The First All English Newspaper in Kumamoto City, Japan
Exchange emails with a native speaker of English
If you really want to improve your English skills, you should practice exchanging emails with a native speaker. Answer the questions below and send your answers to one of our staff members. You can also practice your speaking by skype or meeting in person.
1. When do you consider someone a friend?
2. Where are 2 good places to make new friends?
3. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
4. What do you talk about with your friends?
5. Do you have any foreign friends?
6. Do you ever invite your friends to your house?
7. Do you invite your friends out to dinner or drinks?
8. What is the maximum you would loan a friend?
9. Have you ever treated your friend?
Send your answers to someone on our staff. We will correct your English and answer you. Write the staff’s name in the subject. Email: email@example.com
David (USA) Sharon (Canada)
Randall (USA) Lisa (Canada)
Ex. Is jogging against the law?
No, jogging is not against the law.
1. Murder is against the law.
2. Drunk driving is against the law.
3. Eating on the shinkansen is not against the law.
4. Speeding is against the law.
5. Hugging your teacher is not against the law.
get rid of = throw it away or give it to someone
Ex. Did you get rid of your old clothes?
Yes, I got rid of my old clothes.
1. I got rid of my textbooks.
2. I did not get rid of my old chopsticks.
3. She got rid of her old dresses.
4. Karl got rid of his school uniform.
I have been living in Japan for 10 years now. Japanese often ask me, “What surprises you about Japan?” I think most Japanese are surprised when I say, “Why don’t elementary students have a winter uniform?” I always see elementary students walking to school wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt and the girls wearing a dress. I saw children walking to school when there was snow on the ground. I am an adult and if I walked into a building in February wearing shorts and short sleeves, every Japanese person would immediately ask me “ Aren’t you cold?” It’s amazing that Japanese adults care about other adults but do not care about their children. One Japanese lady said she thought it was to get the children used to the weather in their city. I told her if that is true, then it does not work because as soon as the children get into junior high, they start wearing clothes under their uniform to stay warm. They also wear scarves and mittens to stay warm when they are walking or riding their bicycles to school. For 10 years, not one Japanese person has been able to tell me why elementary students do not have winter school uniforms that consist of long pants and long sleeves.
Idiom 1 - Go down in flames = to fail miserably or spectacularly
Sam: Is Yuki going to give the speech in English?
Ben: Yes, he will go down in flames because he doesn’t speak English that well.
Idiom 2 - Go the extra mile = make an extra effort
Jill: Can you help me find a boyfriend?
Ray: I will go the extra mile and look online.
Idiom 3 - Once in a blue moon = rarely
Charles: Do you call Veronica every month?
Rachel: No, I talk to her once in a blue moon.
Idiom 4 - A stone’s throw = a very short distance
Student: Where is the convenience store?
Teacher: It’s just a stone’s throw from here.
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was born on August 11, 1921, in Ithaca, New York. His father was a professor and his mother was a teacher. His first five years of his life were spent in Tennessee. He loved to hear his grandmother tell of family traditions passed from one generation to the next. He also loved to read, especially stories of adventure. He graduated from high school at the age of fifteen.
He enrolled at Alcorn A & M College in Mississippi. In 1939, he joined the United States Coast Guard and began writing articles and short stories which he later sold to magazines. To relieve his boredom on the ship, Haley would write love letters for his friends who were not good at writing. By 1949, Haley had been promoted to chief journalist of the Coast Guard and held that position until he retired in 1959 after 20 years of service. He was highly decorated.
Alex Haley interviewed very famous African Americans like Martin Luther King Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones and Malcolm X.
Haley spent twelve years researching his book Roots. In this book he combined fact with fiction to tell the history of his family. He began by telling how his ancestor, Kunte Kinte, was kidnapped in Gambia in 1767 and taken to America as a slave. He went on to tell of the struggles of his family in America.
In 1977, Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize and the Spingarn Medal for his book Roots. Alex Haley died in 1992 at the age of seventy.
When someone in America takes a vacation, they are trying to forget about everything that gives them stress. People generally get stress from work and their boss. When they go on vacation, they want to forget about work, their boss and their co-workers. Americans take trips to relax by going out to eat, sightseeing and lying by the pool or on the beach.
When they return from their vacation, they are ready to start work. Americans do not buy souvenirs for their boss or co-workers. The reason is an office in America might have on average between 50 - 200 employees. It would be too expensive to buy souvenirs for everyone in the office. Another reason for not buying souvenirs, is Americans believe that a person’s money is for them to use. A person worked hard for their money so they should use it on them. When an American returns from a trip, most Americans would ask them, how was their trip, did they have fun, what did they do and other questions. Co-workers should ask questions about their trip or vacation. Being selfish is wondering where the souvenir for the office is and not asking about a person’s trip.
Also, since America is not a gift giving culture, snacks are not sold individually wrapped. A box of cookies are just a lot of cookies in a box. The cookies are not individually wrapped.
A souvenir in America are saved for ones closest friends and family. Also a souvenir is something they will have for years such as a t-shirt, a baseball cap, a cup or a pen. When they go to work and use a pen that says “Japan” on the side, their co-workers will see it and ask them questions about the pen. When their friends go to their house, and see the cup with “Brazil” on the side, it starts a conversation about the cup. If a souvenir is edible, after the person eats it, there is no more souvenir.