Monthly Archives: December 2014

Monday Group Discussion: Learning English

Hello everyone!

Here is our next discussion topic for Monday (December 15th).  The topic my absolute favorite: learning English!  Finally, we’ll be able to talk all about your experiences, as well as your ideas, concerning your adventures with English!

This will be our last new group discussion topic for this year, so I hope you can make it!  I’m anxious to hear everything you think and want to know about learning English.

If you are a student of mine, I hope to see you at one of the discussion groups. If anybody (student or not) has any questions about this blog, please let me know: Post a comment here, find me on twitter, or email me through my website. Thanks!

Here is a list of the lexis and possible questions which we may use during the lesson:

Learning English Lexical Set:

Nouns

Conversation(s)

Environment

Language(s)

Pronunciation

Search engine(s)

Vocabulary

Tutor(s)

Verbs

Advance

Affect

Dominate

Further

Improve

Learn

Practice

Adjectives/Adverbs

Likely

Expressions

N1 is a(n) ADJ N2 to V

Be able to V

Be willing to V

On the phone

The most ADJ thing about N

Sample Questions

Beginner:

1. How often do you study English?

2. Is English a difficult language to learn?

Intermediate:

1. What is the most difficult thing about English?

2. How long have you been learning English?

Advanced:

1. Why do you study English?

2. What are you willing to do in order to improve your English?

That’s it!  I hope that gives you some good ideas not just for what to talk about, but for what to ask your fellow students.  See you next week!

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Saturday Group Discussion: Beauty and Appearance

Hello everyone!

Here is our next discussion topic for Saturday (December 13th).  The topic is beauty and appearance.  We’ll talk about what beauty is, how important appearance is and we people are so concerned with the two.

As usual, please prepare at least two questions.  🙂

If you are a student of mine, I hope to see you at one of the discussion groups. If anybody (student or not) has any questions about this blog, please let me know: Post a comment here, find me on twitter, or email me through my website. Thanks!

Here is a list of the lexis and possible questions which we may use during the lesson:

Beauty and Appearance Lexical Set

Nouns

Advantge(s)

Beauty

Beholder(s)

Distinction(s)

Drawback(s)

Grace

Personality

Plastic Surgeon(s)

Self-Esteem

Tip(s)

Trait(s)

Verbs

Affect

Define

Distinguish

Enhance

Spend

Think of

Adjectives

Attractive

Beautiful

Broad

Cosmetic

Handsome

Immature

Intelligent

Physical

Popular

Wealthy

Expressions

How ADJ is N?

It’s better to V (than to V)

The same way

Sample Questions

Beginner:

1. Do you have any beauty tips?

2. What are some words we use to describe physically attractive people?

Intermediate:

1. How does beauty affect one’s success in life?

2. How important is it to be beautiful?

Advanced:

1. What does the proverb “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” mean?

2. What makes one person more attractive than another?

That’s it!  Hope to see you then!

Sample Questions

(kind of limited, so only one of each this time!)

Beginner: How old were you when you retired?

Intermediate: How have you been spending your retirement?

Advanced: Do you miss your career at all?  If so, what do you miss about it?  If not, why not?

There you go!  Hope to see you all on Monday.  Remember, we only have two more Monday group discussions this year!

Friday Group Discussion: Animals and Pets

Hello and thank you for checking out the Start Gate English blog!

Every week on Monday at 3pm, Friday at 9pm and Saturday at 3pm we have a one-hour group discussion on a different topic. This class is open to any and all students, but recommended for intermediate and advanced. We have 2-4 students in each class. The teacher asks questions and discusses the answers with the students, and students can ask questions to each other (and the teacher, too!). You are welcome to bring a dictionary or ask the teacher if you need help. One lesson is 1500-2500 yen, depending on how many tickets you buy. If you are interested, please check out the website or contact me directly. If you are not available on Monday at 3pm or Tuesday at 7pm, but would like to join, please tell me your available days and times and I will be happy to set up another class for you!

The topic for Friday is animals and pets.  We’ll be talking about your favorite animals, pets you have had and having pets in general.

On to the discussion!

Animals and Pets Lexical Set

Nouns

Animal(s)

Neighborhood(s)

Pet(s)

Testing

Trick(s)

Vegetarian(s)

Zoo(s)

Verbs

Consider

Grow up with

Keep

Like

Ride

Adjectives

Acceptable

Afraid

Best

Scary

Expressions

It’s ok to V (O)

Look like

Pros and cons

What do you think of…

What about N is ADJ?

