Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Did you get a nice present? If you didn't then it is because you didn't study enough, so try harder next year!


Class Notes 12/19

Last classes of the year. I hope everyone has a merry christmas and a happy new year!

-Santa John


Class Notes 12/16 Twelve Days of Christmas

Do you know the words to the twelve days of Christmas? You should try to learn it! It is fun! Here is a link to a video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7cSZD1GPuU&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Christmas Lunch 12/12

Today I had a Christmas lunch with my students at a restaurant in Kamioooka. While eating lunch, one of them did some magic tricks. It was very interesting. After that, we played a game and exchanged presents. Thank-you everyone for an enjoyable lunch!

Class Notes 12/11, 12/12

Christmas Party 12/11

Last night was the last lesson this year for one of my classes. During the class, I discussed what Christmas is like in my country. I think it is very different from Christmas in Japan.
After the class, we all went to okonomiyaki together for a Christmas party. We ate lots of food, drank lots of beer, exchanged presents and sang songs. It was a blast! Thank-you everyone for coming and for the wonderful gifts! See you next year!


Answers to the Christmas Quiz

1. At the north pole.
2. Under the Christmas tree.
3. A list of who's naughty or nice
4. 8 + 1
5. Dasher, Dancer, Prance, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen + Rudolph
6. Elves
7. The chimney
8. Christmas Eve
9. Saint Nicholas
10. Yes! Always say yes!

How did you do? Is Santa coming to your house?


Monday Sunshine Christmas Party Photo 12/2/13

Here is a picture from our Christmas party the other day.  I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun, and I ate lots of delicious food. What a nice group of students they are!
Posted by Picasa

Class Notes 12/9

Here are the answers from today's test.

1.There is a hospital.
2. There isn't a swimming pool.
3. There are 2 movie theaters.
4. Excuse me, is there a bank near here?
5. How many students are there in the class?
6. Is it too expensive?
7. There is something in my eye.
8. Yes, there is a movie at 8:00.
9. How many letters are there in English?
10. There are mangos on the table.

Good job!


Christmas Quiz

1. Where does Santa live?
2. Where does Santa leave the presents?
3. What does Santa check twice?
4. How many reindeer does Santa have?
5. What are their names?
6. What are Santa's helpers called?
7. How does Santa get inside your house?
8. When does Santa come?
9. What is Santa's other name?
10. Have you been a good girl or boy?

The answers will be posted next week. Good luck!

If you get this many correct answers.....

7-10 Santa is coming. Don't worry! 4-6 Maybe Santa will come. You better start being on your best behavior! 1-3 He's not coming. Just forget about Christmas this year and wait until next year.

Class Notes - 12/4, 12/5


Class Notes - 12/2 & Party!

On Monday, we studied English hard together. I taught a grammar lesson on "There is/there are", and we made sentences and questions together. After the lesson, we all went to a nearby restaurant together and had a Christmas party. We ate so much food and exchanged presents. I got a cute little horse! Everybody was so friendly and it was so much fun! Thank-you everyone for coming to the party!


Black Friday

Do you know how to say 赤字 in English? "In the red",  On the Friday after Thanksgiving, many stores go from being "in the red" to "in the black".  That is the reason it is called "Black Friday". Read more about Black Friday by clicking on the link here - - - ☞ http://mrjohntaro.blogspot.com/2011/11/black-friday.html

Class Notes - 11/27, 11/28

The past two days have been interesting. We went over many things including prepositions, Eiken 3 test questions, and advanced grammar.
Next month I am looking forward to the Christmas parties with my students! I will post a schedule of the parties and the class dates on my home page soon.


Monday Sunshine Class Notes 11/25/13

Today we discussed change. Can you think of something that has changed completely in the past 10 years? I think cell phones have changed so much in the past 10 years. Ten years ago, people didn't have smart phones, now nearly everyone has one!
We also went over the lyrics for "Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer". Do you know the words? Here is a link in case you don't.



Hello, hello,
Hello, how are you?
I'm fine, I'm fine,
I hope that you are, too!

These kids are awesome and super-cute!


Everyday English Class Notes, November 21, 2013

What time is it? 1630? 0200? 1501?
In my country, we call this "military time".
X 1630 sixteen half o'clock
O 1630 sixteen thirty

0200 oh-two-hundred
1501 fifteen-oh-one 

Usually, only military people read time this way. Everyone else uses A.M.or P.M.

Over and out!

Eiken 3 Class Notes, Nov 21, 2013

Do you often get into an argument with someone? If it is a big argument, you can say that it is a fight. But don't say "fight, fight! "  at your son's baseball game, or someone may ask you to settle things "man to man".

argument 争論
fight ケンカ
settle things man to man 戦う
ファイト!Do your best!



Why is English so hard?

Taken from " Asylum for the Verbally Insane"

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England .
We take English for granted,
but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks
who grew up speaking English should be committed
to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people
recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the
same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop,
how come Mother's not Mop?

*** Note : Teacher wanted for new "Broken English School"

Happy Veterans Day!

