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FOREVERGREEN: Evergreen Language School Podcast

FOREVERGREEN: Evergreen Language School Podcast

By Russell Johnson
Hosted by Evergreen Language School in Yutenji, Tokyo, we talk about English and Japanese study tips, what's new at Evergreen, and other topics.

On this podcast, I invite instructors, staff members, and students to talk about their interests, the school, studying English, Japanese, or any other language, and just about anything they want to talk about. We will also have 'mini' lessons to learn grammar, vocaulary, idioms and expressions, Kanji (Chinese writing style), and more.
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Season 3 Episode 1: Hiking, Climbing, and Rollercoasters (Part 1 of a 2 Part Discussion)
Neil and Russ discuss Hiking in Kamakura and climbing Mt. Fuji. Then they discuss amusement park rides at Fuji Q Highland in Japan and Magic Mountain in California. Useful Phrases: "It could get colder than this." = It's not so cold. "You can see for miles." = You can see for miles. "Egging everyone on" = Encouraging others - for example "You can do it!!" "Hayabusa" = Peregrine Falcon "...get a kick out of someting..." = to enjoy something
January 15, 2022
S2E37: Phrase of the Week: 'Take it with a Grain of Salt'
Maurice and Russ discuss a mutual friend and the genius animator, Hayao Miyazaki. TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT: Do not believe 'everthing' someone tells you because they like to stretch the truth. A: I think we may have a mutual friend. B: Really? Who? A: Yoshi. B: Yoshi who? A: Yoshi Otsuka. B: Yea. Yea. I know Yoshi. Who do YOU know him? A: We met several weeks ago at an art class in Tokyo. B: Yea? A: Yea. A group of artists get together weekly and draw models, still lives, etc. You know. B: Yea... A: Anyway, we started talking during one of the breaks. He’s a really interesting guy. B: Really? How so? A: Well, he was telling me how he met Hayao Miyazaki while on a tour at Studio Ghibli. B: (Tsk!) He told you he Met THE Hayao Miyazaki while on a tour at Studio Ghilbi? A: Yea. B: I was ON that tour with him. A: You don’t say. B: Yea. And on that day, we saw Hayao Miyazaki’s car. I believe it’s a Citroen 2CV. A: Sounds about right. B: Anyway, it was backing out of the driveway, and we caught a glimpse of it, but honestly, I don’t think Miyazaki was driving it. A: How do you know? B: Well, Hayao Miyazaki doesn’t have curly, black hair, last I checked. A: (Chuckle) Hmm. I see. B: Anyway, Yoshi tends to stretch the truth a bit. He’s a nice guy, but you should definitely take his stories with a grain of salt. A: I hear you...Hmm. Say, speaking of Hayao Miyazaki, I hear he’s coming out of retirement to do one more movie. B: You don’t say. A: Yea. B: Yea, I…You know, I’m not surprised because he keeps telling everyone he’s finished and then he says, “No. One more!” A: Um Hmm. B: And I’m just like, ‘Hey man, why don’t you just tell the world – just be honest – work until you die.’ A: (Chuckle) B: Just tell everybody, just, “I’m gonna work until I die. That’s it. You know, I’m not retiring anymore. A: Exactly, you know, it’s like umm…If you retire what is he going to do? That’s the only thing that he really can do, right? B: Exactly! So you could say making movies in Studio Ghibli is the ‘Ikigai’, the ‘rasison detra’. Um, the reason that he gets up in the morning. A: Yea. B: So. A: Exactly. B: I don’t blame him, hey it’s really hard to uhh fill your day up if you don’t have anything interesting to do. A: Yea. I just wish that he would do something a little more daring. B: (Chuckle) A: Not the traditional 10-year old boy, 12-year old girl. 12..oh..12 – 10… Do something else. You know? He’s 80. He’s 81 now. B: Well, I mean. If it’s broke. They say if it’s (NOT) broken, don’t fix it, right? A: Yea… B: So, he’s made a lot of money. He’s gotten to this point, he is Hayao Miyazaki with all those little boys and girls, you know? A: Which is why this is the perfect time to take a chance. He’s already proven himself repeatedly. B: You think so? A: I know so. B: Have you talked to him before? Have you met him? A: I saw him backing out of his driveway once. B: (Laughter) The conversation continues...
December 01, 2021
S2E36: Useful Phrases: "THIS ISN'T MY FIRST RODEO"
Listen to Russ give safety advice to Maurice. Maurice deflects it by saying that he is not a novice. Listen to the different ways he says this. VOCABULARY: 1. This isn't my first rodeo: I have experience in this situation./ I am competent. 2. I've been around the block: I have a lotof experience in something. You cannot fool me. 3. You could say that: It is partially true./ a sarcastic way of saying that what someone said is true. 4. Regardless: despite the prevailing circumstances. 5. I wasn't born yesterday: —used to say that someone is unlikely to believe something that is not true or to trust someone who is not trustworthy. 6. sketchy: untrustworthy/ used to describe a person, place, or thing that may be dangerous or untrustworth, like 'a sketchy part of town.' 7. seedy: disreputable and trustworthy. -'a seedy person' or 'a seedy part of town' Russ: So, what do you have lined up for this weekend? Maurice: I’m going to meet up with some friends, and we’re going to hang out in Kabukicho. R: Kabukicho, on a Saturday night? M: Yea. What’s the problem? R: Better be careful. I hear it’s a pretty rough part of town. You know, like don’t go into any back alleys, and don’t talk to strangers, and don’t drink too much there, and ... M: Listen, Russ, this isn’t my first rodeo, OK? I mean, I’ve been around the block, alright? R: Really. M: Yea. Remember; I’m from Atlanta. College Park to be exact. R: So, you’ve seen a lot of things, right? M: You could say that. R: Regardless, people are stressed out these days, and some of them are starting to lose it. M: Hmm. You’re referring to the train incidents...with people setting fires on board, right? R: Right. Now, I know you weren’t born yesterday, but just try not to take unnecessary risks. M: Unnecessary risks...? Like What? R: Like going to certain areas at night that might be sketchy. M: Sketchy? R: Yea. You know? Potentially dangerous. M: I know what it means, Russ. I don’t find that area sketchy or seedy at all. I feel totally at ease there. R: OK. If you say so. M: I DO say so. R: Excuse me! M: You’re excused.
November 10, 2021
S2E35: "Hayakuchi Kotoba" TONGUE TWISTERS
Mako, Maurice, and Russ have fun trying to say Tongue-Twisters. Please joing along. 1. 'Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.' 2. 'Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.' 3.  'If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.' 4. 'How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?' 5. 'Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.' 7. 'Rory the warrior and Roger the worrier were reared wrongly in a rural brewery.' 8. 'Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.' 9. 'I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won't wish the wish you wish to wish.' 10. 'The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.' 11. 'Can you can a canned can into an un-canned can like a canner can can a canned can into an un-canned can?' 12. 'Thirty-three thirsty, thundering thoroughbreds thumped Mr. Thurber on Thursday.' 13. 'Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.'
November 09, 2021
S2E34: 'It's Halloween' with Mako, Maurice, and Russ
What can I say? Halloween is just around the corner. I wish children in Japan went 'Trick or Treating'. It would be nice to open the door and look at all of the costumes while handing out candy. In this episode, Mako, Maurice, and I discuss Halloween memories like going to haunted houses, trick or treating, bobbing for apples, and watching Charlie Brown cartoons. Song: 'The Great Pumkin Waltz' - Vince Guaraldi
October 27, 2021
S2E33: THE PHRASE OF THE WEEK 'To Let the Cat out of the Bag' w/Maurice
Listen to a short story about someone 'letting the cat out of the bag' and answer the questions below. Look at the new vocabulary first. The answers are at the bottom. NEW VOCABULARY a: duties: a responsibility (職務) b: confidential: intended to be kept secret (マル秘) c: to be fired/ to fire (someone): to be terminated from your job for something that the company deems was your fault (クビになる) d: procedures: an official way of doing things (手順) e: to ensure: to make certain that something will happen f: colleagues: a co-worker - someone you work with (同僚) g: to reveal: make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others  h: violation: the breaking of a rule (違反) I: to disclose: make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS 1. What was one of Maurice’s duties of his job? a. to fire people b. to share information c. to keep secrets d. to keep people involved 2. Who was complaining about the job? a. Maurice b. the person being fired c. the person doing the firing d. other employees 3. When Maurice says, “I slipped”, what does he mean? a. He fell down. b. He made a mistake. c. He fired someone. d. He found a cat. 4. What does ‘Let the Cat out of the Bag’ mean? a. to tell someone information that was supposed to be kept secret b. to lose a cat c. to go shopping d. to fire someone 5. What is the main point of this story? a. It is difficult to fire people. b. You should be careful not to disclose secret information. c. Cats are quick. d. Do not talk to other co-workers at work. answers: 1.c  2.d  3.b  4.a  5.b
October 27, 2021
S2E32: (PART 2): Marius and Russ Discuss Deep Space (Advanced English)
This second part of the conversation transitions to Marius' college town to space, space exploration, and sci-fi movies. 1. Space is Cool!     Deep Space: 深宇宙 outer space (the physical universe beyond the earth's atmosphere) 2. Uchu Sen Kan Yamato (Star Blazers): a sci-fi Japanese animated television series that started in 1974. 3. What’s your favorite planet?     Terraforming: テラフォーミング "Earth Shaping" 4. Michi Tono Sogu (Close Encounters of the Third Kind): a 1977 sci-fi movie written and directed by Steven Spielberg.      Budweiser: Budweiser is an American-style pale lager produced by Anheuser-Busch, part of AB InBev introduced in 1876. 5. Serious Space Talk     The Final Frontier: 最後のフロンティア (a part of a country, region, etc. that is the last to be settled, explored, or developed.)     The Space Time Continuum: 時空間連続体 any mathematical model which fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time         into a single four-dimensional manifold.     Free Will: 自由意志the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.     Misnomer: a wrong or inaccurate use of a name or term.     Worm Hole: ワームホール a hypothetical connection between widely separated regions of space–time.
October 26, 2021
S2E31: (PART 1) Marius and Russ~German University Towns and Buying Cigarettes as a Kid
Murius and I like to jump from topic to topic sometimes. He has an interesting point of view on many subjects. 1. Retaining New Vocabulary     ito: intention 意図 2. The Weather     Slush: partially melted snow or ice     Bamburg: a town in Germany     Heidelberg: a town in Germany 3. Marius and University 4. University Towns and Food     Doner Kabab: a type of kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. 5. Drinking, Voting, and Voting Ages     Juxtaposition: 並置 side by side     Bitter: having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet. 6. Buying Cigarettes as a Kid
October 26, 2021
S2E30: "宇宙へ行こう!! - Let's go to Space!!"
Maurice, Mako, and Russ talk about going to space. They talk about their favorite planets and their astrological signs. モーリス、マコ、ラスの3人は、宇宙に行くことについて話しています。自分の好きな惑星や星座についても話しています。 PEOPLE DISCUSSED 1. Yusaku Maezawa: former CEO of ZOZO Town and billionaire 2. Jean-Michel Basquit: American Modern Artist (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) 3. Richard Branson: a Billionaire NEW TERMS AND VOCABULARY 1. neglect: fail to care for properly 2. up close: クローズアップ 3. yellow dwarf: 黄色いドワーフ 4. gas giant: a large planet of relatively low density consisting predominantly of hydrogen and helium, such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune. 5. Pluto: めいおうせい (Meiousei) 6. Saturn: どせい (Dosei) 7. Neptune: かいおうせい (Kaiousei) 8. Libra: てんびんざ 9. Sagitarius: いてざ 10. LongーWinded: Someone who talks a lot (at tedious length) Come join us at Evergreen Language School! Visit our webpage at!!
October 20, 2021
S2E29: Mako, Maurice, and Russ Discuss 'Squid Game' (No Spoilers) and Childhood Games
What games did you play as a kid? I have fond memories of playing games with neighborhood kids even until after dark. I never got tired of playing these games. We also discuss reading scary books and Japanese Traffic Signals. NEW TERMS: 1. Binge Watch(ビンジ・ウォッチ): To watch multiple episodes in rapid succession 2. Eerie(不気味): 3. Spooky(スプーキー) 4. Case in Point: for example 5. Formulaic: Set rules (predictable) 6. Pennywise: A scary clown from the Stephen King book ‘IT’ 7. Double Whammy: A double setback or unpleasant effect 8. High Five: High Touch
October 19, 2021
Autumn Campaign ~ TOEIC Bridge Lessons!!
