和のブログ

大阪・高槻の英会話カフェ
English Cafe 和 のスタッフブログです。

和は高槻にある英会話カフェです。





ゆったりとした時のながれる和空間で


楽しい英会話がくりひろげられていますABC


レベルに関係なくお楽しみいただけます☆


是非おこしください(^o^)/





営業時間


木:2時から8時


金:2時から8時


土:2時から8時





詳しくはホームぺ―ジをごらんください





ホームページ:englishcafewa.jimdo.com


メール:engcafewa@gmail.com


電話番号:072-683-3801


※この番号へのお電話は営業時間内(木・金・土の2~8pm)によろしくお願いいたします。



テーマ:

Hey there!

Today was my first actual day working, and I was surprised by the conevrsations I had. I started talking about the different dialects of Japan, which I've had a certain interest in ever since I started living in Kansai. It's pretty nice to hear people show quite some pride and interest in their own dialects – it’s an integral part of culture after all! I also learned more about the typical style of Kansai humor; how there's often a boke and tsukkomi routine. Come to think of it, the sense of humor I (and probably most young Filipinos) have isn't that different from what a Kansai native would find funny.

Aside from that, I also got to learn more about the political and religious situation in Japan – or basically why these topics tend to be taboo or at least of little interest during normal conversations. There really are a lot of things beneath the usual image of Japan that goes into making Japanese society quite interesting; even though it's usually seen as a aggressively homogenous society, there's actually a lot going on within!

With that, I'm looking forward to my next visit!

 

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テーマ:

Hello everyone!
Today we had nice conversations in Cafe Wa. I am very happy to have got the answer to a question I was asking myself for some weeks now. Is this the Japanese rainy season? Because it is not raining as you would except. But the guests told me it was a bit special this year, because it does hardly rain.
Today I received an explanation about the japanese university entrance exams, which was pretty interesting. But as you all probably know how the japanese system works, l'll explain you the German system.
We have no entrance exams. In our system we get a cetrain grade at the end of high school that consist of grades received during high school and the grades of the graduation exams. With the grade we receive we will apply to different universities. (For the grades: 1 is the best and 4 is the worst, so for example you could have a 2,2) With this grade you apply to a certain course at university and depending on how many students this course can take, they chose those with the highest grades.
I'm not sure which system I prefer, but I think I actually like the Japanese system more. What do you think?

Have a nice weekend,
Josefine

 

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Hello, guests!

 

It’s getting super hot recently. Also, raining season. Are you ready for summer?

I like summer’s plants but not ready for humid air.

 

Today we talked about two topics. Firstly, it is about Kenya. Second, it is about the difference between Western and Eastern students. Regarding to Kenya, we watched Eric’s former presentation PPT. We are so surprised. In our imagination, there are all desert or big safari. However, it is not. The capital city is really modern and looks like Osaka. Also, we learned some greeting in Kenya languages. Kenya is has almost 60 languages. However, they also speak English as their official language. We learned a lot from the presentation by Eric.

 

The other topic is that I think Japanese students are too shy. Before coming to Japan, I think Taiwan students are really shy to express our ideas. However, Japanese students are really afraid to make mistakes than Taiwanese students. For example, in Kansai University, the Japanese students who took class with exchanged students are all study abroad before. They could speak good English but maybe just some grammar errors. However, when groups members are discussing about one topic, they don’t say any words during the whole semester. Normally, exchanged students dominated the whole conversation. Even though we asked them what do you think about it? They only answer yes I agree with you or I have same idea with everyone. Nevertheless, when I asked one of students privately, they actually have lots of ideas, but they don’t have 100% confidence and they choose don’t speak it out. I really want to encourage them to speak more and don’t afraid to make errors. Even native speaker also make mistakes. No problem and just speak it.

 

 

 

Phoebe

 

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テーマ:

Pieces of Advice

Hello again, dear guests and readers! Tabita here!

