Tag Archives: education

Introducing “Japanese Writing Lab”: a new way to practice writing in Japanese

When studying a foreign language, learning to write holds a special place because one can attain a fairly high level of competency without actually living in a country where that language is spoken. This is because both reading, an important related skill, and writing itself can be learned and practiced with just a computer and an internet connection. Strictly speaking,… Read More »

A discussion on problems students face with the common Japanese verbs もらう、くれる, and あげる (translated from a textbook)

Recently I posted a review of the book “Teaching methods based on student native language, English edition” by Kazuko Nakagawa, which provided some important insights on mistakes English-speakers typically make when learning Japanese. I wanted to translate at least a short portion of this book to give a feel what the content is like, and also… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: “It might be an apple” 「りんごかもしれない」by Shinsuke Yoshitake

Me and my wife stumbled on this book in a Kinokuniya bookstore (either New York or San Jose, I forget which), and decided to purchase it to read to our son who we are raising bilingual Japanese/English. This book is based on a simple premise – imaging up various possibilities for a apple which the narrator,… Read More »

More discussion on Japanese particles “ga” and “ha”, and debate on mistaken examples

In a recent post I discussed how I had seen a phrase “Advilがありますか?” (“Advil ga arimasus ka?”) in a book, and upon further research confirmed it was not a natural usage of the particle “ga”. I had posted to Oshiete Goo and received an excellent response which discussed why it was unnatural. Since then, I’ve… Read More »

Japanese Book Review: ザ・ギフティッド 「The gifted」by 大川翔 「Sho Okawa」

It’s been some time since I’ve written an article about bilingual education, so I thought I would review “The Gifted”, a book published last year. This book is about the Japanese boy genius Sho Okawa, who moved to Canada when he was 5 and was declared as “Gifted” at age 9. Only five years later, Sho… Read More »

Japanese magazine review: 「子供の科学」 (Science for kids)

In the age of the internet, anyone studying a foreign language can access nearly limitless content in the language of their choice if they search hard enough (though I have read that know some languages are more represented than others online). Having said that, I feel there is something special about using magazines for foreign language study.… Read More »

Japanese podcast review: 子育てカフェ (childcare cafe)

For quite a while I was listening to a science-related Japanese podcast (here), and then after getting a bit tired of that I decided to take a break from podcasts for a few weeks. For my next podcast to use as Japanese listening practice, I went to the NHK podcast site, which generally has episodes… Read More »

The amazing educational Shimajiro! (followup)

Sometime back, I wrote a post about Benesse’s distance program learning for children, in particular their Shimajiro series of books. In my household we have been reading these books fairly often to our young son, and he has really grown to love them in a way that surprised me. On several occasions he will run… Read More »

バトンタッチ (“Baton Touch”) in Japanese

This expression is an interesting one, which I’ve seen used in a unique way in both real life and in a Japanese movie. The original meaning is pretty easy to guess – it’s the term for when passing a baton on in a relay race from one runner to the next. However the meaning has… Read More »