Monday, January 21, 2008

Show 618 Monday 21 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s guest is Alistair. He’s from England and he now lives here in Kutchan. This is his third stint in Japan. The first time was on a school trip, the second time he lived here for a year and he’s now a teacher on the JET program.
I asked him what made him decide to come to Japan.

I started learning Japanese at school when I was about 11, very, very, sort of, casually. We had Japanese class. And I really enjoyed it. And there was a school trip to Japan, in, ah ... when I was about 14 I think, 14 or 15. And so we went to Japan, went to a place called Urawa. And I really enjoyed it. And that was when I first came to re-, to understand about Japan.


Kia Ora, in Stick News today, an 81-year-old man shocked his family by waking up at his own wake.

Recently, in a small Chilean village the relatives of an 81-year-old man discovered his body limp and cold. They thought he was dead. So they called a funeral home rather than a doctor.
The man was dressed in his finest suit, placed in a coffin and his relatives gathered to bid him a final farewell.
Then suddenly, he woke up.
The man said he wasn’t in any pain and only asked for a glass of water.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 21st of January.
Kia Ora.

from the Hirafu gondola

This footage was taken from the Hirafu gondola last week. These people are waiting to get on the gondola. And that lift over there is called Holiday Pair Lift #1. It’s a new lift.
As you can see there’s a mixture of skiers and snowboarders. Maybe half and half.

conversations with sarah
#374 How long have you been doing JET?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Alistair.

Sarah The first time you lived in Japan was for a year. What were you doing then?

Alistair I was an exchange student. A university exchange student. Um, at a university in Sapporo. Hokusei. Hokusei Gakuen.

Sarah What kind of classes were you taking?

Alistair Yeah, it was a specially designed cl-, ah, course, for exchange students. So, there would have been a core group of us. I was the only one from England. But there were obviously Americans, Canadians ... And there were Chinese as well as Koreans. I had a very good, made a very good Korean friend. And, ah, we, to start with, we all had to take a test, basically saying ... testing our ability in Japanese. And depending on that, you could get put into a set ... a class, you know, depending on your ability. And so you’d study the year, like that. But it was, we didn’t ... we had a few classes where we’d be joined by Japanese students, but the class would be in English. It wasn’t so much we were joining the Japanese classes.

Sarah You’re on the JET program now. What does that involve?

Alistair My job in Kutchan is to teach junior high school students and elementary school students, um, about England. Ah, well, I’m basically just in the classroom helping out teaching the English. And, ah, within that capacity, obviously cultural things come through. And the students gain an understanding of life in Japan, of, ah, in England.

Sarah Would you recommend the JET program to others?

Alistair I would, I would recommend the JET program. Simply because, ah, it allows you to take part in the community because you’re sponsored by ... you’re, you’re employed by the local government and it’s um, it’s in their best interest for you to be as fully involved in, ah, local goings on, ah, as possible. So from that you can gain huge amount of, ah, experience ... of life in Japan. And you can make many friends. And ... you also have a great opportunity to travel around Japan, as well.

Sarah How long have you been doing JET?

Alistair Ah, I’m in my second year now. So I’ve been ... I’m half way through my second year, so, 18 months, about.

Sarah Are you going to do it for much longer?

Alistair I’m not sure. I’m going to stay for a third year. This is for definite. I’m not sure if I’ll get the, the nod for a fourth and fifth year.

Sarah Do you enjoy teaching?

Alistair I do enjoy teaching. When I have the whole classroom to myself and I’ve designed the lesson plan and I’ve thought long and hard about the lesson and how I’m going to um, teach the material. I really do enjoy putting it into practice in the classroom in front of the kids. And getting a response and seeing the kids pick it up or the students pick it up.

Sarah You can’t choose where you get placed on the JET program, can you? So were you happy to be placed here in Kutchan?

Alistair I actually, on the form you do get a chance to nominate where you want to go. You have a, you have a field where it says um, big city, small town, ah, big city, town, small town or rural.
And, ah, I actually ... well, when I lived in Sapporo I came down this area, in the summer, to do some mountain, ah, mountain, well mountaineering, rock climbing, um, hiking, that sort of thing. And I really liked the atmosphere here, I was only here for a day I think, and um, I knew about Niseko and I knew about the, the tourism here and I selected Kutchan actually on the, I wrote Kutchan down as one of my, as my nominated city, and like, fortunately, the guy who was here before me, he was coming to the end of his tenure, and I got the spot.

Sarah What advice do you have for people who are learning English?

Alistair Find out what makes you tick when you’re studying and just keep doing it and keep doing it over and over again and ... I mean, yes, um, everyone’s different, everyone learns differently. Some people have brains like sponges, some people have brains like bricks. You know? So, I had a brain like a brick when I was a kid studying and I found it really difficult. Um, but, if you work out what you’re good at ... and as long as you’re enjoying it, that will keep you motivated to study.



This is spelt programme in British English and program in American English. In NZ English, I think it is programme. TDES follows NZ English grammar and spelling, except in cases when I happen to like the other spelling better for some reason ... :)

My philosophy about spelling/grammar is this: choose whichever one you like, unless you have a reason to follow a particular style, such as if you are going to an American University, you should probably use American spelling.

pick sth up (idiom) to learn
Note: The way he is using it here, it means "to learn", but the idiom pick up also has many other meanings

field - he's talking about a section of the application form or a question ... I'm not sure if field is usually used in this way

tenure noun the right to stay permanently in your job, especially as a teacher

what makes you tick
what makes sb tick (idiom) = what makes sb behave in the way that they do


today's news

today's STICK NEWS pictures


show start
artist: BrunoXe
album: aprendiendo desde 2004
track: Mandrake
from: Jerez, Spain
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

the snow report start
artist: Olga Scotland
album: Scotland Yard
track: Absolute
from: Moscow, Russia
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

cws start
artist: San Sebastian
track: Happy Sad
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: Groovetracks
tracks: groovetracks ending
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: TimeVibes
track: Gettin' Down to it
from: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo

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