Are you ready?


With the end of the year fast approaching I would like to ask all of you reading this: what is your New Year's promise to yourself for learning English? Are you willing to do what it takes to become better skilled in the art of English communication? Or, are you just going to plod along in a mediocre fashion? Putting your fifty minutes in a class per week and hoping that it is enough to improve might be false thinking. Sorry. Realistic effort and careful planning separates my skilled students from my permanent beginners. I hope you want to uplevel you abilities. I know I certainly want you to do this.

If you really want to improve I think you have to evaluate your skill priority. What is most important for your skill set: reading. speaking, writing or reading? Or, do you want to be competent in all four? Some of my more skilled students are ready and willing to put the time in to make this happen. One of the most interesting quotes I have heard about language learning is that "It's just one word after another."

I think this might be accurate but there is bit more involved to it than that. More like: "One grammar pattern, one vocabulary set and on paragraph after another." But in essence the former statement is true one a foundational level, or beginner level, but the latter is more comprehensive.

Just curious if you are willing to practice pronunciation daily in front of a mirror to help? Are you willing to record you classes or voice to improve? Have you ever heard youself speaking English? Are you willing use half your screen time in English (including smartphone, computer, television)? Are you willing and able to write a small daily journal in English to hone those grammar skills? I sure hope so. If you want me to correct your grammar in a journal just let me know. I will take the time before or after class to correct spelling an grammar.

If you are making the same mistakes over and over again have you ever thought why? After teaching for several years now and studying Japanese for many years now I think I know the answer. It requires self evaluation (you) and neutral evaluation (your instructors).

Motivation is what I often speak to my students a lot about. Why are they studying English? What is the long term goal? What are the steps and processes for skill development? Are you more goal oriented or process oriented? I have learned that the goals take care of themselves naturally when the process (habits) become the goal. A new habit takes about three weeks to take hold. (I mean to be effective and long lasting) Good luck and Ganbatte. Study/Practice everyday!

マイク マッコーヒ

oriented or process oriented?





Well it is already 2015 and have you noticed how fast last year went. Time flies fast when your having fun, not sure that is all true. As for me, it wasn't the best for me. But I'm hanging in there and trying harder this year to put away the bad and accepting the good.

I hope all went well with you all and that it wasn't so bad for yourself. I'm sure some of you still have some shinnenkai's to attend later this weekend and the following weeks.

New years resolutions? Please don't say "I'm going to study harder!" A resolution is suppose to be challenging but studying is not one of the things you can do for 365 days, or is it?

Let's see what Tokyo has to offer around the city for this week.

Until Jan18th, Furusato Matsuri Tokyo 2015

Located outside the Tokyo Dome area

Sat. Jan10th-Jan.12th Daikoku Matsuri

Located at Kanda Shrine

Until Sat. Oct.31st Flower Garden 2014

Tobu Zoo

And if your still looking for illuminations, there are plenty of that all over Tokyo, so bring your spouse, partner or loved one and enjoy the many lights Tokyo has to offer.

Hope everyone will be healthy, wise and happy through 2015.

Regards, Paul


Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To All!

As the days are soon approaching the end of the yearクラッカー. It is almost time to say goodbye to 2014しょぼん and hello to 2015べーっだ!. And of course this will be my last blog for the year. I do hope that each one of you will have a wonderful time during your holidays with whatever your choices are.

As for me, I will head back to good ol' Texas for a few days to tidy up on some loose obligations but will return back and celebrate what Japan has to offer. I am still contimplating as to what that will be but I'm sure it will have some alcohol and merryment..

As 2015 is around the corner, what might be your "New Years Resolutionひらめき電球? Anything that you can promise yourself to do for 365 days? I'm sure under your breath you are thinking to better your skills in English ( how many times I have heard this from my studentsシラー)? Or perhaps something less challenging? maybe go on a diet? Exercise? Join a cult? LOL!!!! Whatever it is, I hope that it gives you a better outlook on life. As for myself, not so much as to improve myself physically, even though I am a bit overweight., but to continue to accept the things that I can not change, challenge what is put forth in front of me, and to make choices that not only makes others content but most importantly to make myself content.

But here is a funny quote that you can share amongst your friends that might have them guessing or laughing or both at the same time. It goes like this: My goal for 2015 is to accomplish the goals of 2014 which I should have done in 2013 because I made a promise in 2012 and planned in 2011. LOL!

What about Christmas? Your usual KFC 6 piece crispy and mashed potato's with cream corn and a big glass of Coca Cola? And throw in a strawberry white cake for dessert? Change a little, give KFC employees a break and make yourself a peanut butter sandwich, a bag of chips and a big glass of Coca Cola. Thinking about a gift for your loved one? Can't decide on the usual chocolates? Flowers? Gift card? Don't fret, gift giving is getting to commercialised. Just think this way: As you grow older, your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things you want can't be bought.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Years and have a great Happy Holiday and may each of you have a great time wherever you are.

Until next year! Take it easy,