Thursday, September 27, 2007

Special Occasions and Dates

This is a video from Real English.com. In this video people talk about their birthdays and other special occasions. Listen. can you hear the dates? Listen and practice saying the dates.

Practice pronouncing "th" in dates, for example: fourth, fifth, sixth, and so on. Look at the picture below to help you. The picture below shows the shape of a mouth making the "th" sound. Look at the tongue. It's between the teeth.

Click the image in order to make it bigger

Many student make the "s" sound instead of the "th" sound. For example, some students say, "tense" (緊張した)when they want to say "tenth" (10th).


The picture below shows the shape of the mouth making the "s" sound. You can't see the tongue.

Practice the dates that you hear on the video using a mirror. Then you can see if you are making your mouth the correct shape.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Comparison of Canada and Wales

Toyo Gakuen University FE3-Listening Semester 2 Homework Assignment 1

In Unit 6 of American Headway 2 we have been practicing listening to comparisons. There are two videos below. The first is about Canada, Mr. Stout's native country. The second is about Wales, Ms. Birchley's native country. Watch and listen to the videos. Answer the questions that follow the videos.

Some facts about Canada

video
The image of the Canadian dollar in this video was created by ManHole.ca
The audio comes from ESLPodcards.com

Some facts about Wales
video
The photo of the castle ruins in Wales is by Sayaka Eguchi, University of Wales Aberystwyth.
The audio comes from ESLPodcards.com

Questions
  1. What is the population of Canada?
  2. What is the total area of Canada?
  3. What is the population of Wales?
  4. What is the total area of Wales?
  5. Which country has a larger population?
  6. Which country is bigger?
  7. Which country's time zone is closest to zero GMT (グリニッジ標準時) ?
  8. Which country has more time zones?
  9. Which country has the most valuable currency?
  10. If you had to choose, which country would you like to visit and why?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fishing



I went fishing yesterday. I went fishing with my friend Mr. Ibrahim. Mr. Ibrahim is a teacher at Kanto International High School. Mr. Ibrahim teaches the first year Study Abroad Class. I used to teach the first year Study Abroad Class. Mr. Ibrahim loves fishing. So, I went fishing with him.
We went fishing in Sagami-wan (相模湾). "Sagami-wan" is Sagami Bay in English. Sagami Bay is a great place to fish for Japanese mackerel (さば) because the Black Current (黒潮) flows through Sagami Bay. Japanese mackerel swim in the Black Current.  

We went to Hiratsuka (平塚市). HIratsuka is a city on Sagami Bay. In Hiratsuka we joined a three hour fishing trip. I rented a fishing rod from the shop in the picture below.

We fished from a boat called the Asa Hachi Maru. There were many other people on the boat. It was crowded.

I was lucky. I caught a fish. As you can see, I was very happy to catch the fish. Mackerel is my favourite fish. It is very delicious. Tonight I am going to have grilled mackerel for dinner. I'm looking forward to it.


Do you like fishing? Do you like eating fish? What's your favourite kind of fish? Do you like sushi? What's your favourite kind of sushi? Please leave a comment?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kanazawa

I spent the last day of my trip to Ishikawa in Kanazawa. Kanazawa is a great city. It has many interesting things to see.

I visited the East and West Geisha Districts. These areas were known as Higashi Chayamachi and Nishi Chayamachi (ひがし茶屋町, にし茶屋町).

This is a street in Nishi Chayamachi. Nishi Chayamachi is small.

This is a building in Nishi Chayamachi. This building looks new.

This is a street in Higashi Chayamachi. Higashi Chayamachi is bigger than Nishi Chayamachi. These days, almost all of the buildings in Higashi Chayamachi are privately owned. However, one building called Ochaya Shima (志摩) has been designated a National Important Cultural Asset (国の重要文化財に指定されています). The pictures below were taken at Ochaya Shima .










I also visited Kenrokuen Garden (兼六園). Kenrokuen Garden is considered one of the three best gardens in Japan.







I went to a teahouse in Kenrokuen Garden. The picture below is a picture of the teahouse's exterior (御茶屋の外壁).


The type of tea served at the teahouse was matcha (抹茶). Matcha is delicious. I love it.

I also visited Kanazawa Castle. There is a lot of grass there. I like grass very much. In the picture above I'm touching the grass because I like the feel of grass very much. I miss grass. There isn't much grass in Tokyo.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Adventures in Japan Part 6: Ishikawa

I went to Ishikawa Prefecture last Friday. I stayed for three days. Ishikawa is in the Hokuriku region of Japan. As you can see from the map below, Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan.

Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui, a famous Japanese baseball player, is from Ishikawa.


I arrived in Kanazawa at about noon and picked up a rental car. The car was a special type of car. This type of car is called a keijidosha, K-car (軽自動車). Many people in North America would be confused by this name because Chrysler used to make a car called K-car. My mother had a K-car. The Japanese K-car is different. It's a very small car. It has a small engine. It can't go very fast.

The first place I visited was Notojima. Notojima is part of the city of Nanao. Nanao means "seven tails". I went to the Notojima Aquarium. Business was very bad. Only a few people were there. All the exhibits wee closed. Perhaps people are afraid to visit this area because of the 2007 Noto Earthquake. There were many signs that said 「がんばっています!」, "Ganbette imasu!". This is very difficult to translate into English. In this case, "ganbette imasu" is closest in meaning to "we are persevering" in English. I felt badly for the people of Notojima but I was happy that it was it was so peaceful and quiet.


This picture was taken near the Notojima Bridge.

After I looked around Notojima I went to Wakura onsen. The picture above is a picture of the room I stayed in. My hotel had a rotenburo (露天風呂). A rotenburo is an outdoor bath. I could see the sea from the bath.

I drove around the Noto Peninsula. Along the way I saw the building below. It has a thatched roof. The interior is very nice too. It is in a place called Mitsui no Sato.




The picture above is a picture of an irori (囲炉裏). An Irori is a cozy place to have tea.

The country-side in Ishikawa is really beautiful. There are many rice paddies. The rice is ready for harvest now.


You can see a lot of traditional Japanese architecture in Ishikawa. In fact, many of the buildings are new but built in the traditional style.

The landscape of Ishikawa is very dramatic. You can see many interesting rock formations.




I took a short boat tour around the coast of Genmon. The rock formations were amazing.




Some of the rocks along the coast of Ishikawa were formed by lava flows. The picture above shows rock made from hardened lava.

After the boat tour I went to Nagisa Driveway. Nagisa Driveway is a beach. Cars are allowed to drive down Nagisa Driveway. This beach is a great beach for swimming. The water is warm and there aren't any rocks in the sea so you don't hurt your feet if you walk out into the sea.

More about my trip to Ishikawa next time!