Key words: plum n. 梅、 blossom v. 咲く,  be filled with ~でいっぱい, scary adj.怖い,

brave adj.勇敢な, 形容詞 enough to v ~するのに十分に形容詞,

handle v. 処理する、取り組む, current adj.今の、今やっている, opposite n.反対語

Hello! How are you? The weather has been great recently. The days are getting longer. The plum trees are starting to blossom. The birds are singing happier songs.  And the  park by my house is always filled with children.

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So, the title of this blog post is “Studying English with Websites” and I know the first word (“studying”) and the last word (“websites”) can be scary for some people! But I think  you are brave enough to handle this post.

Studying should not be stressful.

Of course, we have to do homework and try to remember things, but sometimes we have to dosomething new so we remember how to learn and have fun; English websites can be a nice change.

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If you study with us you may use a book. We use many Oxford University Press books.

American Headway is one book we use.

Their new companion website seems interesting. Are you using this book? Why not try a short activity (or game)  for your current unit?

AMERICAN HEADWAY Student Site Simply choose your Unit color and choose an activity.

PASSPORT is another popular book. 

The book comes with a CD-ROM with the activities, but if you’ve never used them, give them a try! PASSPORT (Original PASSPORT only)

They also have a test site where you can choose your units you would like to try. (I guess, this doesn’t sound like fun…) PASSPORT tests 日本語

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If your book does not have a website you can find another. For example, there are many kinds of online games for English learners. I found one that looks simple but  interesting. It is a matching game with opposites. You can choose your level and match the opposite words.

You can choose your leve below:

*Level 1 (Easy)     ** Level 2     *** Level 3 (Medium)  **** Level 4      ***** Level 5 (Difficult)

And here is the main website: English Club – Matching Game

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I hope you have a chance to try one of these sites. Please let us know if you enjoy it or have any questions!

Do you know any good websites to study English?

Thanks for reading!

– Andy and Kaho

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Superman

February 16, 2011

Key Words: comic book n. マンガ , of all time 今までの , childhood n. 幼年時代 , where were we? (phrase) あれ??何の話してたっけ?, dressed as v. ~に変装して, utility belt n. 変身ベルト, Blu-Ray n. ブルーレイ, just okay (OK) adj. まあまあ、ふつう,

Hello again!

What’s that in the sky?! It’s a bird!… It’s a plane!… It’s Superman!

!

Superman is one of the most famous comic book heroes of all time and for many people, the Superman movies are a nice childhood memory. I think most boys (and maybe girls, too) have put on bright red underwear, tied a towel around their neck, climbed up on a shelf, and jumped off. We all hoped that maybe we could fly.

I wish I had a photo of myself like that, but I don’t. I remember, though, a picture of my sister, Cody, dressed as a superhero. It’s probably my favorite picture of her.

Please note the many essential tools for crime-fighting in her utility belt!

(変身ベルトにはこの世の悪と戦うために必要な道具がたくさんついてます!)

 

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Anyway, where were we…? Oh yeah!

We were talking about Superman.

They made a new Superman movie in 2006 called Superman Returns. We watched the movie last week. We were very excited because we rented the Blu-Ray disc and it is the first Blu-Ray movie we’ve watched. The picture was beautiful. But the new movie was just okay. I definitely think the older ones (for example Superman, 1978) were much better. Kahoru thinks the new Superman is “cuter” though. (I mean, he’s cuter than the old Superman, not me, of course…)

Fresh Superman

Classic Superman

 

Sliced Bread Superman

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Comic-book movies are very popular; which is your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

– Andyman and Kaho-chan

the Super Bowl

February 9, 2011

KEY WORDS: national anthem n. 国歌 , nacho chips, コーンチップス, salsa n. サルサソース , pay attention n. 注目する, commercial n. CM, celebrity  n. 有名人,half-time show n. ハーフタイムショー ,boring adj. つまらない,familiar adj よく知っている.

Hello. How are you all? We’re OK, enjoying the warmer weather and longer days.

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Last week was a big event for sports fans in America.

The American Football championship, the Super Bowl, was held last Sunday night!

We had a chance to watch it at our friend’s house here in Japan.

Before the game the American National Anthem is sung by someone famous.

This year was Christina Aguilera.

Snacks and drinks are always enjoyed during the game. We had nacho chips with salsa and English muffin Mexican pizzas!

English, Mexican and Italian food, but I think that’s very American!

In America, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest night for television all year, this year had 111,000,000 viewers! 

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Many, many Americans watch the game,

but some are not so interested in football. Actually, I didn’t watch football very much in the US but I think I always paid attention during the Super Bowl. For many people the commercials are most important part of the game!  The biggest companies like Pepsi, beer producer Budweiser, and car companies spend millions of dollars making funny commercials.

There are always many commercials with celebrities and interesting surprises, but this year’s funniest commercial  was probably Volkswagen’s. Here it is:

The half-time show is exciting for some people (although I never like it… I think it’s usually boring.) This year The Black Eyed Peas performed with special guests Slash, (guitarist from Guns ‘N Roses) and Usher, (a famous R&B singer).

 

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American football can be difficult to understand at first, but it is an interesting game. I think Kaho is not familiar with football and was not so interested in the game. Maybe next year she will enjoy it a little more… or maybe just the snacks!

Have you ever seen or played in a football game?

Thanks for reading!

– Andy and Kaho

American Sign Language

February 2, 2011

KEY WORDS:decide v. 決める, since  ~なので, even ~でさえ , based on~, ~にもとづいて, guess v. あてる

Hello. How are you? We’re doing fine.

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Recently, we decided to teach a few simple hand signs in our kid’s classes. There is a lot of research that says young children, even babies!, can learn faster by gesturing or signing.

Since St. Valentine’s Day is coming we are teaching the sign “I LOVE YOU”. Here is the sign:  

It’s based on the letters “I”, “L”, and “Y” from the phrase I Love You.

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If you are interested in learning the American Sign Language ABC’s I found this great website that has a video and a song. I think it’s for children, but it’s a good one. (Actually, English speaking countries don’t always use the same signs. I found out that American Sign Language and British Sign Language are very different. That’s too bad!)

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 Here is a simple sign language test for you.

Can you guess what these signs are? (HINT: they are all animals.)

A.

B.

C.

D.

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Did you guess?

The answers are: A. gorilla B. fish C. elephant D. cat E. goat

Thanks for reading.

Andy and Kaho