Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

     Happy New Year! I hope everyone is doing fine. This is the time of the year when we give thanks for all the things we have. And now, we bring in a new year. This will be 2010. Last year, like many years before it, had it's good things happen and bad too. This is the way of like. But it's good to be alive, and I thank all my students and friends for last year. I look forward to the coming new year.
To everyone:     Happy New Year 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's cold in Ohio

Wow! Look at that. That looks really cold.
I took this picture this morning.
My hands were very cold.The wind was really blowing hard.
The snow is starting to pile up.
Well, I'm going to spend the day indoors where it's warm.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Dark Forest

Deeper and deeper I ventured into the forest. The air seemed to close around me as I followed the old trail. Not more than a footpath now, this was once a main road to the mountains. As time had passed, it had become overgrown with brush and weeds. And trees! Odd trees at that. Seemingly with their own eyes, they stared at me as I passed. The night darkened. A mist wound and spread it's tendrils around the roots of the trees. The moon was now high in the sky and illuminated the path. The trees pressed in closer to the path the further I went into the forest. "They have eyes!?" Yes, I see them clearly now. The atmosphere tightened around me. I turned and looked but, the path behind me disappeared into the gloom only a few steps away. There is no turning back now. Do I hear hushed whispers from the trees? A low melodic sound is drifting from the trees. I can vaguely hear them.What are they saying? I am no longer afraid. However, my survival will depend on my wits. I must try to understand them. What are they saying? The trees were now close to the path. I could almost touch them. I stopped in my tracks and stood silently. The trees also stopped. A heavy air of menace closed around me. The language of the trees sounded somehow familiar to me. What is it? I will only get one chance at this. I must think. The low chorus of the trees started up again. It was a rhythmic chant. I have heard this before but where? The trees began to advance and close around me again. There were only seconds now. The closer they got to me. The louder their voices became louder. It was still barely a whisper, but I could make out the words. I could hear...

Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory, dickory, dock

The trees chanted this in a low voice. Closer and closer they came. I heard them say:

Hickory, dickory, dock
It's not the clock we want
Nor the mouse we hunt
It's you we want!
Hickory, dickory, dock, Hmm!

Hickory, dickory, dock
It's our forest you see
Not a place for you to be
Hickory, dickory, dock, Hmm!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shady and Willie

                         It's Shady and there's Willie, too.
                         The sky is blue and there's a lot to do.
                         They're playing outside and having fun.
                         Look at Shady and Willie; run, run, run.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ohio News Saturday December 19th

     Good evening, I'm Winston Bullhill and this is the news. Earlier today, in southern Ohio. A local photographer captured shocking pictures of what appears to be a dragon and a witch. As you can see by the shocking picture below, indeed there is a dragon in Ohio. Local authorities have been slow to respond to the appearance of the serpent. Confirmation of the dragon has not been fully established.
The figure next to the dragon appears to be a witch, however, maybe she's just a little girl. Stay tuned for more updates on this story, this has been Winston Bullhill.

Friday, December 18, 2009


     The sun hasn't risen yet. The wind is blowing lightly from the south. In the distance, I can hear a train rumbling away down the tracks. It's cold still. And it's going to stay cold today. There's no chance of snow however. The Lake is quiet this morning. Peaceful. I hope it stays that way. Perhaps, the sun will come out today. If not, the day will be overcast and gray; a color we call "steel grey" in Ohio. Michael in the early dawn of Ohio, bye for now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Dec 17, 2009

     The weather is cold and the sky is overcast. The temperature will not rise above 30 today. Another typical Ohio winter day. Inside, it's warm. Coffee is brewing on the counter. The morning newspaper is still out on the driveway. I guess I'll have to go get it. I'll need a coat for sure. It won't take long. I'll be right back. I'll spend time today talking to my students on the computer. Have a nice day.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My nephews are here

Hey! Look! My nephews are here.
Wow. It's going to be noisy today.
From the front: Noah, Gabe and Peter.
All three are boys.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Hi, how's it goin'? It's Friday today and I'm excited.
Above is a picture of Cleveland, Ohio.I live in the suburbs outside this city.
Cleveland is a "small" big city. This picture was takenon a boat on Lake Erie.
It's nothing special, just normal America with normal Americans.
Hey! I got to go. There's a new Dragon story coming for Sunday Morning!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alexsis and the Dragon Episode 4 Into the Dark (録音!クリックHere!)