Come study TOEIC Bridge at Evergreen Language School. 店の上、お申し込みいただくか、お電話(03.3723.4785)またはホームページ(で詳細をご確認ください。
October 19, 2021
Let's listen to a little more of this conversation. Try to answer the questions below. The answers are at the bottom. 1. The author thinks that people __________________ speak loudly in museums. a. should b. shouldn’t c. will d. didn’t 2. “We’re not studying for the SAT test.”-Why did Russ say this? a. It isn’t necessary to be so quiet. b. It is necessary to be quiet. c. He is not prepared for the test. 3. Russ thinks that if everyone is doing it, it’s _____________. a. Not o.k. b. O.k. 4. Russ suddenly changes the topic. Why did he do this? a. He has no confidence. b. He wants to yell in a museum. c. He noticed that someone left their computer on the table. d. He likes society. 5. “I think that’s pretty bold.” -What is Russ referring to? a. Someone leaving their computer on the table. b. Someone taking her computer. c. Someone yelling in a museum. Answers: 1)a   2)a   3)b   4)c   5)b   
October 19, 2021
Let's sharpen our listening skills once again as we listen to the two discuss a piece of art hanging on the wall in front of them as they sip their coffee. Listen carefully and answer the questions below. The answers are at the bottom. 1. “…later down the road…”probably means which of the following? a. in a different town b. on a different street c. later in the conversation d. on a different day 2. “…but you planted that idea in my mind quite early in the conversation, didn’t you?”-What does this probably mean? a. She thought about starting a garden. b. She gave him an idea indirectly c. She didn’t give him an idea. d. She gave him an idea directly. 3. Why did Russ ask her “on a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rank this art”? a. He wants to know how she feels about it. b. He wants to sell her the art. c. He wants to buy the art. d. He cannot count well. 4. “I think you’re focusing on the red. You’re not focusing on that ___________ background.”-Fill in the blank. a. grand b. bland c. brand d. gram 5. “So __________________ depends on people.” – Fill in the blank. a. interpretation b. communication c. understanding d. information 6. Which room does he think the art should go in? a. the kitchen b. the living room c. the bathroom d. the bedroom Answers: 1)c  2)b  3) a 4)b 5) a 6) c
October 19, 2021
S2E26: FREESTYLE (Unscripted) Phrase of the Week ~ 'Let Your Hair Down'
I usually write out the Phase of the Week, but this week, I will shoot from the hip. This week's phrase: LET YOUR HAIR DOWN means to relax and not care what others think about you. NEW PHRASES: Break from the Norm: Do something you don't usually do. Shoot from the Hip: To do somethin without preparation Freestyle/(Freestyling): to improvise Get the Gist of Something: To understand the main point of something Literal Meaning: taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or exaggeration. Figurative Meaning: departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical. Kick Back: To Relax Crack Open (a book): To read a book I Digress: To go off topic when speaking Shuten (終点): The Last Stop
October 16, 2021
S2E25: Ei San and Russ Discuss DAIKANYAMA, TOKYO
Ei San and I continue our talk as we discuss the town of Daikanyama, Tokyo. In all of these years, I have only been there two or three times. I have a lot of curiosity about this town. Ei San answers some of my questions.
October 16, 2021
S2E24: Ei San and Russ Discuss Italy, Nagano, Izu, and Hakone
Ei San, one of our students at Evergreen Language School, and I sit down after her class and 'shoot the breeze' (チャット)  about travel, art, and rice wine. Listen to how the topics lead from one to another quite naturally. Topic One: How to dress in ‘in-between’ Weather Topic Two: Taking a Pleasure Train (Introduction to the topic of Travelling) Topic Three: Travelling to Italy Topic Four: Italian Art Festival Topic Five: Nagano Expo of 2005 Topic Six: Domestic Travel Topic Seven: Sake and Rice Topic Eight: Methods of Travel Topic Nine: Izu and Hakone
October 16, 2021
エヴァグリーンランゲージスクールの秋のビジネス英語キャンペーン: Autumn Business English Campaign at Evergreen Language School
ビジネス英語 秋のキャンペーン エヴァグリーンランゲージスクールでは、「ビジネス英語キャンペーン」を開催中です。 今から2021年12月21日まで、ビジネスクラスのレベルチェックと体験レッスンを無料で実施しています。また、登録料も無料です。 利用できるのは、「対面」クラスのグループレッスン、プライベートレッスン、セミプライベートレッスンです。 オンラインプライベートレッスンを受講すると、無料で15分追加になりますので、50分レッスンが65分レッスンになります。 ビジネス英語には4つのレベルがあります。初級、初中級、中級、上級の4つのレベルがあります。 l 初級クラスでは、自己紹介の練習、仕事上の問題についての話、各国の料理についての話、面接の練習などを行います。 l 初中級クラスでは、キャリアプランの話し合い、交渉術の練習、企業での接待のロールプレイ、製品のプレゼンテーションなどに取り組みます。 l 中級クラスでは、ミーティングの管理、ネットワーキングの練習、お金の話、職場での倫理についての話などを行います。 l 上級クラスでは、フォーマルなビジネスレターやインフォーマルなビジネスレターの書き方、Eメールでの対立解消、交渉の練習、電話会議のロールプレイなどを行います。 祐天寺と自由が丘の2校あり、駅から徒歩2分の便利な場所にあります。 Evergreen Language School is now holding a Business English Campaign. From now until December 21st 2021, we are offering free level checks and trial lessons for business classes. There is also no registration fee. Available are ‘Face to Face’ classes group, private, and semi-private lessons. If you take a private online lesson, you will get an additional 15 minutes free of charge, so a 50-minute lesson becomes a 65-minute lesson. We offer 4 levels of Business English: Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced. In Elementary Classes, we practiceintroductions, talk about problems at work, discuss food from different countries, practice interviewing techniques and more. In Pre-Intermediate Classes, we work ondiscussing career plans, practice negotiating skills, role-playcorporate entertaining, present products and more. In Intermediate Classes, we work on managing meetings, practice networking, discuss money, talk about ethics at work and more. In Advanced Classes, we write formal and informal business letters, work on conflict resolution in e-mails, practice negotiating, role-play teleconferencing and more. We have 2 convenient locations, Yutenji and Jiyugaoka, both only 2 minutes from the station on foot. There’s no time like the present. What are you waiting for?
October 14, 2021
S2E23: Idiom: 'Pass it Down' (The Watch): A Short Conversation
To Pass Something Down means to give something to a younger person, usually someone within your family. To Pass Something Down: 年下の人に何かを与えること、通常は家族の誰かに You can pass down different things like the following: a family recipe (家族のレシピ) a piece of jewerly (宝石のような一品) a wedding dress (ウェディングドレス) a camera (カメラ) shoes (靴) etc... (などなど。) 1. Pass (something) down: to give something to a younger person, usually someone within your family. 2. Sentimental Value (感傷的価値): the value of an object deriving from personal or emotional associations rather than material worth. 3. Look After (something) (誰かや何かの世話をする。): to take care of someone or something 4. A Burden (負担) : a load
October 09, 2021
S2E22 Magnitude 5.9 'What Were You Doing?' マグニチュード5.9 '何をしていたのですか?'
Listen to what one person was doing during the recent trimmer in Japan. 先日の日本の地震の際、ある人がしていたことを聞いてください。 Podcast: Welcome to Night Vale 'Faceless Old Woman'
October 09, 2021
S2E21 Phrase of the Week: 'A Fish out of Water'
To feel like A FISH OUT OF WATER means to feel awkward or unhappy because you are in an unfamiliar situation. TRANSCRIPT a. How was your camping trip last week? b. Oh...the camping trip. a. Yea. How was it? b. Let’s just say that I was like A FISH OUT OF WATER. a. That bad, eh? How long had it been since you went camping? b. How long had it been? It was my first time. a. So, what happened? b. Well, I didn’t know how to do anything. They asked me to pitch a tent. I didn’t know how to do that. They asked me to collect some firewood. I didn’t know how to do that. They asked me to build a fire. I didn’t know how to do that either. I felt like A FISH OUT OF WATER. (chorally) a. So, why did you go? b. For the hotdogs and beer!! a. Hotdogs and Beer? What are you talking about? I meant, why did you go if you didn’t know how to do anything? b. I don’t know. I figured someone would show me how to do them.
October 09, 2021
S2E20: 'Jit and Russ - Walk and Talk'
Jit and Russ take a walk around the streets of Yutenji after his (Jit's) Japanese lesson at Evergreen Language School. Listen in as they discuss coffee, architecture, Kanji, mountain climbing, and more. Jit と Russ は、エバーグリーンランゲージスクールでの彼(Jit's)の日本語レッスンの後、祐天寺の街を散歩しました。コーヒー、建築、漢字、山登りなどについて話しています。 Part 1: Curry & and Old Toyota Part 2: Buildings & Humidity Part 3: Architecture & Coffee Part 4: Does Anyone Live Here Anymore? Part 5: Beans and Water Part 6: Japanese Class Part 7: Kanji & Street Signs Part 8: Kanji Kanji Kanji Part 9: Black Mountain Climbers and Mt. Everest Part 10: Which Way Are You Going?
October 08, 2021
S2E19: Phrase of the Week: 'Bite the Bullet'
To "bite the bullet" is to “accept the inevitable impending hardship and endure the resulting pain with fortitude”. The phrase was first recorded by Rudyard Kipling in his 1891 novel 'The Light that Failed.' to bite the bullet」とは、「避けられない差し迫った苦難を受け入れ、その結果生じる痛みに不屈の精神で耐える」ことです。この言葉は、ラドヤード・キップリングが1891年に発表した小説「The Light that Failed」の中で初めて記録したものです。 NEW TERMS 1. down: sad/depressed 2. hold the phone: Wait a moment. 3. duck out: leave secretly 4. It's not the end of the world.: It's not as bad as you think./あなたが思っているほど悪くはありません。 5. Bite the Bullet: accept or confront a difficult situation 6. Here goes nothing.: used when one is about to try doing something new, difficult, or unpleasant~ "I've never skied before, so here goes nothing." 7. A Slap on the Wrist: a mild/liht punishment 8. Lucky you.: used to express envy at someone else's good fortune./は、他人の幸運を羨む気持ちを表すのに使われます。 PART 1 a. Are you OK? You seem down. b. I have a meeting with Ms. Garcia. a. What about? b. I don’t know. She sent me an email saying she wanted to see me in her office at 1pm, but I don’t think I’m going to go. a. Wait, hold the phone. She scheduled a meeting with you, but you’re not going? b. I don’t think so. I think I’ll duck outearly. a. Did you do something wrong? b. Well, I called in sick a few days last week. Then I was late twice this week. a. OK. Well, it’s not the end of the world, right? b. I guess not, but I’m just not in the mood for being yelled at. a. Just BITE THE BULLET and go and see her. It probably won’t be as bad as you think. b. (Sigh) OK. Here goes nothing. (knocking on door sound.) Hello? Ms. Garcia? PART 2 a. So, how did it go? b. Not bad. Not bad at all. She just told me to be careful and to give more notice when I call in sick. She also told me to try to be on time. a. Hmm…She gave you a slap on the wrist. Lucky you. b. Yep! That’s exactly what I got.
October 06, 2021
S2E18 - Eavesdropping in Autumn
We sit down again for another eavesdropping session. Try to answer the questions below. The background music is a little loud, so listen carefully. The answers are at the bottom. 1. Which one is true? a. She doesn’t eat brown rice at restaurants. b. She eats brown rice at home. c. She doesn’t eat brown rice at home. 2. How did she finish this sentence? “But anyway, I ________________________ today.” a. want rice b. didn’t have c. had 3. Which statements are not true? Choose 2. a. She likes all kinds of sandwiches. b. She doesn’t like any kind of sandwiches. c. She has never eaten a sandwich. d. She likes chicken sandwiches. 4. What day is it? a. Friday b. Saturday c. Sunday 5. Which statement is true? a. She will wake up at 8am to watch a new show. b. She will wake up at 8am to watch a news show. c. She will wake up at 8am to watch a new news show. 6. Which statement is true? a. She watches one news show on Sunday morning and another on Saturday evening. b. She watches one news show on Sunday morning and another on Saturday morning. c. She watches one news show on Sunday morning and another on Saturday afternoon. 7. Fill in the blank. “Some news channels...or some news sources...they only ________ the surface.” a. slim b. spin c. skim answers: 1.c  2.c  3.b/c  4.b  5.b  6.a  7.c
October 05, 2021
S2E17 -Eavesdropping Again! 'Noisy Cafe Listening Practice'
1. Let's try to listen in on another co,nversation. The cafe is especially loud today with the clatter of dishes, the cleaning of machines, and music, but it is possible to EAVESDROP on this pair. 1. "He gets better with age." - What does this mean? a. He is better when he is older. b. He was better when he was younger. 2. Most of the protagonists are... a. spies b. 10-year old girls c. old ladies 3. According to the woman, which is true? a. Hayao Miyazaki doesn't support women. b. Hayao Miyazaki doesn't care about women. c. Hayao Miyazaki cares about women. 4. Which one is true? a. Russ does not want to meet Hayao Miyazaki. b. Russ would like to meet Hayao Miyazaki. 5. What would is the woman trying to think of? a. stubborn b. combative c. argumentative 6. How old is Russ's grandmother? a. 10 b. 92 3. 80 7. Russ thinks his grandmother should _____________________. a. stop smoking b. meet her hero c. continue smoking. answers: 1.a 2.b 3.c 4.b 5.a 6.b 7.c
September 25, 2021
S2E16: Neil and Russ, Birds and Photography
It has been over a month since Neil and I have sat down for a chat. It was great catching up with him. We discussed our favorite past imes, or hobbies. The bird on the cover is the 'rose-winged parakeet' that Neil talks about. If you listen closely, you can hear it, too.
