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朝日新聞ウイークリー【→英字新聞の読み方 応用編】 更新終了





 

THE GREENVILLE STORY   2014年以前のバックナンバー


数学のテスト勉強しないといけないけど (2020/5/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Hannah and Marie video chat during the stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus.

Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc... are all different programs that we can use to video chat. Before the coronavirus pandemic, these were not used as often, but now many things have changed. Our lives, and our way of communicating have changed for many. How long will it last? In this dialogue, two friends are video chatting about various topics, such as clothing, studying, dinner and Harry Potter. This is a great warm-up dialogue to start a conversation about how our lives have changed, or how society will change because of COVID-19.

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見た目より難しい! (2020/4/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Kate shows Hannah and Julia how to use a Hula-Hoop.

This week's dialogue reminded me of something that I always wanted to learn, but never did! The Hula-Hoop! In this conversation, some friends talk about how to do the Hula-Hoop, and offer some advice. There are some great phrases, like "It's harder than it looks!" and "taught myself." Since many of us are now trying to social distance ourselves, maybe it's time for me to try using my children's Hula-Hoop! Maybe making one might be interesting, and a fun home project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nsdTLa-tGk

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どうやってそんなにためた? (2020/4/12付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie picks daffodils to take to Melba and Doc.

This conversation is about students receiving money, saving it or spending it. In Japan, most younger people receive their yearly New Year's money gift, otoshidama. In America, we don't usually receive money for the new year. Instead, we receive money for chores (house jobs), birthdays, the tooth fairy and some holidays, like Christmas and for other various reasons. Since this dialog talks about American money, here's a video to quickly explain USA money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztBcEyD0RX4

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最近見かけないけど、元気にしてるの? (2020/3/29付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie picks daffodils to take to Melba and Doc.

This dialogue starts out with the mother asking a favor of her daughter. The daughter agrees, picks some daffodil flowers, and will take them to an older couple. Daffodils are a pretty yellow flower that come out early in the spring. In this area of Oregon, where the characters live, there are many daffodils this time of year. I see many in my area of Nagano, Japan, too! This dialogue talks about flowers, favors, age, an older couple, being sick and even a coconut cream pie! Lots of good language and native-style speaking!

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アボカドとクルミのスパゲティを覚えてる? (2020/3/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

At a lunch table in the school cafeteria.

Their dad is cooking food tonight, since their mother is volunteering at the hospital. Maybe the mother is helping at the hospital because of COVID-19? The conversation never says anything about it though. Their father's creative cooking thinks that his food is "not bad," but his children don't think it's good at all. Actually, they think some of his food is "disgusting" or "gross." Both of these words describe something really bad. So, it's an interesting conversation about his kids secretly trying to figure out what their going to do about their father's cooking tonight.

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ほめ言葉ばかり連発してどうしたの? (2020/3/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

At a lunch table in the school cafeteria.

Compliments are the main point of this conversation. A compliment is when a speaker tells another person something good about that person. It usually makes that person feel better, but not always. In this conversation, one speaker, Julia, uses many complimentary words, such as "awesome," "good at," "brings out," "sweet," "enthusiasm," and more descriptive words that are great to learn. While everyone seems to enjoy the kind words in this dialogue, one person doesn't. Too much kindness makes him feel uncomfortable. Maybe Julia gave too many compliments while sitting at the cafeteria table with her friends.

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たとえC だって、この世の終わりじゃない (2020/3/8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Hannah stays up late studying for a test.

Studying late at night! It's not fun, but maybe we have all done it, or maybe some still do it. Others, like me, still stay up late trying to get work done. This makes us tired the next day. Just like the person in this dialogue. Hannah is "still up" late, studying, and will probably be tired for her big test tomorrow. She wants to do well because she "bombed," or did very badly on, the last test. She wants to study more, but realizes that it probably won't help much more. While talking with her mother about grades, college and sleep, she decides to have some tea and try to sleep. Studying, just like work, is a careful balance of work, rest and enjoying life.

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割引してくれても (2020/3/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Roy and Thomas go to the barbershop.