Alexsis and the Dragon had spoken at length. The sun had set and the moon had risen when the dragon was satisfied with the bargain he had made with Alexsis. With a leap, the dragon jumped in the air. Quickly he gained altitude. As he faded into the evening sky, Alexsis wondered if the bargain she had made with the dragon would save her people. At any result, Alexsis' fate was doomed. Win the war and Alexsis would still have to pay the dragon's price. Lose? Well ...there was no choice here.
It was win or die.
    The moon was high when Alexsis stepped out of the pagoda. A chill ran up her spine when she heard the cries of the wolves. They were still far up the mountain. But she knew their intentions.
They would come for her, and fast. She began to run. She needed to hurry back to the castle. The Tyrant's army was approaching. She commanded the defending forces and without her the army's chance were slim. Even with Alexsis, the chances for survival were not good. The Tyrant would assualt the castle at daybreak. Now, was not the time for wolves. She quickened her pace.

The wolves raced down the mountain. The leader had scented Alexsis and
quickened his pace. She was running but there was no scent of fear. The women was running from them but for what reason? " No matter" thought the wolf ," She would be dead shortly." The leader crested a small rise up to a level plain. About 200 meters ahead, he could see the women. There were 5 wolves all together. No reason at all to fear a single female human. The Tyrant had sent them. The wolves had been made promises. The pack pressed on. Alexsis knew she was running for her life. But she could not delay. The wolves were getting closer now...closer.

Next week:  Episode 5  - Separate ways

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

It's thanksgiving! Wow! That looks good.
Are you hungry? I am.
There's turkey. Have you ever tried it?
Turkey is good. I'll send you some.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coming soon episode 4 - Into the Dark

Coming this weekend! Episode 4 of  Alexsis and the Dragon.

   The dragon and Alexsis have spoken in secret and now they have seperated. Each has gone their own way.
Where is the dragon going?
What did Alexsis hear from up in the mountains?
Read the new episode this wekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Michael's Family - My Sister (part 4)

Here's one of my sisters cats!
Her name is "Orange Kitty".

Here's the other cat.
Her name is "White Kitty".
Those are my sister's pets.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ohio wins!

Ohio State won the big game with Michigan by the score of 21-7. It was the sixth straight victory for Ohio in this rivalry.

Tomorrow: My sister part 4

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ohio vs Michigan American Football

It's that time of year again. Time for the annual Ohio State-Michigan football game. This will be the 106th meeting of these rivals. Once again, Ohio State is the big favourite over it's hated rival. Michigan has suffered 5 losses in a row to Ohio. Today's game will be in Ann Arbhor, Michigan.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Michael's Family - My sister (part 3)

This is the Ursuline College campus.  It's pretty, isn't it?
This is where my sister works.
Ursuline college was founded in 1871.
Ursuline is one of the oldest women's colleges in America.
The campus is very nice.

Next: My sister's pets.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Michael's Family - My sister (part 2)

Here's Diane. That's Diane's office. Let's be quiet; she's working.
Diane is a university teacher. She teaches at Ursuline College.
She has a master's degree in Art Therapy. She is a well known teacher.

Let's go outside and look at the Ursuline campus.
Friday - Ursuline campus

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Michael's Family - My sister (part 1)

Hey! Whose that? That's my sister!

Her name is Diane, What's she doing?

She's skiing. Diane likes to ski
and Ohio has lot's of snow.

It looks cold!  " Hey! Diane be careful don't fall!"

Let's go inside, it's too cold.   Why don't we go visit Diane at work?

That's a good idea.

Tomorrow-  Diane at work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alexis Speaks (episode 3)

    Alexis ascended the final flight of stairs to the roof of the pagoda. The dragon was waiting. She had summoned it and now she was finally in the dragon's presence. Alexis carried the twin swords  of
power, one in each hand. The swords shimmered and hummed with power. The dragon had felt the swords as Alexis approached with them. The swords were powerful, a force the dragon hadn't seen for a thousand years. Yes! these were the same swords! The very ones that were used so long ago to...
    "Impossible!!!" the dragon roarded into the sky. The dragon braced itself for the worst. "What is she going to?" the dragon thought. He shifted his weight forward to poise himself for an attack.

