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Home: Spring 2022 Edutainment Lesson Plans

Spring 2022 Edutainment Lesson Plans
(Let's have fun learning English!)

Lessons on this page are optional and not part of your grade, but if you take the time to do them, they will not only improve your overall English communication skills, but will also broaden your cultural horizons to help you become a more successful international citizen in today's global society! smiley Bonus points will be offered on some assignments.

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Thanks for all your hard work this semester! I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you in person one of these days. Best wishes to you always...

Cheers,
Gary



Week 13:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - ​In my home state of Texas, a family decided to break the Guinness World Record for the largest display of painted rocks. For bonus points, watch this heartwarming video and write down the number of painted rocks they collected to break the world record. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 13 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short listening quiz at the bottom to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: A Mixed Bag

We are the World! - Several years ago a professor at Rikkyo University, while vacationing in the U.S. state of California, noticed many very interesting license plates from other various states. As a result, she put together a very interesting lesson which subsequently ran in the English-language Daily Yomiuri newspaper (now called The Japan News). For bonus points, please challenge your knowledge of the 50 U.S. states.

If you click open the map below, for each state you will see a number which is the order in which it entered the United States. For example, my own home state of Texas was the 28th state to enter the United States. Also, inside quotation marks, is written each state's nickname, for example, Wisconsin (state #30) is also known as "The Badger State."

Finally, in the map you can also see each sta​​te's 2-letter postal code, for example the postal code for Montana (state #41) is MT. So what this means is, when you’re mailing a letter or package to the state of Montana, you don’t have to write out the entire word, but you can just write MT.

To challenge this exercise, click open the thumbnail map image below to see a much larger image and view the 16 questions.
For bonus points, answer each question with just the state's number. After writing down the answers at the bottom of your homework form, then you can click below to see the correct answers. Good luck!

license plate questions
License plate questions
(click here or on map above to open larger image)
[after the larger image opens up, click on it again to open up an even LARGER image]

Click here for the correct answers. Don't cheat! smiley

Classic American cartoons - Casper the Friendly Ghost (出てこいキャスパー) is a very pleasant and kind ghost, who is SO popular he has appeared in countless comic books, TV series, and movies. In Japan, he has even been seen on Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, and NHK, going all the way back to the 1960s. The theme song for his TV shows was VERY catchy and memorable. You can hear the song here, and even sing along with the English lyrics! And here is a short funny clip from one of Casper's cartoons.
 
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Casper the Friendly Ghost
(photo credit: wikipedia.org)

Teacher humor - I’ve been a big bird watcher ever since my Boy Scout days when I earned the bird study merit badge. One of my favorite Japanese birds is the beautiful onaga (オナガ), known in English as an "azure-winged magpie." I just LOVE its azure blue-colored wings and tail feathers.

Recently a friend of mine and I were watching a HUGE flock of onagas (at least 10 birds) feasting wildly on some berries. Rarely have I ever seen birds eating so quickly and happily!

So not only were there a LOT of onagas, but they were eating SO many berries, my friend said "Wow, their stomachs mu​​st be getting really FULL. So I replied, "Yeah, I think so. Onaga ippai!" laughing icon


onaga
Onaga (オナガ), known in English as an "azure-winged magpie"
(photo credit: azbirds.com)



Week 12:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz- The annual Red Bull Rampage features some of the world's best mountain bike racers in an awesome mountain course thousands of feet high. Watch the story in this video and for bonus points, write down the location of this exciting bicycle race. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 12 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short listening quiz at the bottom to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Ahead of the Curve

We are the World! - Watch this video about a terrifying glass bridge in Zhangjiajie National Forest in China's Hunan Province, and for bonus points write down its length and height.

Classic American cartoons - Donald Duck (ドナルドダック) is a white duck cartoon character created by the Disney Company. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a bow tie, and is known for his barely understandable speech and his funny, slightly mischievous behavior. He has appeared in over 150 theatrical films, more than any other Disney character and has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His girlfriend's name is Daisy Duck. This funny video shows him dancing with Daisy, and also features his 3 nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
 
Donald & Daisy Duck
Daisy & Donald Duck
(photo credit: fanpop.com)

Teacher humor - THE TAN LINES OF THE NEXT GENERATION

The tan lines of the next generation
The tan lines of the next generation

Two angels are talking in heaven. One says to the other, "The new arrivals are having a tough time talking to others. They just hold their hands out and twiddle their thumbs." laughing icon



Week 11:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz- Two amazing companies are harvesting energy from the tidal power of oceans.... one in Scotland and another in New York City. For bonus points, watch this video and write down the names of these 2 companies. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 11 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short listening quiz at the bottom to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Child's Play

We are the World! - Seven years ago, the world record basketball shot was made from the top of a dam. To expand your global horizons, watch this amazing video and for bonus points, write down the dam's name and which country it's located in!

