English everyday – on my period

This is a little phrase book for people who have periods.  Every month women menstruate. We usually call this a ‘period’, but there are thousands of nicknames for this time – Time of the month, Aunty Flo, monthlies, having the painters in, on the blob. You can say these nicknames with friends and family butContinue reading “English everyday – on my period”

English for parents – bogies and snot

Yeah, I’m just going to dive right into this one. Today is about the stuff that comes out of your nose. The doctor might call it mucus but in everyday language we say: snot – (uncountable) runny mucus from the nose. a bogey/ some bogies – (countable) solid or hard mucus from the nose. ChildrenContinue reading “English for parents – bogies and snot”

Can you grow your mind?

Do you have a talent for languages, or maths, or music or knitting? Do you believe you are born with that talent, or do you believe you can grow a talent? You might have heard of ‘growth mindset’ and  ‘fixed mindset’.  A fixed mindset believes that the talents and abilities you have you were bornContinue reading “Can you grow your mind?”

English everyday – Up yours

Serious post guys, this one’s about swearing. In particular this one’s about sweary hand gestures. The picture at the top of the page is a peace or victory sign. First two fingers held up, palm out. It’s pretty common to see in photos these days, especially here in Japan. No problems. However, turn that signContinue reading “English everyday – Up yours”

Have a day off.

This post is going to be really short. Because you need a rest. Research shows again and again that our brains need rest, holidays and vacations in order to process memories, work out problems, refresh and become more motivated. In one study from Harvard Business School, researchers tracked the habits of employees from a consultingContinue reading “Have a day off.”

English for parents – fast asleep

Miffy’s parents are so lucky. Miffy always falls asleep at the end of every adventure they have. But, on the other hand there’s no book called Miffy Stays Awake All Night, so maybe I shouldn’t judge. At the end of every book, Miffy is fast asleep and her parents take her home. She was fastContinue reading “English for parents – fast asleep”

A sign of bravery

A popular statistic that there are more English learners in China than English native speakers in the whole world is often bandied around to prove how popular English is. But actually there are probably more English learners in the world than people in China now, it’s predicted that there’ll be nearly 2 billion learners byContinue reading “A sign of bravery”

English for parents – open up and shut up

Open up! Shut up! These are not opposites. No. Nope. Nuh-uh. But they have very subtle differences depending on who is speaking. A parent can ask their child to “open up” and brush their teeth. But a dentist would say “open wide”. You can knock on a door and shout “open up” if you’re angryContinue reading “English for parents – open up and shut up”

This one’s for the failures

Are you a failure? I do hope so. Statistically you have failed many times in your life. I give you this meme: Basically toddlers can’t do anything, they suck at walking, can’t feed themselves and they can’t even speak! But they persist. They pull themselves up again and again. They shove their food in theirContinue reading “This one’s for the failures”

English for parents – brush your teeth

The phrases that strikes fear into toddlers and parents alike: Brush your teeth. We say brush your teeth, open up*, don’t forget the back ones, a bit more, finished! Many books, songs and videos cover this very important learning point. My absolute favourite is Elmo’s Brushy Brush song. If you can understand the words theContinue reading “English for parents – brush your teeth”