     Unexpectedly, Alexis dropped to one knee and lowered the swords. She put the swords on the ground hilts first. As she released her grip, the the shimmering radiance of the swords quicky faded away. The hum of the swords also faded. In the silence...Alexis spoke.
     "There has been a great injustice, my lord. Allow me to tell you."
     The dragon relaxed. The swords were safely on the ground for now. Where had she gotten them?
How was she able to use them? The swords had come to life in her hands! The women had spoken to him. Her words were spoken in the old language. Many years ago, dragons had united with humans to fight a great evil. The language she used was from a forgotten age.
     "Why do you have those swords? Speak now!" the dragon commanded.
Alexis spoke at length. Her conversation carried on uninterupted for half the night.
The dragon listened intently. Finally, Alexis ended her story and rose to her feet.
      The dragon raised it's head and straighten himself to an impossing height over Alexis. He hesitated... then the dragon leaped into air! Two massive swips of its wings propelled it into the air.
As the dragon rose in the sky, it let out a tremendous cry: " It will be done!!!"
     "Before hell's gates, I swear upon my will be done." The dragon was quickly gaining altitude over Alexis. In a minute, it would be out of sight.
     "It's done. And I have survived for now." Alexis sighed. She did not try to fool herself however,
the easy part was now done. Next comes the hard part she tould herself. She picked up her swords and sheathed them on her back. Just then, the howl of a wolf came down the mountains. At the sound, a cold chill ran down Alexis's back...."The night is not over yet," she wispered.

Next - Episode 4  Into the Night

How phonics confused me

     After six months of learning Japanese, I decided to learn to read and write Japanese. So of course, I had to start with hiragana. Hiragana is the phonetic way to write. As I studied, I learned many new words. However, it was clear to me; the pronounciation of some words was different from the everyday Japanese that I was used to. This only confused me. I quickly realized writing and speaking are two different fields of study. My Japanese ability at the time was making me money. I needed to talk to Japanese people face to face. I soon abandoned writing Japanese. It was more practical for me to listen to native speakers and learn pattern sentences. Everything I learned, and then used ; I first heard it! I hope this helps your understanding of the underlying principles of "Sound Stream." I'll continue this essay next time.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


     I have been following the student blogs closely. Like I've said before, it's easier for me to read the blogs than a newspaper. All that aside, the students seem to be very pleased with "Sound Stream English". I very happy about this. Mr. Sakurai has worked very hard to write this program. The majority of the students are professional people. These students require a high level of English ability.
     They did not get it from the phonics based Japanese education system. If they did, why are they coming to us? Because, "Sound Stream" works. I didn't know it at the time, but I used the Sound Stream method myself. When I first started to study Japanese, I lived in Hawaii. I learned complete sentences from friends and tourists. I did not start out with あ、い、う、え、お No, my first sentence was- 私の名前はマイケルです。From there I learned to use more and more sentences by listening to native Japanese speakers. The proof is in the pudding!
    If you would like to hear an example of  "Sound Stream Japanese", please call me! People always say, "Michael you are so smart." I don't think so! All I did, was repeat everything I heard the way it was said to me. I have yet to translate "Sound Stream" to English. However, it works! I have yet to meet an American who can speak better Japanese than I can. Of course, there's always someone better. In the future, I plan to sell Mr. Sakurai's "Sound Stream Japanese". I'm sure it will be a success.

The Dragon - Episode 3 is coming soon, sorry for the delay.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


    Hello there. How are you? I have been busy but it's Sunday today so I will try to not work so hard. A good routine is needed to learn English. Students must try to set aside time for their lessons. I know everyone is busy. English is not easy to learn. If it was, everybody would speak English. Be easy on yourselves. Anyway I'll be on-line most of the evening. Contact me if you would like to say hello.


PS The Dragon story continues tomorrow.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Alexis meets the Dragon Episode 2

    Alexis drew the twin swords she carried on her back. The blades shimmered and shone. A radiant light circled the hilts. A low hum accompained the drawing of the swords. Alexis stood straight. Drawing in breath to calm herself she began to ascend the stairs. It was no use trying to fool the dragon. It would know if she tried to decieve it. Many had tried and died!
    "It needs to know who I am" she thought. "I will stand straight and show no fear."
    The dragon had heard the drawing of the swords! He was momentarily stunned by the sound of the swords. It had been decades since he had seen the swords!
    "Could it be?" the dragon wondered. "Impossible" he thought.  He could not only hear the swords but he also felt their presence. Whoever carried them was coming up the stairs!
     A primal wave of both fear and wonder gripped him. The dragon braced himself. The warrior coming could have summoned him to kill him. Once, the warrior who carried these swords was his
companion. But that was a long time ago, in a different era and place. This warrior could not possibly be...

