9 tips for the camera-shy

Whether you have to make a video recorded presentation, response, interview, or creative project, some courses you take could require you to be on camera. Being in a video is fun for some people, but for others, it is terrifying! It doesn’t have to be, however, and it shouldn’t be. In this post are a few tips to overcome your camera shyness.

Bilingual (English-Japanese) grammar glossary

Here it is – the bilingual grammar glossary (英語文法用語)
! Why do you need to know this? If you are a native Japanese speaker, you have likely learned English in the context of Japanese; you have probably learned all the linguistic terms in Japanese, but not in English. Also, probably when you wrote English exams in school, the directions were all in Japanese. Why is this? I’m not sure, but I’ll bet that it’s probably a result of the “grammar translation method”(文法訳読式教授法) that was traditionally popular in Japan. When you learn another language, however, ideally you should do so through that language!


Recently, a Japanese acquaintance expressed surprise when I told her you could basically get a university education online for free. Of course, without paying you’d miss out on getting the piece of paper certifying your accomplishments, and you’d definitely miss out on networking opportunities and the irreplaceable aspect of face-to-face communication. Plus, you would unlikely get a great deal of personal feedback on any research papers you write. But the fact that technology has expanded access to knowledge is nothing short of amazing, and I thought I’d create this post to share some top resources I know of, so you learners out there know your options.

Circumlocution strategies

Part of communicating in a foreign language means that we have to negotiate meaning when we lack the vocabulary. The more you are able to apply circumlocution strategies, the faster you will learn new things and the more fluent you will become. This post includes some strategies to help you to get someone to guess the word you are thinking.

Organizational adverbs

Since I started to teach in Japan, I have noticed a recurrent problem with adverb use, namely the use of and difference between certain organizational adverbs – specifically after all, finally, at last, in the end, and eventually. Theses are unfortunately all translated as “ついに” or “結局は” in Japanese, but that doesn’t always work in English. This post explains.


A rejoinder(あいづち)is a quick response to show that you are interested, have an opinion, or simply are paying attention. Using rejoinders, along with follow up questions and comments, is essential for having smooth conversations. Try talking to someone without them […]

Control language

Language of Control or Control Language is a group of phrases you should memorize and start using right away to communicate in EFL (English as a Foreign Language). Using control language enables you to have control when talking with native speakers. Use the phrases to increase the rate at which you learn! This post includes a set of phrases for English (with Japanese translations), but if you are learning another language, find out what similar phrases would be in that language and learn those. At first, remembering just one phrase from each group is OK.