How are you dealing with the heat? Today I went to that shop on the second floor of that nice shopping mall near Takatsuki JR station. Before I saw a girl eating a light blue ice cream and I wanted to try it too. In the end it was “soda” flavoured, like Ramune, but not carbonated… quite tasty…

Today I witnessed a rare and very interesting encounter at Wa. One guest was preparing to study abroad somewhere in Missouri (United States), and other one got their college degree there. So a part of the session was about concerns one might have when going to study abroad, trouble you might encounter due to cultural shock, who to get information from regarding people and daily student life, and so on. Since I’ve never been to the United States it was very interesting to hear these topics and compare them with the situations that I could often see in my country.

Some concerns that may arise when you think about studying abroad are related to, for example, life in a dorm. When you live in a dorm, you have to share facilities, and sometimes your sleeping room, with people you haven’t seen before. What if your customs and habits are radically different to theirs? When you go to live in other country for whatever reason, you are mentally prepared for encountering a different system of principles and values, but it’s not until you experience daily life there that you can feel the extent in which these differences affect you.

Manager Yoko gave us an example of a quite common situation that is difficult to deal with: You went to buy your food supplies, namely milk, fruit and eggs, and you stored them in the fridge you have to share with your roomies. The logic thing would be that no one touches them because they didn’t pay for them, but you get there the next morning and your missing some eggs and half your milk carton. What to do? Some people would piss off for sure, like normal territorial beings. Specially because we are students and money is kind of scarce so it’s not like we are willing to give our stuff for free. But some other people have a different way of thinking. They might take your stuff, but they also might be equally willing to share their supplies with you without you having to ask for it every single time. So you can either take the individualist approach and fight the offenders or buy a little fridge on your own (here second hand goods will be of great help), or a communitarian approach and propose that you and your roomies buy groceries with a common fund, or designate what will each person buy, so one of them will buy the milk every time, some other the eggs, and a third one the fruits.

When this or any other problem arises, the first thing you have to make sure of is that you express your concerns frankly and without hesitation. There is no need to get into a fight (well, sometimes there might be, hehe), but in this cases it’s better to make your points of view known. There is the stereotype that people in Japan won’t speak honestly when they disagree with you, and sometimes some bad person might want to take advantage of that point, so always speak frankly and don’t beat around the bush. People in Western countries value their own individuality as well as others’. We can work in teams, but the special features of each member are important for the team to achieve their goals, so we show our special features and remark the features of others. Of course, in each and every country you will find these bitter people trying to bring you down, but when you’re sure about yourself, it is less of a problem.

Ok, I’ve been going on for a little longer that usual, so I’ll stop here for now.

Words of the day:

1.       Encounter: Noun, refers to an unexpected meeting.

2.       Culture shock: That unpleasant feeling you experience when you go abroad and bump into customs too different to yours and don’t really know how to react.

3.       Roomie: A shorter, informal way to say “roommate”.

That’s it for today, see you next time!

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テーマ:

Pieces of Advice

Hello again, dear guests and readers! Tabita here!

How are you dealing with the heat? Today I went to that shop on the second floor of that nice shopping mall near Takatsuki JR station. Before I saw a girl eating a light blue ice cream and I wanted to try it too. In the end it was “soda” flavoured, like Ramune, but not carbonated… quite tasty…

Today I witnessed a rare and very interesting encounter at Wa. One guest was preparing to study abroad somewhere in Missouri (United States), and other one got their college degree there. So a part of the session was about concerns one might have when going to study abroad, trouble you might encounter due to cultural shock, who to get information from regarding people and daily student life, and so on. Since I’ve never been to the United States it was very interesting to hear these topics and compare them with the situations that I could often see in my country.

Some concerns that may arise when you think about studying abroad are related to, for example, life in a dorm. When you live in a dorm, you have to share facilities, and sometimes your sleeping room, with people you haven’t seen before. What if your customs and habits are radically different to theirs? When you go to live in other country for whatever reason, you are mentally prepared for encountering a different system of principles and values, but it’s not until you experience daily life there that you can feel the extent in which these differences affect you.

