Butterflies, and English: The silent language


I’m told I should visit Nanshyousou, an old wooden house with a beautiful garden. It’s a historic landmark in Morioka. I’ll have to go.

Private lessons with a high school girl who doesn’t talk much tend to be very slow and quiet, but that’s the same issue most Japanese students have: they don’t want to volunteer information, even if they know it’s right, because they don’t want to stand out. It makes the teachers’ jobs very difficult, which is probably why they rely so comfortably on reading and writing. But languages are alive; no modern language exists solely on paper, so I try to get my students to talk as much as possible, sometimes using something comfortable like a written prompt. Today, I provided a worksheet with sentences she had to complete.
I’m afraid of… “butterfly.”
“Really?!” I ask her to clarify. Turns out it’s moths.
On weekends, I like to… “watch TV.”
“What do you watch?”
“…and drama.”
I’m good at… “soccer and table tennis.”


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