Classic American cartoons - As a kiddo, I was also very fond of Bugs Bunny (バッグス・バニー), a funny gray and white rabbit who is famous for his trickster personality, always eating a carrot, and his catch phrase "Eh...What's up, doc?". Watch this 1-min. video to hear him saying his most famous phrase in numerous funny situations.
 
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny with the Warner Bros. logo
(photo credit: wbanimation.wikia.com)

Bugs Bunny not only became one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world, but also was once the official mascot of Warner Bros. Entertainment and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Click here to see a short episode of Bugs having a little trouble finding a drink of water! smiley

Teacher humor - As you may recall, when I first moved to Japan, I lived in an apartment building with a bunch of other English teachers working for the same English conversation school. One of the most exciting things about being new in Japan was sampling the many different kinds of delicious Japanese food… sushi, gyudon, curry rice, yakitori, tempura, soba, etc.

Well, one of my British teacher friends kept talking to me about this delicious Japanese dish that's prepared on a grill like a pancake and has many different ingredients like cabbage, green onions, meat, octopus, squid, shrimp, veggies, etc.

My friend would always talk about not only how delicious it was, but also how CHEAP it was. So.... it was a delicious food but it didn’t cost a lot of money.

Well, he was obviously talking about okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), but it wasn’t until several months after first living in Japan that I realized that he was in fact saying "okonomiyaki" and not "economy-yaki," as I THOUGHT he was saying. Ha ha ha! smiley True story!

Even today, 30 years later, I sometimes reflect back and laugh about my mistake to think okonomiyaki was called economy-yaki.
laughing icon



Week 10:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz- If you care about the environment, I'm sure you will be touched as I was by this story about the famous Red Bull cliff diver named Eleanor Smart. For bonus points, watch this video and write down the name of the project she co-founded to clean up the world's oceans. [no need to click on the "CC" button, as English subtitles are already provided] By the way, if you'd ever have any interest in participating in clean up efforts locally, Tokyo River Friends, a community volunteer group formed by my American friend James Gibbs, holds regular trash pickup events to help clean up the Arakawa and Edogawa Rivers.

Let's Learn English, Lesson 10 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short listening quiz at the bottom to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: On the Fence

We are the World! - Several years ago I was introduced to this amazing TV commercial. Even today it's still one of my favorite TV commercials... ever. Watch this exciting video and for bonus points, write down the name of the product being advertised.

Classic American cartoons - Felix the Cat (フィリックス・ザ・キャット) is probably most popularly known in Japan for Felix Gum (フィリックスガム), made by Marukawa Confectionery (丸川製菓) and often sold at dagashi sweet shops (駄菓子屋).
 
Felix gum
Felix gum in Japan
(photo credit: toy-chida.com)

As a youngster, I don't remember ever seeing Felix gum, but I used to LOVE watching Felix the Cat as a funny cartoon character originally created during the silent film era. As a cute black cat with white eyes, a black body, and a giant grin, Felix is one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history. Here is a short video clip showing the intro to one of his old shows. And I sometimes still sing the very memorable
Felix the Cat theme song. smiley

Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat
(photo credit: tvtropes.org)

Teacher humor - Download the entire internet onto your hard disk here.

[Warning: Be sure to check your local Drive C to make sure you have enough storage space!]

laughing icon laughing icon laughing icon



Week 9:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz- This week's story is about an amazing rescue and rehabilitation center in New Zealand for sick, starving, and injured animals.   For bonus points, cue over to the 4:52 min. mark in this video to find out the name of this center. For more bonus points, write down the size of this center in acres. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 9 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short listening quiz at the bottom to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Burst Someone's Bubble

We are the World! - Several years ago a famous American actor living in Tokyo was in an Orix credit card TV commercial (オリックス・クレジット・カード TVCM) with the beautiful Japanese actress Ryoko Shinohara (篠原涼子). Watch this video and for bonus points, write down the name of this famous American actor.


Classic American cartoons - Growing up as a kid, I always used to love watching Road Runner (ロード・ランナー) cartoons. He's named after a real, very fast-running bird that lives in the desert... which we can often see along highways in west Texas. In each cartoon episode, the cunning, devious, and constantly hungry Wile E. Coyote (ワイリー・コヨーテ) repeatedly attempts to catch the Road Runner, but is successful only on extremely rare occasions. Check out this funny video where the coyote "thinks" he caught the Road Runner! smiley


Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote
Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote
(photo credit: apple.com)

Teacher humor - Last week I mentioned a very funny Japanese friend of mine, almost like a comedian.

