How to Teach English

One of the things I like best about English class in Japan is how much Japanese I learn. Like the other day, I was in Nakamura Sensei’s class. He’s the English teacher in my middle school, and his English is arguably better than mine, since he actually knows stuff like what “a pronoun” is. I thought it was just a really excellent noun, like maybe when you take cat and turn it into meerkat, or popcorn into poop corn. Those are great improvements, so pronouns I figured, right? Well, apparently that was the wrong answer to give in front of forty students. Whatever. I still think they’re nice pronouns. Continue reading “How to Teach English”

The Best Japanese Website

You know, I don’t read a lot of websites about Japan, mostly because if I wanted to know something about the country, I’d just roll over in my futon and look out the window. Like, oh now there’s a guy pushing a cart with a fiery oven full of sweet potatoes down the street, a woman in a fox fur hat and tiny miniskirt talking on an Android phone the size of her head, and a kid by himself, pitching balls against the dark wall of an apartment block by a dim street lamp. Yep, still Japan. Continue reading “The Best Japanese Website”

The Grammar-Translation Method : Really all that Bad?

When it comes to teaching languages, the grammar-translation method has become the child nobody loves or wants to acknowledge.  But is it really hell on toast?  No, it ain’t.  There, I said it.  Leave it to Seeroi to be the one to defend something he doesn’t even like, but hey, somebody’s gotta stand up for the downtrodden.

Before getting into a whole deep analysis, let’s talk booze, if for no other reason than it’s a whole lot more interesting than grammar. Continue reading “The Grammar-Translation Method : Really all that Bad?”

What Do You Think of Japan?

I used to think there were three possible answers to any question: yes, no, and whatever’s not covered by yes and no.  Like, when the waitress asks, Do you want another beer?  That’s a yes.  Isn’t it about time you thought about going home?  That would be a No, not until I get that beer I’m waiting for.  And, Would you at least please stop bothering the other customers?  That would would be a Well, if that’s how you feel about it, then I’m leaving.  Just as soon as I get that one more beer.

It’s interview season in Japan.  Continue reading “What Do You Think of Japan?”

Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)

Everyone knows Japanese people aren’t exactly Masters of the Universe when it comes to speaking English, despite receiving six years of English education.  Six years?  Are you kidding?  You could build yourself a Great Pyramid in less time.  I’m pretty sure.  Just chop up some limestone and stack it up.  Probably take you a couple of years at best.

But okay, there are clearly some good reasons why Japanese folks can’t speak English.  And if you study Japanese, you also need to avoid the same traps. Continue reading “Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)”