ESL Listening Activities,

ESL Listening Activities, how to improve your TOEFL or TOEIC score?

“The TOEIC Listening & Reading Test is a two-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 200 questions evenly divided into listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Each candidate receives independent scores for written and listening comprehension on a scale from 5 to 495 points. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to achieved results…”


On Reading for the TOEIC & TOEFL Test

Many students find that their reading speed is too slow for a timed test.

Most students don`t try to read quickly in English. When they do read they read for pleasure or trying to comprehend the English. Improve your reading speed in a few months by buying some easy graded readers by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press or others. They are available in bookstores in Japan like Yurindo, Kinokuniya and others. Just ask the store staff about easy books in English. Then choose a book you would like to read and read it without a dictionary.

Try to understand as much as you can without looking up words. After finishing the book, go back and learn the vocabulary with your dictionary. Write down the new words. There seems to be a connection between your brain, memory and the act of writing down new words.

On a timed test like the TOEIC or TOEFL test, you don`t have much time to read. You need to read and guess the meaning. Or hopefully read and understand the meaning quickly. If you need a lot of time to read a passage, you will not be able to answer many of the questions on the test.

For tests like TOEFL and TOEIC, the questions are for all levels of students. So some questions will be too difficult for you. When you see those questions, skip them until later, then go back and guess at the answers. You need to spend as much time on the questions that are easier for you to be sure you get the correct answer on them. You can always go back to quickly guess the answer for the difficult TOEIC or TOEFL questions.

ESL Listening Activities – Using English has a number of good exercises for improving your TOEIC listening:

Improve your TOEIC score

ESL Listening Activities – Alex Case suggests in 100 ways to improve your TOEIC Score:

“Study for exactly the test you are doing. Not only do you need to study slightly differently if you are doing the computer based test, but there is a chance that you could have to take the test as it was before the 2007 changes or the new style test- depending on whether you are taking the test in your company or in a test centre. Please double check before you buy an exam practice book and start doing practice tests. However, the differences between the versions of the exams are small enough that if you already have some materials for another version that you want to use before spending more money, that is no problem. ”

–Alex Case on Improving your Score

Why teach Listening and Speaking?

There are many reasons for focusing on listening and speaking when teaching English as a foreign language, not least of which is the fact that we as humans have been learning languages through our ears and mouth for thousands upon thousands of years, far longer than we as humans have been able to read. Our brains are well programmed to learn languages through sound and speech. This is not to say that reading and writing are ineffective, far from it, only to highlight the value of listening and speaking and point out that many studies have suggested that language learned through sound and speech is more readily acquired.

–Alistair Graham-Marr, Abax Ltd.

Learning English through Songs

Students love music! Learning English through songs is a great idea! If you play an instrument, you can sing and play and do a listening-close activity. Or simply you can play a CD.

Students can learn a bit of vocabulary, grammar, culture, while improving their listening comprehension.

Anytime you can make a practical activity fun, go for it!

To ESL Discussion

On Learning English

How to Improve your English?

How to be Bilingual?

We offer classes for the Eiken Test and TOEIC

Our Guest Houses

ESL Discussions

ESL Discussions

ESL Discussions, thoughts on Yukio Tsuda and English Study in Japan
Yukio Tsuda is a professor at the University of Tsukuba. He earned a doctorate in speech communication at Southern Illinois University.

In his ESL Discussions, Tsuda argues:

“English has its dark side that represents ruthless power.”

Tsuda doesn`t feel that having English skills is important for Japanese, (even though, he himself went to a lot of trouble to get them.)

Though I am an English teacher, I have always felt that Esperanto the international language designed to bridge the gap between peoples, was the fairest way to go. It hasn`t been widely used, accepted, nor studied however.

What have people like Tsuda done to promote it?

I haven`t done a thing. I am happy to teach English and feel it is the best option under the present circumstances. Unless every government in the world were to start teaching Esperanto from kindergarten, things will not change.

Tsuda makes my point, that students who study English will have an advantage over everyone else in the work force. I do not see this as a problem. However he does. He feels it will lead to a new kind of social discrimination between English speakers and non-speakers. I agree.

It will lead to preferential treatment for English speakers he cries. What he calls “social discrimination,” I call opportunity. Japanese who can envision the future will prosper, but it is best to act now and have your children study English.

ESL Discussions – Japanese Companies & English Study

Nissan has insisted that all board meetings and important business meetings be conducted in English. Nissan`s non-Japanese speaking COO insisted upon this. The company increased support for English lessons and the ability to speak English became an important job qualification for managers.

Isuzu once owned its own English school (Crops Create), before ultimately selling it off. They used it to brush up the skills of their employees.

