Reading and a feeling of guilt

George J.N. Whitfield, nicknamed “George” by all the boys at Hampton Grammar School, was a no-nonsense authoritarian educator — a real establishment character who inspired fear and respect.  I have a lot of memories of him, but I don’t remember him ever saying a word to me personally in the whole of the time I was… Read More

Wh- words for expressing emotion

Looking carefully at language used by relatively advanced or even advanced learners of English, often through study of a learner corpus, can suggest ways of ordering instruction in early stages that can help to avoid later fossilization of inappropriate usage. This post offers an example that illustrates this point. Read More

The good-hearted majority

I stumbled across an email I wrote to a friend in Oxford following the big earthquake of 2011. She, like many other friends overseas, was anxious to know how things were for us in Tokyo. Read More

Children of War and Peace

There are many of us who, with fathers and grandfathers who fought in the war, share a sense of mission to ensure that peace prevails over the anger that leads to war. Many of us also feel that Japan, with its unique history of war, natural disaster and more recently nuclear contamination, has the potential to be a leading voice for peace in the world. Read More

Boundaries? Awesome!

Thinking out of the box — That’s far out! “Awesome,” used as a friendly term of approval for almost anything, is a word I hear a lot from young Americans.  In the seventies many of us used the expression “far out” in a similar way. Both expressions wormed their way into the language of young people… Read More

Natural Resources

I’ve been enjoying reading Donella Meadows’ book, “Thinking in Systems.” The incredible quote here, which  isn’t from the book, deserves special attention.  This is a prominent environmentalist talking, a scientist.   What she is saying is that our most important resource is already within us. I’d like to add that we can choose to tap into it whenever… Read More