top 2Lecture in Plain English, No. 26

“YOKOHAMA ONLINE TOUR”

Date: 19 September 2021 (Sun), 2:00-4:00PM

Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Speaker: Mr. Mohammad Ali Bastami

This was the first “Lecture in Plain English” to be held as an online event. The speaker, Mr. Bastami, is from Iran. He is not only an English conversation teacher at the lounge, but also has experience working at the Islamic Museum of Art in Tehran, as an international conference coordinator for the Iranian Ministry of Culture, and as a Persian language announcer for NHK Radio Japan.

He has been in Japan for over 20 years, with a long time spent living in Yokohama. He was able to introduce well-known places such as Minato Mirai and Sankei-en, deeper spots such as Kogane-cho, interesting museums, and hole-in-the-wall cafes, ramen shops, and other spots that aren’t featured in tourist guidebooks using simple English, pictures, and videos.

The participants admired Mr. Bastami’s detailed knowledge of Yokohama’s sightseeing spots and history, expressed that there were several things about Yokohama that were new to them, and that the lecture was a good plan. It seems that everyone had a great time.

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Lecture in plain English, No. 24

“Rediscovering Mexico – the land of many charms!”

 ・9 November 2019 (Sat), 14:00-16:00

 ・Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Meeting Room

Speaker: Mr. Alfredo Esquivel (also known as Alf to close friends)

Mr. Alfredo Esquivel was born and raised in Mexico and moved to Japan in 2014 to pursue doctoral studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he is currently specializing in DNA research.

Alf, who was born and raised in Mexico, started by talking about Mexico’s abundance of nature, history, culture, and introduced the ancient civilization and pyramids of Teotihuacan, the unusual festival “Day of the Dead”, and other facts about Mexico.

In the second half, he spoke about his grandfather who he lived with in Mexico City, and introduced the Catholic church’s beautiful decorative goblets, silverware, and chandeliers, which were created through traditional methods and metalwork techniques inherited during the 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

He also talked about his grandfather’s favorite tequila, a national favorite, including the taste and how to make it, and an explanation of the type of tequila (it seems that Alf first tried it when he was 5 years old and found himself feeling dizzy).

Rather than focusing on the Mexico that we all know through travel information, we were able to rediscover the many charms that the country has to offer through Alf’s very interesting speech and experiences.

The simple and easy to follow English and occasional use of Japanese made the lecture very enjoyable to listen to.

 

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Takahashi Sep28Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Lecture in Plain English, No. 23

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture No. 9
“Let’s Challenge English Subtitle Translation”

Lecturer: Mr. Motoharu Takahashi (from Toyo Eiwa University)
Date: 28 September 2019 (Sat), 2PM to 4PM
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center
No. of Participants: 39

During this session of Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture series (No. 9), participants had the chance to translate Japanese from movies and TV into English. In the first half, they translated simple, everyday conversational phrases like “I knew it!” and “that really suits you,” and took part in conversation with each other.
After the break, participants selected some light material from Japanese variety programs and studied some points about translation into English.
Translation of conversation is not just word for word, but also takes into consideration the situation and feelings involved. They learned that it’s possible to express natural English expressions using simple vocabulary.
During this “Skill Up” session, participants were able to grasp some important points about translation and expressed that they had a great time. We received a lot of helpful feedback from them.
For the next session, we are planning to look at well-known English language songs to try to understand the emotions and meanings found in the lyrics.

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ENG TAKAHASHI July1

Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Lecture in plain English, No. 22

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture No. 8

“Talking about yourself in English ~How to give a self-introduction~”

Lecturer: Mr. Motoharu Takahashi (from Toyo Eiwa University)

Date: 6 July 2019 (Sat), 2PM to 4PM

Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center

Number of Participants: 42

What do we talk about the most when given the chance to speak in English? 

Perhaps it would be about ourselves?

During the 8th session in Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture series, titled “Talking about yourself in English ~How to give a self-introduction~”,  participants learned how to express certain things in English, how to continue a conversation, and also how to best promote themselves and leave a memorable impression on others when giving a self-introduction.

In the second part after the break, everyone watched a segment from an American TV audition program. The segment featured Japanese comedian Yuriyan Retriever. While watching, participants studied Yuriyan’s witty responses in English and her way of appealing to the audience. Her jokes were also explained, and Yuriyan’s ability to freely use English to take on a more global challenge further motivated the participants in their studies.

If you have a chance, please check out Yuriyan’s segment on YouTube.

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lectures always touch upon important points in a fun, creative, and efficient way. We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of lecture is coming next.

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