Fuji Photo Film and Mitsubishi Chemical where I have taught, makes English very important for those who may travel abroad. Employees of these two companies, must of course, attain a high degree of English skill before they can go on business trips or be transferred abroad.

At Johnson (Japan), being a subsidiary of the American giant, English of course was important for Japanese managers.

The above has gone on for many years. So it was not exactly news when Fast Retailing (Unikiro), and Rakuten made a splash in the Japanese media when they announced they were making English their official in-house language.

This really isn`t big news. It has been an ongoing process of internationalization in Japan for many years. Some companies recognize it before others.

I think it was great though, as these Japanese companies obviously understand where the future of the world is going. Perhaps by “making it,” news, it will be a good thing for the further internationalization of Japan. A country that lacks it in my opinion.

On Learning English

On Learning English

My advice on How to Learn ESL?

by Cheema Beckham

A famous Czech proverb says, “Learn a new language and get a new soul”. Learning new languages opens new windows towards life and teaches new things about diverse cultures, societies and traditions. It is always advantageous to learn new languages other than your mother tongue and learning English as a secondary language is one of the most popular practices in non-English speaking countries.

This trend of learning English as a secondary language or ESL is increasing in South-Eastern Asian countries and especially in Japan. Japanese youth are highly inclined towards studying English and to being proficient in both spoken and written forms of the language.

If you have decided to learn ESL, then the first question which comes to your mind is “How to learn ESL?” There are a number of methods which are being used to learn ESL. These include both online and offline ways. Some of the most popular methods for learning ESL are as under:-

• ESL Classes. It is one of the best ways to learn any language. You can learn new words and sentences and practice in the class. A teacher can also help you in learning the language with correct accent and pronunciation. However the drawbacks is that you have to find time in your daily routine to attend the classes and it costs real money to enter these classes.

• Books. Various books are available for teaching ESL. This is a convenient method but most of the new learners find it extremely tough to use a book for studying a new language. The second drawback is that buying different books can prove very costly.

• Online Courses. There are a number of websites which are offering online courses for learning ESL. These include both paid and free websites.

• ESL Articles. By searching online, you can find various articles which can prove exceptionally beneficial in achieving your goal.

• ESL Games. One of the best ways to get top output from the learners is to teach while playing games. There are a number of websites which are offering ESL games for new learners.

• ESL Quizzes. Using ESL Quizzes to learn English is another popular way to study English in a fun way. These quizzes are available for all skill levels from beginners to experts. The kids and adults can also find separate ESL Quizzes for themselves.

• ESL Blogs. With the boom in the blogosphere, a number of ESL blogs have also surfaced. These free blogs can prove to be very valuable for learning ESL.

My Advice on how to learn ESL? I would recommend you use a combination of all the above methods. Attending ESL classes is a good option if you can find time to attend these classes and have some spare cash too. Books are not recommended for fresh starters but they can be used conveniently at a later stage. Online resources can be used to learn English as a secondary language for maximum gain. Kids can start by playing various ESL games which have been designed specifically for children.

How to Improve your English?

How to Study English?

Kevin`s Shinyurigaoka English School

Which and That

Resume of Kevin Burns

Kevin`s Pronunciation Video

英会話の学習方法について How to Improve English?

英会話の学習方法について How to Improve English?

by Kevin R Burns


How can I improve my English?

英会話の学習方法について by Kevin Burns, owner of Kevin`s 英会話スクール日本に居ながらにして英語が話せるようになるのはなかなか難しいことです。だけど、 できないというわけではありません。英語を習うに当っては「ローマは一日にしてならず」という諺があてはまるのを忘れないでください。 Kevin & Friends 英語が流暢に話せるようになるには時間がかかります。英会話を習うのはちょうどクラシックピアノを習うようなもので、 自転車の乗り方を覚えたり水泳を習ったりするのとは訳が違います。例えば水泳を習う場合はその成果が短期間に分かります。

何ヶ月も経たないうちに泳げるようになります。ところが英会話の場合は全く違って流暢に話せるようになるには相当の期間が必要です。 恐らく英語は世界で最も習得の難しい言葉でしょう。単語数は膨大だし、文法は複雑で時には生徒だけでなく先生も混乱に陥れるくらいですから。 それに比べると、日本語はいろいろな面で英語よりずっと習得しやすい言葉です。例えば文法は英語と違って例外がずっと少ないですから。 運良く英語を話す国に1年間でも行くことができ、一生懸命になって毎日英語だけを話したらとても流暢になって帰ってくるはずです。 どうしてでしょうか?海外で英会話の練習ができる時間を計算してみると分かります。例えば毎日8時間英語を話し、 聞いたとすると365日では2,920時間にもなります。 一方で国内の普通の英会話学校に行く場合はどうでしょうか? あなたがまじめに毎日欠かさず勉強をして宿題も忘れないとします。そして他に英語で映画を見たり、英語の音楽を聴いたり、 英語の本を読んだり、さらには歩いている時や電車の中では英語で考える事もしたとしましょう。 この場合毎週8時間くらい勉強する事になるでしょう。

