Category Archives: Teaching

On Not Speaking English in Japan

I recently helped some Taiwanese students come to town.

Posted in Teaching, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

On Being Selfish in Japan

I remember my high school French club. The kids smoked too young, wore black turtlenecks and talked about Camus, or more precisely, “spoke of Camus.” The German club ate strudel, listened to unbearable polka and occasionally invaded the French club.

Posted in Culture Shock, Teaching, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged | 11 Comments

On Awkwardly Consoling Japanese Schoolgirls

There are only so many things I know how to say in Japanese. I’ve learned that none of them can stop a 15-year-old Japanese girl from crying.

Posted in Culture Shock, language, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

On Teaching English as an Out of Body Experience | 英語は儚いです.

Language exists inside of our skulls and escapes through the tongue: What Nabokov called “A fat sleek seal flopping so happily among the familiar rocks.” It’s a chunk of flesh that helps us push ideas out from our squishy insides … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Teaching, Thinking, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

On Textbooks | 教科書

I went shopping in Cambridge, MA this weekend for teaching materials for the Language Lab. This is challenging: Teaching high school kids, you don’t want anything that will come off as condescending or boring, but you also don’t want to … Continue reading

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