Well, one night he introduced me to his favorite Chinese restaurant. As we were looking over the menu, our conversation went like this:

Gary: I think I’ll order the Peking Duck.
Friend: Good choice, but I recommend the Mābō-dōfu.
Gary: Thanks, but I’m in the mood for duck tonight.

After our dishes arrived, I thought my friend said: "Itadakimasu!"

But what he actually said was "Eat a duck if you must." smiley

[Get it? If not, please say "Itadakimasu," then "Eat a duck if you must," over and over again. It’s another old man’s gag joke (おやじギャグ), ha ha!] laughing icon



Week 8:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Last year New Zealand adventurer Rob McCallum traveled to the deepest point of the deepest trench in the Pacific Ocean. For bonus points, at the very beginning of this video, find out the 2-word title for this location. For more bonus points, what is the average length and width of this trench in miles? [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 8 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Thorn in My Side

We are the World! - Lars Andersen from Denmark is the world's fastest and most famous archer. He has set many speed shooting records, including even being able to shoot 3 arrows in only 1.5 seconds. This amazing video has been viewed nearly 60 million times!
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles] Mr. Andersen is also a Danish painter and writer.

Classic American cartoons - One of my favorite cartoons growing up was Woody Woodpecker. He's most famous for his very unique laugh (click here to hear it). And this short video clip announces a brand new YouTube series from a few years ago.
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]

Woody Woodpecker
Woody Woodpecker
(photo credit: youtube.com)

Teacher humor - I once had a funny Japanese friend who wore a mustache (口ひげ). Several years ago he gave me a nice birthday present.

I told him, "Arigatou!"
(Because he's Japanese, I expected him to say "Dou itashimashite."
But being the funny guy he is, instead he replied, "Don’t touch my mustache." smiley

[Get it? If not, please say "Dou itashimashite," then "Don’t touch my mustache," over and over again. It’s an old man’s gag joke (おやじギャグ), ha ha!] laughing icon



Week 7:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - For this week's bonus points, in this video cue over to the 6:57 mark to find out how deep (in feet) a recently discovered giant sinkhole in southern China is. Immmediately following this sinkhole news in the "10 out of 10" story, for more bonus points write down what kind of "treasure" swimmers recently found on an Alabama beach. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 7 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Big Fish in a Small Pond

We are the World! - One of the most impressive performances of percussion instruments I've ever seen is shown in this video. It's called "Animusic HD - Pipe Dreams." I hope you enjoy it as much as I have thru the years.


Classic American cartoons - The Jetsons was an American animated
TV series where the Jetsons family lived in a comical version of a futuristic society, featuring flying cars, elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. Watch this short 2-min. video clip to see the opening and closing credits and theme song from Season 1 of The Jetsons.

The Jetsons
The Jetsons animated TV show
(photo credit: alphacoders.com)

Teacher humor - A recent conversation between Gary and one of his gaijin friends:

Gary: Say, do you like kimchi (キムチ)? You know, that spicy Korean dish made from fermented, pickled cabbage with red chili paste?
His friend: Oh, yeah, definitely! I LOVE that stuff! Kimchi not only tastes gr-r-reat, but it also gives you a nice warm feeling inside.
Gary: Yeah, I know. Kimuchi ga ii!
laughing icon



Week 6:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the interesting news story starting at the 4:38 min. mark in this video about an IBM computer that defeated Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a historic match that took place 25 years ago. Write down the name of this computer for bonus points. Immmediately following this story in the "10 out of 10" story, for more bonus points write down how many years the 100-year-old Brazilian man has been working at his company. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 6 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: ​Talk Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth

We are the World! - Watch this 2.5-min. video to see a VERY interesting method of bass fishing in the U.S. southern state of Alabama. WOW!
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]. Convert the weight of the fish (in lbs) into kg for bonus points!