September 25, 2021
S2E15 PHRASE OF THE WEEK: 'Back to Square One'
BACK TO SQUARE ONE This means ‘back to where you started...and that you have made no progress’. You will need to start ALL over again. Perhaps, this time, with a different plan, a more successful one. Let’s listen to two short conversations to see how this phrase can be used. USEFUL VOCABULARY a. rack your brain: try really hard to remember or think of something b. figure out: discover the answer c. to crash (of a computer): when a computer program stops functioning properly and exits d. Hello, Stranger!: jokingly said to someone you know but have not seen for a long time. e. come up with: to produce or think of something when pressured or challenged f. curn out: to produce something quickly, like ideas, books, etc. g. rack (our) brains: try hard to think of or remember something CONVERSATION #1 a. What’s the matter? b. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to install this program? a. What kind of program is it? b. It’s just a photo editing program. Anyway, I finally figured it out when the computer crashed. When I turned it back on, the program was missing, so now I’m BACK TO SQUARE ONE. a. Listen, it can’t be that difficult. b. But, it is that difficult. It’s all in Japanese. a. Isn’t there a language option that allows you to switch to English? b. No. I’ve already checked. a. How about this button? b. I said I already che.... Hmm. That’s funny. I tried that before, but nothing happened. a. Well, it seems to be working now. b. ... a. Excuse me. I didn’t hear that. b. THANK YOU! a. You’re welcome. Hmm, it seems like it wasn’t such a big problem after all. Now, let’s listen to another short conversation. CONVERSATION #2 a. Hello, Stranger! b. Oh, hey Russ. a. What’s up? b. Well, you remember I was trying to raise money to start a bird-watching school for kids and teens? a. Yea. I remember that. How’s it coming along? b. Well, it WAS coming along fine. a. WAS? What happened? You didn’t lose the money, did you? b. No! I’m not that careless. a. Then what happened? b. Well, it seems it’s a lot more difficult to raise money than I thought. a. So, are you BACK TO SQUARE ONE again? b. Yea, basically. I’ve gotta come up with some new ideas. a. How about after work we get together and try to churn out some ideas? b. Oh, we can rack our brains. a. Alright. Sounds good. Sounds good. b. Yea. Ok. See you then.
September 25, 2021
S2E14 PART2 Jit and I Sit and Talk (AUTUMN THEME)
This is the final part of the conversation between Jit and Russ. Try to answer the listening comprehension questions below. The answers are posted at bottom. 1. Jit went to Yokohama this month to eat Abura Soba.  a. True b. False 2. Russell has never had Abura Soba. a. True b. False c. Not Mentioned 3. When Russell says, “I think that’s kind of sad,” what does he mean? a. His dog is sad. b. He has not been anywhere new recently c. He has never eaten Abura Soba. 4. Russell can use _____ different stations to get to work. a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 5. “I guess in the sense of Corona, going anywhere outside of your house is probably ‘frowned upon’…” – What does “frowned upon” mean? a. It makes you sad. b. It makes others sad. c. Other people disagree with it. 6. What river borders Kawasaki and Yokohama? a. The Tsurumi River b. The Tama River c. The Yagami River 7. When did Jit go to the Tama River? a. Last Monday b. Last Sunday c. Last Friday 8. Which statement is true? a. Jit ate lunch at the Tama River. b. Jit ate lunch after he went to the Tama River. c. Jit ate lunch before he went to the Tama River. 9.  What is Russell’s biggest fear? a. Seeing a dog in the grass b. Walking in grass without shoes or socks on c. Seeing a bear along the river 10.“I can do it on dirt. I can do it on concrete.” – What does “it” mean? a. swim b. walk without shoes or socks on c. eat lunch ANSWERS 1.b 2.c 3. b 4.c 5.c 6.c 7.a 8.c 9.b 10.b
September 19, 2021
S2E13 ~ PART ONE Jit and I Jump from Topic to Topic (AUTUMN THEME)
I, once again, sit down and chat with Jit after his lesson. Jit is one of our students studying Japanese here at Evergreen Evergreen Language School. Jit teaches me a lot about life in his country of Nepal and how he adapts to life here in Japan. I enjoy listening to his perspective on topics like seasons, food, and his interaction with strangers. Topics PART 1 1. Hair 2. Autumn is Coming 3. Seasonal Foods 4. Seasonal Festivals 5. Dashain 6. Tika 7. Autumn Foods PART 2 8. Talking to Strangers in Japan 9. ‘ADI’ Restaurant 10. The Cleansing Power of Spicy Food I like spice in my food. However, I can’t handle, OR, my stomach can’t handle too much spice. I have a sensitive stomach. I guess you can say My stomach is my 'Achilles Heel' (アキレス腱). He It’s because I ate too much spicy food in my youth, I guess. Jit mentioned the ‘Dashain’ festival is from Nepal. I’ll have to read up on this more and ask Jit more questions about it later.
September 19, 2021
S2E12 More Eavesdropping (with Questions)
Let's get ready to eavesdrop!! Listen to this conversation in a bustling coffee shop and see if you can answer the questions below. 1. What is the topic of this conversation? a. How to hire new models b. The height of models c. The thinness of models d. The salary of models 2. According to the woman in the conversation, nowadays in Japan, we can see young Japanese models who... a. are super thin b. are a little larger than usual c. like to grin d. like to sin 3. Which one did the man say? a. “15 ... 16 years ago” b. “50 ... 60 years ago” 4. According to the man in the conversation, the idea of beauty... a. never changes b. changes 5. Where is ‘Twiggy’ from? a. America b. England c. Canada 6. According to the woman, what used to be a symbol of wealthy people? a. being overweight b. being underweight c. being of average weight 7. According to the man, which was true in the past? a. It was fashionable for rich people to be the same weight as the rest of the population. b. It was not fashionable for rich people to be the same weight as the rest of the population. c. Rich people did not think about the weight of other people.
September 18, 2021
S2E11 Another Moment with Marius Part 2 - Talking with Strangers
Marius and I finish our conversation this week discussing talking to strangeres in Japan.
September 18, 2021
AUTUMN CAMPAIGN: Autumn Campaign 'JLPT' Lessons
エヴァグリーンランゲージスクールで日本語能力試験の勉強をしてみませんか? 10週間コース 登録料無料 9月25日(土)スタート Come study for the JLPT test at Evergreen Language School! 10-Week Course No Registration Fee! Starts Saturday September 25th
September 17, 2021
S2E10 Another Moment with Marius - The Guitar Man Part 1
Marius, one of our students studying Japanese here at Evergreen Language School, and I sit down and discuss playing guitar, trying to be quiet around the house, learning Japanese through reading articles, and learning and remembering Kanji. 'The Guitar Man' by Bread - 1972 This is part 1 out of 2.
September 17, 2021
S2E9 Phrase of the Week ~ "Bite Your Tongue!"
This week's new phrase is 'Bite Your Tongue.' Let's listen to two examples of it in two separate conversations. USEFUL PHRASES: 1. "Don't get me started...": Used to shorten a conversation or avoid a topic. Example: a. What did you think about Junko's new boyfirend? b. Don't get me started. a., you didn't like him. I understand. 2. "Bite Your Tongue!": Don't say that! / You should not have said that! 2a. "I bit my tongue.": I didn't say anything. 3. "Good Call.": You made a wise decision. CONVERSATION #1 a. Did you enjoy the party? b. Actually, it was more like a ‘get together’. a. OK. Did you enjoy the ‘get together’? b. It was ok. a. Just ok? b. It was pretty good. a. How was the food? b. Don’t get me started on the food. a. Hmm...It was that bad? b. Yea. a. Did you say anything about it? b. I wanted to, but I decided to BITE MY TONGUE, instead. I didn’t want to be rude. a. Good call. USEFUL PHRASES: 4. "...Not My Cup of Tea.": It wasn't my style. / I didn't like it. CONVERSATION #2 a. So, how did you like my performance? b. Your performance? a. Yes, my singing? How did you like it? b. Hmm… a. Well? You heard it, right? b. Yes, I heard it. a. So? b. Well, it really wasn’t my cup of tea. a. What? b. It means that I really didn’t like it. a. I know what it means? b. Have you ever thought about taking singing lessons? a. BITE YOUR TONGUE!! b. What? I’m just being honest! a. You’re just being a (Bleep!)
September 17, 2021
S2E8: Phrase of the Week ~ "I've Got Bigger Fish to Fry."
BIGGER FISH TO FRY:  to not be interested in something because you have more important, interesting, or profitable things to do. I didn't pursue it in detail because I'm afraid I had other fish to fry at the time. *take credit for (something): to allow people to believe that one did something that deserves praise or special attention - "I did all the work, and she took the credit." *ancient history: something that is already long familiar and no longer new, interesting, or relevant. TRANSCRIPT A: Knock Knock? Busy? I just saw Matthew. He’s in his office now. B: So? A: So??? Weren’t you looking for him? You told me he stole your presentation idea and took credit for it. I thought you wanted to get back at him. B: That’s ancient history. A: ...It was last week! B: I don’t have time for suck pettiness. I’VE GOT BIGGER FISH TO FRY. A: Like what? B: If you must know. I’m trying to land this new client. And if I do, it could mean a raise and a promotion for me. A: I get it...But what about Matthew? B: I’ll deal with him later. A: Ok...By the way, do you need any help? B: Yea, you can close the door on your way out. SLAM!!!
September 10, 2021
S2E7: 'CURRENT EVENTS' 時事問題~ Food Waste
Here at Evergreen Language School, we specialize in teaching conversational English and Japanese, reading, writing, listening, test preparation, business, KIDS English and so on. One of the other things we love to do is discuss CURRENT EVENTS 時事問題. We do this in classes and in our Saturday afternoon LOUNGE from 12pm - 12:50pm. Here is one of the topics we are discussing this week. Please listen and follow along by reading the transcript below. Also, come and join us for 1-free LOUNGE or sign up for online lessons. TRANSCRIPT Food Waste: "I read recently that Starbucks decided to do their part to reduce food waste. This is how – They will be marking down select bakery products by 20% several hours prior to, or before, closing. In addition, they will donate part of the revenue of these discounted sales to a local non-profit which provides meals for children across Japan." What do you think about this? "I started working at a fast-food restaurant near my house when I was 16 and worked there for 2 years. This was back in the 80’s. Each night, after closing, we had to count all of the cooked leftover food – that means the hamburgers, the French fries, the apple pies...Mmm...I loved those fried apple pies. I still do, but now, I have to watch my waste line. I remember when they started baking their apple pies instead of frying them. They were still good, but not as good. I don’t go to fast food restaurants for healthy food. I go there for a guilty pleasure. I digress. Where was I?" "Oh yea. So anyway, we had to count the food at the end of the day. Then, depending on which manager was working that night, we were either allowed to take that food home for free, OR we had to throw it away in the trash. Throw it away in the trash? I never understood the logic behind that. Right? Ok, so you don’t want your employees to take it home and eat it because...maybe you don’t want them to get sick and sue the company? Ok. But it wasn’t sushi, which has a very short shelf life. A fast-food hamburger can sit on your table for a month and still be eaten, right? They’re loaded with preservatives. They last forever." "Anyhow, if the food is unsellable, meaning it can’t be sold, but is still edible, or can be eaten, there are other choices aside from throwing it out. Right?" "Let’s go back to that 20%. Ok. They reduce the prices of some of the food items by 20%. How about if the store closes at 9pm, but now it’s 8:30pm, and there is still a lot of food left? Will they mark it down to 50% or to 75%, or will they just throw it out if it’s not sold?" "So, we’re talking about avoiding food waste AND donating revenue to non-profit organizations to help those who are in need of food." "What do you think about this? Are restaurants and other food industry businesses doing enough to help curb, food waste and to help those who are in need of food?" NOW, LET'S SEE WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS TOPIC...