Next: Episode 3 - Talking to a Dragon

The Dragon - Episode 1

The Dragon decended from the sky. She hadn't really believed it would come to her summons, but here it was. As the dragon landed on the roof of the pagoda, the entire building shook with its' weight.
Calling a dragon was a serious matter. It would do her bidding but, what was the cost ? She had many enemies. Those enemies would pay now for their insolense. Revenge was her goal. And the dragon would be her instrument of revenge. Soon her nemesis would be in a grave.
"Would she join them?What would the dragon ask in return," she wondered.*

*This is a short story written by Shady Sommers.

Friday evening

Hi, everybody. How's it going? It's going to be a busy morning. Did I say morning?
Yes the time difference from Ohio and Japan is 13 hours. So Japan's evening is Ohio's morning.
Morning time is the best time for me to study. I'm fresh and have lots of energy.
I plan to work on some translations and then I will read the student blogs. Compared to a Japanese newspaper, the langauge of the blogs is easier for me to read. If you have any questions please contact us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's a joke(クリック)

Hi, How's it going? I read the student blogs everyday. It's very interesting to me. Oh!, by the way,
I posted a video on my you-tube site.(上記、クリック)
Please watch it and see if you can understand it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I half to go

Hi, How are you? I'm fine.
Please look at this sentence: I have to go. If I say only the word "have",I say it just like the dictionary. However, when I use it in a sentence it becomes "half". I half to go.
This is why we teach Sound Stream. Each sentence has it's own sound and flow.
The pronounciation of the individual words can change. My advice is this: Take a new word and make a sentence out of it.
For example: friend,  I don't use this word by itself! I always use it in a sentence. "He's my friend,etc."
Please listen to sentences, memorize the sentences, repeat my pronounciation. If you have questions please contact me or Mr. Sakurai.

One more thing; I don't think it will take 100 years to learn English, be easy on yourselves!!!


Friday, October 30, 2009

New Student blogs.

     First of all, welcome to the new students who have agreed to study "Sound Stream English".
Each student is writing a blog. I plan to read these blogs everyday.
In comparison to  NewspaperJapanese, it's relatively easy for me. From today's reading I only made a few mistakes. What's important for me is to understand the students problems with their studies. Many of the same issues the students face, I face too. One of the students wrote: English is my old enemy(宿敵). I thought this was both funny and appropriate. I often feel the same way. Instead of "old enemy", I prefer to use the word "nemesis". This word has a more sinister(悪巧み) meaning to it. I will continue to read the blogs and we will talk more tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hi, how's it going? I've been following the the blogs of the new students. It's very interesting. More on that later, sorry.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ohio*(クリック)*Click Here!

Hi、 there. There's a video on my you-tube. Please click the link!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cleveland Ohio

This is Cleveland, Ohio. I was born here. I live about 25 miles outside of Cleveland in a city called Eastlake. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a famous professional basketball team. Shady also lives here.
This picture was taken from an airplane flying over Lake Erie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Columbus Ohio

     This is Columbus Ohio. Columbus is the capital of Ohio.
It is also the largest city in Ohio. Columbus was founded in 1812.
It became the capital in 1816. The population is about 1.7million
people in the metro area. There is a deep economic connection
between Japan and Ohio.
     Let's talk more about that tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gabe's interview?  わかりましたか。




Michael:  Hi, what's your name?

Gabe:      Gabriel.

Michael:  What's my name?

Gabe:       Mike.

Michael:  Uncle Mike. (MichaelはGabeのアンクルでGabeが

Gabe:      Uncle Mike.

Michael:  How are you Gabe?

Gabe:      Good.


Have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gabe's interview (クリック)

Here it is, the Gabe interview.

Click the link and watch!

Can you understand him?

Monday, October 5, 2009


Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Puggin' Hood

"Hi, I'm Puggin Hood!"

"I take from the rich and give to the poor."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lake Erie is one of the five "Great Lakes"

Can you see where Ohio is?

