Category Archives: education

Project: English Language Grammar for TESOL

Over the past few years I’ve been piddling about working on an English Language grammar that covers the language in a comprehensive way that is also useful as a single go-to reference for teaching. I have a few goals with this project: Continue reading


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Tact on the internet

I have great respect for those netizens out there who act courteously and generously when encountering ignorance, bias, and even belligerence in those they interact with.

The internet serves as the world’s forum, and we encounter people who we might not otherwise have chosen to interact with there.  More often than not we don’t see eye-to-eye, and that’s the beauty of it; we have the opportunity to learn from, exchange with, and teach each other.

It’s very obvious to me when someone I’m interacting with over the internet is a middle or high schooler: It reminds me of how I feel at work in the classroom…

Inevitably that means I will be correcting misunderstandings and explaining difficult concepts several times in succession, rewording and simplifying as I realize their level of naivette or ignorance on the matter. I have new eyes for my own adolescence… and new respect for the teachers that put up with aggravating questions day after day.  And I also find myself proud to have the opportunity to be a good teacher and role model.

In the classroom I adore the opportunity to teach one-on-one, as it’s rare and at the same time the most powerful and influential way to get the target information from my head to theirs.  Until now I didn’t feel the same way about interactions on the net, the anonymity perhaps soured those relationships.  It can be much like how our sense of others’ humanity is lost behind the wheel, because we can’t see through the heavy metal shells of others’ cars to the people driving them.  They become sources of aggravation and frustration instead of opportunities to learn, exchange, or teach.

From today I’m going to reverse that trend in myself, the tendency to treat others as the cause of my irritation, and instead to see them the way I see students in my classroom.  Sometimes I get to teach them what I know, but just as often, I get to learn from them what I need to change in myself.

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Personal Growth

I have seen the future! My future, and it’s glorious.  Better than I had ever thought possible, truly.  And I will, as my favorite starship captain always says, “make it so.”

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Filed under exercise and outdoors, issues, language, musing, news, personal, studying, teaching, writing

Ways to learn and memorize Kanji

As a long-time student of Japanese one ever present aspect of my study is that of kanji.  For my generation the word kanji is fairly well known, for older generations it means Chinese character or glyph.  Though called Chinese characters the word kanji is Japanese.  The reason for this is that the Japanese language adopted the Chinese writing system some centuries ago.   Continue reading

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Free time problem? I don’t think so…

So you say you have too much free time?  You say it’s a problem?  I say you are losing a battle with creativity!

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Filed under education, film, language, media, studying, teaching

It’s not always easier to speak in my native language



もちろん、日本語より英語のほうがうまく使える。日本語はまだ勉強中なんだけど、会話では二人が必要。私は一人だけ。もう一人の大事な人がいる。それはもちろん相手のことだ。 Continue reading

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Teaching with real examples

Teaching is easy.  You just tell people stuff.  Teaching all of your students effectively on the other hand can be a monumentally difficult task.  As a relatively uneducated, unseasoned teacher I find teaching people that learn fast to be the most satisfying, but that’s because it’s easy.  Teaching the slower learners and those that aren’t as adept at taking on new ideas is very challenging and sometimes frustrating.

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Filed under education, Japan, language, teaching