September 07, 2021
S2E6: "Let's Go Shopping!!!" - Pt.1 (with NARRATION)
I love going shopping in Japan. Follow the NARRATION below as you listen. 1. So, the Kosui nashi is just a category of pear. It has no particular meaning. 2. So, the Kodowari nashi just means ‘more special’. The word ‘kodowari’ can be used for many different things. It just means that, for example...a kodowari ‘aji’ – ‘aji’ means ‘taste’, so it’s a special taste, but his word is reserved for...many something that’s hand-made, and it’s not like mass produced in a factory. There’s a limited amount. 3. When we’re shopping, I like to keep things moving. 4. She says it doesn’t look that good, but since it’s only 300 yen, that she just wants to try one. 5. I’m a little superstitious, so when we’re shopping together, I don’t like it when someone walks between us. It’s like their an invisible rope or something that connects us, so I have to walk in front of that person to walk around them. It’s an old habit. 6. A ‘biniru-bukuro’ is a plastic bag. 7. It seems like half of what we buy goes inside a biniru-bukuro. 8. Of course, we recycle and reuse them at home. I use it at work, I try to make sure that each plastic bag gets a lot of mileage before we’re finished with it. Mileage...means usage. We use it a lot before we throw it away. 9. I usually eat bananas before and after running. She asks me if I want bananas. I already know what the answer is, but I think about it anyway. 10. We usually get flowers when we go shopping, and since they’re right by the entrance, we get those first. But, I think we should get them last because they might get crushed by all of the other things that we buy, but she says if we wait until the end, there might not be any flowers left. But, there are always flowers left. 11. An ‘Eringi’ is a kind of mushroom. These days, you can find them all year ‘round. They’re really good in nabe, stir-fry, and spaghetti dishes. I’m sure there are many others, too. I like mushrooms; I’m a mushroom man. 12. Next, we get kimchee. We eat kimchee a lot. I used to put kimchee on cheese toast. I called it ‘Kimchee Cheese Toast.’ I don’t do that anymore. 13. It seems like the public announcement system is continuous; it never stops. It reminds me of an Onsen trip we took in 1998. And, we were on the tour bus, and the bus guide spoke continuously, even when everyone was tired and sleeping, she was still talking. That’s what it reminds me of. 14. Saikyozuke – This is a kind of salmon with a paste on it, with Saikyo-miso paste; you fry it up in a pan or in the oven. Usually, every Thursday, we have some kind of fish plus natto and kimchee. 15. There is a store worker standing on a box, organizing items on the top shelf. It looks kind of dangerous. 16. The wheel of the cart sounds a little wobbly now. Hmm... 17. Sometimes, the translation is too easy – Osakana Sausage. 18. She asks me if I still want to eat cereal because summer is almost over. We usually eat cereal in the summer when it’s hot. 19.That’s a pretty interesting phrase - The Usual Suspects ~ It just means ‘the usual things that you do’ or ‘the usual things that you buy’ – ‘the usual people or things that are suspected or thought of in a particular situation. For example, “What did you have for breakfast? ~ Oh, The Usual Suspects...toast, eggs, bacon.” That’s what I usually have. “Who did you go to the concert with? ~ The Usual Suspects.’ 20. Next, we go to the egg section. I guess there’s an egg called the ‘Kiyora’ egg. I guess it’s the kind of egg. I don’t think it’s the company name. It’s just the egg brand. It reminds me of a trip we made to Gunma about 8 years ago. And, we stopped on the side of the road, and there was an egg vending machine. You could go there and buy fresh eggs. I’d never seen that before.........
September 06, 2021
S2E5: "Let's do some more EAVESDROPPING!!!"
Let’s return to the first episode of Eavesdropping and listen to a little more of the conversation. In this episode, there is still background noise. Listen to how the background noise becomes part of the conversation. Also, listen for digression, which means ‘getting off topic.’ This happens twice toward the end. Curry Queen: So, do you buy a newspaper? Russ: Uhh...Sometimes…- CQ: (Rewinding Sound done with mouth) How do you check the news? How do you get the news? R: How do I get my news information? CQ: Mmm. R: Sometimes, online. CQ: Mm. R: Uh. Sometimes, I get a lot of it from TV. CQ: Uhh...Japanese TV or... R: Japanese TV. CQ: Hmm! R: Yea. So, I get... CQ: To study Japanese. R: No, to get the news. (slight chuckle) CQ: Right. R: But, at the same time, a way to study Japanese, Yes! CQ: Hmm… R: Uhh...Yea! I get most of my news from TV, but...sometimes on Saturdays, uh, I get the weekend edition... CQ: Uh. Newspaper? R: ...of The Japan Times... CQ: Oh. R: ...mixed with the New York Times. So, some American, New York, international news plus some Japanese news. It’s a good combination. CQ: Mm. Eh. How do you think of Japanese journalism? You...can get enough information from the TV news? R: I don’t get all of the information because of the language barrier. But um...I think...(Sound of Machines Being Cleaned)I guess they have to clean the machines, huh?***(digression) CQ: Uhn... R: My God, I’m hun...I just realized how hungry I am. Just 10 seconds ago, I just got really hungry. ***(digression) CQ: Oh...Uh... R: It just hit me like that. CQ: Hmm... R: Umm...’Un! Shun Shun Shun Shun Shun!!!...’ (Imitating the noise of the machine) CQ: Very disturb us. R: Yea. They are the disturbers. CQ: Intentionally. R: Inten...Yea, it is intentional. CQ: Because you didn’t buy a drink. R: Yea, so they’re taking it out on me. Um...But your question was... CQ: Well, I feel that Japanese journalism, especially TV news? R: Yea. CQ: Is very...superficial. R: Superficial? I think so, too! It’s not...It’s no HARD-HITTING. CQ: Mm... R: You know? Like, there’s a war going on, or like the U.S. is pulling out of Afghanistan, for example. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but their TOP STORY... CQ: Mm... R: …is something insignificant. CQ: Mm. R: You know? CQ: Mm... R: So, that’s not good for society, you know? CQ: Mm... R: ...Tell us what’s going on around the world, too...You know? CQ: Mm... R: So, that’s how I feel.
September 05, 2021
S2E4: PHRASE OF THE WEEK: 'Reinventing the Wheel'
PHRASE OF THE WEEK: Reinventing the Wheel To reinvent the wheel means to do something again, or try to improve something that is already perfected and cannot be improved. I love this idiom. I remember my old boss, Tom Davis, using this term with me when I was trying to recreate teaching material that already existed. To reinvent the wheel is a form of wasting time without realizing it. When you think about it, the wheel is a perfect invention. How can you possibly make it better, by making it rounder? Impossible, right? In the following conversations, you will hear this idiom used twice. What is the situation, and do you agree with Jun in the end? NEW TERMS: 1. What are UP TO? = What are you doing? 2. What's SHAKING? = What are you doing? TRANSCRIPT: PART 1 Russ: What are you up to? Kenji: Excuse me? Russ: What’s shaking? Kenji: Pardon me? Russ: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Kenji: Oh, I’m just making a PowerPoint for next week’s presentation. Russ: But, didn’t Cathy already make a PowerPoint last year on this same subject? Kenji: Yea, I think so, but I think it needs to be updated. Russ: Updated? Are there any new updates to add to it? Kenji: I’m not sure yet, but there might be. Russ: Listen, don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel. We have other things that you can be working on now. a. what? Russ: Like...I don’t know...uh...ave you finished making the new training manual yet? Kenji: No. Russ: Ok then. Keji: Ok then, what? Russ: Ok then, do that. Kenji: Now? Russ: Yes, now. ...Later, that same day... PART 2 Jun: What’s wrong? Russ: Oh, I just got through talking with Kenji. Jun: Oh yea? What happened? Russ: Well, he was spending all this time on making a PowerPoint that had already been made. I asked him why he was doing it, and he said it needed to be updated. Jun: Oh yea! That sounds like Kenji, alright. Always trying to reinvent the wheel. Russ: That’s what I told him! Jun: But, on the other hand, maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Russ: It’s a waste of time! Jun: Maybe not. Maybe, this is a good way for him to learn more about the job. Russ: Hmm...I see your point, but we have a lot of things to get done now. We don’t have time for that. Jun: OK. Whatever you say.
September 05, 2021
S2E3: 'Inside the Vault' with Marius
Let's reach inside the vault and listen to a short conversation between Marius and Russell that was recorded almost a month ago. We discuss hats, the Olympics, the heat, and summer fashion. I say 'the vault' because important things are kept inside vaults. In this situation, I am referring to old recordings that have not been uploaded yet. Vault:  金庫 "I don't need to look like Cary Grant." - Russell This means that it is not necessary for me to dress so stylishly and traditionally, like the actor, Cary Grant. " bring the Yukata back...I've not worn one, but they seem airy..." - Marius This means that people should start wearing the Yukata again on a normal basis because they seem to be comfortable in the summer.
September 02, 2021
S2E2: Conversation Ins and Outs: Repetition
Emphasis on the importance of intonation, pause, pitch, and REPETITION. NARRATION You will hear 2 short conversations about the same topic. The first conversation is longer and features short sentences and questions. Listen for how repetition, pause, pitch, and intonation are used. The second conversation is shorter and more to the point. In English, we use a mixture of these kinds of conversation styles for different purposes. CONVERSATION 1 a. Can you give me a lift? b. A lift? a. Yes, a lift. I need a lift. b. Where to? a. Where to? To the store. b. To the store? a. Yes. b. What do you need to get? a. What do I need to get? b. Yes. a. Some eggs. b. Some eggs? a. Yes...... So? b. So what? a. So, can you give me a lift to the store to get some eggs? b. ‘Fraid not. a. ‘Fraid not? b. That’s right. I’m afraid I can’t help you. a. Why not? b. Because I have a big exam coming up. a. Coming up? b. Yes, coming up. a. When? b. In a week. a. In a week? b. Yes, a week. a. OK. I’ll wait. …………… b. Well, you can’t wait here! a. I can’t wait here? b. No, you can’t. a. I can’t? Why not? b. Because you can’t. NARRATION Ok, that was over-exaggerated, but the main point of the repetition was for confirming information. It seems like they can’t really believe what the other one is saying so they have to repeat it. The repetition might also be used because they did not clearly understand each other. When he asked for ‘a lift’, which means 'a ride somewhere by car usually', she repeats, ‘a lift?’ This may be because she does not know what a lift is. It might also mean that she wants more explanation or details. She is not ready to give him an answer just yet. Now, let’s listen to a more direct version of this conversation. CONVERSATION 2 “Hey, can you give me a lift to the store to pick up some eggs. I’m afraid not. I got a big exam next week that I need to study for. Oh, I see. Ok. Thanks anyway. Sorry. No problem.” NARRATION Here, it seems like there is no confusion and that the two speakers understand each other fine. Therefore, there was no need for confirmation  repetitions. They may have misunderstood each other, but at the time of this conversation, they believed that they understood each other perfectly. Thank you for listening to ‘Conversation Ins and Outs’, and join us next time. “Next time?” “Yes, next time.”
September 01, 2021
Season 2 Episode 1: EAVESDROPPING 'Two Guys on a Train Talking about ANIME'
1.speaking off ______________ : used to introduce a remark about a topic recently alluded to. 2. to pick up: to buy something 3: to fit one's standards: to be good enough for someone - Some people have high standards with certain things like movies, food, or art. 4. calcified:hardened - In this context, it means that his standards are old fashioned and unable to change. 5. to prove one's worth: to show how good, useful, or courageous you are 6. to get rid of: to be free of something - to throw it away 7. genderize: to assign a gender to someone or something Maurice: I just asked...Speaking of manga, I just picked up a bunch of uh...’Assassination Classroom’. Russ: What’s that? M: It’s a manga and anime...ha ha...It might fit your standards. I don’t know. Hey, man, you’re getting kind of old, you know? Your standards might have gotten calcified over past few years, you know?...I don’t know. R: ‘Assassination Class-’ oh...Wait! Hold on...’Assassination Classroom’. M: Yea, because I was always interested because the main plot is the kids are trying to kill their teacher, so I’m a teacher, you know, and it’s like ‘OK, you have your worth by um...getting rid of the teacher, but the teacher’s teaching you how to kill him or trying to teach you how to save the world by killing being stronger than him, so... R: Is that an octopus? What is that? A squid? M: I don’t know, Man! He’s something. IT’S something. I don’t even want to genderize...It’s something. Yea, this is the first thing. I just picked it up. R: Oh, I see. OK. Well...Their background art is better than their character art. M: So, you’re particular about the actual characters themselves. R: I am particular about the art style – the... M: Ok so, Who..who...Which artist fits the bill for you? R: Well.. M: Highly stylized. R: Hayao Miyazaki is great, but I just wish he wouldn’t do everything about 10-year-old girls. Uh...Otomo Katsuhiro, the guy who did ‘Akira’. M: OK. R: And there’s one called... M: You’ve read the manga? R: I have the manga. M: You have the manga, ok. That was one of the first manga I actually, like read all the way through. R: And there’s one that came out called ‘Tekkonkinkreet’. Right here, 2006. Some of the best art style, most original Japanese animation style... M: I feel like I’ve seen some memes with these characters... R: Look at that! Look at that! That’s amazing! That’s amazing! M: Yea. That’s pretty cool! R: Now, that’s what I’m talking about. It has to be of this caliber for me to even sit down and... M: What about uh...What’s the dude? He did ‘Slam Dunk’. He did uh...He does ‘Vagabond’ as well. R: What’s that, a basketball story? M: Yea. ‘Slam Dunk’, but the next one he did was…yea, ‘Vagabond’...I feel like he did ‘Vagabond’, but I read ‘Vagabond’ – I was like, ‘Yea, they put a lot of detail in the background and also the facial expressions of the characters because it was based off of Musashi Miyamoto...if you...if you like that kind of stuff…
September 01, 2021
Episode No38b 'EAVESDROPPING': Upper-Intermediate Listening Practice and ANSWERS
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 1. She bought a radio. True or False?          Curry Queen: “My ‘Curry Queen’ story was taped again on the radio.” 2. This was her first time sending a message to the station. True or False?          Curry Queen: “My ‘Curry Queen’ story was taped again on the radio.”          Russell: “You sent a message to a radio station.”          Curry Queen: “Again.” 3. The host of the program and the program’s music are both positive. True or False?          Curry Queen: “The opening message of that program was very positive, but the personality of the radio program – he’s kind of…          Russell: “It doesn’t really coincide with the music.          Curry Queen: “I don’t mean he’s negative, but he’s not positive…He’s more cynical.” 4. The program host doesn’t listen to the program’s music. True or False.          Russell: "How did he respond?"          Curry Queen: "He never…He’s usually putting eyedrops in."          Russell: "So, he’s not really paying attention."          Curry Queen: "No." 5. The program host will change his behavior after reading her letter. Trueor False?          Curry Queen: "So, from now on, he’s paying more attention to the opening, and he will think how different from his attitude and opening             music." 6. She plans to send the radio station weekly letters. True or False?          Russell: "Is it your intent to send them a message every week?"          Curry Queen: "No." 7. Where do you think this this conversation takes place? Why do you think so? The answers may vary, but judging by the sounds of the machines in the background, a mixing machine, clinging and clanging noises, etc...and there were no outside sounds like cars, trucks, or birds, we can probably guess that they were not in a library, but in a place where it is OK to speak at a normal conversational volume. If you said a coffee shop, you are right!