そして休日や病気で休んだり、クラスが中止になったりする場合を考えて年間40週になるとしましょう。そうすると年間で320時間にしかなりません。日本に居ながらにして、海外で英語に触れるのと同じくらいの時間を作るには約10年間必要という事になります。 この計算は結構いい線をついています。英会話学校にまじめに4年以上通った人の多くは上手に話せるようになります。また、7年以上通うと海外留学をしたことのある人と同じくらいのレベルになります。 私は英会話学校で勉強するのは無駄だと言ってみなさんをがっかりさせたいのではありません。むしろ英語を勉強したいけど海外留学はできない人には英会話学校は役に立つと言いたいのです。もちろんこれから海外に旅行に行ったり、住みに行ったりする人にも英会話学校は役に立ちます。忘れてはいけないのは、数ヶ月勉強しただけで流暢に英語を話せるようにはならないということです。それは全く不可能なのです。英会話を習うのは芸術のようなもので、英語を母国語とする人でも話せるようになるには時間がかかっているのです。カナダやアメリカの子供達でさえよく文法を間違えて話しています。大人の多くもそうです。まだ諦めないでこの文章を読んでくださいね。今までにいくら英会話の勉強にお金をかけたか!、 と地団駄を踏んでいなければいいのですが。短期間で上手に、さらには流暢に話せるようになる人もいます。このような人達はテニスが上手な人と同じようにひたすら練習するのです。テニスが上手になるには熟練のコーチではなく練習が必要なのです。英会話の勉強も同様です。 英会話学校で流暢に英語が話せるようになるための勉強方法を紹介しましょう。 1. クラスに欠かさず出席する英会話の授業では大きな声で、できるだけ多くの事を話すこと。質問にはより具体的に答えること。例えば「先週末は何をしていましたか?」と聞かれたら、「別に何も。」ではだめです。これでは退屈な人生を送っている事になります(もっと元気を出さないと!)。「友達と小田原に買い物に出かけました」のように具体的に答えるのです。 そして先生にはっきり聞こえるように大きな声で話すこと。そうしないと間違えを直してもらえません。クラスには遅れず、そして毎回出席すること。家では英語の新聞や雑誌を読みましょう。特に自分の興味ある内容の雑誌を読むとよいでしょう。 KES英会話スクールでは英語の勉強用のコンピュータソフトやビデオ、そして本を借りる事ができます。英語にのめり込んで、自分の部屋や家を小さな「外国」にするのです。英語の映画を見たり、英語の勉強用のソフトを使うのです。Wow WowやPerfecTVでたくさん英語の番組や映画を見るのも役に立ちます。車に乗ったらFENやInterFMを聞いてみるといいでしょう。これらのチャンネルにはたくさん英語の番組があります。このことは何度も何度も言っているのですが、それだけ英会話の上達には大切な事なのです。KESの先生はあなたに役立つソフトやカセットや本を選んでくれます。諦めてはいけません。 中学生の皆さんへ:クラスに来ると気が重くなる人もいるでしょう。楽しく過ごせるよう心がけてください。今は分からないかもしれないけど、英語はこれからとても大切になります。外国へ行けば英語は必要です。英語を話せると「かっこいい」のです。英語がうまく話せると話せない人よりもたくさんの経験ができます。英語は「世界標準語」なのです。今ではなく、何年か後に勉強することもできますが、その時は仕事や、子育てなどで時間が取れなくなっているかもしれません。

2. 時間を無駄にしないクラスが始まったら英語だけを話すこと。日本語は家でも話せるのですから。クラスでは日本語を話さず、そしてクラスメートにもそうしてもらいましょう。ペアで練習する時は英語で自由に話すことのできるチャンスです。日本語で自由に話しても時間が無駄になるだけです。あなたの日本語は十分上手なのです。英語の単語が分からなくても、他の言い方で説明したりジェスチャーを使う等、工夫するのです。宿題は毎週必ずやること。テキストの重要なポイントを毎週チェックします。クラス1時間に対し、1時間予習が必要です。毎週3時間クラスがあれば3時間の予習が必要です。もちろん他に宿題もやらなければいけません。誰も簡単にこんな量の勉強はできません。だけど勉強すればするほど上達までの時間も短くなります。 3. 耳を傾ける他の生徒の英語をよく聞くこと。先生の英語だけでなく他の生徒の英語も勉強になります。他の生徒がどのように話しているかよく見てみましょう。アイコンタクトも大切です。自分が話す時は先生だけでなく他の生徒とも目を合わせるようにしましょう。人前で話す時にずっと同じ人だけと目を合わせるのは失礼になります。クラスの全員と目を合わせるようにしましょう。