Classic American cartoons- One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was "The Flintstones," an animated series that took place in a comical version of the Stone Age, featuring the title family, the Flintstones, their next-door neighbors, the Rubbles, dinosaurs, and other cavemen. The show was set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock (pop. 2,500), and The Flintstones was so popular that it was the most financially successful and longest-running network animated television series for 3 decades. Wow! Here are a couple of short videos showing the theme song and the opening/closing credits: Video 1  Video 2


Flintstones TV show
The Flintstones animated TV show
(photo credit: neatorama.com)

Teacher humor - People from Australia are also known as Aussies. Many of them pronounce words spelled with an ‘A’ with an ‘I’ sound, e.g. in words like day (sounds like dye), pay (sounds like pie), mate (sounds like might), may (sounds like my), fate (sounds like fight), raise (sounds like rise), etc. And one of their most common everyday expressions is G’ Day, meaning Good day (sounds like Good dye). Thru the years in Japan, I've been lucky to have a number of wonderful Aussie friends. One day I had this conversation with one of them: 

Gary: What’s new?
Aussie friend: Recently I haven’t been feeling well, so I’m going to the hospital today.
Gary: WHAT?! You’re gonna DIE?! OMG!

[Get it? To me, it sounded like he said, "I'm going to the hospital to die."]
laughing icon



Week 5:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 6:06 min. mark in this video to learn about an interesting new manicure robot. For bonus points, write down the nickname of the robot, and for more bonus points, write down how much it costs for a manicure from this robot. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 5 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Dollars to Donuts

We are the World! - Many students are very curious about my Japan mountain climbing adventures. A few years ago I was invited to give a presentation to an English speaking club in Chiba about the highest mountains in Japan. So I prepared this video as part of my talk: Fond Memories of My Favorite Japanese Peaks [click on small square in lower right corner to view video full screen] For bonus points, write down the name of your favorite Japanese peak in this video (in Romaji, of course!). For even more bonus points, answer the question asked at the very end of the video. smiley

Classic American cartoons - This week I’d like to introduce Smokey Bear, who for the past 78 years has been the official mascot of the forest fire prevention campaign by the United States Forest Service, the longest-running public service announcement (PSA) campaign in United States history. Smokey has many tips on what you can do to keep forest fires from starting. Click here to see one of those 30-second TV ads.
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles] And remember, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" smiley

Smokey Bear - Only You
Smokey Bear
"Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"

[A few years ago I had the pleasure of actually visiting Smokey's historical park museum in Capitan, New Mexico. You can view the inside of Smokey's museum at the very beginning of my 2016 road trip vacation video.]


Teacher humor - When I first moved to Japan, I lived in an apartment building near Nogata Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line that was owned by the English conversation school (英会話) I worked for. All the other residents were English teachers like myself working for the same school. Our school was in Shibuya, and since most of our classes were there at the school, we passed through Takadanobaba Station nearly every day. Well, one evening a few of us teachers were hanging around, enjoying some adult beverages, and one of the young teachers from Rhode Island, fresh out of college, said “You know, every time we approach Takadanobaba Station, I hear the train conductor say 'まもなく、 たかだのばば えき です.' (We will soon arrive at Takadanobaba Station.) Now, I KNOW what he is actually saying, but to me it sounds like he's saying 'Talking about my baby'." Ha ha ha!
[Get it? If not, please say "Takadanobaba," then "Talking about my baby," over and over again. It’s an old man’s gag joke (おやじギャグ), ha ha!]
laughing icon



Week 4:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 6:19 min. mark in this video and write down the world's most commonly used online password at the bottom of your homework form for bonus points. For even more bonus points, cue over to the story starting at the 7:43 mark and write down the height (in feet) of Amazon's new helix-shaped headquarters building in Virginia.
[Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 4 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Earn Your Stripes

We are the World!- Several years ago a good friend in Scotland introduced me to Danny MacAskill, a professional cyclist who gets paid BIG money to do tricks and stunts on his mountain bike. You won't believe this amazing video where Danny takes a dangerous, death-defying ride HIGH up in the gorgeous, breathtaking mountains on the Isle of Skye in his native Scotland. This video has been viewed over 77,000,000 times. WOW!

Classic American cartoons - As a child, I had the good fortune of growing up in the "golden age of American animation," when TV cartoons became increasingly popular, providing loads of wonderful entertainment for young American children. This week I’d like to continue sharing some of my favorite, most beloved cartoons from my childhood days. You all already know how much I love Tony the Tiger, but this week, for the benefit of any of you who do not know him yet, I’d like to introduce Popeye the Sailor. His most famous trait is that whenever he eats spinach (ほうれん草), he gains superhuman strength to beat up bad guys like Bluto who is always trying to steal away Popeye's girlfriend, Olive Oyl. Here's a short video clip to help you get to know Popeye.