What is on the other side of Lake Erie?

Maybe somebody can help, Here comes a special news report! It's TV newsdog Winston Bullhill.


This is Winston Bullhill. We interupt this blog for a special report.
This was just received by our news department. The answer to
"What's on the other side of Lake Erie?" is ....Canada! Yes, shocking news. Full report at 11:00. This has been Winston Bullhill.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lake Erie in the morning (エリー湖)

Grey skies in the morning. This is Lake Erie. What's on the other side?

grey skies- 灰色の空
other side- 向こう側

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's welcome our new quest...Darth Vadar

DV:     Hi, how are you?

Shady: Welcome. What's your nane?

DV:     I'm Darth Vadar, dark lord of the Sith.

Shady: No your not, your a pug in a halloween

DV:     Be careful. I may strike you down.

Shady: That's a nice costume. It's scary.

DV:     Thanks, I bought it at Wal-mart.

Shady: You bought it?

DV:     Yes it was on sale. My real name is Pug Puggins,

Shady: Thank you very much Mr. Puggins.

DV:      May the force be with you.

halloween costume- ハロウーンの衣装
scary- 怖い
real name- 実名
on sale- 特価
strike down- (人)を殴り倒す
bought-  買いました 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday News

Good evening. I'm Winston,
and now the news.
Rain in Ohio!
Yes, a lot of it.
The forecast is calling for rain all week. That's not good. That means we'll all get our feet wet when we go for a walk. Hopefully, the weather improves next week. Until next time, this has been Winston Bullhill with the news, good night.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Hi there. Today is Saturday. And I have to work today.
I don't like to work on Saturdays, but I have to.

This is a picture of my girlfriend.........No, not really. That's
Shiva Alomar form Resident Evil 5. Yes, I'm playing that game
when I have a chance.

I'll be back with more pictures Monday Evening. Have a good weekend.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Say hello to Willie. This is our new dog. She's a female.
Do you think she's ugly?
Anyway, I have a new friend to keep me company during
the day.
I hope she doesn't eat my food! That would get me angry.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


"Hi Every body!"
This is my nephew Noah. He's cute, huh?
Noah is almost 2 years old.
His hobby is eating and playing with Shady.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Hi, Good morning. Look at this picture of a horse warrior.
Where is this statue? For what reasons is this man famous?
He's name is Kusunoki, Masahige. Can anybody tell me about him?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bastille Day(クリック)

Fiona: I think they had fun at the party.
Jade: Yes, there was lot's of food.
Fiona: I want to have a party!
Jade: That's a good idea. When shall we have it?
Fiona: How about... July 14th?
Jade: What's special about July 14th?
Fiona: Don't you know? It's Bastille Day.
Jade: What's that?

(continued tomorrow)

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Party

Fiona: Who's that?
Jade: That's Michael's 2 year old nephew, Noah.
Fiona: He looks tired.
Jade: Yes, he was.
Fiona: 4th of July looks like fun in America.
Jade: Yes, by the way, do you know who was America's
1st ally?(同盟国)
Fiona: Of course I do. It was France!
Jade: Yes, that's true! Thank you Fiona and all the French
Fiona: No problem.

4th of July Party

Fiona: What are they doing?
Jade: They are trying to break the "Pinata".
Fiona: Why?
Jade: Because, there is candy inside.
Fiona: I see. Who is that?
Jade: That's Michael's 6 year old nephew, Gabe.

4th of July Party

Fiona: Who is that?
Jade: That's Michael's 3 year old nephew, Peter.
Fiona: They were having a party!
Jade: Yes, a birthday party for Peter and his brother Gabe.
Fiona: And it was 4th of July party, too?
Jade: Yes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Jade: When I go to Korea, I want to buy a nice handbag.

Fiona: Korea is good for shopping, there are a lot of handbags there.

Jade: How was the food?

Fiona: It was good, but hot.

Jade: Do you mean, "spicy".

Fiona: Yes, very spicy.

Jade: When are you going back to Korea?

Fiona: Maybe next year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fiona in Korea(クリック)

Jade: How much was your hat?

Fiona: It cost only one dollar.

Jade: One dollar? Where did you buy it?

Fiona: I got it last month in Korea.

Jade: Korea? Wow! Did you like it?

Fiona: Yes, shopping was very cheap.

Jade: Next time I want to go.

