Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.
Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today’s guest is Brendan. He’s from Brisbane, Australia. And he came to Japan in the summer of 1999. He first came as an English teacher on the JET program. And he was living in a small town outside of Hakodate called Esashi. And he’s been in this area for about 3 and half years.
I asked Brendan the classic question: Why did you decide to come to Japan?
Ahh, I get asked that question a lot. Um, well, the, the, the long and in depth answer is ...Where I’m from in Australia, it’s a very touristy sort of, ah, destination. Very close to the gold coast. So, growing up, I ah, was always ah, seeing lots of Japanese and um, due to some resentment from World War 2, a lot of older Australian people – especially where I live – ah ... don’t think so highly of Japanese people. So growing up I always heard many bad things about Japanese, and always saw a lot of them as tourists. Um, and then got a bit older I thought well maybe there’s some bad people, maybe there’s some good people - why not find out for myself?
Kia Ora, in Stick News today Australia has a new prime minister. He’s a 50-year-old man called Kevin Rudd.
John Howard was the Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. He is second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister and he’s been the leader of the Liberal Party of Australia for more than 12 years.
On Saturday there was an election in Australia and John Howard’s party lost.
The new Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd.
Kevin was born in Queensland.
He went to university in Canberra and majored in Chinese language and history.
He is a Christian and he met his wife at a university Christian gathering.
And that was Stick News for Monday 26th of November.
conversations with sarah
#341 Why did you apply for the JET program?
Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Brendan.
Sarah Why did you apply for the JET program?
Brendan Um, well, I figured that ah, coming to Japan, teaching would be the … best option, um, I studied teaching at university. Um, I asked around and I was originally going to sign up for NOVA. Thank the lord I didn’t now. Um, and someone suggested the JET program. They said it was sort of better conditions. So I applied for that, and didn’t think I’d get it, but I guess someone made a mistake and I did.
Sarah What’s your job now?
Brendan My job now, well, I, I work as a, ah, some sort of international advisor at the, or inside the Camber of Commerce.
Sarah What does that involve?
Brendan Oh, it involves many different things. Um, I do a lot of translation work. Um, translating menus, contracts, quotes, a little bit of um, interpretation work for tradesmen etc. Things like that. Um, um - how would you say it? - If people have questions about starting business in Japan, I can find out the answers to those questions and hopefully be able to help them with that.
Sarah Do you still do any teaching?
Brendan I do, yes, I have a couple of part time teaching jobs. At the hospital, a few private jobs with adults and children.
Sarah Do you enjoy it?
Brendan I do, yes, I enjoy teaching English a lot more than my current job.
Sarah What do you enjoy about it?
Brendan That’s a tough question, you’ve put me on the spot there. Um, I enjoy being able to help people with something that they have an honest interest in. Um, to be able to sort of ah … I kind of sound like, a little arrogant, but, you know, foster that interest into, you know, success. Um, obviously there’s a lot of things I don’t know but the things I do know about teaching, um, I get a sort of, I guess a sense of pride to be able to pass that information on to others and help them learn.
Sarah How did you learn Japanese?
Brendan Ah, mostly just from being here. Obviously I studied a bit through textbooks and things like that. Um, when I first came I didn’t know anything. But, ah, yeah in some ways I think that was, that was good. I hadn’t picked up any bad habits before I’d come.
I also studied it at Hakkodate University. Um, as kind of, it translates as an audit student. Not as a real student, I just went to classes that were there. Um, which was three months, three hours a week, for three months, but um, I learnt a lot, yeah, it was very good.
Sarah What’s Niseko like in the summer?
Brendan In the summer, ah, it’s a great place. Ah, the weather’s nice, it’s not too hot, there’s no snow. Um, not many tourists around either. Yeah, it’s really nice, great for BBQs, hiking, going to the beach. Yeah, yeah, it’s really cool.
Sarah Are you going to stay in Japan forever?
Brendan I hope not, but you never know. I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t have any sort of, like, long sighted, sort of, plans, I’ll see what happens. At the moment, I’m having fun, so there’s no point in, ah, stopping something that seems to be working.
Sarah Is there anything you miss about Australia?
Brendan Yeah, obviously, I miss, ah, my family. Um, I’d like to see my parents more. They’re getting older now, so every time I go back they seem that little bit older. Ahh, I miss friends and stuff but I mean, I’m getting to the age now, where people are heading in their different directions, so whether I was living in Australia or not, I wouldn’t be, sort of, hanging out with them every day. Um, I miss certain things about Australia, just the comfort of familiarity. Um, the weather. Um, I guess the laid back attitude, though I heard that’s kind of changing a bit.
Sarah Niseko is now like little Australia, what do you think about that?
Brendan Um, I think you’re asking the wrong person. Um, obviously there’s good things and bad things with that obviously. Um, the benefits to the local economy um, are good, could be a lot better. Um, if, if people used local business more. People who are making money, it’s good for them. The, more like, ah, internationally this place becomes known, the better it’s going to be in the long run.
Obviously there’s a downside as well, to lots of people coming in, it does change the atmosphere of the place. Um, but that, yeah, I mean, any place that’s cool it’s going to happen to it eventually.
Sarah Finally, do you have any advice for people who are studying English?
Brendan I do, um, don’t be afraid to try. Ask lots of questions. And, um, yeah, people, people don’t know what you’re thinking. So, just try and if you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. You have to learn from your mistakes, so talk as much as you can, listen as much as you can, ask as many questions as you can. And yeah, don’t be afraid.
album: A glimpse inside the bubble
track: Little jazzy
from: Arles, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
tracks: into the groove
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
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