Part 2: 英会話の学習方法について

英語で考えるすぐに返事ができるようにすると英語で考える癖が身に付きます。 毎回頭の中で文章を組み立ててから話すのでは会話がぎこちなく、また文法もおかしくなります。 日本語での文章を英語になおしてから、さらに上手に話すのは無理です。この二つの言葉は全く違うのです。 すばやく答えるようにすることで頭の中での「翻訳」の癖が直ります。 5. 復習する 授業の内容を録音して家で復習しましょう。 6. 執着する英語を上手に話せるようになる生徒はしぶといです。 英会話をマスターするまでしつこく勉強します。時間がかかるかもしれないけど、 英語を習う以外にも世の中には習得するのに時間がかかる ものはたくさんあります。 諦めないこと。 7. 旅に出る できれば英語を話す国に出かけてみましょう。自分の英語を試すことができるし、 またいい刺激にもなります。 8. その他 KESではパーティなどのイベントを開催しています。このようなパーティや、 一般の国際交流団体のイベントに参加しましょう。様々な国からの人々と会って話すことは英語の勉強になります。 紀伊国屋書店のような本屋には英語の雑誌がたくさんあります。「Tokyo Journal」や「Metropolis 」には様々な国の人が参加している国際交流団体の案内が載っています。 もちろん英語の勉強だけを目的に参加してはいけませんが、本当に興味のある団体には参加すべ. 一週間8時間の計算、20時間くらいでは? 文章の順番入れ替え(1で2個所) Your teacher is? “We are the Canadian schools in Japan!”



246 Kamiasao, Asao Ku,

Kawasaki, Kanagawa 215-0021

How to Study English

How to Study English

How to Study English while living in Japan

“For toddlers, learning one language is no more difficult than learning another…Even if the child doesn’t continue in the language, learning so young clearly stimulates brain activity.”

-Francois Thibaut, Founder of The Language Workshop for Children and a pioneer specialist in Early Childhood Education

Here is some advice for your students, or for you if you are a student studying English. (Note that at the bottom of the page there is a link to this same article in Japanese.)

Learning English while living in Japan is a very difficult thing to do. However it can be done. When learning English one must remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It takes a very long time to be able to speak well. Learning English is more like learning Classical piano than it is like learning how to ride a bicycle or how to swim. With swimming lessons you can see the results very quickly.

How to Study English

After only a few months or less, you can swim. English is very different. It takes years of English classes to become fluent. Arguably, English is the most difficult language in the world to learn, comprising the largest vocabulary in the world, and possessing a system of grammar that often leaves students and even teachers dumbfounded.

(Photo of prayer cards in Japan by Ian Griffin)

so that it’s interesting, informative and


English Lessons for You

Is a solid resource of content for English Lessons and valuable strategies for EFL Students, EFL Teachers and Childhood Education Learners. Video Tutorials, Plans, Worksheets and interesting information to enhance

EFL learning and teaching.

How to Study English

I digress, but in many ways Japanese is actually much easier to learn than English, the grammar rules do not change very much, whereas English grammar has many exceptions to the rule. If you are lucky enough to go and live in an English speaking country for a year, and study hard, speak everyday, and avoid having many Japanese friends while there, you will come back to Japan as a fluent English speaker.

How to Study English

Why is this so? Well if you simply add up the hours of English speaking practice–let’s say 8 hours of English speaking and listening per day, multiplied by 365 days, that comes to 2,920 hours of English for the year! Wow! If you go to a typical English conversation school, and you are a very good student and do homework each week, study each week, watch English movies, listen to English music, and read English books, and sometimes think in English when you are on the train or walking home, then perhaps you experience English for 8 hours a week, multiplied by 40 weeks (excluding holidays, sickness, class cancellations etc), and this comes to 320 hours of English per year.

How to Study English

To equal a year of living abroad, you would have to study at a conversation school and at home for almost ten years. This is probably pretty accurate. Language school students who do stay for 4 years or more, tend to be very good English speakers. The ones who have stayed 7 or more years are approaching the level of students who have lived abroad. I do not want to discourage students from studying English at a language school! It is a very good thing to do if you want to learn English and cannot live abroad.

