Essays on English in Japan



A few years ago, I was in my office at the end of the semester as students turned in their final take-home essay exam. One student, after handing me his final, sat down and asked me for recommendations for summer reading. I printed out a list I drew up several years ago and was about to explain the list and online sites when another student came in to hand in his exam.


The Worksheet Mentality

The Worksheet Mentality

In faculty lounges, hallways and teachers’ offices, I have heard just about everything, but there is one phrase that always make me really cringe: “I have a worksheet on that!”

Many teachers all over the country fill up their class time and students’ schoolbags with worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. Open up any students’ schoolbag and worksheets will come pouring out. “When in doubt, worksheet ‘em,” seems to be the credo for many teachers. The worksheet mentality is the default mode for teaching at most schools and has become an addiction with widespread and unintended consequences. Students are drowning in worksheets, and not all of them can swim.

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「Essays on English in Japan」へ、ようこそ。名前のとおり、英語のエッセーについて日本で語ろうという場所です。このサイトは僕の著書『僕、ニッポンの味方です アメリカ人大学教授が見た「日本人の英語」』をきっかけに誕生しました。まだ始まったばかりですが、新しいエッセーを随時更新します。今のところ、掲載されているエッセーの大半は『僕、ニッポンの味方です』に収録されている日本語のエッセーの英文ですが、あらゆる話題の新しいエッセーを紹介していくのでお見逃しなく。あなたのお気に入りのサイトになりますように。読むことと考えることを楽しみましょう!


Welcome to this site!

Welcome to Essays on English in Japan. This site is just what it says: essays about English in Japan. This website goes together with my book, 僕は、ニッポンの味方です! An Anti-Grammar Manifesto—The Other Side of English, released by Media Factory Publishers in March 2009. Though this website is just starting, it will have new essays all the time. For now, most of the essays are English versions of the Japanese essays in that book, but keep checking back to find new essays on all kinds of topics. Hope you like it! Happy reading and thinking!
March 20, 2009

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About The Author

Michael is currently teaching at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in the American Literature section of the English Department. More information in the About Me page.