Going to get a haircut can be a good experience, or a terrible one. Fortunately in this conversation, the young boy's haircut is perfect. In the dialogue, they use some good words that are used when visiting a hair cutting place. Personally, I haven't been to a barbershop or hair stylist for a long time, because I shave my head, and can easily do it myself. In Japan, my hairstyle is called "skinhead." Yet in America, this word has been known to be linked to a group of people who only like "white people." Sadly, this means that they are racist people. So, if you, your friends or students go to America, please be careful not to call someone a "skinhead." A better word to use is "shaved head," "bald," or "completely bald."

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スキーがうまくなりたいんだろ? (2020/2/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Thomas and Cliff ski together on a cold, snowy day.

This is a great dialogue for the winter time, or more specifically, for skiing. Two brothers are skiing together, and one is better than the other. The older brother is a little hard, or not so nice, on the younger brother, and the younger brother isn't having too much fun. He gives up and heads inside to have a warm drink. There are some great skiing terms in this conversation, as well as some brother talk. After reading this conversation, I hope there will be enough snow for those who want to "hit the slopes" soon. "Hit the slopes," means to go skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy the last of winter!

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また電話をなくしたなんて (2020/2/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Kate and Marie help Julia look for her phone after school.

Great conversation for those people who lose things, or often misplace things. In this conversation, Julia is trying to find her cell phone. She's already lost two, so she's probably a little nervous about her Mom's reaction if she loses a third phone. Her friends help her with trying to find her phone, so she'll probably be all right. Does she find it? We don't know, but I think she'll be fine. There are some good words in this dialogue, such as "pat(s), ringtone, texted, compartment and mad."

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今は食欲が無くなっちゃたよ (2020/2/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Saturday night at Melba’s Cafe.Kazu and Kate join Marie and Harrison.

This week's talk is about scary movies. Two of them just saw the movie, "The Turning," which is a new horror movie out in America. Kazu doesn't like scary movies, and his friend Kate likes them. In their conversation, they mention some great words to describe something scary, like "creepy," "terrifying" and "shock." They also mention some good food related expressions, such as "I'm starving" and "I lost my appetite." I enjoy how realistic this conversation is! Since this dialogue is talking about scary movies, I should ask the question, "Do you like scary movies?"

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やっぱり休みになっちゃうかも (2020/2/2付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Sunday afternoon at the Pirotti house. Marie and Hannah study while snow falls outside.

While there's not much snow in my area of Nagano Prefecture, it looks like other areas of Japan are getting snow. It seems to be the same in Oregon, USA. Some places are getting more snow than others. This article brings up some fun conversations for students in the snowy areas of America. If the school thinks that the school buses will have a difficult time driving in the snow, or icy conditions, they will cancel school. Or, the school will say that they are on "snow routes" for the day. This means that the school buses won't drive on the more dangerous roads. So, all of those students that live in the more snowy or dangerous areas don't have to go to school. Because I lived a little higher in the mountains, the students in our area were always allowed to stay home on "snow route" days. My friends and I in the area would all get together for sledding or snowboarding on the hills around our houses. It was great fun!

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これはいいプレゼントだ (2020/1/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Just comes over to help Marie get ready for their dad’s 60th birthday dinner.

This week's conversation is about making cupcakes, and they talk about some birthday gifts as well. Cupcakes are fun to make and great to eat! If you're not familiar with cupcakes, they're basically round-like, individual cakes. The American versions are usually made with a very sweet frosting/icing on the tops of each one. Throughout the article, there are some great expressions here such as "straight from," "yum," "pick up," "a bite of" and the tasty flavor, "salted caramel." An old country singer is even mentioned in this dialogue. While I was unfamiliar with the singer, I am familiar with his famous father, Waylon Jennings.

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本日のスペシャルにします (2020/1/12付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Roy takes his sons out to breakfast at a restaurant after shoveling snow.

Shoveling snow, and ordering breakfast in America. This conversation reminded me of some breakfast foods I haven't had for many years. This conversation does a great job of introducing some items that I think are good to talk about. For example, in my area of Japan, I don't see any hash browns, or fried shredded potatoes, and I really miss them. I have also never seen sourdough bread, and I really miss that, too. Maybe in larger cities they are available, but I haven't either. This dialouge also brings up an important breakfast question when ordering eggs in America, "How do you wnt your eggs?" When ordering a breakfast that comes with eggs, you can have them cooked the way you like them. The basic choices are: hard boiled, poached, sunny-side up, basted, over easy and scrambled. Sometimes I'll order my eggs sunny-side up, with the yellow part (yoke) of the egg uncooked and still runny, and sometimes basted, where the cooks pushes the butter, or grease over the top of the egg so that the top of the yoke cooks and changes to white on the top. It's strange to think how many options one has when ordering eggs.