September 01, 2021
Episode No41: "Phones are People, Too?"
Do you know what time it is? Do you wear a watch? Do you use your phone as a watch? Is time important to you? Does anybody really know what time it is? Just a short conversation about watches and phones ... with a silly ending.
August 28, 2021
Episode No40 Maurice and Russ Discuss Eavesdropping and Donuts
Just a short, sometimes silly, conversation that started off on the topic of 'eavesdropping' and turned into something else.
August 28, 2021
Episode No39: Daily Routines and Rhinos with Jitendra
I love how this conversation gets OFF topic then back ON topic again the ENDS then BEGINS again. It is a very natural and organic conversation. I hope you enjoy it. Topic #1: Jit's Japanese Lesson This Morning at Evergreen Topic #2: Daily Routines Topic #3: Running Away from Rhinos Topic #4: Daily Routines Topic #4: Fear and Animals Vocabulary and Terms Playing Possum: Pretending to be dead An Organic Conversation: An organic conversation flows naturally and allows each participant to add to the conversation without worrying about what they are going to say
August 26, 2021
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EVERGREEN英語学院/日本語学校 email: phone#: 03.3713.4958 webpage: We offer flexible online lessons to meet your needs. Contact us today!
August 26, 2021
Learn Business English at Evergreen Language School
祐天寺校ーYUTENJIー TEL 03-3713-4958 自由が丘校ーJIYUGAOKAー TEL:03-3723-4785 email:
August 24, 2021
Episode No38a 'EAVESDROPPING': Upper-Intermediate Listening Practice
Upper-Intermediate LISTENING PRACTICE: Have you ever eavesdropped on someone? What is eavesdropping? Eavesdropping is when you secretly listen to a conversation. Japanese say “盗聴:とうちょう” Tōchō. When learning a second language, this is a useful activity to help you with your listening skills. I do this sometimes when I’m waiting in line at the store, riding on the train, or just walking down the street. This activity can be considered rude, so please be careful while doing it. Let’s practice some eavesdropping for a few minutes on a conversation right now, shall we? First listen to the conversation straight through. Next, listen to it again while taking some notes. Finally, read the questions below then listen to it a third time and try to listen for the answers to the questions. Ok. Here we go! QUESTIONS: 1. She bought a radio. True or False? 2. This was her first time sending a message to the station. True or False? 3. The host of the program and the program’s music are both positive. True or False? 4. The program host doesn’t listen to the program’s music. True or False. 5. The program host will change his behavior after reading her letter. True or False? 6. She plans to send the radio station weekly letters. True or False? 7. Where do think you this this conversation takes place? Why do you think so? So, how do you think you did? It might have been a little difficult to hear because of the background noise, but when you are out in public, there is usually background noise, unless you are in a library or some other kind of quiet place. I will post the answers next week along with the transcript. Goodbye!
August 22, 2021
Episode No37: 'Insomnia' 不眠症
What happens when Insomnia sets in on a hot, summer night? Grammar: The simple present tense is primarily used to tell this story. NEW VOCABULARY Insomnia: inability to sleep - fuminsho(不眠症) Cacophony: a harsh mixture of sounds - sōon (騒音) TRANSCRIPT It’s 4:02am, and I have been lying hear awake since about 1:35am. So, I get up. I walk into the hallway and check on Poodle #1. His little poodle fan is on. I think he’s awake Next, I check to make sure the door is locked. I check to see if the door is locked maybe 8 or 9 times a day. It’s my job. Then I walk upstairs. I stop and look outside the window. I see no activity. Suddenly, a man in a white t-shirt rides by on his bicycle. He looks and sees me. I continue upstairs. I open the kitchen door. I look in the refrigerator. I’m not hungry, just looking. I think poodle #2 is awake. I turn on the fan. I turn the TV on. I look around. Ahh. I know this show. I’ve seen this show. It’s called ‘MUST BE UKTV’. It only comes on early in the morning. It’s a live house somewhere, somewhere in the UK. One Time One Night – I don’t know this song. But this performance was aired in 1987 February 20th. This was one month before my 16th birthday. Still 15. Not driving yet, but I was dating. The next group they show is The Smithereens, ‘Behind the Wall of Sleep’, on air 1987 January 30th. This seems like a group my, my old friend Chris would have listened to. I’m not sure. Chris and I used to draw a lot when we were kids. We’ve slowed down with our drawing these days, but we… try to encourage each other to keep going. I look outside; good, it’s still dark. I check my phone. Sunrise is at 5:04 this morning, in about 20 minutes. Next is ‘The Pretenders’. I like The Pretenders. The song is ‘2000 Miles’, on air February 1983. Wow! That’s going way back. I was only… I was only 12 then. I think I’ve changed a lot since I was 12. But in some ways, I haven’t changed much at all since then. Next, The Pretenders sing ‘Middle of the Road.’ I know this song. It’s famous. It makes me think of video game arcades of the early 80’s. Back then, in the early 80’s, they all had that same video game smell – spilled Coca-Cola, French fries, hamburgers, and dirty quarters. They also had the same sound, that same cacophony of electronic video game noises. Finally, I turn the channel, and there’s a show that shows Shinkansens travelling across Japan. That’s it, just Shinkansens travelling. And I wish I were on one...going somewhere in Japan. Well, it’s time to wake up now, I guess. Song List Los Lobos - One Time One Night The Smithereens - Behind the Wall of Sleep The Pretenders - 2000 Miles The Pretenders - Middle of the Road
August 22, 2021
Episode No36 Introducing, 'Jitendra'
Jitendra 'Jit' is one of our newer students here at Evergreen Language School studying Japanese. He and I sat down for a few minutes to talk about his origins and what he does here in Japan. I really enjoyed this talk and learned a lot from him.
August 19, 2021
Episode No35 Overseas Call
I call my mother and grandmother back home and talk about the weather, health, and forest fires. VOCABULARY AND TERMS Chronicles: a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence./to record (a series of events) in a factual and detailed way. 1. Drought: a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water. 2. Smokey the Bear: Smokey Bear is an American campaign and advertising icon of the U.S. Forest Service 3. Essential Outings: to go out of the house only for important things 4. to Catch up with You: If somewhere says that 'old age' is "catching up" with them, it means that they are feeling the effects of old age. 5. Grandfather's Clock: a song written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work. 6. 1968 Fisher Price Grandfather Clock: A Music Box Teaching Clock produced in 1962 and 1968 7. Fisher Price: An American Toy Company founded in New York in 1930 8. Hirai Ken: A Japanese R&B and Pop Singer
August 19, 2021
CRASH COURSE Episode No3 Suzuki Sensei and Russ (Japanese Lesson)
Suzuki Sensei always makes me laugh, even when she is teaching me Japanese. I am trying to say, "I became able to..." (learn Kanji), (play the piano), etc. She then shows me the difference between'は' and 'を'。Why do I alwaysmix these up? Thank you, Suzuki Sensei!
August 17, 2021
Episode No. 34 'Masks and Soccer'
Neil and Russell sit down for another Friday afternoon discussion. They discuss how they feel about masks and wearing them outdoors and and trains. They also discuss Olympic soccer.
August 15, 2021
Episode No. 33 'Rain'
A melancholy, rainy morning and Memories of Discovery Park NEW VOCABULARY AND TERMS: Coming Down: Raining Hard Shutter Island: a 2010 American film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and mark Ruffalo Mark Ruffalo: An American actor Stick Around: Doesn't go away- to remain Discovery Park: The largest park in Seattle located in the neighborhood of Magnolia Drizzling: Light Rain Sandbar: submerged or partly exposed ridge of sand or coarse sediment that is built by waves offshore from a beach Bluff: A steep bank or cliff Monster Stairs: A large, difficult flight of stairs to climb Song: "Seattle" by Perry Como -1969 Commercial: Army "Be All You Can Be" - 1981
August 15, 2021
Idioms (#8): "You're off the Hook!"
Listen to two co-workers argue over missing documents on a computer. NEW PHRASES 1. You got me. = I don't know. (casual) 2. Go Back and Forth = to continue arguing 3. You're off the Hook. = You are no longer in trouble. 4. Let Alone = used to indicate that something is far less likely or suitable than something else already mentioned. 5. Knucklehead: A stupid or foolish person Example: "He is not qualified to lead a children's baseball team, let alone a country." TRANSCRIPT OFF THE HOOK a. Did you touch this computer? b. Did I touch it? a. Yea. Did you use it? b. I think so. a. You think so? b. Yes, I used it. Why? a. Because I as working on something, but now it’s gone. b. All I did was print something out from my thumb drive. a. Well, then what happened to my document? b. I don’t know what happened to it. a. Who else used this computer? b. I don’t know who else used it? a. Did someone turn it off? b. You got me. Listen, as I already said, all I did was print something out from my thumb drive. a. Wait...Here it is! I found it! It was in the ‘Download’ folder.’ Whew! Ok. YOU’RE OFF THE HOOK. b. I’m off the hook??? I didn’t do anything wrong. a. You moved my document to the ‘Download’ folder. b. I don’t think I did. a. Then who did? b. Listen, I don’t want to go back and forth with you on this. You have your document, right? Good, so everybody’s happy….Wait!!! a. What? b. This is my computer. You were using my computer. a. Uh. Are you sure? b. Am I sure? Yes, I’m sure! You see this sticker on the back that says ‘Six Flags Magic Mountain’? It’s mine. I went to Six Flags last summer. It’s in Valencia, California. You’ve never been to California, let alone, Magic Mountain! a. I’ve been to California! b. Really? Ok, well, you’ve never been to Magic Mountain. a. Yes, I have. b. Ok, what is it then? a. It’s an ice-cream shop. b. It’s an amusement park, you knuckle head.
August 13, 2021
Episode No.32 Another Moment with Marius
Marius and Russell return to Evergreen Language School after their vacations and compare notes. They also discuss onsens and sports they enjoyed as children. *The painting was done by Hasui Kawase (May 18, 1883 – November 7, 1957), one of my favorite artists in the world. I can easily get lost in his paintings. The paintin is of 'Joshu Hoshi Onsen', which is in Gunma Prefecture, the same prefectre where I first enjoyed my first onsen.
August 10, 2021
Episode No.31 THE TRASH POLICE!!!
"One of my biggest PET PEEVES is when the neighbors don't throw their trash away in the correct container or on the correct day. Am I just being too NITPICKY? "               -The Trash Police- Pet Peeve: 人をむかつかせること Nitpicky: 細かい ***Actors were used in this story. These are not real arguments.***
August 10, 2021
Episode No.30: "Do you Binge Watch?"