Today is a holiday in the U.S. called Veterans Day. It is a day when Americans thank and show support for veterans. Veterans Day is a federal holiday held on November 11th. It began as "Armistice Day" in 1919 for the veterans of WWI. WWI ended on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.  The name was later changed to "Veterans Day" to include all veterans.

Many stores put up signs saying thank-you to military members. I also noticed today many messages on Facebook to show support for the military.

veteran - any person who has been, or is in the military.

federal holiday-a public holiday in all 50 states

* veterans who have been involved in certain wars are called by the name of the war. For example, Vietnam veteran, WWII veteran, Iraq war veteran, etc.


Eiken Class Notes - Nov 7

This month is Thanksgiving. We will be discussing gratitude... 感謝

I appreciate your hard work and dedication to studying English! I am grateful and I think that I am lucky to have so many wonderful and interesting students. I am very thankful for the kindness I have received from everyone.Thank-you very much!


A Hard Day's Night

Tonight I had a great class! I had everyone take a grammar test, and then we went over some vocabulary. Finally, we learned the words to the song, "A Hard Day's Night". I am looking forward to hearing everyone sing it at our next party!


Halloween Fun


I really enjoyed Halloween this year! Most of my students wore costumes and the children were so cute! Since I had parties everyday this past week, I wore many different costumes. I was a pig, Dracula, a skeleton, a werewolf, and Stitch.  We danced, played games and ate a lot of sweets. For some of the children, I used toilet paper and turned them into mummies!
At the pre-school, all the kids dressed up as skeletons and witches. We danced the Thriller dance together and then had omelet rice with ketchup for lunch. I didn't want to eat the broccoli, but I thought I had to set a good example for the kids, so I pretended to like it.
We turned one room into a kind of haunted house. I thought it was funny that the kids that are usually tough were the ones that cried, and the usual crybabies were laughing and having fun!
I am looking forward to Halloween again next year!


Halloween Week

This week I will have a Halloween party everyday with my students. It is so much fun. Today I had a Halloween party at the pre-school. First I danced the Thriller dance with everyone. At that time I was dressed as a pig. After that I changed my costume and became a skeleton. Then, we turned a dark room into a haunted house.  We scared the kids and then gave them candy. The kids who are always strong were crying and the kids who are usually cry babies were laughing.  It was strange..



In the News..The oldest human being...ever!

この記事を読みながら、下に書いてあるの質問 を答えて見ましょう。

リンクArticle link:
Bolivian Man possibly the oldest man in the world!

単語 Vocabulary
- Longevity 長生き
- attribute 帰する
- verify 確認
- validity 合法性
- landlocked 内陸国

理解 Check!
1.How old is the man?
2.Where does he live?
3. Before him, who was considered the oldest human being in the world?
4.What is his reason for living so long?
5.Is he in good health?
6. What does he do everyday?

Who is the oldest person in your country?

How about you? あなたは?
How old do you think you will live? Why?


It's so hot!

It's so hot that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!


This is a popular idiom that many people often say in the summer.

It's summertime...

and it's hot! They say that it is going to be a long, hot summer this year. Sometimes I use the AC at night when I am sleeping, but I try not to use it too much. I think it is better to get used to the heat. In my country, many stores have the ac set so low, and it's too cold! I remember that whenever I went to the movie theater, I had to bring a jacket.
However, in Japan I think that sometimes the AC is too weak. On the train, for example, the car with weak air-conditioning gets hot when it starts to get crowded.
My plan for staying cool his summer is just to wear light clothes and walk really slowly.
How will you stay cool this summer?

the AC 冷房
get used to 慣れる
set so low  温度の設定が低い
the car with weak air-conditioning 弱冷房車


英語の勉強のアプリ English Apps

These are some of my app recommendations for studying English. These apps are for Android, however because I don't use Iphone. Using your smartphone is a great way to study English, especially if you are a busy person because you can study anywhere, even when you only have a few minutes. If you have any good apps you will you use for studying English, please let me know!


English Ear Game - R, L
English Ear Game - B, V
Practice English Grammar - 1
Practice English Grammar - 2



They say say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what does it mean?  The word "breakfast" actually comes from two words, "break" and "fast".  Fast is when a person doesn't eat for a long time. The word is often used by religious people. For example, before Easter many Christians don't eat meat on Fridays, so they say that they "fast" on Fridays.
When people sleep, they don't eat, so this can be called a fast. When a person wakes up and breaks his period of not eating, he breaks his fast. This becomes "breakfast".
※When fast refers to the period of time that one does not eat, it can be a noun 名詞.
例文:His fast lasted for three days.
※Fast can also be used as a verb動詞.
例文:He fasted for three days.


The Tooth Fairy

When I was a kid, sometimes my teeth fell out.  Whenever that happened, I put my tooth under my pillow. When I woke up, it was gone, and in its place was money! While I was sleeping, the tooth fairy came! Even though it was only about 25 or 50 cents, I was so happy! I never noticed the tooth fairy coming into my room when I was sleeping, but I thought the reason was that she was only 2 or 3 inches tall.
It's too bad that the tooth fairy doesn't live in Japan. I heard that Japanese kids don't get money. What did you do as a kid when your teeth fell out?