N = noun

V = verb

O = object

Sample Questions

Beginner:

1. Do you like animals?

2. Are there any animals you are afraid of?  What are they?

Intermediate:

1. Have you ever ridden an animal?  What kind?

2. What are some unusual animals people keep as pets?

Advanced:

1. What do you think of zoos?

2. What are the best pets and why?

That’s it!  Hope to see you there!

Monday Group Discussion: Retirement

Hi Guys!  Sorry it’s so late (as usual!).

Here is our next discussion topic for Monday (December 8th).  The topic is retirement.  We’ll talk about life before and after retirement, and maybe a bit about retirement laws, policies, etc. in general in Japan.

As usual, please prepare at least two questions.  🙂

If you are a student of mine, I hope to see you at one of the discussion groups. If anybody (student or not) has any questions about this blog, please let me know: Post a comment here, find me on twitter, or email me through my website. Thanks!

Here is a list of the lexis and possible questions which we may use during the lesson:

Retirement Lexical Set

Nouns

Goal(s)

Pension

Retirement

Verbs

Accomplish

Describe

Intend

Rate

Save

Spend

Support

Adjectives

Financial

Mandatory

Expressions

At this stage (of N)

How would you rate N?

In a/one word

Make it big

The rest of N

N = Noun

Sample Questions

(kind of limited, so only one of each this time!)

Beginner: How old were you when you retired?

Intermediate: How have you been spending your retirement?

Advanced: Do you miss your career at all?  If so, what do you miss about it?  If not, why not?

There you go!  Hope to see you all on Monday.  Remember, we only have two more Monday group discussions this year!

Saturday Group Discussion: Politics

Hey everybody!  Sorry to post this so late!

Here is our next discussion topic for Saturday  (December 6th).  The topic is politics.

As usual, please prepare at least two questions.  🙂

If you are a student of mine, I hope to see you at one of the discussion groups. If anybody (student or not) has any questions about this blog, please let me know: Post a comment here, find me on twitter, or email me through my website. Thanks!

Here is a list of the lexis and possible questions which we may use during the lesson:

Nouns

Age

Ambassador(s)

Campaign(s)

Citizen(s)

Government(s)

Lifetime

Mayor(s)

Official(s)

Part(y/ies)

Polic(y/ies)

Position(s)

System(s)

Responsibility

View(s)

Vote(s)

Verbs

Agree (with)

Finance

Represent

Spend

Think (of)

Vote

Adjectives

Compulsory

Controversial

Main

Minimum

Political

Representative

Expressions

Be vetted

Get s/o to do s/t

Stay the same

Sample Questions

Beginner:

1. What type of government does Japan have?

2. Which politicians can you name?

Intermediate:

1. Who is the most controversial politician in your country?

2. How do you decide who to vote for?

Advanced:

1. How could the government be improved?

2. Why is it important to be involved in politics?

That’s it!  Thank you very much, and see you this weekend!

Friday Night Discussion Group: Cooking, Eating and Food

Hey everybody!  Sorry to post this so late and at night!

Here is our next discussion topic for tomorrow  (December 5th).  The topic is food, cooking and eating.

As usual, please prepare at least two questions.  🙂

If you are a student of mine, I hope to see you at one of the discussion groups. If anybody (student or not) has any questions about this blog, please let me know: Post a comment here, find me on twitter, or email me through my website. Thanks!

Here is a list of the lexis and possible questions which we may use during the lesson:

Nouns

Food

Restaurant(s)

Place(s)

Cook(s)

Meal(s)

Information

Diet(s)

Meat

Verbs

Eat

Like

Drink

Prefer

Cook

Skip

Read

Buy

Include

Adjectives

Good

Nutritional

Vegetarian

Additional Expressions

Eat out

Eat at home

What kind of N…?

Place to V (O)

N = noun

V = verb

O = object

Here are some sample questions:

Beginner:

1. What kind of food do you like?

2. Do you drink coffee?  How often?

Intermediate:

1. What kind of restaurants do you like?

2. What is your favorite place to drink?

Advanced:

1. How much do you care about nutrition?

2. What do you think of using artificial ingredients?

That’s it!  Thanks for reading and see you soon!