BINGE VOCABULARY AND TERMS 1. to (become/get) sucked in(into) (verb): to become involved when you do not want to be involved. 2. binge (verb): indulge in an activity, especially eating, drinking, or taking drugs, to excess. 3. hangover (noun): a severe headache or other after-effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol. 4. to (become/get) sucked in(into) (verb): to become involved when you do not want to be involved. 5. in one sitting: during one limited period of time, without stopping 6. mind-numbing (adj.): tedious, dull 7. regardless (adverb): Without regard or consideration for. 8. zone out (verb): to lose concentration 9. eyes glued to (idiom): to watch something very closely for a long time 10. before you know it (informal phrase):very soon 11. fly by (verb): when time passes surprisingly quickly. 12. addicting/(Addictive) (adj.): You need to use something. It’s hard for you to stop using it. 13. scroll (verb): move displayed text or graphics in a particular direction on a computer screen in order to view different parts of them. 14. a fresh pair of eyes: Another person to examine or critique something 15. America’s Pastime (noun): Baseball - It has been the sport that defines America the most, playing a massive role in America's culture overall. 16. pastime (noun): an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby. TRANSCRIPT “The verb ‘to binge’ is defined as to’ indulge in an activity, especially eating, drinking, or taking drugs.’ This word is often used when discussing drinking alcohol or eating excessively. In college, you often hear about students binge drinking, which means to just drink and drink and drink. This kind of drinking often leads to severe hangovers the following day, or sometimes alcohol poisoning, and sometimes even death. “But, today, the verb ‘binge’ is often associated with excessive watching of television programs in one sitting on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu, for example.” “On days like today, a rainy day with typhoon #10 of the season passing by Tokyo and Chiba, it’s fun to binge watch television series online, even if they are mind-numbingsometimes. What I mean is that you kind of get sucked into some shows, regardlessif it’s good or not. Regardless if it’s what you want to watch or not.” “Soon, you’re sitting there with your eyes glued to the TV screen, or the computer screen, or the smart phone screen. You are zoning out, and before you know it, 2 or 3 hours have flown by. Where does the time go? Nobody knows. It’s all so addicting.” “Sometimes, when I ‘think’ I want to watch something, I log onto Netflix, and I scroll. I scroll and scroll, looking for something good to watch. If I don’t see anything, I start back at the top again. I might need a fresh pair of eyes, so sometimes I call a friend and ask them to log on, too and help me find something. Sometimes, I spend 30 minutes to an hour scrolling for something to watch. That’s the same amount of time it would take to actually watch a show. It has long been said that Baseball is America’s pastime. I think scrolling for something to watch is the new national pastime.”
August 08, 2021
Episode No. 29: Reminiscing about Bon Odori (Bon Dancing)
"I really miss Bon Dancing here in Japan in the summer time. It is one of my favorite things in life." 1. hop, skip, and jump: very close 2. kingyo sukui 金魚すくい: a traditional Japanese game in which a player scoops goldfish with a paper scooper 3. Kaseyama: A small 'mountain' in the Hiyoshi Village neighborhood of Kitakase, Kawasaki. TRANSCRIPT "One of my favorite things about living in Japan is attending Bon Odori festivals in the summer. This is something that we have gone two years without due to the pandemic. We live in ‘old’ Hiyoshi Village, which is in the city of Kawasaki actually,  just ‘a hop, skip, and jump’ away from the Yokohama border. Now, it’s primarily known as Kitakase. The first time I attended a Bon Odori festival was in 1997 at Kaseyama, a small mountain or hill, where Yumemigasaki Dobutsu Koen is located. Kaseyama was supposed to be the capital of Japan, and a castle was supposed to be built there by the samurai, Ota Dokan, but he had a bad dream about it, and thus decided to build the capital somewhere else in present day Tokyo. There is even a local bon odori song in his honor." (song) "Bon Odori actually originated in China. There, it was called the ‘Ghost Festival’ ...  in which ghosts and spirits, including those of deceased ancestors, come out from the underworld. People pay respect to them through music and dance. What I really love about Bon Odori is the atmosphere of it, the sound of the Taiko drums. We live close to Kaseyama, so it’s easy to tell when the festivities get started (sound of Taiko drum). We put on our yukatas and made our way up the hill, or “mountain”, with the other locals as twilight sets it. (music) There was a cool breeze; I remember back then that summer nights actually cooled off some. (music) Sadly, the old locals of our neighborhood are dying off and being replaced by new residents who are not really familiar to the neighborhood’s traditions. Some of them complain that the taiko drumming and people are too loud." (footsteps) "Some of the activities include games like ‘kingyo sukui’ or ‘goldfish scooping’, where the neighborhood children try to catch a goldfish using a paper scooper. It’s fun watching them concentrate so hard on this task just to get a prize that they will get bored of in a day or two. It's all part of being a kid. I was more focused on the music, dancing, hanging lanterns, drinking, and overall atmosphere." (musical montage) Selected Music: 夢見ヶ崎音頭/大塚文雄 真咲みどり - YouTube 日吉小唄 - YouTube 炭坑節 - YouTube
August 05, 2021
Idioms (#7): "Keep your Nose to the Grindstone!"
Studying and remembering Kanji is not easy. You must study it for a long time and not give up. In other words, you must 'keep your nose to the grindstone.' We use this expression all the time in the U.S. Sometimes, we shorten it, for example: son: "I'm tired of studying. Can I watch TV now?" father: "Nose to the grindstone, son! Nose to the grindstone." NEW PHRASES 1. To lose steam: to lose strength, force, or energy. 伸び悩んだ EXAMPLE: “She was leading in the 200-meter dash, but then she lost steam in the end and finished in 3rd place.” 2. to deteriorate: to become worse step by step. 悪くなる EXAMPLE: "My eyesight is deteriorating, so I need to start wearing glasses." 3. To face an uphill battle: a very difficult struggle EXAMPLE: “If you’re going to try to be a famous Hollywood actor, you will be facing an uphill battle.” Or “I’m having a rough uphill battle in English.” “私は英語で苦戦しています” 4. To say the least: to not describe something in the strongest way you could, often in order to be polite. *This phrase usually comes at the end of the main sentence. EXAMPLE: “Tokyo summers are hot, to say the least.” = They are very very very hot! いくら控えめに言っても 5. To keep my nose to the grindstone: to work hard and continuously. これからも頑張りたい。 EXAMPLE: “If you keep your nose to the grindstone, I’m sure you’ll do well in your college entrance exam.” 6. To jot down (something): to write something quickly or briefly like a name, phone number, or license plate number. 変形一覧 EXAMPLE: “It was nice meeting you. I have to go now, so can I jot down your number and call you soon?” 7. Wishful Thinking: the imagining of an unlikely future event or situation that you wish were possible. の部分一致の例文検索結果 EXAMPLE: “I think there is life on Mars. It’s not just wishful thinking. There is evidence.” Transcript KEEPING YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE "I’m going to start learning Kanji again. I have tried learning it before. I got started, but then I lost steam. I don’t know why. I think it’s interesting, and I know it’s necessary here in Japan. I think my problem is that I can’t remember the Kanji for a long time. I study it, and I learn it, but then I move on to the next character, but then I forget the first one I learned. Actually, it’s easier to recognize Kanji than write it, so reading it is easier than writing it." "I’m older now, so my memory is deteriorating, so I’ll be facing an uphill battle, to say the least. I’m not saying I’m not prepared for the challenge, but I want to be realistic." "I think...I think what I need to achieve this to just KEEP MY NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE and study a couple of hours each day. I also need to carry a Kanji journal with me to practice with and to jot down any new Kanji I see." "I think I can learn at least 20 Kanji per week. I hope this isn’t just wishful thinking."
August 03, 2021
Idioms (#6): Cutting Ties
A boss and subordinate are discussing their company's relationship with another company. NEW TERMS: Cut Ties: to end communications or a relationship             Example: "I think you should cut ties with him as soon as possible. I think he's becoming obsessed with you." Fed up with: to become bored with something (うんざり).           Example: "I'm fed up with with Tokyo's hot summers. Let's go to Alaska nexct summer." TRANSCRIPT: a. I think we should CUT TIES with ‘ABC’ Company? b. Why? a. I don’t know…I just don’t think this business relationship is working anymore. b. How long have you felt this way? a. Ever since they missed the deadline of our project last month. b. I see. So, you don’t want to give them a second chance? a. Actually, that WAS their second chance. I’m fed up with them. b. OK. You’re the boss. So, what do you want me to do? a. Call them up and tell them it’s over. b. Uhhh…I don’t think it’s that simple. a. Sure, it is. b. No, it isn’t. a. Yes, it is! b. I don’t think so. a. Who’s the boss? b. You’re the boss. a. Well then. b. Well then what?
August 01, 2021
Idioms (#5): "She's giving you the COLD SHOULDER
Two people discuss the ending of a relationship and why it happened. The meanings of the new terms are given below. TRANSCRIPT: a. Hey. I haven’t seen Elena in a while. How’s she doing? b. I don’t know, and I don’t care. a. Whoa!...What happened? Did you two have a falling out? *(a disagreement that causes 2 people to no longer be friendly with each other) b. Yea.I guess you could say that. *(It is partially true.) a. What happened? b. I don’t know what happened. She texted me and asked if I wanted to hang out, so I said “Yea! Sure!” a. Yea. And then? b. So, we were supposed to meet at 1:30, but I was running late. I couldn’t text her because I left my phone at home. a. Murphy’s Law! *(Whatever CAN go wrong WILL go wrong. 弱り目に祟り目“(よわりめに、たたりめ) b. Tell me about it. (I completely understand and agree.) Anyway, when I got to the meeting spot, she was boiling. *(Very Angry) a. Ai ai ai! *("Ooh!!!" or "Wow!!!": Also pronounced "Aiyaiyai": This exclamation  entered American pop culture from Mexican Spanish. a. I explained why I was late, and I apologized to her, but she didn’t say anything. She just stormed out. *(to leave in anger) b. She stormed out, huh? When was this? a. About three weeks ago. b. Have you spoken to her since? a. No. I’ve tried calling, texting, visiting her at home, but she won’t respond. b. I see…She’s giving you THE COLD SHOULDER. *(to be unfriendly to someone OR to ignore them) a. Yea, I know. b. So, what are you going to do now? a. Not a damn thing. *(Nothing at all) b. Nothing? a. Nada! *(Spanish for 'nothing'-sometimes we use this Spanish word when speaking English.) **(In this story, 'Elena' is Spanish.) b. Nada? a. Nothing! b. Nothing? a. Nada!
August 01, 2021
Episode No.28: Neil and Russell Discuss BOOTS and FOOD and......FOOD
Neil and Russell 'jump around' pretty quickly from topic to topic. This conversation had momentum (弾みをつけて). We start off with clothing, then food, history, European countries, and finally, food again. 1. way back when: a long time ago (unspecified) e.g. "I remember way back when when I used to go hiking in the Olympic Peninsula.' 2. automated: operated by machines 3. cut cost: to reduce costs: 'The company decided to cut costs by reducing their advertising budget.' 3. upmarket: expensive 4. 'Welly Boots' (Wellington Boots): a type of leather boot adapted from Hessian boots, a style of military riding boot. 5. Beef Wellington: Beef Wellington, a tender fillet wrapped in pastry, is named after Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, vanquisher of Napoleon, prime minister of Britain and populariser of the eponymous rubber boot. 6. Salmon Wellington: The origin of salmon Wellington dates back to Tudor England (mid 1400s to early 1600s). 7. Battle of Waterloo: This battle took place in Belgium on June 18, 1815, marked the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. 8. "It depends on how you look at it": それをあなたがどう見るかによります。 9. Paella: a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan. *Hmm, I wonder whose pronunciation of 'paella' was correct.
August 01, 2021
Idioms (#4): "YOU'RE PULLING MY LEG!"
Listen to two friends discussing some surprising news. NEW PHRASES: 1. You’re pulling my leg. – You’re joking! You’re kidding! You’re not serious! 2. call it quits – to give up. to stop doing something. 3. ups and downs – success and failure 4. tie the knot – get married 5. What’s the rush? – “Why are you hurrying? Slow down!” CONVERSATION a. I’m getting married next month. b. Congratulations! Who’s the lucky guy? a. Jun. b. Jun? YOU’RE PULLING MY LEG! a. No, I’m not. Why are you so surprised? b. Why am I so surprised? Didn’t you two call it quits last month? a. Yea, but we got back together. b. Just like that? a. Listen. We have our ups and downs, but we decided that we love each other and that we wanted to tie the knot. b. OK, but what’s the rush? a. There’s no rush. b. There’s no rush? You two broke up last month, and now you’re going to tie the knot next month. It sounds to me like you’re rushing. a. !%&*#$!!&$# Do you want to come to the wedding or NOT? b. I do! a. Alright then! !%&*#$!!&$#
July 27, 2021
READING PRACTICE: The Driver's License Pt.1: 'Think Aloud' Strategy (Third Part)
This week, we continue with the first part of the story 'The Driver's License' with the 'Think Aloud' strategy. Think Aloud: This strategy asks students to say out loud what they are thinking about when reading, solving math problems, or simply responding to questions posed by teachers or other students. New Vocabulary: Brimming with Pride: to be very proud and satisfied Senioritis: a colloquial term mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers, or the end of the school year in general. Mezzanine: A mezzanine is an intermediate floor in a building which is partly open to the double-height ceilinged floor below, or which does not extend over the whole floorspace of the building.                                                                                                  THE DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                                      By Russell Johnson "...I attended Rainer Beach High School in the south part of Seattle. That following Saturday, we met for our second date at the University Book Store on The Ave, the main street in the university district of Seattle. I had just been admitted to the University of Washington for that upcoming autumn and was still brimming with pride by the recent good news, something else that came right on time because I had a serious case of senioritis. I arrived at the bookstore early and went up to the second-floor mezzanine where I could look down on everyone who entered. There, I patiently waited her arrival. After about 5 minutes of people watching from the second floor, she walked in." Now, it is your turn to practice this part of the story.