Listen to this blog here ⇨ http://db.tt/yUiXf0ul

If you are interested in learning more about the tooth fairy, then I recommend watching this movie ⇨



The Blog

A blog is website which contains journal entries of someone's ideas and opinions. But, where does the word BLOG come from, and what exactly does it mean? The word BLOG comes from two words, WEB and LOG. WEB refers to the internet, and LOG ,means to record. When people first started to record their thoughts on the internet, they often called it web-logging.People began to merge the two words until they became one. Web + Log =BLOG
How about you? Have you ever written a blog?



Many Japanese people sometimes confuse japanese english for English.
How do you say this in English?
In English, we never say "coin laundry".


Something is fishy!

I have fish! The other day, I bought an aquarium. It is quite small, only about 15 liters. So far, I have 5 large tetra fish, 10 small tetra fish and 5 neon orange fish (I call them that because I don't know the name.) I am thinking about getting some small shrimp, but I am afraid that they might eat the fish.
I enjoy having fish. Taking care of them is much more fun than I thought. However, I feel so guilty whenever I go out for sushi! (^^;)

aquarium 水槽
quite small なかなか小さい
quite far なかなか遠い
I am thinking about getting some shrimp.
Something is fishy...



My little tree

Yesterday, I went out and bought a  bonsai tree. I often hear a lot of foreigners confusing the word bonsai with banzai. Bonsai is a small tree in a pot. I think banzai means something like "hooray". My bonsai tree is a plum tree. It is already past the season, but it will soon have many leaves... i hope.

How about you? Do you have any bonsai trees? How do you take care of them?


梅 plum
盆栽 a mini tree in a pot
外国人 foreigner
季節 season

Banzai 万歳(P);万才 ばんざい(P);ばんぜい [ばんざい(P);ばんぜい]  (int,n) (1) crying "banzai" (or raising one's hands in the banzai gesture) (2) something worthy of celebration (3) (ばんざい only) giving up (4) (arch) long time (5) (arch) eternal life (and prosperity) (int) (6) banzai (a celebratory cheer) hurrah (hooray, hurray) (P)



Watch "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed - Nursery Rhymes and Childrens Songs" on YouTube

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Pollen Allergies

Today is a beautiful day and I am enjoying it at the park. Whenever I go out these days, I hear many people coughing and sneezing because of pollen allergies. Usually I am ok, but sometimes my throat and eyes become a little itchy on days when it is windy. In Japan, I know many people who are allergic to the pollen from cedar. That's too bad. I think it makes life difficult when you have to wear a mask all the time. If you have pollen allergies, I hope you feel better soon!

このリンクをクリックするとこの話を聞こえます。≫ https://www.dropbox.com/s/0aks16rsj0vqddz/Pollen%20allergies.mp3

単語 Vocabulary
pollen 花粉
allergy アレルギー  発音は「アレジ」
sneeze くしゃみ
cough せき
cedar 杉
throat のど
itchy かゆい

あなたは? How about you?

Do you have pollen allergies? What do you do to help yourself?


Movie Pick - The Wizard of Oz

One of the new movies coming out is Oz the Great and Powerful. I think the Japanese name is オズ はじまりの戦い. However, before you see that you should watch  オズの魔法使い, The Wizard of Oz. It is a great fantasy movie and an American classic.


In the news... Horsemeat scandal

Recently, there is news about a big scandal about horsemeat.   Two european meat processing companies mixed horsemeat with beef and sold it without telling anyone. Horsemeat was later found in hamburgers in the UK and Ireland.  The sale of horsemeat is banned in many places in the U.S., and many western cultures consider eating it to be taboo. Now, horsemeat has been found in hamburger in 14 different countries. It has even been found in the yummy Swedish meatballs at Ikea!

リンクArticle link:

単語 Vocabulary
scandal スキャンダル、事件
taboo 禁物
ban 禁令
consume 食べる
slaughter とさつ

理解 Check!
1. In what 3 states is the sale of horsemeat banned in America?
2. Which is more healthy, horsemeat or beef?
3. What country is one of the biggest consumers of horsemeat?
4. When was the scandal discovered?

What is the name of the famous horse in the picture?

How about you? あなたは?

1. Are there any food taboos in your country?
2. Do you like horsemeat?



New Galactic Champion!

Congratulations to Shunsuke for becoming the new Galactic Champion!!!


In this game, the student who memorizes the most words in the universe becomes the champion. The student who finishes the game first gets a special prize. Who will it be?


Good job Shunsuke!  Good luck everyone!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! This week I recieved many chocolates from my students. I am so happy! Thank-you very much! However, now I will have to exercise a lot so that I don't gain weight. (^^;)

In my country, Valentine's Day is a romantic day. It has the feeling of Christmas in Japan. Usually, only men give chocolate to thier lovers, and there is no obligatory chocolate at the office.
When I was a child, everyone at school would make valentine cards for everyone in the class. I always hoped that I could get a girlfriend, but I always failed.


New Galactic Champion!

Congratulations to Rena for becoming the new Galactic Champion!!!


In this game, the student who memorizes the most words in the universe becomes the champion. The student who finishes the game first gets a special prize. Who will it be?


Good job Rena!  Good luck everyone!