Manager Yoko gave us an example of a quite common situation that is difficult to deal with: You went to buy your food supplies, namely milk, fruit and eggs, and you stored them in the fridge you have to share with your roomies. The logic thing would be that no one touches them because they didn’t pay for them, but you get there the next morning and your missing some eggs and half your milk carton. What to do? Some people would piss off for sure, like normal territorial beings. Specially because we are students and money is kind of scarce so it’s not like we are willing to give our stuff for free. But some other people have a different way of thinking. They might take your stuff, but they also might be equally willing to share their supplies with you without you having to ask for it every single time. So you can either take the individualist approach and fight the offenders or buy a little fridge on your own (here second hand goods will be of great help), or a communitarian approach and propose that you and your roomies buy groceries with a common fund, or designate what will each person buy, so one of them will buy the milk every time, some other the eggs, and a third one the fruits.

When this or any other problem arises, the first thing you have to make sure of is that you express your concerns frankly and without hesitation. There is no need to get into a fight (well, sometimes there might be, hehe), but in this cases it’s better to make your points of view known. There is the stereotype that people in Japan won’t speak honestly when they disagree with you, and sometimes some bad person might want to take advantage of that point, so always speak frankly and don’t beat around the bush. People in Western countries value their own individuality as well as others’. We can work in teams, but the special features of each member are important for the team to achieve their goals, so we show our special features and remark the features of others. Of course, in each and every country you will find these bitter people trying to bring you down, but when you’re sure about yourself, it is less of a problem.

Ok, I’ve been going on for a little longer that usual, so I’ll stop here for now.

Words of the day:

1.       Encounter: Noun, refers to an unexpected meeting.

2.       Culture shock: That unpleasant feeling you experience when you go abroad and bump into customs too different to yours and don’t really know how to react.

3.       Roomie: A shorter, informal way to say “roommate”.

That’s it for today, see you next time!

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テーマ:

Topic : Game Time!

 

Today we played the game together, and had a really great time during the afternoon time. The game is basically basis on Charade but we changed the rule a little bit. For English non-native speaker, it is always better to find an interesting way to learn English, so that we can gain more motivation and make the learning lively. I felt so happy that everyone seemed to have a good time and really enjoyed the game.

 

 

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テーマ:

皆さんこんにちは、

パーティのお知らせです。

 

「世界一周ブラブラナイト」は

日本にいながら、世界の国々の文化に触れていたく企画です。

外国人スタッフ数名のFarewell & Welcome Partyとなります。
テーブルごとにトルコ、アメリカ、台湾、インド、ドイツ、ベルギー等の国々を紹介する予定です。それらの国以外ではケニア、フィリピン、マレーシアのスタッフも参加する予定です。
 
一度にたくさんの外国人が集まるこの機会に、是非お越しください。
 
ポットラックパーティではないため、当日は夕食を済ませてお越しください。
和ではお飲み物とスナック等をご準備させていただきます。
 
日時: 7月22日(土) オープン 午後6時30分
           パーティー 午後7時~9時
場所: English Cafe 和
料金: 2000円
 
参加を希望される方は
e-mail 、お電話、受付でご予約のうえパーティー券をお買い求めください。
 
尚、当日の混乱を避ける為、パーティー券は前日までにお買い求めください

 

スタッフ一同 ご予約お待ちしています。

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テーマ:

Today was a very interesting day with discussions ranging from tap water and each respective person's dreams and Japanese culture in comparison with the rest of the world to the Japanese naming of warships and chemistry and physics.

 

My day began with a discussion with our guests over the meaning and intention of a HIV awareness and fundraising video, with each member discussing words they heard, and words they didn’t understand, it was a revealing moment for us, as the problems seemed far away (Uganda), but the humanity aspect so close. Especially when it was made clear we could all make contributions towards the goal. To brighten the mood we talked about each other's hobbies, with comedy relief coming from jokes between age differences between members, however this led to a meaningful discussion over grammar, notably the difference between American and British English as well as when to use many and much.