July 26, 2021
Episode No.27: 'Do-Re-Mi' (The Blind Leading the Blind)
(The Blind Leading the Blind): This phrase is used to describe a situation where a person who knows nothing is getting advice and help from another person who knows almost nothing. What happens when Ms. Iida and Russell sit down at the piano? Well, they use English while trying to remember how to play 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.' (I think!) I've noticed over the years that when students speak English in the classroom, they are often 'frozen' because 100% of their attention and energy is focused on their English. The same thing happens to me when I speak Japanese! This means that they move very little, and they usually look at (focus on) the teacher, even when they are talking to another student. The point here is not to focus their attention 100% on speaking, but to engage in an activity while they are speaking, like in real life. It's not about achieving perfection. "Stop trying to find 'DO' and just play around!!!
July 25, 2021
Episode No.26: "Look What the Cat Dragged In."
Mako San tells Russell about a strange occurence that happened with her cat. Vocabulary and Phrases: 1. "It looks like you have something on your mind." = Do you want to tell me something? 2. "Is there something you want to get off your chest?" = Is there something you have wanted to tell me for a long time that will give you relief? 3. "Is there something you're dying to talk about?" = Is there something you really want to talk about? ***Also used as..."dying to go", "dying to meet her", "dying to hear about your trip", "dying to test drive that car", etc. 4. Electric Clippers: 電気バリカン (denki barikan) 5. Sparrow: a small Old World bird related to the weaver birds, typically with brown and grey plumage. 6. "Did you try to recuscitate it?" = revive (someone) from unconsciousness or apparent death. 蘇生する (Sosei suru) ***'Recuscitate' is often used more informally for companies, towns, neighborhoods, the economy, etc...."The Prime Minister tried many things to recuscitate the economy. 7. "Did you check his pulse?" = to measure IF someone's heart is beating (or) to measure HOW FAST someone's heart is beating. 8. "Maybe he was playing possum." = when animals pretend to be dead to avoid danger. People can play possum, too! EXAMPLE: a. While we were camping in the forest, we encountered a bear. b. You did? What did you do? a. We played possum. b. Did it work? a. Yes, I'm alive, aren't I? The bear sniffed us and walked away. 9. "Look what the cat dragged in." = Look who's here! People use this expression to acknowledge that someone new has entered a room or space. The phrase usually implies that the entering person is disagreeable in some way. We often use this when the person is late or has a messy physical appearance.
July 22, 2021
Episode No.25 Salmon Woman - Salmon Man
Mako San and I jumped from topic to topic to topic... See if you can follow along with the topics below. Topics and Time Listings: 1. What was that noise?              8" 2. Testing...Testing...Testing...    41" 3. Running                          1' 08" 4. "laid" or "lied"?              1' 18" 5. Early Bird or Night Owl?        1' 50" 6. Feeding the Son                2' 29" 7. Talking while Eating           3' 28" 8. Plans for the Summer        3' 55" 9. Crossing Prefectural Lines (Borders)        4' 18" 10. Looking forward to Autumn                   5' 21" 11. Salmon Woman - Salmon Man                5' 44" 12. Salmon Skin - "Give me your skin."        6' 21" 13. Nabe - "3 Days of Nabe"                        7' 21" 14. Ojiya                                                     8' 13" 15. "To each his own"                                 8' 57" 16. Awkward Ending                                   9' 18"
July 21, 2021
Episode No.24 A Moment with Marius
I have seen Marius here at Evergreen Language School for quite some time and wanted to finally have a conversation with him. Vocabulary and Phrases: 1. to acclimate (verb): under 'controlled conditions', to respond physiologically or behaviourally to a change in an environmental Example: "In school, I needed to acclimate to college life, so I joined a club and met with my counsellor regularly." 2. to put a (Japanese) 'spin' on something: to add a bit of Japanese (culture, taste, thinking, tradition, etc.) to something. Example #1:  "I like the Japanese 'spin' you put on this 'burger. Wasabi sauce on a 'burger is wonderful!" Example #2: Jun: Here, try some wasabi on your hotdog. Alex: Ok.....Yum!!! Nice spin! 3.  quirky (adjective): having or characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects. 4. to stick with something (verb): to continue doing something. 5. to 'be at it' - "I've been at it for a long time." (verb): to be doing something. Example: Junko: You play piano well. How long have you been at it? Elena: For about a year. Junko: That's all? A year? You sound like you've been at it for 10 years. Elena: Thank you.
July 20, 2021
Idioms (#3): "GIVE ME A HAND"
Listen to someone asking a friend for help. NEW PHRASES: 1. What are you up to?: What are your plans? (or) What are you doing? 2. straighten up: clean or neatly arrange something like a room, a desk, your hair, etc. 3: cluttered: 散らかった 4. absolutely nothing: "mattaku nanimonai" 5: give you a hand: help you with something 6. get rid of (something): throw something away Now, follow along with the conversation. a. So, what are you up to this weekend? b. This weekend? Good question. I don’t know. I’ll probably do some yard work and then straighten up inside. a. Didn’t you do that last weekend? b. Yep! But, there’s still a lot to do. The place is cluttered. How about you? What are you up to? a. Me?...Nothing. Absolutely nothing. b. Isn’t that what you did last week? Nothing? a. Yep! b. Chuckles a. I could come over and GIVE YOU A HAND around the house. b. That sounds good. Really? Are you sure? Our place is a disaster. I have to cut down the ivy and the bamboo trees and get rid of all the junk in the driveway. I could really use your help. Thanks a lot!! a. On second thought…I just remembered I have something to do. b. Really?...What? a. I have to…uh….go down to the ward office…..and apply for….umm…apply for a dog license for my dog. b. Your dog doesn’t drive! a. I mean a pet license. b. OK. a. Sorry. b. Bye!
July 20, 2021
Listen to two people talk about an embarrassing situation. First, look at the new phrases below. NEW PHRASES: 1. She threw me some curve balls: to present (someone) with a difficult and unexpected problem, situation, question, etc. 2. Don't mention it.: You're welcome. Now, follow along with the conversation. a. How did the interview go? b. The interview…Actually, I’m trying to forget it. a. Why? What happened? b. Well, at first, it was going pretty well. a. Yea? And? b. Well…then SHE THREW ME SOME CURVE BALLS. a. Like what? b. Well…like, she asked me, “If you were stranded on a desert island, what are 3 things you would want to have with you?” a. And what did you say? b. “A refrigerator, food, and a TV.” a. You said that? b. Yea… a. But where would you get the electricity for the refrigerator and the television? b. I DON’T KNOW! I told you, SHE THREW ME SOME CURVE BALLS!!! a. Hmm…Don’t worry about it too much. I’m sure they were impressed by you. b. You think so? a. Absolutely! b. Thanks for saying so! I feel so much better. a. Don’t mention it……..a refrigerator?
July 20, 2021
Listen to two people talk about a challenging situation. First, look at the new phrases below. NEW PHRASES: 1. It was like pulling teeth: very difficult to do, especially, getting someone to talk. 2. just about: almost 3. What could I do?: There was nothing I could do. 4. Don't beat yourself up.: Don't blame or criticize yourself. 5. I wouldn't do that (if I were you).: You shouldn't do that. 6. Let it go.: Don't worry about it. 7. No problem.: You're welcome. Now, follow along with the conversation. a. I saw you talking to the new guy a little while ago. What’s his name? b. David. a. What did you two talk about? b. I was asking him where he was from and what his hobbies were. a. And??? b. Well…IT WAS LIKE PULLING TEETH. He hardly spoke. a. You mean he didn’t say anything? b. Just about. The conversation was going in only one direction with me asking questions and he just saying, “Yes” or “No”. a. So, what did you do? b. What did I do? What could I do? I ended the conversation and walked off. a. Really? I heard he was born and raised overseas, so maybe his English isn’t very good…or maybe, he’s just really shy. b. I didn’t know that…I wish I had known that before I spoke with him. Now, I feel really bad. He probably thinks that I’m rude or impatient. a. Don’t beat yourself up about it. b. I should go back over and talk to him again. a. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Just let it go, but the next time you talk to him, just be patient. He probably wants to talk. b. You’re right. Thanks a lot. a. No problem.
July 20, 2021
Episode No.23 "Grits are Good!!!"
One last discussion during the 2021 Japanese rainy season with Maurice Sensei. He doesn't like being rained upon; I quite enjoy it. Anyway, we talk about a food he misses from home. Words and Terms from Today's Episode: 1. Brooks Brothers: The oldest clothing retailer in the United States, founded in 1818. 2. Uniqlo: A Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer founded in 1949. 3. Paul McCartney and Wings: Paul McCartney's band after the Beatles broke up that lasted from 1971 until 1981. 4. Magneto and Titanium Man: Marvel Comic Book Characters. Also the name of a song by Paul McCartney andWings. 5. Grits: A porridge made from boiled cornmeal. 6. From Scratch: (ゼロから- "zero kara")From the very beginning, especially without making use of or relying on any previous work for assistance. 7. The Pillsbury Dough Boy: The loveable (sometimes scary) mascot of the 'Pillsbury' food company, created in 1965. 8. To bail (someone) out (of trouble): To help get someone out of trouble (トラブルから誰かを救済する - Toraburu kara dareka o kyūsai suru).
July 15, 2021
Episode No.22 - Mako San and Russell talk about her Son's Future, Household Chores, and Super Sweet Chocolate Cookies
Some of the Vocabulary and Terms in this Listening Section: 1. Jukensei: student preparing for or taking examinations (受験生/じゅけんせい). 2. Chores: Housework such as doing the laundry, washing the dishes, vacuuming the floor, etc. 3. Responsibility: 責任 Sekinin - Something that is your duty to do. 4. "...but since we're on the subject of...": This is a way of changing the topic of conversation to a new topic that has just been mentioned. 5. Kominka: a traditional, Japanese folk house 6. Washington State Rainier Cherries: Rainier is a cultivar (栽培品種: Saibai Hinshu) of cherry. It was developed in 1952 at Washington State University by Harold Fogle, and named after Mount Rainier. It is a cross between the 'Bing' and 'Van' cultivars. 'Rainiers' are considered a premium type of cherry. They are sweet with a thin skin and thick creamy-yellow flesh. 7. A Triple Threat: a person, especially a performer or sports player, who is proficient in three important skills within their particular field. *In this conversation, this term was used jokingly to mean the cookie had three kinds of chocolate and that it was dangerously delicious.
July 14, 2021
Episode No.21 Part 2-Maurice and Russell Discuss Challenges and Culture Shock while Living in Japan.
Maurice and Russell continue their conversation about Cultural Differences and Culture Shock. Part 2 of 2 "It was quite jarring for me." 'shocking' 耳障り Mimizawari introverted: a person who feels more comortable focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas. 内向的 Naikō-teki extroverted: outtgoing and socially confident. 外向的 Gaikō-teki ambiverted: a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality. 両方向性 Ryōhōkōsei Hiyoshi Station: A station and town along the Tokyu Toyoko Line in the city of Yokohama. It is home of the Hiyoshi location of 'Keio University.' Nihon University: A private university in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Outkast: A hip-hop group out of Atlanta, Georgia.
July 14, 2021
Episode No.20 Part 1 - Maurice and Russell Discuss Challenges and Culture Shock while Living in Japan
Maurice Senei and Russell sit down again at the tail end of Rain Season (梅雨 Tsuyu) to discuss some of the challenges he has faced while living in Japan. Part 1 of 2. Some Vocabulary and Places that are Mentioned in this Episode: Omotenashi: Japanese hospitality. Aobadai: a bedroom community of Tokyo on the Denentoshi Line. Chevrolet Suburban: A Huge car The Yamanote Line: A major train line in Tokyo. The only train line in Tokyo that travels in a circle.
July 14, 2021
Reading Practice: Guest 'Ryo'
Ryo is one of our younger students who studies at Evergreen. He's a real 'riot.' Here, we practice reading an excerpt from the book 'Cities' using the 'Think Aloud' technique from this month. First Ryo reads then Russ reads. *Here, 'Riot' means a funny person!
