronto is the most multicultural city on earth.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE4-Speaking Level 2
A Video for Unit 3

This is another video by Paul Carr from ESLpodTV. As an introduction to the video Paul wrote:

  • Topic: Animated drama series (アニメ連続ドラマ)
  • Level: Beginner (初級)
  • Language: polite requests and invitations (丁寧語、招待)

This is the third lesson in the animated series about Edward Ulysses Cator - a teacher from Britain who moves to the USA to take up a new job. These stories are aimed at beginner level students and will relate Edward’s experiences adapting to his new life and job in America. As with other lessons on this site there will be a video, mp3 listening file and PDF lesson to download for each episode. Enjoy the show!

このビデオは初級生徒の為の新しい連続アニメドラマです。米国に来たばかりのEd. U. Catorと言うイギリス人教師の新生活の物語です。このレッスンはいつもと同じビデオ、mp3、とPDFテキストを使用します。

In part 3 of this series Ed invites Jenny to his housewarming party. Will she come? Watch the video and find out! You can see the transcript by clicking here. Spanish users can get a translation of the script by going to Rikai.com and following the instructions there. ( せりふの訳はそのページのURLをRikai.comへ)

There are some useful words and expressions to learn below.

guy - person, usually a man

anytime - whenever

nothing special - nothing different or unusual

accent - the way your voice sounds shaped by where you’re from

housewarming party - special event celebrating moving into new home

neighbors - the people living nearby

got nothing on - not doing anything at that time

few - a small number of something

funny - strange

I was wondering if… polite expression requesting somebody do something

If you’re free… - expression often used to ask for date or request favor


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Music for Language Learning 4

This week the music played in class has been related to Acid Jazz, Trip-Hop, Free Jazz, Nu Jazz and Fusion. Two of the artists have a connection to Japan, Kyoto Jazz Massive and Monday Michiru. Monday Michiru is the daughter of Jazz orchestra leader and award winning composer Toshiko Akiyoshi. I was able to attend a Toshiko Akiyoshi concert at the Tokyo Blue Note. It was fantastic.

This week's playlist:

US3 - Grand Groove

Miles Davis - On the Corner

Massive Attack - One Love

Monday Michiru - Yellow Bird (Incognito Flyin' High)

Miles Davis - New York Girl

Saint Germaine - Bohemian Sunset

Ornette Coleman - Spelling the Alphabet

Portishead - All Mine

Monday Michiru - Talk (Jazztronic Mix)

Saint Germaine - Jungle Jazz

Stanley Clarke - I Wanna Play for You

Massive Attack - Better Things

US3 - Knowledge of Self

The Lounge Lizards - She Drove me Mad

Ornette Coleman - Chanting

Kyoto Jazz Massive - Endless Flight (DJ Kawasaki Remix)
Underworld - Rez

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE3-Listening
A Video about a Burglar for Unit 3

This is a video made by my friend Paul Carr for his podcast ESLpodTV. As an introduction to the video Paul wrote:

  • Topic: Burglar mystery story (泥簿事件)
  • Level: (lower) intermediate (小中級)
  • Language: dialogues, facial descriptions (会話、顔の説明)
  • Grammar: Verb tenses, adjectives (動詞、形容詞)

Watch what happens when Ben and Yuki hear a strange noise in the middle of the night. Who’s there? A burglar or somebody else? Our brave couple go downstairs to find out. You can see the transcript by clicking here. ( せりふの訳はそのページのURLをRikai.comへ)

There are some useful words and expressions to learn below.

Wasamatter? - What’s the matter?

downstairs - On the floor(s) below

torch - a light you carry in your hand

stairs - steps

scared - afraid

granny - grandmother

gramps - granddad

dangerous - not safe

locked - closed or shut so it cannot be opened without a key

burglar - someone who steals from houses

freckles - brown spots on the face

bald - to have no hair on the head

scars - an old cut that leaves a mark on the skin

wrinkles - age lines on the face


Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Smallest Restaurant in the World

At the moment, the topic in my speaking classes is restaurants.
This is a video from RealEnglish.com about a restaurant.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Music for Language Learning 3

Last week most of the music we heard was progressive rock. I was a big fan of progressive rock when I was a high school student. When I was a university student I hosted a progressive rock radio show called Gothic Rock on CJAM-fm radio in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Most of the records I played were by British and German bands. One of the bands played in classes this week, The Tea Party, was formed in Windsor. The Tea Party's first recordings were played on CJAM-fm. I had a chance to see the Tea Party's live concerts and meet the members.
I still like progressive rock.

Last week's playlist

Yes: Close to the Edge
Supertramp: School
The Who: Behind Blues Eyes
Pink Floyd: Hey You
Triumvirat: Viva Pompeii
Gentle Giant: Peel the Paint
Genesis: Cuckoo Cocoon
Eloy: Horizons
The Tea Party: Temptation
The Moody Blues: The Question

Monday, May 14, 2007

Toyo Gakuen University FE3-Listening

This is another video from MadridTeacher.com. It's called, "A Typical Day in The Life of Victoria Fontana". This video relates to Unit 2. Watch, listen and learn about daily life for a teacher in Madrid. Enjoy

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ball Hockey

This is a video of a coed ball hockey game in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada. As you can see the game is a lot of fun. Starting this week, I will teach special ball hockey classes at Toyo Gakuen University. The classes will include the history and culture of hockey, in all it's forms, and of course, we will play the game.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Seventieth Anniversary of the Hindenburg Disaster

On 6 May 1937 one of the worst disasters in aviation history occured. The Hindenburg was the pride of Germany. You can learn more about the Hindenburg and the disaster by reading the wikipedia article in simple English. There are wikipedia articles in other languages too. This is a newsreel from Universal Studios. Newsreels were common before television. They were played before movies.

Here's a great video from ESLpodTv. In this animated video, an imaginary survivor of the Hindenburg disaster is interviewed. You can read the transcript by clicking http://kibishipaul.com/trans/script35.html. Japanese and Spanish language support are also available on Rikai.com Japanese and Rikai.com Spanish. You can take a quiz too, if you want.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Kurayami Matsuri

Today was the final day of the Kurayami Matsuri (Black Night Festival) at Okunitama Shrine in Fuchuu City, West Tokyo.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Golden Week

All this week many people in Japan have been enjoying a few days of rest. During Golden Week four national holidays are celebrated in Japan: Showa Day (昭和の日), Constitution Day (憲法記念日) Green Day (みどりの日) and Children's Day (こどもの日). My favourite holiday is Children's Day because I like Koinoburi and I like the matsuri and kashiwa mochi.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Speaking: Self Introduction

This is a self-introduction by Jim Smiley. Smiley is a perfect name for Jim. He has a lovely wide grin and he is always very fun to have around.
Jim is very busy as a university teacher and a member of JALT but he still finds time for hobbies. Watch the video and listen to Jim. What do you think? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Conversation: More about hobbies - what to say and what not to say

Conversation Strategies: Natural versus unnatural questions

This is a video from Action Language Academy, an Eikaiwa (English conversation school) in Japan. The video is called, 英会話 名古屋 Typical English Mistakes-1: Hobby. The video talks about a common mistake students in Japan make during an English conversation. The mistake that they make is asking the question "What is your hobby?" They make this mistake because the Japanese word 趣味 (shumi) is translated as "hobby". However, "shumi" can be translated as interest or favourite pastime.