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05

31

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At the End of May

An old cliché goes “Time flies”, but it's not enough to describe May 2011 that I'm about to finish experiencing in a couple of hours. Literally, it “dashed away” right before my eyes, leaving so much to look back on. I admit that I haven’t found the best possible way to spend the month of May if it ever exists. It’s not that I hate the pleasant as well as eventful month, but rather I feel as if I were under unnecessary pressure to have a wonderful, enjoyable, exciting month which is to bring Golden Week and my birthday. Didn’t I tell you that I'm a hard-core homebody? If I have consecutive days off as in Golden Week, I’ll celebrate the fact that I can secure an abundance of time to spend at home. Since this blogging thing has come into my life, I always cherish those moments to come up with a topic, brainstorm ideas, write a piece, elaborate it, revise it, upload an appropriate picture or video, and read my fresh-from-the-press post over and over. Do I sound narcissistic? Well... maybe, yes, kind of. But a positive side effect about being "narcissistic" is that scrutinizing my piece on the display often leads me to find grammatical errors and typos which I would miss otherwise. It feels so good to do something productive, however small, trivial, or personal it may be, as writing a blog post for one's own good. To me, blogging has become something like writing commas, semicolons, colons, and periods on a chronicle entitled "My Life".

Right after having indulged in blogging, tweeting, and English language learning to my heart's content, I had to face the harsh reality. Something truly unexpected kept happening regarding the new classes that I was supposed to start teaching from this May. The sequence of accidents, however, unexpectedly released me from the pressure to adapt myself into a new work environment. And May 11th. I’ll never ever forget the day and wistful regrets that I had to bear. And my birthday. It passed as if it were just another Sunday, and since then, I’ve been immersed in the teach-prepare-teach-prepare-teach-prepare cycle with no sign of break. But it’s just so weird that I’m not exhausted or weary while cutting back my sleep. Well, well, you don't need to let me know that I’m aging and needing less sleep than before. I’m the one who is the most aware of this sad truth! A joke aside... It’s too early to make any judgment at this point, but I do have the feeling that I’ve started living my own life, not someone else’s. It may sound cheesy, corny, and slushy to some, but after all those years, the sense that I’m living my self-chosen life keeps coming to me. It may have something to do with blogging that invites me to delve into what's on my mind and voice what I've found there. Am I rebuilding or rediscovering my identity? If so, I'd be happy to embrace refurbished or retrieved "me".


About Taurus
The characteristics of Taurus are solidity, practicality, extreme determination and strength of will - no one will ever drive them, but they will willingly and loyally follow a leader they trust. They are stable, balanced, conservative, good, law-abiding citizens and lovers of peace, possessing all the best qualities of the bourgeoisie. As they have a sense of material values and physical possessions, respect for property and a horror of falling into debt, they will do everything in their power to maintain the security of the status quo and be somewhat hostile to change. Mentally, the characteristics of Taurus are keen-witted (sarcastic) and practical more often than intellectual, but apt to become fixed in their opinions through their preference for following accepted and reliable patterns of experience. Taurus character is generally dependable, steadfast, prudent, just, firm and unshaken in the face of difficulties. Their vices arise from their virtues, going to extremes on occasion, such as sometimes being too slavish to the conventions they admire.

Taurus.jpg





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05

29

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Quick Write 2 - TOEIC 201105

This blog post is to present what a consecutive TOEIC 990er can/cannot write in English "non-stop" for 10 minutes without scrutinizing her grammar, vocabulary use, and sentence structure. The product, therefore, has not been proofread, but revised later for the sake of the author's learning. Hopefully this far-from-perfect English piece will be of any use to English language learners who've never experienced the joy of writing in English conveying the message "Why not start writing in English today?"


"TOEIC 201105"

Honestly, TOEIC 201105 has made me experience something rather unexpected. My new experience set off with the my ID picture. I decided to put paste my picture the day before the test because I wanted to join “ID picture-putting pasting festival” (I don’t know if it really exists?!). When I tried to do that, I realized there were no more pictures at hand available! I was so desperate to search old ones. Otherwise, I have to prepare in the morning on a test day, which will surely lead me to a mental disaster. Fortunately, I managed to find ID pictures, which I hereby confess was were taken four years ago! What the hell? Nobody will recognize how I was like in January, 2007. The second new experience is that I did not cook pancakes for breakfast on a TOEIC day. Well, did it make you rather disappointed? Did you expect something more dramatic or funny? Well, I’d like you to be a bit patient and read it through. I heard that carbohydrate-rich food is good to eat before you do a physically-demanding activity, such as marathon, or tennis games. I consider two hours of two-hour TOEIC test is as similar to those physical activities that require physical stamina and mental concentration.

(204 words / 10 minutes)

Note: I've revised the above post with color for my own learning.

