Essays on English in Japan

Thinking, not Grammar-izing

In memory of John Scotus Erigena

Inside of classrooms (and out), we should always try to say something true. If I am a teacher, and I say, "I am a banker," it's pretty ridiculous. If we learn a little grammar and a few vocabulary words, we know how to say things like, "On my summer vacation, I robbed a bank," or "I work as a brain surgeon part-time. It pays pretty well. " But, what is the point of making untrue sentences, I always wonder? The world has enough falsity and untruth already. Why make more? Yet, English textbooks are filled with this kind of exercise.


Welcome the Muses!

As a teacher, I talk with a lot of teachers. I have to; I can't escape them. Mostly, teachers are pretty good people, about as mixed as any other vocation, and in general, maybe a little more optimistic than the average person. How could you not be optimistic working with young people all day every day? Educators almost always have good intentions. Yet, among teachers, there is one group of teachers I never get along with: the grammar police.

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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.