Hello from Peter at Matusmoto Amity,
This week, our new teacher, Adam, started working at Matsumoto Amity. He is observing lessons and preparing for his new students. We are also showing Adam around his new home; the local restaurants, the post office, the bank, the supermarket, and the best places of interest (Matsumoto Castle, Nawate Dori, Nakamachi Dori, the onsen). If you see Adam at school - please give him a recommendation for something he can experience or a place he can visit in Nagano!
Recently, I have taught a lot of students who are preparing for the Eiken interview. Sometimes the students can be a little nervous (because they have to practice speaking a lot and they have to give opinions). However, I find interview practice thoroughly enjoyable because I get to know more about the students` interests and their personalities. There is a lot more to them than meets the eye. After so many Eiken lessons this week, I think the easiest answer to the interview question is usually `yes`, but the most interesting answer begins with `no`.
It`s still so cold I`m really looking forward to spring! This will be the first time I`ve seen cherry blossoms in Japan. I hope it comes quickly - recently it has been so chilly outside and in the apartment, that I have to open the fridge door and climb inside the vegetable tray to warm myself.
昨日行われたピョンチャンオリンピック女子スピードスケート1,000ｍで、長野県出身の小平奈緒選手が見事銀メダル Silver medal を獲得しました！
その他にも、スノーボードハーフパイプでは平野選手、King of Ski と言われているノルディック複合では渡部選手もそれぞれ銀メダルを獲得、日本人選手が活躍しています。
オリンピック選手村 Olympic Athletes' Village では、各国のトップ選手たちが生活をともにしています。
入学金 半額! 10,000円⇒0円
Hello, hi, hey, ahoy there,
This week we are preparing for the arrival of our new teacher, Adam. We are setting up the furniture in his apartment and organising his lessons at school. I hope the students are excited to take his class! Some students asked if he was famous!
Soon after Adam arrives, it will be Valentine`s Day. For many people, there will be flowers, cards, chocolates
and romance, but it is also common in the UK to let Valentine`s Day pass by without a celebration. For instance, my parents never celebrate Valentine`s Day (I don`t think my father knows it exists). My sister always celebrates - in fact, she likes Valentine`s Day so much I`m worried about what will happen to my brother-in-law if he forgets. Some people send poetry to their partner, for example, someone once sent me:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I have influenza
soon you will too
So practice English this Valentine`s day and write a poem! It`s tradition to start with:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Then you can write the final two lines yourself - the fourth line must ryhme with the second (`blue` and `too`, for example).
So much snow this week. I think it`s a great start to the new year! The world looks a lot more peaceful when it`s covered in snow. In the UK, public transport, schools and businesses shut down very quickly when it snows - working stops for the snow day. I think snowy weather is especially good in the UK because people can go to places they couldn`t reach before; private golf courses and frozen lakes become playgrounds for everyone to go sledging and skating on.
Here in Japan, people continue with work despite the cold weather and snow, it`s a mystery to me.
In February, a new teacher will join Matsumoto Amity. His name is Adam and he is coming to Japan from the US, we are all looking forward to welcoming him! Recently, in the adult conversation class, we discussed some of the differences between American English and British/Australian English. Even though we all speak English, there are some differences in spelling, pronunciation and in the words we choose in a certain situation. This is especially true of slang words. For example, an American might say:
`It`s freezing out there! put on a sweater!`
and a British person would probably say:
`It`s rather chilly out! Put on your jumper!`
Essentially, they have the same meaning, but people tend to feel these differences are very important, perhaps because dialect and identity are so close - and, of course, variety is the spice of life.
Hello from Peter at Matsumoto Amity,
This week, the teachers have been very busy confirming the lesson schedules for the next school year, beginning in April. I`m really looking forward to meeting the new students and I`m very glad that so many students are continuing here!
I was a little ill recently so I took a trip to the Hospital. I had a headache, my nose hurt and I had a sore throat. I found it very difficult to sleep and the rest of my body ached too, so I was worried it might be the flu. Luckily for me, the doctor informed it wasn`t influenza - but I had to take some medicine. During the examination, the nurse asked me if I had any allergies and I learned the word for `hayfever` in Japanese (花粉症).
Hayfever and asthma (喘息) are both quite common in the UK, Summer in the countryside can be very frustrating. I remember taking my French speaking exam when I was 16 years old, and I failed miserably because I couldn`t stop sneezing and coughing. I did learn something interesting though, my father told me about the different things people say after someone sneezes. For example, in English speaking countries, we say "bless you" or "Gesundheit". In France, people say `a tes souhaits` which means `to your wishes` - it sounds like a toast to me, like saying `乾杯`. The onomatopoeia for sneezing is different sometimes too, for example, in the UK, a sneeze makes the noise `atchoo!`, in Germany they say `hatschi!`. So this winter, to practice speaking English, try to sneeze in a different language - instead of sneezing (くしゅん), sneeze `atchoo!` - and remember, if you hear someone sneeze, say `bless you!`
Warmest wishes to you on this chilly evening,
Winter vacation is nearly here, and many people are taking the long and crowded journey home. This tradition is as common as giving gifts and cards in the UK. Everyone squashes onto the train like sardines.
There are plenty of more pleasant traditions though, for example, in the UK we often have fruit cake after Christmas dinner. The cake is covered in brandy and then set on fire before eaten. It`s quite a specatacle. Another tradition is carolling, whereby groups of people knock on the doors of their neighbours and sing Christmas songs. My family have very unpleasant singing voices, so it has also become tradition for neighbours to slowly close the door in our faces.
My family play parlour games after Christmas dinner too, these include charades (one person acts out words and the other people have to guess what the word is), the human pyramid (people climb on top of each other to make a huge pyramid) and, my favourite, fish fruit flower. Fish fruit flower is a good game for practicing English vocabulary with freinds. First you choose a letter, for example `A`. Then you have to write down a word beginning with the letter for each category:
For example, you could use `apple` for a fruit, or `Andrew` for a boy`s name. You get one point for each category completed, but, if someone else has chsoen the same word as you, then nobody gets a point!
Because it`s starting to snow, there are two English phrases for today. The first is, `get cold feet`. This means, to become nervous. For example:
A: Well, did you ask Katy on a date yesterday?
B: No, I got cold feet!
The second phrase is, `to give the cold shoulder`. This means, to ignore. For example:
A: Did you speak to Tom yesterday?
B: No, I saw him but he gave me the cold shoulder.