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さっききれいだって言ったばかり (2020/1/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Carol asks Roy to take down the Christmas lights on the outside of the house and in the yard.

Christmas lights, or better known as "illuminations" in Japan, are a symbol of Christmas time and New Year's celebrations. Some neighborhoods in America are really lit up beautifully! I'd love for the same to be of my area in Japan, but unfortunately only one other house on my street has Christmas lights. I think every one who has ever put up Christmas lights will understand two questions. Question 1, "When should I put them up?" and Question 2, "When should I take them down?" They answer is, it's whenever you want to, or whenever you have the time. The beginning of January is the time when people start taking down Christmas lights, but not all. Some people, like in this dialogue, don't want to be the last house with Christmas lights, but decide to leave them up until no later than the end of January. One even jokes about keeping them up all year! This is a fun dialogue describing the illuminations, and also negotiating with some humor with the beginning of the New Year. So, Happy New Year everyone! Let's make 2020 a great one

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20 年ですって! (2019/12/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

New Year’s Eve at the Pirotti house. Marie watches a New Year’s how on TV with her parents.

This week's conversation is about New Year's Eve, and includes some fun, common expressions and words. "Sip," "clink," "pops," "couch" and "time flies" are all fun English to learn! This dialogue does a great job of including common traditions, such as New Year's parties with friends, watching the TV countdown of Times Square in New York and toasting, or giving a "Cheers," with a glass of champagne. For the 50 states in America, there are six time zones. So, that means America has six different times to celebrate the New Year! Or, my friends and I use to enjoy the countdown for each time zone! That became a little busy, and we'd sometimes forget to countdown one time zone or two. Enjoy the ending of this year and the beginning of next!

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あなたはイヤリング選びが上手ね (2019/12/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Christmas morning at the Polk house. The family opens presents.

It's opening Christmas presents time in many countries, especially America. Americans really enjoy giving and receiving gifts. When opening gifts, one person, usually a younger person, will be next to the Christmas tree. This person will be on the ground, and search through the gifts in order to pass out the gifts in some kind of order. One gift to Father, then the next to Mother, and the gift sorting person will try to make sure that each person gets a gift and not have to wait too long for the next one, or not open three gifts in a row while everyone else watches. While it's fun to watch others opening gifts, it's not so much fun to watch the same person open three or four gifts in a row, or right after each other. So, this dialogue does a good example of giving an example of this tradition while talking about gifts being given and received.

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クリスマスに盛大にやるのよ (2019/12/8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Christmas Eve. Kate and Kazu exchange gifts in a coffee shop.

Christmas is the number one holiday in America. It's also the busiest holiday of the year. Many people stress during this time of year, because there are so many presents and gifts to buy, too many people at the shopping malls and of course the weather gets pretty cold, especially in the northern areas of America. People go to their mother and father's house, or grandparents' house or both. Usually Christmas Eve is celebrated at one house, and Christmas Day at another. Presents are usually opened on both days. Each family has their own traditional food, but turkey and ham are most popular. My family, like the dialogue, ate tamales, too! My grandmother is from Mexico, so we followed the Mexican tradition, as well as American tradition with turkey and ham.

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どれくらいの時間、焼くの? (2019/12/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie and Hannah bake Christmas cookies.

Making cookies takes some time, but it's always fun. In America, every house has a large oven, because electricity is inexpensive. Because we use larger ovens than Japan, baking cookies is much easier, and much more common. This conversation talks about the process, and things needed to bake cookies. A lot of the words and phrases can be used for other cooking preparations as well, such as baking bread. After reading this conversation, I realized that I miss freshly baked cookies that come right out of the oven. Especially freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

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おなかがすいてるだけで、死ぬわけじゃない (2019/11/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Thomas and Cliff watch football at the Campbell house and plan a strategy for eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Last week I mentioned a little about Thanksgiving culture in America. This week the dialogue is more about being hungry, getting ready to eat and exaggerating. I think American expressions sometimes exaggerate too much. They say something is more serious than it really is. For example, in the dialogue Cliff says that he's starving. Starving means that you have zero food and are running out of energy, possibly even dying. Of course Cliff isn't really dying in this chat, but it's a good example of over reacting, or exaggerating. This is a great conversation that can be studied for talking about food and eating Enjoy!

