People LOVE to say that Japanese is difficult. Like all languages it has its challenges - but it also has some key things that make it easy peasy…Read More
A blog about learning and teaching Japanese, walking Japan, and sometimes about kit-kats.
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Lots of you probably use flashcards already. Why not use really, really clever ones?
Imagine you're studying Japanese vocabulary with a set of flashcards. You go through the cards one by one, putting them into a "pass" pile if you remembered them, and a "fail" pile if you didn't.
When you finish, you work through the "fail" pile again. You get about half of them right.
The next day, you go through all the cards again. It takes ages, and it's boring - you did all these yesterday.Read More
Do you take your smartphone with you wherever you go? If the answer’s “yes”, congratulations! You have a powerful language-learning tool in your pocket at all times.
Supplementing what you're learning in class with apps and games is fun, easy, and cheap. But with so many applications out there, here do you know where to start?
So in no particular order, here are five and a half brilliant apps to get you started on the magical quest that is learning Japanese.Read More
Near Kumadani-ji, temple number 8, we had stopped in front of some glorious cherry blossom, and I got chatting to two older gentlemen who were walking the trail. One told me he had never spoken to a gaijin-san, foreigner, before.
(The cynic in me wonders if that’s really true, or if by “foreigner” he meant “white person”…)
We took some pictures in front of the cherry blossom, and walked up the hill together.
Further up the road, a lady came out of her house and gave us some hard-boiled sweets ...Read More
“I treasure this mechanical pencil.”
One of the interesting things about working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Japan is that you get to see the kind of English taught in Japanese state schools.
Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad; but in my opinion it’s always interesting, and you’re always learning something …Read More
Last year, I tried to break up the long months of summer by inviting my students for an August barbecue.
This year I've been teaching my Summer Courses, so summer hasn't been the long lesson-free months I'd got used to.
(This is a good thing. I like teaching, and I think my students are really enjoying their summer classes too.)
I still wanted to have a student party though! ...Read More