月別アーカイブ: 2016年1月


Jaimie’s Blog – The year of the monkey


Hello everyone, welcome back, hopefully you have all overcome your holiday blues and by now are back into the swing of things, back to work and back to school. Nice.

Like I said in my previous blog we have lots of things planned for this year and hope to make your time with us as comfortable, fun, and informative as possible.

For those of you still undecided as to whether to join the new year party next week please remember that we need your final answer this week(deadline the 28th) For the rest of you, if you can, please try to remember to bring the entrance fee at your next lesson.

This year is of course the year of the monkey in Japan, we have a few quite common expressions/ idioms connected with monkeys so I thought I might teach you a few today.

Here goes.

Monkey around (play around, not do something seriously)
「猿」し回る (ブラブラする、物事を軽く扱う)

Stop monkeying around! I want to get this finished and go home.

Brass monkey weather (freezing cold)
「真鍮の型枠から大砲が落っこちるほどの」天気 (英俗・凍えるように寒い)

I’m not going out in that. It’s brass monkey weather out there.

Cheeky monkey (often for kids, a cheeky child)
「厚かましい猿」 (しばしば子供に対して、厚かましい子供)

His mouth is going to get him into trouble one day, he’s a right cheeky monkey.

I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! (to show great surprise)

I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, I’ve just won 1,000,000 pounds on the lottery!

Grease monkey (mechanic)

My car was making a funny noise so I took it to the grease monkey’s.

Monkey see, monkey do. (to imitate)

I try not to let my kids watch too much trash T.V. You know what they are like: monkey see monkey do.

Hope they come in handy, look forward to seeing you all at the party on the 31st.



Tim’s Blog – What we improved upon in 2015 and what to expect from us in 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

Thank you so much for being our students in 2015 and we are so looking forward to seeing you all back for 2016.

Last year was a pretty busy year for Kensington. We are now operating every day of the week among our three schools in Yakuin, Akasaka and Nishijin. Our target is for you to be able to take your classes where you want and at the time you want. We will continue expanding our hours and classes further in this regard in 2016 too.

The most important improvement for us in 2015 was in our lessons. They have become better and we are further increasing your speaking time in class. While I think all the classes have improved significantly, I am especially happy with the way the level 3 and discussion classes are going now, as this was a point of slight concern for us in the beginning of the year. We knew they were pretty good then, but we’re confident they are much better now.

We added some new classes too in 2015, most notably the Grammar class which is proving to be very popular due to the hard work of Tomoyo and more recently the Essential Review and Business English classes. The essential review class is different from our regular level 1 and 2 classes in that while it also uses flashcards it is much less structured than our regular classes and uses the flashcards as prompts for freer conversation. You can take the class on Sundays at 13:00 in Akasaka and on Wednesdays at 19:30 in Yakuin. In November we started our Business English classes on Saturdays at 10 o’clock with Tamiyo covering a wide range of business specific situations.
2015年には新しいクラスも増やしました。特に文法のクラスは智代の頑張りのおかげでとても人気ですし、ごく最近ではEssential ReviewとBusiness Englishのクラスが加わりました。Essential Reviewは通常のレベル1・レベル2とは違い、フラッシュカードは使いますが、通常のクラスほどレッスンの進め方がきちんと決まっているわけではなく、フラッシュカードはより自由な会話を促すためのものになっています。赤坂校で日曜午後1時〜、薬院校で水曜夜7時30分〜開講しています。11月にはBusiness Englishが土曜朝10時に始まり、タミヨがビジネスならではの場面を幅広く取り扱っています。

One of the new services we introduced in 2015 is our student evaluation and counselling service. It’s a free service that students can take once every six months. Not many of our students have taken it yet but we feel it will become a staple of our school. The next ones are in January on Jan 17th 13:00 – 15:00 with Jaimie and on Mar 5th 13:00 – 15:00 with me, please feel free to join!
2015年に新しく始めたサービスには、生徒さんのレベルチェック・カウンセリングがあります。無料で半年ごとに受けられます。まだそれほど多くの生徒さんにご利用いただいてはいませんが、ゆくゆくはスクールにとってとても大切なものになるだろうと思っています。次回は1月17日(日)午後1時〜3時で担当はJaimie, 3月3日(土)午後1時〜3時は私Timが担当致します。どうぞお気軽にご参加下さい!

We have also expanded the number of books we offer in our library and we started lending out DVDs as well. Remember that reading is a very good way to improve your vocabulary and understanding of the language so please use this service. You can gain membership for the library by purchasing our very cheap extra class tickets. 8.000/6 tickets or 15.000/12 tickets and from 2016 you can use the tickets for yoga classes too!

Jaimie insisted that I list the new plant as a school improvement for 2015 as, and I quote “Include the plant mate it oxygenates the room”. So there it goes, we got a new plant too!

Some of the things we wanted to do but couldn’t achieve in 2015 was our Kid’s school which we had initially projected for 2015 and our online reservation system which brings us to what to expect from us in 2016.
What I am very proud of in our school is our culture of improvement, we are always thinking of ways to improve our services and we will continue doing so in the next year too. What are some things to expect from us in 2016?

1) Firstly, more and better classes. We will continue improving upon the classes we already have while adding new ones. Some improvements already planned are

A. TOEIC classes from a very very promising new teacher on Thursdays at 19:30 and 20:30 in Akasaka.

B. We will be opening 3 new classes in Yakuin in January 2016. An Essential Review class on Wednesdays at 19:30, a Level 2 class on Saturdays at 9:00 and a Level 3 class on Saturdays at 10:00.
2016年1月、薬院で新しく3クラスを開講します。Essential Reviewが水曜夜7時30分〜、レベル2が土曜朝9時〜、レベル3が土曜朝10時〜です。

C. The easy talk class is now a first meeting and small talk class. As it probably is the most usual situation under which we use a second language it is very important language for you to master. We will introduce some fixed flashcards for easy talk to serve as prompts on how to make introductions and to initiate small talk.

D. Yoga classes. All Kensington students have 4 English classes every month. Now you can use one or more of these classes for Yoga too. You can also purchase our ultra-cheap tickets and use them for Yoga if you wish. The Yoga classes are held in Akasaka. Basically you can use the four classes or tickets in any location for any class.

2) Secondly, we would like to make your lesson reservation experience smoother across the four schools (Nishijin, Akasaka, Yakuin and Yoga) hopefully with our new online reservation system which will be in place sometime in spring 2016.

Finally as in every year, we will be handing you our annual questionnaire forms in the beginning of January so please if you have any suggestions on how to make our school better we would love to hear them.

Thank you everyone, let’s have a fantastic 2016 together!