July 10, 2021
Episode No19: Introducing Suzuki Sensei (Japanese Conversation)
Suzuki Sensei and Russell discuss her origins and her likes. She is one of the newest instructors at Evergreen Language School. She teaches Japanese conversation, listening and speaking, reading, Kanji (Chinese writing style), Hiragana, ad Katakana. I really enjoyed talking with her. The majority of this conversation is in Japanese, but I understood her quite well.
July 10, 2021
Episode No.18 Neil Sensei and Russell - Food You Miss From Your Relatives - "We Ate Like Men!"
Neil and Russ discuss foods they miss from their childhoods on a Friday afternoon. Listening Comprehension Questions: 1. The Gingerbread Cake is served with ________________. a. frosting b. chocolate syrup c. cream 2. Neil's great aunt on his ________________ side made Gingerbread Cake. a. mother's b. father's c. grandmother's 3. "By the time we arrived, (the cake) was already ____________________." a. gone b. in the oven c. ready 4. Neil called his great aunt and asked her to bake a Gingerbread Cake. a. True b. False 5. Neil's mother was a good cook. a. True b. False 6. Russ's mother 'laid'  his clothes out in the morning' means... a. She prepared his clothes in the moning. b. She washed his clothes in the morning. c. She bought his clothes in the morning. 7. "We ate like men" probably means... a. They didn't eat a lot. b. They ate loudly. c. They ate a lot. 8. What is the real name of 'the pancake' song? a. War b. The Actual Band c. Lowrider 9. When Neil was riding his bicycle, he could smell... a. his father b. freshly cut grass c. his bicycle 10. What strange thing did Russell do at Jazz Alley? a. He yelled out, "Play the Pancake Song!" b. He sat down. c. He fell asleep.
July 04, 2021
Episode No17 Food You Miss from Your Relatives
Russ reminisces (思い出す) about the food his family members made him in his younger days. Talking about these foods makes him both happy and sad at the same time. The feeling of nostalgia (ノルスタジア) washes over him on this rainy Friday afternoon at Evergreen Language School in Yutenji. See if you can answer the questions below. Listening Comprehension Questions: 1. What was the name of Russ's 6th grade friend? a. Russ b. David c. Rummy 2. What did Russ's 6th grade friend ask Russ to do? a. bake him a cake b. bake him some chicken c. trade food with him 3. How much of his Grandmother's cake did Russ take? a. all of it b. none of it c. a little more than half of it d. a little less than half of it 4. What does "You serve it over rice" probably mean? a. You eat the rice in a separate bowl. b. You put the Gumbo on top of the rice. c. You put the rice on top of the Gumbo. ***Go to the anchor webpage and click 'message' to leave a voice message about what kind of food you miss from a family member.***
July 02, 2021
READING PRACTICE: The Driver's License Pt.1: 'Think Aloud' Strategy (Second Part)
This week, we continue with the first part of the story 'The Driver's License' with the 'Think Aloud' strategy. New Vocabulary: to ace (something): (verb) to accomplish with great success - to achieve 100% on a test to fib: (verb) to tell a small lie fishy: (adjective) doubtful or suspicious Senioritis:  to bring (something) up: (verb) to introduce a conversation topic                                                                                                    THE DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                                         By Russell Johnson "I aced the paper exam but failed the driving test by one point; I forgot to signal when pulling out of a parking position. So, during that first date,  she asked me, “Where’s your car?” I was ashamed to tell her that I had failed the test, so I fibbed and told her that I didn’t have time to take the  test and that I would take it the following week. I think she could tell that something was fishy, but she didn’t bring it up again that day. Her name  was Ellie Leung. She was an exchange student from Hong Kong. She attended the private girls’ high school ‘Holy Names Academy’, also known as  ‘Holy Dames’." ***I made some mistakes in my 'think aloud'. I said Hong Kong was under England. Hong Kong was under Great Britain actually, but when we are doing this kind of activity, we may make mistakes or just get everything completely wrong. That is fine. The point is not to be perfect here; the point is to try to understand the reading by thinking about it more and using Metacognition.*** Now, it is your turn to practice this part of the story.
July 02, 2021
Episode No16 Tomoko and Russell Discuss Shinjuku, Online Dramas, and Dog Movies
The conversation between Tomoko and Russell starts out with a short story of Russell in Shinjuku one day while he was searching for books. Then the conversation turns to online dramas and movies. We discussed the following Drama: Feel Good We discussed the following Movies: Benji A Dog Day Afternoon Saturday Night Fever The Karate Kid The Notebook A Dog's Purpose Some of the Phrases Used: I can't come up with the title. Where does the movie take place? When does the movie take place? It's part of my childhood. Some of the Tems Used: A-List Actors B-List Actors A Tear Jerker
June 30, 2021
Episode No.15 Maurice and Russell Discuss Useful Study Tips for Language Learners- Pt.2
Maurice and Russell discuss losing motivation to study and finding it again. Is it better to study a foreign language from your spouse or from an instructor? That's a tough one.
June 29, 2021
Episode No.14 Maurice Discusses Useful Study Tips for Language Learners- Pt.1
Maurice discusses useful study tips for any student of a second language. This is especially helpful for those students who have lost motivation in their studying. Please check this out.
June 29, 2021
Episode No13 Tomoko and Russell Discussing Hokkaido, the Pandemic, and Having Time to Yourself
This is a short, casual conversation between Tomoko and Russ that centers around having time to yourself. This is hard for some people to do these days. New Terms: to be cooped up: 建物の中や狭い場所に(人や動物を)特に長期間飼うこと to crave: 切望します The music group 'Chicago' was mentioned in this conversation (Hard to Say I'm Sorry).
June 29, 2021
READING PRACTICE: The Driver's License Pt.1: 'Think Aloud' Strategy
Read along with Russ and get a better understanding of the text by using a strategy called 'Think Aloud.' This is a 'tool' to monitor your own 'understanding' of the text. Thisis a strategy that was developed in 1984 by Peter Afflerbasch and Peter Johnston to get readers to "think about thinking" (考えることを考える): this is called 'METACOGNITION' (メタ認知). This techniques is especially useful for second language learners as they 'react' to the text as they try and 'understanding.' (このテクニックは、第二言語の学習者がテキストに「反応」して「理解」するため、特に役立ちます). McKeown-Gentilucci 2007 Let's work on developing this technique together as we read the short story 'The Driver's License.' (短編小説「The Driver's License」を読みながら、一緒にこのテクニックの開発に取り組みましょう). Vocabulary and Phases for this Recording: 1. a rite of passage: 通過儀礼 Tsūk a girei 2. a late bloomer: 遅咲き Osozaki 3. in the nick of time: 時間のニックネームで Jikan no nikkunēmu de PHRASES TO LISTEN FOR a. I think that means... b. But maybe... c. ________________ means...... d. I believe it means....  if I remember correctly... e. For example... f. Ok. That's  new word. g. h. I guess the opposite is... I. Interesting... j. I can't imagine... k. What's the difference between ______ and ______? l. Oh, that's why... m. Ok. That makes sense because... n. That's one of the new phrases. o. Does this mean...?                                                                                             THE DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                 Based on a True Story by Russell Johnson Obtaining your driver’s license has long been considered a rite of passage in American culture. In my case, I was a late bloomer. In the state of  Washington, where I am from, you can get your learner’s permit at 15 and your driver’s license at 16. I got mine at 18, just two months before my  high school graduation. I got it in the nick of time because I had started seeing a girl just two weeks before. In fact, we had one date the previous  week. We had to meet in downtown Seattle and got around by bus because I failed my first attempt at getting my license...
June 29, 2021
CRASH COURSE Episode No2 Sato Sensei and Russ (Japanese Lesson)
Sato Sensei and Russ sit down and discuss movies and traditions. Things Learned- New Vocabulary: tradition 伝統 (dentou) traditional 伝統的な (dentou-tekina) emotion 感情 (kanjou) I remembered something. 私は思い出した (Watashi wa, omoidashita.) among them の中で ( naka de...)
June 24, 2021
CRASH COURSE Episode No1 Nakashima Sensei and Russ (Japanese Lesson)
Crash Course (短期集中コース): A crash course in a particular subject is a short course in which you are taught basic facts or skills, for example before you start a new job. Episde No1 - Kazu teaches Russ a few useful phrases to help maneuver (操縦) through this conversation successfully. The video of this conversation will be uploaded later this week.
June 16, 2021
(Japanese) Episode No12 Kaz and Yukie Discuss their Origins and Why they Came to Tokyo Part 2 of 2
Kaz and Yukie are Japanese instructors at Evergreen Language School. They interview each other about where they're from and why they came to Tokyo. If you are learning Japanese now, this is a great opportunity for you to test your listening comprehension.
June 13, 2021
(Japanese) Episode No11 Kaz and Yukie Discuss their Origins and Why they Came to Tokyo Part 1 of 2
Kaz and Yukie are Japanese instructors at Evergreen Language School. They interview each other about where they're from and why they came to Tokyo. If you are learning Japanese now, this is a great opportunity for you to test your listening comprehension.
June 13, 2021
Episode No10 Mr. Mizuno and Russell Discuss Restaurants Closing Down and Going to the Barber
This episode was recorded at Jiyugaoka branch. Mr. Mizuno and I talked shortly after our TOEIC lesson on a warm, humid Friday evening.
June 11, 2021
Episode No4 Neil and Russell Discussing Birds and England
Neil has been an instructor at Evergreen Language School for over 30 years and has a set of devoted students. In this episode, we discuss when and why he came to Japan AND his favorite past time, bird watching.
June 07, 2021
Episode 7: Ms. Sato and Russell Discuss Conversation Etiquette and Rakugo
Sato Sensei is a seasoned instructor at Evergreen Language School who taught overseas in San Francisco for 25 years. She enjoys the art of conversation and teaches both Japanese of all levels and English. In this episode, we discuss the rules for saying "Happy New Year!" and "How was your weekend?" Then the conversation takes an interesting turn as we discuss the traditional Japanese verbal entertainment of 'Rakugo' (落語, literally 'fallen words'). At one point in the converstion, the town of Okachimachi is mentioned. A Rakugo building was also mentioned by description only, Hiro Koujite Theater. Please enjoy this conversation in both English and Japanese. Recorded at Evergreen Language School in Yutenji.
June 06, 2021
Episode No9 Ms. Iida and Russell: Mini Skirts, Turtles, and Plum Trees
Ms. Iida and Russell meet again and talk about personal fashion styles, pets that live under the house, and fruit trees.
June 06, 2021
Episode No8 Sayaka and Russell Discussing Jiyugaoka, Shibuya, and Clothing Shops
Sayaka is a student at Evergreen Language School. I often discuss various topics with her. Here, we have a quick discussion after our lesson about what she did the previous day, a rainy Friday. In this episode, the neighborhoods of Jiyugaoka, (Tokyo's "Little Europe"), and Shibuya, (a 'hot spot' for fashion and shopping), are mentioned.
June 06, 2021
Episode No6 Maurice and Russell Discussing Tanning, America, and Japan
Maurice is one of our English instructors at Evergreen Language School. This conversation was recorded at our Jiyugaoka branch on the junction of the Toyoko Line and the Oimachi Line, which you can hear in the background.
June 03, 2021
Episode No5 - Irumata and Johnson Discussing all things Curry
Ms. Irumata has several passions in life. Listen to her discuss one of her culinary passions and how she will become Japan's 'Curry Queen.' Recorded at Keio University in Hiyoshi, Yokohama.
June 03, 2021
Episode No1 Nakashima and Russell Sit Down and Talk about his hometown of Nagasaki and living in Tokyo
Mr. Nakashima, a Japanese instructor and receptionist at Evergreen Language School, and Russell sit down and discuss places of origin, hobbies, and living in Tokyo.
May 28, 2021
Episode No2 Tomoko and Russell Johnson Discussing Compliments and Smells
This episode begins with Tomoko and Russell discussing masks then the conversation turns to why people give themselves compliments (Jigajisan: 自画自賛). Then the conversation takes another turn as the two discuss smells and nolstalgia. At one point in the episode, Russell tries unsuccessfully to end the conversation but realizes that it was an unnatural and 'forced' ending, so the conversation continues. Which ending do you like better, the first or the second?
May 26, 2021
Episode No3 Ms. Iida and Russell Johnson Discussing JFK, Motomachi, and the left side of the Brain
This episode begins in the middle of a conversation, but there is an introduction soon after. This conversation was recorded unrehearsed at Yutenji Evergreen Language School in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday May 22, 2021. It is actually the third episode recorded, but it is the first episode to air. This conversation was unscripted and focuses on (briefly) JFK and then the town of Motomachi in Yokohama and the left side of the brain. Sometimes, you will hear a train pass by in the background. That is the Tokyu Toyoko Line. 
May 26, 2021