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Repeat 繰り返し

Having taught English here in Japan for nearly 7 years now, there are numerous obstacles that stand in the way of, effective and clear communication that have come to my attention. Today though, I want to look at a strategy you can use to answer simple questions. Though you can use what you glean here for more difficult questions as well, but be aware that doing so may limit you to some extent. So let me show you an example of a question I often ask upon my meeting a younger student for the first time.



“Hello, my name is Mr. Bouget, what’s your name.

Inevitably the answer to this question would be something like this.



Now, Akio has answered the question, but Akio has done little to flex his English skill up to this point. But I might continue on, perhaps Akio is a bit shy.


“Nice to meet you Akio. Now Akio, how old are you?”


I can see that Akio knows his age, I might be able to assume even that he knows his numbers in English. So I plod on.


“What’s your favorite color?” or “What color do you like?”


And the introductory questions continue on for another 3-5 minutes as I ask about his favorite foods, drinks, anime, hobbies and so on. Each answer Akio gives is most likely minimal in its nature.


So what can be done to help Akio and anyone else who is in the same situation. My advise is to repeat a majority of the question in the answer. It looks something like this.


“Hello, my name is Mr. Bouget, what’s your name.

“My name is Akio.”

“Nice to meet you Akio. Now Akio, how old are you?”

“I am Eight years old.”

“What’s your favorite color?” or “What color do you like?”

“My favorite color is yellow.” or “I like the color yellow.

Now this might not be too ground breaking but another thing I’ve tried to teach my students, especially those who are not confident in their writing ability is to look at the words in a question and use those to help them write a proper response.


For example:

If you could travel the world with a friend where would you like to go?

Let's imagine that the words “friend” and “would” might be a bit difficult for some individuals to write from memory, but they can and are welcome to look at the spelling of the word used in the question and use what is there to help them with their response.


I would like to travel to South Korea with my friend, Josh.

In summery, when answering a question, repeat the question with the additional information being asked for included. If you lack the ability to write particular words, scan the question, or materials you have at your disposal and look for those words.



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