Fiona: Yes, let's go together.

Jade: I'd love that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fiona's Hat (クリック)

Jade: Where did you get your hat?
Fiona: I bought it at the store?
Jade: How much was your hat?
Fiona: My hat was very expensive.
Jade: It looks good on you. (よくにあいます)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

American Black Bear(クリック!)

The American Black Bear is the most common species of bear in North America. It is native to 41 of the 50 states including Canada and Northern Mexico.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who is it?

Jade: Who are you?
Fiona: I'm Fiona.
Jade: What are you?
Fiona: I'm a French Bulldog, " oui, oui."
Jade: What are you wearing?
Fiona: I'm wearing my birthday hat!
Jade: Happy birthday to you!


Hi. My name is Jade. It's nice to meet you. I write and edit this
blog....with Shady's help. I will be answering your questions.
First of all, the black bear is rare to Ohio and doesn't live here anymore. Secondly, I can say "Toy Boat" fast 3 times.
Toy Boat
Toy Boat
Toy Boat wasn't that hard. I will answer the riddles for you tomorrow. Meow! Meow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

 Black Bear

The Black Bear! Is this animal native to Ohio?


native to ~ 原産。

Toy Boat

How did you do? Could you say, "Toy boat" 3 times, fast?
I can't even do it.

What's white on the outside, gold inside and round all over?

Answer tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The answer to yesterday's riddle (なぞなぞ)is Friday. That was a difficult one!

Today I have a tongue twister for you. Tongue twister is 早口言葉。

Say this as fast as you can-  Toy boat, Toy boat, Toy boat  

It's difficult even for me.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What's black and white and read all over? a newspaper

Today's Riddle: If yesterday had been Wednesday's tomorrow and tomorrow is
Sunday's yesterday, what would today be?

Animal word- Bat (コウモリ) You drive me batty! 日本語でなんといいますか。

Look for the answer tomorrow. 明日答えます。See you later!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cold Dog

Good Morning- The answer to yesterday's riddle is "Cold Dog". Miss Peaches was the only student to get it correct.

Today's Riddle- What's black and white and read all over?

Animal Word time! Squirrel.(りす)I squirreled it away for later.なんという意味ですか。

Have a good day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's Riddle (今日のなぞなぞ)

  What's a hot dog called before it is cooked?わかりますか。

If my Japanese is incorrect please write and tell me about it.


How are you? 元気ですか。今週、Lesson、が沢山あります。I'm happy. Let's study.

Good Morning

おはようございます。What's happening? Give me a call!

Monday, June 15, 2009


I thought I was done recording the first 500 expressions. But after reviewing the recordings,
I decided to re-record the 500. This will take me most of the day to do. Tomorrow, I have to go out of town for 2 or 3 days. So, I had better finish today.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


It's Saturday morning. How are you? I finished the first recordings for the web-shop. I recorded the first 2 series of English expressions. I completed Series 100 & Series 200. I sent them to Tokyo for Mr. Sakurai for use with his web-shop. I have 3 more series of one hundred sentences each to record. I will try to do 2 more series today and the final one Sunday. This will complete the recording of the 500 original sentences. The recordings will soon be available on the web-shop for download soon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Computer problems

2 days ago, I set out to upgrade my computer. I had some problems. I broke the graphics card
and needed to have it repaired. So yesterday, I was off-line. Today everything is running fine. I
upgraded the memory from 2 to 4 GB and I added a 5oo watt power supply to replace the 300
watt supply I had. In the near future, I will replace the graphics card. The computer is now running fast and quiet.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MP3 Maker 15

I decided to upgrade my audio program. I was having problems with exporting mp3 files
on line with the Audacity program. So, I spent some extra money and bought the MP3 Maker
15. This is the newest program available for Vista. I like it so far. The recordings I have made are good, But the user's manual is not so good. The explanations are not clear enough for me.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Good morning. How are you?. It's Monday morning in Ohio. Back to work for me. I don't have to work with the family's business, but I will start to make voice recording this week.
I need to purchase a new microphone before I can start. I need a noise-cancelling microphone for these recordings. I also need to write some more new lessons this week. So, it looks like a busy week. Contact me if you want!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I'm back. I was busy last week working. I work in the family business. We install carpet and flooring. This week, I have little work so I'm back teaching English this week. I also will be writing new English lessons: Romance English and Medical English. See you later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Here are some more words listed in Roget's College Thesaurus: announce, state, proclaim, declare, pronounce, articulate. These are listed under Enunciate. See if you can use these words in a sentence. All students should have a Thesaurus. It's very useful to have. I use mine all the time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Enunciate- to utter or pronounce, esp. in a articulate or a particular manner: to enunciate the words clearly. When you speak English, please enunciate clearly. Open your mouth, make your voice understood. Let the listener hear you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Vacation

