My website

Sunday was almost over and another week is just about to start (Oh, my perception of a week is based on the typical Japanese calendar that starts a week on Monday).

What did I do on this very last day of the week?

Ta-da!

Here is my new website. I could have kept my old one, but for some reason, I decided to make a new one…more than six months ago. And here it is. My new website. It is for the very hub of what I do for a living. I make, organize, and sell a correspondence course for the TOEFL test. That’s what this website is all about.

I thank you in advance for taking your time to visit my site. I set up a guest book so that you can say hi to me. From tomorrow on, I will be adding up something else including my You Tube videos.

Have a good night!

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I won’t stop writing yet.

Sample copies of my new book arrived yesterday.

TOEFL iBT(R)テスト 完全教本

This book on how to prepare for the TOEFL test appears to be what an ideal test-prep book should be like, thanks to all the help and effort of everyone involved. With this book I think I can make a certain contribution to a better average TOEFL score of the Japanese citizens. (Explanatory answers, techniques, and many study tips are written in Japanese for the Japanese readers. I could translate all of it into English so that everyone in the world can share the benefit.)

When the samples arrived, I was with my four-year-old son. He was curious to know what they were, obviously hoping the parcel was sent by his grandfather and that in it should be some toys for him.

I tried giving him an easy explanation about what they are:

“This is a book your father wrote together with other co-authors. Doesn’t it look great?” I knew he was not ready to listen to me anymore because he had lost interest.

“Did you write?”

“Yeah, I did. You know what I’m talking about?”

“I don’t know…, but you wrote it yourself, Dad?”

” You are right, I did it. What do you think?”

“I don’t know…”

How many books should I write before he knows there is a profession called an author, and that’s part of his father’s job?

Know thyself.

Sometimes it is very hard to know what’s wrong with you until you get feedback.

Recently I was asked by a student who I didn’t teach on a regular basis why her TOEFL Speaking score was not improving. I asked her for some more information about her way of speaking: how she tries to organize the speech, how much she tries to say, and some others… The answers to all the questions indicated that she should be a perfect speaker of English!

With my 10-odd years of experience, there has been no single exception that didn’t get a good result if all those questions are affirmatively answered.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to allow her to send me an example so that I could give her my feedback. (I know she, or everyone else for that matter, would feel a bit awkward if I asked her to speak right then and there when everyone else was still there in the lobby, trying to listen to us rather attentively!)

As it turned out…

she didn’t develop her idea. I couldn’t exactly understand what she was saying.

Her pronunciation was a major obstacle to prevent me (and raters) from understanding her idea.

and more…

There seemed a lot to improve. It will take a lot of patience and effort until finally she can see herself speaking significantly better. It was just that she knew what a perfect response should be, and she answered my questions based on that ideal response. Seeing you in an objective manner is just so hard.

You look serious, but are you really?

I was at a nearby beach yesterday.

Together with my friend’s family, all my family enjoyed 1) swimming in the pool, 2) running on the beach, and 3) having a BBQ.

We were thinking about going to this particular swimming pool. We knew that there was this city-operated park and that it included a swimming pool and were talking about going there…but when? That was always the conversation killer. Since I am too busy throughout summer (I have to spend time either teaching or writing), so I always hesitated to add another plan to my schedule.

But I made a decision right then and there, when I learned at the high school reunion that this old friend of mine from high school was living just adjacent to this park. He planned a BBQ and we joined them while swimming in the pool. Everything including the exact date and time was all set in a matter of hours.

There are many things you have had in mind for so long in your lifetime. You know you want to do something, but you can’t, because you just keep missing the timing. It is very nice therefore to have someone who encourages and even forces you to put your idea into effect. Thinking alone does not tell anyone that you are serious. Thinking alone did not tell my kids that I was seriously thinking about going to the pool. Only when you actually and physically do it will others realize in retrospect that you have been serious. I am glad my children now realize that I was seriously thinking about them.