Studying Japanese

Recently I’ve been a bit slack with posting regularly. The reason for this is that I decided to devote some time to studying Japanese. Despite having lived here for more than five years my language skills are laughably poor so I wanted to take some steps towards remedying this. Studying Alone One reason why I’m…

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English Speech Contest

As well as teaching classes, prepping worksheets and making board games there are a couple of other duties an EFL teacher may be requested to do. Such as: You Speaking To Me? Once a year schools in Japan send two or three students to compete in a local, prefectural or national English Speech Contest. Usually…

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Summer in Japan – VIDEO

Sure, I know it’s a little late but I’m sure some people are still clamouring for advice on how to tackle the humid monster of summer in Japan. Here are a few things I’ve discovered about this harsh season. Summer in Japan How do you handle hot and humid summers? Got any tips for me?…

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Cards In Japan

Cash cards, point cards, stamp cards, business cards, credit cards, travel cards, birthday cards. Japan’s got so many cards that one needs a wallet the size of the buffalo it was made from just to contain them. I don’t bother with all of them but some are really handy. Cash My company hired me before…

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EFL Reading Activities

Pop quiz: What are the four key language skills? I’ll let you phone a friend, which coincidentally involves two of those skills. They are: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. If English Language proficiency were the Apocalypse then these would be it’s Horsemen. That ill-advised analogy aside it is important to consider which of these skills…

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Jagariko: A Quick Bite In Japan – VIDEO

On the last day at one of my schools this year some (… many) students gave me one of my favourite snacks: Jagariko (じゃがりこ). Since I now have so many of them clogging the hallways of my apartment building I thought it best not to waste the opportunity, and make a video of me munching…

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Homesickness While Living Abroad

I think that homesickness hits every ex-pat at least once during their stint in a foreign land. It can be debilitating and I’ve seen many people suffer from it while working or studying far away from home . However Diagnosis: Homesickness There are a variety of symptoms associated with homesickness, and not everyone exhibits all…

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Shopping in Japan – VIDEO

When shopping in Japan there are many supermarkets to choose from to do your regular shopping, but how much does it all cost? Let’s look at how much I spend on a weekly shop up here in the rural north of the country. Shopping in Japan How much do you spend on a weekly shop? How…

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ESL Teacher In Japan: Back To School

As an ESL teacher in Japan my winter vacation started on Christmas Day last year. However, for many of my fellow teachers it started later than that. Some of my JTEs barely had any time off at all! So although I may lament the shortness of my holiday I should really count myself lucky. I…

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VIDEO: Star Wars Snack Attack – A Quick Bite In Japan

Everyone’s going Star Wars crazy at the moment; myself included. Here in Japan there has been a real barrage of stuff appearing on shelves and in freezers. Not one to waste an opportunity to indulge in some less-than-healthy nibbles, I swept up as much rebel scum snackage as my feeble arms could handle, and documented my findings here….

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