Today is the start of summer vacation for school children. Summer vacation will last from now until Labor Day in September. This is an old custom. Children during the summer would assist at their family farm. The time period used to be longer, about 4 months. Nowadays, it's about 3 months or less. There are students who are preparing for college or early graduation
that will go to school through out the summer.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I submitted my first draft of Skype English expressions. There was over 140 expressions. I'm sure there will be a few more added to the list. I have started working on a new text. This text is for a student who is a nurse. So these expression are medical English. There are some specialty words, however, many of the expressions also have ties to everyday English.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Skype English

I worked on useful expressions for Skype, today. I've compiled a list of over 150 expressions. I also went over the grammar and spelling once. I'll do it again tomorrow.
Maybe, Friday I'll submit the first draft. I'm sure there will be revisions and changes.
My next project will be romance English. This project will be more extensive and will take me more time. I have to work the next 2 days in Youngstown, Ohio. See you in a day or two.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

American Idol, Lost and Johnny Depp

American Idol, Lost and Johnny Depp. These were the themes of the lessons I wrote yesterday. My advanced students needed something more interesting to study than traditional
lessons. Actually, I was getting bored with the material I was teaching them,too. I asked the student what was their favorite thing related to English. The answers I received were American Idol, Lost and Johnny Depp. It didn't take long to write. These lessons are advanced, they're
loaded with idioms and slang. But, this is the way we talk. The students love the lessons. Now each of the students gets to study their favorite subject in English. I can't always do this for every student. However, I do now have a varied and extensive list of lessons for the student.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the US. It is a federal holiday, all banks, schools and post offices are closed today. It is observed on the last Monday in May. Formerly, Decoration Day, it commemorates the men and women who have died in the military service. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer in Ohio. Have a good day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I completed my first draft of Skype useful English expressions. I organized it into categories. Tomorrow, I'll look it over. I plan to finish with it by Tuesday. Afterwards, I'll start a project with romance English expressions. This list will take longer to write than the other one. I'm not sure how I will organize it. But, I'll figure it out.
Tomorrow is a national holiday here in America. I'll talk more about Memorial Day in tomorrows' blog. Monday is the official holiday. But today, I'll go to my nephews' house for a barbecue. I'll be home Monday and Tuesday, so if you have any questions about Memorial
Day, please feel free to ask. Bye for now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Lessons

I've completed the first 3 advanced and intermediate lessons from a romance English story written under my pen name of Shady Sommers. Its' title is "Chance Meeting at the Beach." I plan on using this with my students over the next week or so. If the students like the lessons, I plan on continuing the story to include 9 lessons plus a optional "Forbidden" 10th lesson.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Romance English

I have completed chapter one of a romance English story. What is romance English? Stories about love. My intention was to write an interesting story about a man and a woman meeting.
I also wanted to blend in everyday English conversation to the love story. I have shown the lesson to 2 students. Their reaction was very positive. Both students want to continue to study the lesson. There are 2 versions of the story. One is the original text. This is the advanced version. The second is an intermediate version of the same story. The intermediate version
is of course easier. Each version contains 3 lessons. I plan on publishing an except from the story on this blog in the next few days. My students seem to like Romance English so far. I wonder if I will be writing more Romance English?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What's high in the middle and round on both ends? Can you solve this riddle? Here's your hint: the answer is the name of a place.
I downloaded a series of animal pictures to my computer. I plan now to make a slide-show of them. I'll use it in the next children's lesson. I'm curious to see how it will turn out. Good luck with the riddle!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Childrens' English

