Essays on English in Japan

Mistake makers of the world unite!

One of the false impressions created by drowning students in grammar exercises, fill-in-the-blank worksheets and multiple-choice tests is that language has right and wrong answers and that’s it. The picture you get from neat, little blanks and a 100-point grading scale is that native speakers communicate in perfectly formed, correct, error-free sentences all the time. That's a laugh. Real language, especially spoken language, is loaded with mistakes.


Keep it real, baby

The real distinguishing feature of the best English students is that they know how to “make it real.” Rather than accept whatever their schools give them in the way of classes, they put themselves in a situation in which English has to be used in real ways. When they do that, their learning takes off. When I talk with these students, I always wonder which comes first, an active approach or better English? In fact, they go together.

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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.