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こんな機会を逃がすもんですか (2019/11/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie goes to the Campbell house to babysit while Leigh, Angie and Melba make Thanksgiving pies.

Thanksgiving in America is a big event! It's always on the forth Thursday in November. Several countries celebrate this big holiday, and I'm guessing each country celebrates with a big feast of food. For Americans, the celebration started in 1621 as a few day event to say thanks for the big harvest that the Native Americans helped with. It wasn't until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln made it an official holiday. These days, eating turkey, mash potatoes, cranberry sauce and many other dishes has become a family tradition for many Americans. Some watch the Thanksgiving Day football game that is always played for the special holiday, while others relax and enjoy catching up with family. Sometimes its a mix of family and good friends or neighbors who many not have a family to enjoy the day with. Basically, people work hard to make the food, but enjoy eating it, talking and relaxing with those closest to us. Enjoy!

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この動物園にパンダがいたらなあ (2019/11/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Harrison and Marie visit the Portland Zoo.

Two visit the zoo and talk about driving, paying for the other, use a map and make plans of which animals to see. In this dialogue, I see that the writer calls it the Portland Zoo, which many still call it, but the newer name is the Oregon Zoo. I grew up visiting this zoo and have seen it grow to become a really nice zoo. Opened 131 years ago, in 1888, it's the oldest zoo on in the western half of the United States. It's not only a great zoo, but there are many places to visit right around it which include the International Rose Test Gardens and Japanese Gardens. During the summer, the zoo has musical performances that play at their amphitheater. I wonder how the animals like the music? Here's a link to the map that the two use to look at in the dialogue:https://www.oregonzoo.org/sites/default/files/downloads/oregon-zoo-map-summer-2019-ENG-WEB.PDF. Oh, and I just found this cute video from Oregon Zoo's YouTube channel of some of the animals in their care: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbTF8_wxjJ8. Enjoy!

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退役軍人の日にはいつも電話してるんだ (2019/11/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Roy and Thomas chat on the morning of Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is a national holiday in America. It's a holiday where we honor, or give respect, to those who have been in the military, or armed forces. In my neighborhood, we didn't do anything to celebrate Veterans Day. However, in many areas of America, I imagine it's a big day of honor and respect for those were in the military. There are five branches of military in America. These are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Each specializes in a different area of military. In the future, a sixth military branch could be added, the U.S. Space Force. Yet, for now it's just the five armed forces as mentioned. The dialogue hints at what Veterans Day is, but more or less talks about plans on their free day of no work, nor school.

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誰も踊ってないですね (2019/10/27付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie and Hannah complain about the music at the homecoming dance.

In the week's dialogue, no one is dancing at their homecoming dance. The music isn't so good, or not updated, so the students aren't having fun. Two, Hannah and Marie, decide to talk to the DJ about the music. After looking at the DJ's suggested playlist, Marie and Hannah tell him that they'll write down the names of good dancing songs. They first start by recommending Lizzo, who is really big in America. Her music has song fun beats that will "get everyone on the [dance] floor," as Marie says. In fact, as I write this, Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" is #2 on the Billboard Charts Hot 100. Perhaps by the time you read this, her song will have moved a little. But be careful... While her music is good to get the students dancing, her lyrics and videos are definitely NOT for a school or work environment.

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痛くなかったでしょう? (2019/10/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

George and Marie decide to get flu shots at the pharmacy.

This is kind of an important dialogue. It's about flu shots. I'm not sure what everyone thinks about flu shots in Japan, but people are learning more and more about its importance in America. This conversation doesn't talk about the advantages of getting a flu shot, but it does talk about getting a shot. Perhaps this is a good dialogue to get people talking about flu shots, immunization shots or other shots that help build up your body's immunity (protection system). Maybe it'll also help some learn when and where one can get a flu shot.

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僕と行ってくれないかな (2019/10/6付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

After school, Kazu asks Kate to go with him to the homecoming dance.

This week's conversation is about asking a date to the homecoming dance. The homecoming dance is a big dance for high school and universities. Maybe even some junior high schools have homecoming dances now, but usually it was just for older students. There's usually a football game first, a parade around the football field, or on the track and field track. If the town is small, then the parade will go through the town. Firetrucks, police cars and floats can be a park of the parade. After all the excitement of the football game and parade, the evening dance will start. Asking a date to that dance can either be a great experience, or a heart-breaking one. Although, the homecoming activities and dance are fun for all that go!

