Category Archives: EDUCATION

The Inside Japan Podcast – HR Manager Melissa from MY English School

Melissa from MY English School drops in this week to talk about her jump from a large chain Eikaiwa to a smaller school, making the move from teacher to HR, and a lot more. Enjooooy.

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[Check out My English School and Melissa: Site | Facebook]

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  • 03:48 – Intro – What Melissa Does These Days
  • 06:50 – What Melissa thought of working for a Big Eikaiwa chain
  • 09:10 – What made Melissa quit and how she found her next job
  • 12:15 – What makes a smaller school like MY English School different from a national chain?
  • 19:40 – Interview Advice
  • 24:45 – What education or certificates do you like to see on a resume?
  • 28:20 – Does working on JET add anything to your resume?
  • 32:50 – Final Advice

Every episode of the podcast is available on iTunes, Android, and Stitcher. Make sure to subscribe to the show so that you don’t miss out on any new episodes as they’re released. All ratings and reviews are also greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening!


…continue reading


How To Speak Casual Japanese

When you speak casual English to friends, you don’t use perfect grammar and full sentences like you would when writing a paper, correct? Japanese is the same way. When speaking conversational Japanese, people rarely use the exact words and long phrases that you’d find in a textbook. Here is a 5-minute mini lesson to help you speak Casual Japanese.

Common Phrases

When speaking casual Japanese, normal phrases are made much shorter! When friends talk to each other, they won’t use the long polite phrases, but rather, the shorter chattier versions:

Konnichiwa –> Konchiwa
こんにちは –> こんちは
Hello/Good afternoon –> Hi

O genki desu ka? –> Genki?
おげんきですか –> げんき
How are you?

Ohayou gozaimasu –> Ohayou
おはようございます ーー> おはよう
Good morning –> Morning!

Gomennasai –> Gomen
ごめんなさい ーー> ごめん
I’m so sorry. –> Sorry.

Douitashimashite –> I i yo
どういたしまして ーー> いいよ
You’re welcome. –> It’s all good!

Sayounara –> Jyaa ne!
さようなら ーー> じゃあね
Goodbye. –> See ya!

If you master these casual phrases, you will sound like a true native speaker when you’re chatting with your friends!

Casual Verbs

An easy way to turn formal Japanese into more natural conversational Japanese is to just use the short forms of verbs. Take, for instance, the phrase “What are you doing?” The Japanese verb for “to do” is suru (する). Formal Japanese uses the long conjugating “masu” form of verbs, so suru (する) becomes shimasu (します). But casual Japanese just sticks to the basic short forms of verbs! No conjugation needed. Here’s an example:

Nani o shitteimasuka?
What are you doing?

Nani suru no?
What’cha doin’?

As you can see, the casual version is much shorter and simpler than the properly conjugated textbook version!

Here’s some more examples:

Nani taberu no?
What’cha eating?

Nani miru no?
What’cha lookin’ at?

Sore kau no?
You gonna buy that?

And just like that, you can speak natural, casual Japanese!

Words With Friends – Japanese Slang Words!

There are certain “trendy” Japanese words that you often hear on the streets, and yet won’t typically find in …continue reading


5 Easy Manga for Japanese Learners

Source: Gaijin Pot
5 Easy Manga for Japanese Learners

There are a few things that unite the Japanese people no matter their class, age or background. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Japanese person who has never tried motsu (beef, chicken or pork entrails) or shiokara (paste of fermented seafood and innards) for example.

Likewise, most Japanese follow the same traditions of going back to their hometowns on the New Year’s and obon (Festival of the Dead) holidays or eating gathering together to share a hearty nabe (Japanese hot pot) in the winter.

Japan is filled with unifying cultural traditions. While there are many, one of the most beautiful and most widely indulged in form of Japanese popular culture is, of course, manga (Japanese comics). When you’re on a crowded train and see people with their heads buried into small books or even their smartphones, much of the time they’ll be deeply engrossed in their manga of choice.

Manga is a form of storytelling that is also a great study method for those learning to read and understand the Japanese language.

In the eikaiwa (English conversation school) industry, we encourage reading — especially in our younger students. Not only to promote literacy, but also because seeing the language in written form tends to help students build a stronger understanding of the concepts used.

The same goes for us foreigners who are trying — and struggling — to learn Japanese. If you choose the right books for you, reading manga can be a surprisingly effective and enjoyable way to learn Japanese. To that end, here are five relatively simple and helpful manga for Japanese language learners.

Note: These recommendations are for people who consider themselves intermediate or high-beginner Japanese language learners (around JLPT N5 and above).

1. Doraemon


One obvious pick for beginner manga is Doraemon.

If you’re currently teaching or plan on teaching Japanese …continue reading