[Easy English Blog] Studying languages

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I love studying languages. My plan this year was to study Chinese, French and Russian, but I have changed my mind. I think it is better for me to focus on one language at a time. So I decided to focus on Chinese and try to pass the HSK level 3 exam.

I think focussing on one language at at time works well for me. When I was studying Japanese, I focussed on Japanese, and didn’t study any other languages. It took me three years to get level 1 on the Japanese proficiency test. So maybe this method works for me.

Some people can study many languages at the same time. I would like to, but I don’t think I can. So, I will focus on Chinese until I can pass level 4 on the HSK exam, and then I will start to study French. I might take a French test to keep me motivated. Once I have reached a high level in French, I will start to study Russian.

I wonder how long this will take? I guess it depends on how much time I can study every day. I’ll try to do at least an hour. My goal is to speak 5 languages fluently.

How many languages are you studying? Do you study them all at the same time? Or do you study them one at a time?

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

 

[Short Story] Grandparent’s Day

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After Walter Bergen’s wife died, he was very sad. He was lonely. He didn’t care about anything. He didn’t clean his house. He didn’t cook meals. He ate TV dinners and toast. He didn’t wash his clothes. He didn’t shave, or go to the hairdresser. His daughter, Melanie, was very worried about him. She drove to his house and said, “Dad! This is no good! You can’t stay here. Come and live in our house.”

“I don’t want to live in your house,” said Walter. “I am OK. Go away!”

Melanie was worried, but her father was very angry, so she went away.

One day, a few weeks later, Walter walked to the supermarket. He bought TV dinners and bread. He walked out of the supermarket. He walked across the road. He didn’t look to the left or the right. A car hit him. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital.  Melanie came to the hospital. “Dad!” she shouted. “You will not live alone. You will come to our house.”

Walter went to Melanie’s house. Melanie’s husband’s name was Roger. He was not happy. “Your father is dirty.  He is always angry. Why is he living in our house?”

“He is my father,” said Melanie. “He is old. He is unhappy. He must stay here.”

“I understand,” said Roger.

Melanie and Roger’s daughter was called Rosa. She was nine years old. One night while they are eating dinner, Melanie said, “Tomorrow, Rosa’s school has Grandparent’s Day.”

“What is Grandparent’s Day?” asked Walter.

“The children’s grandparents go to the school. They see what the children do at school. The children sing, and the grandparents play games with them. It is very nice,” said Melanie.

“I am Rosa’s grandfather,” said Walter. “I will go to Grandparent’s Day.

Rosa jumped up. She ran away from the table. She went to her bedroom.

Later, Walter was going to bed. He walked past Rosa’s bedroom. She was crying. Walter heard Roger’s voice. “Rosa,” he said. “Stop crying.”

“No!” shouted Rosa. “My grandfather is dirty. He smells bad. He doesn’t clean his clothes. He is always angry. I don’t want him to come to my school. The other children will laugh at me!”

“Rosa!” said Roger. “Many children have no grandparents. You are lucky. You have a grandfather. If Walter wants to come to your school, it is a good thing.”

Walter went to his bedroom.

The next morning, Rosa did not want to go to school. “My grandfather is not nice. I don’t want him to come to my school.”

“You will go to school,” said Melanie.

The grandparents came to Rosa’s school at 1:00 pm.

The students went to the school hall. All the children ran to find their grandparents. Rosa waited by the door. She looked all around the school hall, but she couldn’t see her grandfather. Where is he? she thought.  Maybe he didn’t come.

There was one man who was alone. He was wearing a suit and tie. His shoes were very shiny. He looked very smart. I wish that man was my grandfather, thought Rosa. He looks like a nice man.

The man turned towards Rosa. “Rosa!” he shouted.

Rosa could not believe it. It was her grandfather, but he looked like a new man. Rosa ran to Walter and hugged him.

I’m pleased I heard Rosa talking to her father last night, thought Walter. It made me feel bad when I heard what Rosa said. But I understand. I will be a better person in the future.

[Easy English Blog] Joining Instagram

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We joined Instagram the other day. (Our name user name is italkyoutalk.) We haven’t posted much yet. I spend a lot of time in my office, so I feel like I don’t have any interesting photographs to post.

For a long time, I have thought that I need to get out of the office more, and spend more time outside. Maybe Instagram will give me an extra reason to do this. I live in a beautiful place in Japan, so there are many scenic spots. However, I never visit them. I have a new phone, which takes very nice, high quality photographs. I’d like to share pictures of the beautiful place I live with other people. I think Instagram will be a good place to do this.

Now it is the rainy season, and nice flowers are blooming. I’ll try to get out and take some shots of them while they are still in bloom!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

 

[Easy English Blog] No running

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I wanted to go running today. So, I got ready, drove to my usual running spot and started to run. Then, my knee started to hurt. I don’t know why. I tried to continue running for a few hundred metres, but eventually I gave up. I went home and rode my exercise bike and did some stretching.

I was looking forward to running outside. It is getting hotter and more humid, so it won’t be comfortable to run outside soon. I wanted to make the most of the cool weather while I can.

I wonder what is wrong with my knee. I hope it is nothing serious. I will try running again in a few days. If the pain persists, I might go and see a doctor. Maybe I am just getting old…

[Easy English Blog] Sleepy days

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Everyone I know is feeling sleepy these days. This happens every April. When I see my friends and colleagues, they all say “I can’t get rid of my tiredness.” Everyone looks like they need to sleep more!

April is a busy time in Japan. The new school year starts, and many companies transfer workers to other offices or cities. Adjusting to a new environment and a new schedule is tiring. I think the weather is also a factor. It is getting warmer. I think this makes people feel sleepy too.

I have also been feeling sleepy, especially during the daytime. I try to go to bed early so I can get a good night’s sleep, but I still feel sleepy when I wake up. I feel like this every spring. I hope the feeling passes soon.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]Car problems

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I want to go to the sea to see the cherry blossoms. In my city, there is a place called Cherry Road. It has many cherry blossoms and overlooks the sea. It is a very beautiful place. But I can’t go, because my car has problems. I am worried that it will break down. If it breaks down near Cherry Road, I will have trouble, because Cherry Road is in the countryside, far from the city centre.

Sometimes, my car won’t change gear. I can’t drive or reverse. It has happened three times. Tomorrow, the maker of the car is going to look at it and try to find the problem. I hope they can find the problem and I hope it is not too expensive to fix.

I bought my car a year and a half ago. I didn’t expect to have problems so soon. I hope it is nothing serious.

So, this year, I will just see the cherry blossoms around my house and in the city centre. Maybe I can go to the countryside next year.

Heather@ I Talk You Talk Press

 

[Easy English Blog] New website

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We have a new website. Well, it’s not completely new, just redesigned. The old website was designed back in 2012. I thought it was time for a change. We have more graded readers now, so I wanted to display more books on the top page. We also decided to link our Facebook and Twitter accounts to the website.

I am happy with the design. I always ask the same designer to design our site. He knows our business well, and always does a good job. He also made a smartphone version of the website. When we started, smartphones were not as common as they are now, so we just had a PC site. It is important to keep up with the ever-changing technology!

You can see our new website here.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press