“Awe, contentedness, joy, amusement, curiosity”

Classes are finished for the spring semester, so I’m going to take a break from adding topics until just before we start up again in September. There’s plenty in the archives to keep you busy, though. Try to get a little English input every day over the summer and do something with it — summarizing, expressing your opinions, asking questions, and language noticing.

I’ll leave you with 10 (really 50 if you watch them all) hours of relaxing planet earth visual soundscapes from the BBC, which “”significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity” and  “reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress” (says this study). If you don’t like the mountain one, there are also 10 hours each of islands, jungles, grasslands, and deserts.

(via Open Culture)


🐬 Have a great summer! 🐳


Happy Marine Day 🐳

Today is Marine Day, a relatively new holiday in Japan. Here’s a short explanation from this site:

Discussion question:

We’ve talked about national holidays in class and one question I always like to hear the answers to is: If you could create your own holiday, what would it be for and when would it be? Personally, I think we need at least one holiday in June. Maybe we could have a “Hydrangea Viewing Day” or make Father’s Day a 3-day weekend?

Language usage questions:

  • How do you say “sun-worshipping” in Japanese? Do you think it’s similar to 日向ぼっこ (my answer is  “no” but what do you think?)
  • A.K.A is a relatively common acronym/abbreviation in English. Can you find the three words it’s made up of in this short text? Then, can you do a little research (or ask me or another native speaker) how the acronym is used?
  • Try using “make the most of” in your own original sentences, about topics relevant to your life and what you’re studying.
  • This text uses some different words instead of “and so on” or “and etc.” Can you find them? Did you know that native speakers really don’t say “and so on” nearly as often as Japanese speakers do (at least I don’t think so)?

Taking a break

I’m taking some time off for spring vacation, but if you’re looking for something to do over the break, there are plenty of topics in the archives, categories, or click on “Surprise me” for a random post. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more things to read, write, think, and talk about in English.

These images were made with Photofunia (there’s an app too) —  Cookies Writing, Snow Writing, Smart Kitty, Chalk Writing, and Double Decker