 

With members joining and leaving the discussion, at one point we had a table full of science majors, and the discussion became a chemistry lesson as we discussed radioactive decay and the electromagnetic spectrum as well as state changes. This stemming from one of our member’s dreams which was to become an astronaut. Whilst we were on the topic of academics and school life, I asked them what was popular in their school, to which one member replied “warships”, leading to a history discussion. Feeling it was a little esoteric, we brought the conversation to tourism, as that is a major reason to learn english. So we had some role playing experience where members played the tourist and learnt how to ask for directions, understand directions, how to order food and shop, with related and required language as well as mannerisms.

 

Some words to take home learnt during our conversation included:

 

Deductible (Deduct): To be deductible means it can be taken away, this word came up in the HIV awareness video as the narrator stresssed “Tax deductible” meaning Tax returns could be given for lowered income resulting from the donations

 

Countable: The attribute of being able to be counted numerically on its own. Uncountable words include money and water (as you cannot say one water,two water), but their measurements can (one litre, two litres).

 

Atmosphere: Atmosphere can have several meanings so it is important to understand the context. Atmosphere can be a measurement (of pressure), part of an expression (to read the atmosphere), or the literal atmosphere that surrounds earth

 

Tonal: having attributes of pronunciation and its importance, for example Japanese and Chinese are tonal languages, while English is not. For that reason pronunciation is especially pertinent to understanding the meaning in Chinese and Japanese.

 

 

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Profit from Suffering

Hello again, dear guests and readers! Tabita here! (Late, but here…)

How’s life lately? I hope everything is OK for you.

As for me, I’ve been experiencing some health issues, but I hope I can get rid of them soon enough…

My latest session at Wa was on Thursday. It was a fine day, and we had a lot of interesting talk. One of our main subjects was the admission to university. In Chile the admission is pretty simple. We register for the admission exams while we are in our last year of high school. We can choose to register with the address of our school or our home and the venue of the exam will depend on that. The venues are always public schools, so one has to choose carefully the area if having the option to do so, since in some areas the nearest public school might be difficult to reach.

A month or so after we graduate, we take the tests. Language and Communication (Spanish) and Math are compulsory for all the universities that only admit people that took the exams (some other universities do not, but those institutions are usually not reliable). Depending on the majors you want to apply, you can take History, Geography and Social Studies (three subjects in one test) or Sciences (either biology, physics or chemistry). Also you depend on the grades you obtained during high school. The percentage of influence of each item in the final result varies between universities and majors, but all that information is available to everyone, so there won’t be any surprises afterwards. People do the test once and they become entitled to apply to practically any university within the country, for two years.

Japan is very different in that sense. According to what the guests exposed, each university has elaborated their own tests, and depending on the places where one wants to apply, the schedule might become very tight. The money is a big factor as well, because each exam has to be paid separately and they’re almost as expensive as a month of dorm rent. Also there are manuals to prepare the tests for each and every university. It is indeed a big business, but at the cost of the students being always under the threat of becoming a ronin and thus, the shame of your family. Meanwhile in my country, the only ways you cannot enter the university (if you wanted to) are that you were either really lazy, you chose not to enter for any reason (such as “well, I can use this test results next year, so during this year I can work and save some money/travel/cut myself some slack) or you needed a scholarship or student loan but you couldn’t get it.

Words of the day (not in the post, but they appeared during our conversation and interest arose):

  1. Drawback: a disadvantage about something.

  2. Decrease: the antonym of increase.

  3. Grope: to search something blindly, i.e., touching. It applies to grabbing someone’s body. A person who grabs others, for example, in public transportation, is called a groper.

That’s it for today, see you next time!

 

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Hey everyone, it's Mars. I'm sooooo sunburned today! My arms are red on the outside, but pure white on the inside... like strawberries and cream!

 

Today we had a nice long conversation about secrets of the iron/steel industry. The policies of Japanese companies seem so strict, but during time of crisis like the Kobe earthquake, Japanese workers can perform some amazing feats (accomplshments)!

 

I look forward to learning more about Japan's history, so hopefully I won't melt before my next shift. See you soon!

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