How to Study English

It is also necessary if you are going to go abroad for a trip or to live. But you must realize that you cannot study for a few months and be a great English speaker. It just isn’t possible. Learning to speak English is more like an art, one which took native speakers a long time to master. Even North American children frequently make mistakes when they speak. Frankly, so do many adults!

How to Study English

Hopefully you are still reading this, and haven’t run away from the computer screaming about all the money you spent on English study! There are some students who learn English very quickly and become very good speakers, and even fluent in a short time. Just like the person who becomes very good at tennis, they practice. You do not need a fantastic tennis coach to be a very good tennis player, you do need to practice. The same rule applies to English study. Here are some habits of Japanese who speak English very well:

How to Study English – Advice

1. PARTICIPATE: When you come to class, speak up. Try to talk as much as you can. When asked a question answer more. ie) “What did you do on the weekend?” Answer: “Nothing.” Not only is this a terrible answer, you obviously lead a very boring life, and need to get out more! Better answer: “I went shopping in Odawara with my friend.” Also the teacher can’t correct you, if he or she can’t hear you. Speak up! Come to class on time, try to come every week. Borrow English study software, videos, and books from our libraries. Read English newspapers and magazines, especially magazines about the hobbies you like.

Try to really get into English, and make your home into a little Canada as much as possible by watching English movies, and using the English study software on your computer. Get Wow Wow or PerfecTV and watch as many English TV programs and movies as you can. I have mentioned this many times all ready, and that is because it is so important to becoming a good speaker and listener. In your car, listen to English cassettes which you can borrow from our schools, or listen to FEN radio AM 810 or InterFM, FM 76.1, both of these radio stations have a lot of their programming in English. Also, don’t give up! Our teachers would be glad to recommend study software for you, or a good listening cassette or book from our libraries. For Junior High School Students: Some of you need to leave the negative attitude at the door. Try to have fun, your teacher is.

You may not realize it now, but English is going to be very important to your future. If you plan to travel anywhere outside of Japan, then English really is a necessity. English is cool! If you can speak well, you will have so many opportunities that others will not.

It really is the world’s language, so you can learn it now, or you can learn it later; when it will be more difficult as you will be very busy working, and perhaps have children and other responsibilities. See below…. Listen to English music!

How to Study English

2. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME: When you come to class speak English. You can speak Japanese at home. Never use Japanese during class, and remind your classmates of this as well. When you finish a pairwork activity, this is a good chance to do free talk in English. Don’t waste your time by doing free talk in Japanese. Your Japanese is all ready very good! If you don’t know the English word, describe it or use gestures. Be creative! Do your homework EVERY week! Study the important points in your textbooks every week. For every hour of class time, you should spend at least one hour of home study to prepare for class. So three hours of classes per week equals three hours of study at home, plus you must do the assigned homework each week. No one said it would be easy! You can of course study much more than this, and this will increase the speed at which you become a good speaker.

How to Study English

3. PAY ATTENTION: Listen to other students talk. You can learn just as much from them as you can from the teacher. Look at the student who is speaking. Also, make eye contact with everyone when you speak, not just your teacher. It is rude to just concentrate on one person when you speak, you should make eye contact with everyone in the class.

How to Study English

4. THINK IN ENGLISH: By answering quickly you can train yourself to think in English. If you translate everytime, your English will be very slow, and your grammar will be bad. It is difficult to translate from Japanese to English and speak well–the languages are so different. Answering quickly will prevent you from translating into Japanese.

5. RECORD your English lesson and listen to it later.

6. PERSEVERE: Students who become good English speakers don’t give up. They continue to study until they master English. This may take a long time. But so do many things in life.

7. TRAVEL to English speaking countries whenever you can. It helps you to practice and it spurs you on to study more.

8. JOIN us for our school parties and events, and join some of the international societies in Odawara, Yokohama, and Tokyo. You can meet many people from other countries and practice your English. If you go to Kinokuniya Bookstore, they have many magazines in English. The Tokyo Journal and Tokyo Classified, advertise many international societies which you can join and meet others from other countries. You shouldn’t join just to practice your English of course. You should join a society in which you have a genuine interest.

9. JOIN our Kevin’s English Schools Online Community, it’s free! You can ask questions about English, post messages and have discussions in English. The more you practice your English either by speaking or by email the better!

10. MUSIC: Listen to songs sung in English. Sing English songs when you go out for karaoke. Above all, do your best to enjoy your studies, that way you will persevere and study longer.



246 Kamiasao, Asao Ku,

Kawasaki, Kanagawa 215-0021

Tel. 08010095581