Popeye the Sailor
In case you were wondering how popular Popeye is in Japan, I took this photo last year at the entrance to the men's toilet in a Yokohama cinema!
No joke. smiley

Teacher humor - Back in July 2000, the G-8 economic summit was held down in Okinawa. The Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Yoshirō Mori, was worried about his poor English when introducing himself to President Bill Clinton.
So he was given a quick English lesson from one of his assistants. The staff member told Mori that when he shook hands with President Clinton, he should say "How are you?" Then President Clinton will say "I am fine, and you?" And then Mori should say "Me too."
Very easy…. Mori only had to say 2 expressions, like this:
**************
Mori: How are you?
Clinton: I am fine, and you?
Mori: Me too.
**************
Well, the big day finally came, but there was just one problem.
When Mori met Clinton, he didn't say "How are you?" as he was instructed, but mistakenly said "Who Are You?"
Mr. Clinton chuckled, 'cause he thought it was a joke, so he said: "Well, I am Hillary's husband, ha ha."
Then Mori replied confidently (as he was instructed) "Me too, ha ha." 
laughing icon



Week 3:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 8:48 min. mark in this video and listen carefully for the name of the device MIT researchers built in trying to evenly divide an Oreo cookie. Write your answer at the bottom of your homework form for bonus points. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 3 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Still Waters Run Deep

We are the World! - Ever heard of free soloing? It's a very exciting (dangerous) kind of rock climbing without ropes, nets, or any safety equipment. Meet Alex Honnold, one of the world's best free solo rock climbers. Wow, check out this scary video of him scaling Half Dome, in California's Yosemite National Park. For bonus points, write down how many hours it took Alex to climb Half Dome.
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles].

Teacher humor - I once knew a Japanese dentist here in Tokyo who asked me
one day if I knew there were NO dentists in Hawaii, America's 50th state.
I said, "No, surely you must be joking. Are you sure?"
He said, "Yes, it's true. Do you know WHY?"
I said, "No, please tell me." 
So he then said, "There are no dentists in Hawaii because in Hawaii,
Ha (は)… wa (は)… ii (いい)…" (pointing to his teeth) laughing icon




Week 2:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 8:46 min. mark in this video and for bonus points, write down the name of the famous pop star whose childhood home recently went up for sale in Pennsylvania for $1,000,000. For extra bonus points, write down the home's size in square feet. Write your answer(s) at the bottom of your homework form.
[Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 2 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom, after watching this 60-second video lesson: ​​​​​​​Strike at the Heart of Something ​​​​​​​


We are the World! - If you've never heard of freestyle soccer, don't feel bad. Neither had I before one of my English students several years ago brought his soccer ball to class one day and asked if he could demo his freestyle soccer skills. Wow, check out this video:
Freestyle soccer demo by Kazuya

Teacher humor - OK, I KNOW this is an English class, smiley but this week you get to challenge your knowledge of Japanese kanji characters. So can you guess the name of your teacher's original kanji character below?



 

 

If you need a hint, click here: Hint 1

If you need a 2nd hint, click here: Hint 2

Finally... The Answer!



Week 1:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Formerly called "CNN Student News," this short commerical-free broadcast highlights news stories of interest to American students. Watch the news story beginning at the 8:49 mark in this video and for bonus points name the new record total length (in feet) of the world's longest wooden roller coaster. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 1 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [Intermediate learners may find the first few lessons a little easy, but with language learning, sometimes a quick review of the English expressions you already know is vital for long-term retention of your language skills!]

English in a Minute - a short video explaining a popular idiom used in everyday American English conversation. If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Walk Something Back

We are the World! - pictures or videos of interesting things happening in Japan and other parts of the world. For the first week, check out the teacher's favorite English word, gr-r-reat, spoken by his favorite cartoon character, Tony the Tiger
[<---on this page, don't miss the last 2 TV commercials in the video which are in Japanese (日本語で)]. Students who often use this word in this semester's course work will receive bonus pointssmiley

Frosted Flakes Japanese
トニー・ザ・タイガー

Homework Assignments: 

In general, you will have one week to turn in homework assignments from the day they are assigned. Homework assignments more than one week late will not be accepted and will receive a ZERO on the assignment.


My main teaching philosophy: Edutainment!! laughing icon

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    Nov 24, 22 01:53 AM

    Ever thought about making your own paper soccer ball? Follow these quick, easy steps to create your own colorful design. A free, fun activity for kids!

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  2. Gary J. Wolff's Blog

    Nov 20, 22 07:58 PM

    Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the GaryJWolff.com website.

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  3. Happy Birthday to.....ME! :-)

    Nov 17, 22 07:58 AM

    I'm in heaven after being treated to a gorgeous multi-course dinner to celebrate my landmark birthday... from a wonderful friend I've known for over 3 decades after my first arriving in Japan. (click…

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Gary J. Wolff
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