how to use this blog

This website is like a virtual world plaza. You can use it to stay in touch with English, and each other, during the summer. There are two ways to put things on the website.

1. Make a post.

A post is a kind of page. It can be a video, a photograph, an audio clip, some text or a combination of any of them. You can make a post very easily, just by sending an email to the address I gave you in class. Videos and photos attached to emails will show automatically. Links to YouTube videos will also show on the page automatically.

2. Make a comment

You can make a comment on someone else’s post. You will have to visit the website directly to make a comment – you cannot do it by email. Look through the posts and when you find something interesting, you can make a comment.

What kind of things should I post?

Don’t forget, although this website is not public, you should be careful about what you post. These are good rules for internet use in general….

Do not post your full name (your first name and family name initial is enough).
Do not post your student number.
Do not post your address, telephone number or other details you would like to keep private.
Do not post pictures or videos you might be embarrassed about later.

However, even if you follow these rules there are lots of interesting things you can post.

Read a book and write a review for us. This article is full of good advice for book reviewers, and if you visit Goodreads you can find great recommendations for reading. At Smories and Storyline, you can have someone read to you….. Tell us what you like! Nagoya is full of libraries, and many of them have English books, too. Check out the links in the sidebar.

Everyone knows YouTube, but how about Vimeo or Videojug? Vimeo is full of animation and music and looks beautiful, while Videojug is a website for instructional videos. Watch a video and tell us what you think about it.

Most people enjoy watching movies and TV shows, and you can visit your local rental store and borrow DVDs. If you want to watch videos online, you can see movies for free at openflix and the internet movie archive. All the movies are in the public domain, so you can watch them without breaking the law!

At TED you can watch great presentations by smart presenters about important issues. The great thing about the TED  website is that the talks are available with subtitles in English and Japanese, and you can also read the transcripts.

Want to improve your pronunciation? How about some online karaoke at redkaraoke? . Of course, you could visit a real karaoke box and sing in English too!

To chat with your friends from home, or around the world, Skype is free and easy.

Develop your academic English with Purdue or UEFAP.

CNN is the world famous TV news channel based in the USA. Their website has many international news stories, and of course video.

NPR is American National Public Radio, which looks more deeply at news stories. You can often listen to the stories and read the transcripts too.

The BBC is another internationally known organisation, this time based in the UK. It covers stories from around the world, including stories about science, entertainment, education and technology.

The BBC also has a site especially for English language learners, very good for simplified stories.

If you want to talk about local news, The Japan Times is one of the best places to read about politics, crime, entertainment and business in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun has a great English site, too.

My favourite British newspaper is The Guardian. It is traditionally a left / liberal paper and covers international news from that angle. If you are more interested in conservative politics you might enjoy The Telegraph.

If you find anymore useful or fun ways to practice English over the summer, please post them to the blog.

Or just write a quick note to tell us what you have been doing, send a picture of your delicious lunch, or take a quick video of your local festival. Have a great summer!

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