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【追記】本日のTOEIC 難易度印象 ※あくまでAya比
パート1 やや難。小太りおじさん横並びの写真、好きでした。
パート2 11~20はやや難。21~40は素直な問題。
パート3 易。
パート4 易。
パート5 語彙は易。品詞問題が難化。
パート6 やや易。
パート7 NOT型・indicated 型多し。やや難。

05

28

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Tapping the Core Image

This academic year, I’m teaching Intensive English Course to the students who aim to transfer to the university affiliated with the foreign language institute in which they’re currently learning. Those students are very much eager to study English in more academic perspectives or major in international studies or simple obtain higher academic backgrounds, the fact of which well endorses their motivation and commitment to English language learning inside and outside the classroom. This extremely-teacher-friendly-environment allows me to be one natural-born-sweet-strict teacher (Yes, I got straight “Strict” from those classes). My 54 students in two classes complete two weekly assignments, one of which is to review 100 words that they (supposedly) learned last year and take an oral vocabulary quiz. This is how the quiz goes; the students pair up and ask each other if they can translate 10 selected words out of 100 into English (prompts are Japanese-translated definitions just as in the wordbook,"DELBO" by Masaya Kanzaki ). The reason why the peer-evaluation system was selected is in order to facilitate good peer-pressure to learn seriously, foster cooperative and friendly climate in the classroom, and cultivate responsibilities for one’s own English language learning in the students' mind. It seems that so far they’re doing a pretty good job and most of them are achieving a full score each week.

In the previous class, I elaborated an explanation to a verb on this week's assignment list - "update”. How would you define “update”, or to be more specific, what is your core image of “update”, my dear readers? Just for the sake of fostering cooperative and friendly climate (if such a nice thing could ever be expected on my blog!), here’ s the definition by our intelligent, dependable as well as financially charitable English language tutor Merriam-Webster Online. Definition of “update”: to bring up to date. Ah… Is that it? Well, I’ m full aware that a good teacher doesn’t necessarily teach everything. Okay, why not go for another pedant, Oxford Dictionary of English installed in my SII professional-use electric dictionary: make something more modern or up to date, give someone the latest information about something. Oh, ODE looks a little more benevolent. In reality, however, most of the English language learners may recognize "update" as "更新する" as if it were the one and only definition, rather than an abstract and flexible image of “to bring up to date”, which I’d name it as “core image”. If you choose to learn and memorize the verb “update” by English-Japanese dictionary, you’ll have to input at least four definitions, quote, 1. 最新のものにする 2. 最新情報を供給する 3. アップデートする 4. 更新する (from “Genius E-J dictionary” ) That’s lot of work, isn’t it?! Besides, tapping definitions in Japanese and choosing the “right” one out of multiple choices takes much more time and labor than directly accessing the only one core image of “to bring up to date”. Don’t you think so?

What I said to my students was, in a nut shell, “Tapping the core image of the word while both building vocabulary and processing the language”. Take “update” for instance. If the verb has been stored in the learner’s mind as an abstract, yet essential image of “to bring up to date”, he/she won’t have difficulty comprehending the sentence, "Please give me a call to update me.” How does this sound to you? Do you understand the interlocutor’s intention? Imagine that your English speaking peer left a voicemail message and you’re listening to this request. The object of the verb update is “me” who is your friend and knows you well, but recently has lost touch with you. Then “to bring ‘me’ up to date” means to inform “me” (= your friend) of what you’re doing these days, in other words, “to bring ‘me’ (= your friend) up to the latest status”, which could simply put the whole sentence as “What’s up?” or “How are you doing these days?” or “How’s your life going?” If, however, you try to "choose" the best possible Japanese translated definition, the sentence will start sounding unnatural or even make no sense, or in the worst scenario, your language-processing mechanism will freeze! I know full well that English language learners are very much accustomed to memorizing words with English-Japanese equivalents, but this method is not very much useful for processing the language. I can definitely say that from my own experiences. I’m so sure that the vocabulary stored with English-Japanese equivalents will be left untapped or will turn into so-called “dead storage”. I hereby recommend English language learners, including myself, to reconsider how to build and store his/her vocabulary. Isn’t your vocabulary getting "dead storage"? How about tapping “the core image” instead?


This is my most favorite scene from the movie “This is Spinal Tap.” Let's go to eleven, folks!
[広告] VPS







05

27

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Quick Write 1- Korean Barbeque

This blog post is to present what a consecutive TOEIC 990er can/cannot write in English "non-stop" for 10 minutes without scrutinizing her grammar, vocabulary use, and sentence structure. The product, therefore, has not been proofread, but revised later for the sake of the author's learning. Hopefully this far-from-perfect English piece will be of any use to English language learners who've never experienced the joy of writing in English conveying the message "Why not start writing in English today?"


"Korean Barbeque"

I was a little surprised to know that you didn’t know this cliché, “the man and woman who are eating Korean Barbeque are already… ”, which is not at all applicable to both of us today, unfortunately. I used to love Korean Barbeque a lot, but not so much these days. Is this the sign of so-called “aging”? Oh well, we cannot resist the force of nature. Anyway, I enjoyed dining and talking with you over multiple glasses of beer, one of which was actually the mixture of Korean liquor and beer. We’ve known each other for years, but this was the very first time to dine by ourselves. We talked a lot of things, one of which was to launch this Quick Write thing. I hope this project will last long and do good to our English language learning, and eventually that of to other learners’ good.

By the way, I conceive that Korean barbeque is a very primitive style of dining. We grill raw meat over fire, wait for a while, check whether how well it’s been cooked, and finally devour it! Whenever I eat Korean barbeque, my mind will go back to that primitive age when men capture prey and bring it home and women cook it in the dark, narrow cave. What is was it like to lead such a life? It must’ve been like… (225 words/10 minutes)

Note: I've revised the above post with color for my own learning.

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05

24

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Remake - "Songbird"

For you, there'll be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right

To you, I’ll never be lying
To you, I'll never be cold
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right

And the twinbirds are tweeting
Like they know
what they crave
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before

And I wish you all the love in the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself

And the twinbirds keep tweeting
Like they know what they crave
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before, like never before

[広告] VPS

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。