I just finished the lesson with the 8 year old boy. This was the first full lesson. It lasted a full 30 minutes. I was able to easily hold his attention for 30 minutes. I was very surprised. He did very well, and so did I. He wasn't use to my pronunciation at first. However, it wasn't really a problem. I purchased a new web-cam and it was very useful. The boys' mother was present during the lesson. She only helped a few times. Soon, I think we won't need her. I will have a another lesson with him this weekend. I not ready to make any conclusions about teaching children yet. However, it looks promising. We had fun and learned.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My web-cam stopped working during a lesson. That was too bad . I was teaching a child when the cam stopped. I had to quickly switch to pictures. Fortunately, I used my good pictures of Ginger and Shady. I purchased a new LogiTech web-cam. Now, I'll install it and hope it works for tomorrow morning. There's another lesson scheduled. I really need the web-cam when I teach children. Even though I'm only experimenting at teaching children, I feel it's good to use it.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I did the lesson with the 8-year old boy yesterday. It went pretty good. He was able to sit still for 15 minutes. I think that might be a good time limit for young boys. His pronunciation was also very good for what few words he knew. I'm still researching this. I'll prepare some conclusions next week. This week, I have another lesson with the same student. I hope he does good. I'll let you know.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to teach a child English

I do not have the answer to that question, yet. However, I'm going to get a chance to learn. Basic English will be easy for me to teach. But, how do I hold the attention of the student? The length of the lesson will only be 10 minutes to start. This is only a learning experience for me. At this time, I don't teach English to children. In the future, this may change. I'm going to use pictures and my web-cam for this lesson. I hope the strength of my personality can save the day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Children's English

I've been asked to teach an 8 year old boy using Skype. His mother will be present for the lesson. Her level of English is only about intermediate. I think I'll teach and prepare her first. A slide-show of pictures is a good idea. I'll run a series of pictures for him to look at. This will keep his attention. His mother can act like a translator/helper during the lesson. I plan to continue to research children's education. I don't think this is going to be easy. I'll keep you posted. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

American Pit Bull

How about this picture? Shady is a pit bull like the one pictured. They are big and strong. However, Pit Bulls are very gentle dogs as you can see by this picture.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Making friends on Skype

It's never easy to make good friends anywhere. There are good people using Skype. My Japanese friends and students always turn on SkypeMe mode and sit back and wait for contacts. Commonly, they receive rude and unwanted messages. My advice is for the student to make contact first. Search for people you want to talk to. Then, compose an introductory message. Americans appreciate and are grateful if you contact first. This is quite natural. We will talk more about this. Please contact me and I will show you a good way to contact people on Skype. Bye for now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day. Mother's Day is a holiday originally started in America. In 1912, Anna Jarvis championed the idea of a Mother's day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson sign it into law making the second Sunday Mother's Day. Once again, Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

English Workshop

Congradulations! Mr. Sakurai. Your new web-shop is a very good site. I wish you the best success in your endeavor. And thank you for allowing me to assist you. You will certainly provide the best possible services to your students.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What to do on Skype

If all you want to do is type in English, you can do it on Skype. However, you miss the main point of Skype. Skype allows us to talk directly. English is a language which means it was spoken first then written down. Use Skype to speak! Besides it is faster to speak than to type. We'll talk more about this again. Bye for now.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Yes, Skype. It's an easy way to talk to someone in a different country. Skype is owned by E-Bay, the on-line auction house. Skype accounts are free, all that is needed is a computer. Skype can be linked to a cell phone also. I'm using Skype now. How about you?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How many times a week do I need to study?

The answer of course varies with the student. Lessons 2 or 3 times a week allows the student the chance to memorize and then use their English. The more the better. We'll talk more about this later. Say hello to Ginger, everyone!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let's Talk

Good morning Japan. How are you? English is a spoken language, not just for typing. We offer 10 minute and 30 minute conversation lessons. Contact us for more information about scheduling and content. By the way, Shady had a bath, and is all clean and nice. I have 2 conversation lessons today. Tomorrow, I'll let you know how things went.

Friday, April 24, 2009


What kind of dog is Shady? Shady is an American Pit Bull. She is now over 6 years old. I found Shady abandoned in a parking lot when she was a puppy. I felt sorry for her so I took her home. She has been a good friend and companion to me for a long time. I always have a smile for Shady.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


What's up? What's happening? What's new? What's going on? All these expressions have different translations but they also function as a greeting as well. When I use one of these expressions, I'm asking you to tell me something interesting or new about yourself. Your response should be to tell me anything you want. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

P.S. This is a picture of Shady. Do you like her? This is a very nice girl. And also very, very friendly with people.