Life with the Burns family in Japan

Here is a snippet of life with the Burns family during the COVID19 era. We are all home.

Our Life in Kawasaki

How to teach Nurses

I teach a few English classes to nurses.

Some things that I do:

-Group a Presentations to do with health or nursing

-Individual Presentations on health or nursing

-Nurse/Patient role plays

-daily English pair work activities

-Groups of 4: Culture Quiz, groups also make two questions to ask another group

-an English board games day

-Read graded readers and ask each other about the book, or write about the book.

-Quiz game show using medical vocabulary picture cards.

-I use: Viral Signs 2, Talk a Lot 1 and English Firsthand 1.

Can we talk?

Hi Everyone,
(For university students)
I just wanted to say this: 
I’ve lived in Japan for over 30 years. I understand a lot of Japanese even though when I speak I make many mistakes. Being an English teacher trains your ears to hear many things.
Please respect me by learning some basic English like: “Excuse me, can I go to the bathroom.”  
-Writing your name in English on assignments.
– Buying and bringing your textbook, not using an old textbook with all the answers in it.
*The teachers here are my friends. If you have complaints about other teachers, don’t complain about my friends in our classroom please.
If you have complaints about me. Please come and talk to me, or please write it on the survey I will give you to write. Please don’t complain about me or make rude comments about me to other students in our classroom. 
I will do my best to respect you in our classroom. But if you are acting disrespectful, bullying, or other rude behavior, I will have to do something about it.
As I am Canadian, you may not understand the logic of why we are doing certain things, or why I teach in a very different way from your Japanese teachers. But try to enjoy a different cultural experience.  
Lastly, if you sit in our classroom and do nothing. I will just fail you. I will not yell at you. Participation is very important.
Kevin Burns

Excuse Me

みなさん、こんにちは。

言いたいことがあります:
私は約30年日本に住んでいます。日本語を話すときはよく間違えますが、それでもたくさんの日本語を理解しています。英語の教師であることは、いろいろなことを聞き取るために、耳を鍛えます。
“Excuse me, can I go to the bathroom.” (「すみません、トイレに行ってもいいですか?」)というような基本的な英語を覚えて、私に対し礼儀正しく接してください。
宿題、課題は英語で名前を書きましょう。
教科書を購入し、自分のものを持参してください。答えがすでに書いてあるような古いものは使わないでください。
私のクラスで他の教師の不満を言わないでください。彼らは私の友達です。
もし私に不満がある場合は直接私と話すか、配布するアンケート用紙に記入してください。クラス内で私に対する不満や失礼なことを他の生徒に言わないでください。
私はクラスで常にあなたたちを尊重するよう最善を尽くしていますが、もし失礼な態度をとったり、嫌がらせや、相手のことを考えないようなことをしたら、私は黙っているわけにはいきません。
どうしてこのようなことをしているのか、なぜ日本人教師と全く違う教え方なのか、私がカナダ人なので論理を理解できないかもしれません。ですが、違う文化を体験し楽しんでください。
最後に、私たちの教室でただ座ったまま何もしない場合、それは失格となります。私は怒鳴ったりはしません。クラスに参加することがとても重要なのです。

ESL Listening Activities,

ESL Listening Activities, how to improve your TOEFL or TOEIC score?

“The TOEIC Listening & Reading Test is a two-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 200 questions evenly divided into listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Each candidate receives independent scores for written and listening comprehension on a scale from 5 to 495 points. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to achieved results…”

–Wikipedia

On Reading for the TOEIC & TOEFL Test

Many students find that their reading speed is too slow for a timed test.

Most students don`t try to read quickly in English. When they do read they read for pleasure or trying to comprehend the English. Improve your reading speed in a few months by buying some easy graded readers by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press or others. They are available in bookstores in Japan like Yurindo, Kinokuniya and others. Just ask the store staff about easy books in English. Then choose a book you would like to read and read it without a dictionary.

Try to understand as much as you can without looking up words. After finishing the book, go back and learn the vocabulary with your dictionary. Write down the new words. There seems to be a connection between your brain, memory and the act of writing down new words.

On a timed test like the TOEIC or TOEFL test, you don`t have much time to read. You need to read and guess the meaning. Or hopefully read and understand the meaning quickly. If you need a lot of time to read a passage, you will not be able to answer many of the questions on the test.

For tests like TOEFL and TOEIC, the questions are for all levels of students. So some questions will be too difficult for you. When you see those questions, skip them until later, then go back and guess at the answers. You need to spend as much time on the questions that are easier for you to be sure you get the correct answer on them. You can always go back to quickly guess the answer for the difficult TOEIC or TOEFL questions.

ESL Listening Activities – Using English has a number of good exercises for improving your TOEIC listening:

Improve your TOEIC score

ESL Listening Activities – Alex Case suggests in 100 ways to improve your TOEIC Score:

“Study for exactly the test you are doing. Not only do you need to study slightly differently if you are doing the computer based test, but there is a chance that you could have to take the test as it was before the 2007 changes or the new style test- depending on whether you are taking the test in your company or in a test centre. Please double check before you buy an exam practice book and start doing practice tests. However, the differences between the versions of the exams are small enough that if you already have some materials for another version that you want to use before spending more money, that is no problem. ”

–Alex Case on Improving your Score

Why teach Listening and Speaking?

There are many reasons for focusing on listening and speaking when teaching English as a foreign language, not least of which is the fact that we as humans have been learning languages through our ears and mouth for thousands upon thousands of years, far longer than we as humans have been able to read. Our brains are well programmed to learn languages through sound and speech. This is not to say that reading and writing are ineffective, far from it, only to highlight the value of listening and speaking and point out that many studies have suggested that language learned through sound and speech is more readily acquired.

–Alistair Graham-Marr, Abax Ltd.

Learning English through Songs

Students love music! Learning English through songs is a great idea! If you play an instrument, you can sing and play and do a listening-close activity. Or simply you can play a CD.

Students can learn a bit of vocabulary, grammar, culture, while improving their listening comprehension.

Anytime you can make a practical activity fun, go for it!

To ESL Discussion

On Learning English

How to Improve your English?

How to be Bilingual?

We offer classes for the Eiken Test and TOEIC

Our Guest Houses