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あなたの大好きなおばちゃんよ (2019/9/29付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Marie visits her brother Justin and sister-in-law Jesse and their new baby.

In this conversation, many family relationship, or relative's names are used. They use, sister-in-law, auntie (aunt), nephew and also the names Mom and Dad. Also, they talk about a newborn baby and some interesting things about babies. For example, after babies are born, their eye colors can change. Also, a baby's neck is too weak to support on their own, so one must hold their neck. My children think it's interesting to compare human babies to animal babies, which don't need much (or any) support and many can walk shortly after birth, or even hold on to their mothers after being born.

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テストは難しいけど、公平だしね (2019/9/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Kate talks to her friends in the school lunchroom.

This conversation talks about submitting a form to vote for the best teacher in the country of America! Can Japanese students vote for the best teacher in Japan, too? In America, the top teacher, or maybe even teachers, will win a little money, as explained a little in the article. I think voting for the best teacher is a fun idea, but personally, I think almost all teachers deserve this award. Especially in Japan! The teachers in Japan work incredibly hard, and have to do so many different things. The teachers in Japan have to be homeroom teachers, plan for school trips, help with school events and festivals, control the bad students, be a counselor to students, scold students, be involved in many, many meetings, including PTA meetings, be a club coach, work many weekends, help clean the school, patrol places to make sure students are not at places in the town when they're not suppose to be (like a police officer), talk to parents, check papers and notebooks, write comments, check homework, prepare for classes, teach their subject and a whole lot more! I think ALL teachers, especially in Japan, deserve the best teacher award!

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大切に使うって約束する? (2019/9/8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Cliff shops for school supplies with his mom, Carol.

School is just starting in America, usually in the beginning of September. So, it's time for all the "Back-to-School" sales on everything from backpacks, erasers, pens, pencils, well... All school supplies are on sale, including clothes. Since the public schools in Oregon don't have a uniform, most students like to show up with some new clothes for the new school year. If you notice in the conversation, and on the list of items to buy, there's no pencil case on the list. American students don't usually use a pencil case. They put their supplies in their bags, and carry their bags to class, or use a pocket made for supplies in their folder, or binder. Since the students had a three-month summer break, they are usually looking forward to starting school. Let the schools in America begin!

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日本語でナンバーワンって意味 (2019/9/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)

Kazu visits his friends at Kate’s house after his trip to Japan.

This conversation talks about bringing back souvenirs from Japan! A perfect topic for Japan, and all its gift giving. In this conversation a Japanese-born student returned to America from his visit to Japan, and brought back some kendamas, a shirt with Japanese writing, a sensu folding fan and Japanese snacks, candy and chocolate. It's a perfect conversation for the Japanese gift giving, souvenir culture. What souvenirs would you bring from Japan to give to foreigners?

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あたしはたいてい1週間待つね (2019/8/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas helps Melba make dill pickles.

A pickle is a cucumber that has been kept in a vinegar, sugar and salt mix for a while. A pickle is also called a gherkin in some countries. My mother used to make pickles every year, and she would put maple leaves, spicy peppers and other items in the pickle jar to add spice and flavor. They were the best! Now I'm living in Japan, and I eat a lot of cucumbers, but I never make them into pickles. Maybe I should try to make some like my mother did when I was young! In America, pickles are much more popular. Maybe it's because the Japanese umeboshi has a great taste and there is no need for pickles, or because Americans eat more sandwiches? Whatever the reason, the dialogue is about helping another, following directions and teaches how to make pickles, through native English.

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まず、常に救命胴衣を着ること (2019/8/11-18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie’s older brother, Justin, teaches her how to kayak.

This conversation is about taking a break, getting out into nature and learning something new. Kayaking is a lot of fun, and popular in Oregon! There are many different styles of kayaking. The two in the dialogue are doing are on an open kayak, or a "sit-on-top" kayak. You can just sit down in the kayak and start paddling, and it doesn't roll over easily. My favorite, river, or whitewater kayaking, is the most dangerous, but for me it's the most fun! It's a shorter kayak that can can quickly turn, or flip upside-down. There are so many more different types of kayaks, but all must take some lessons, or a quick instruction so that the kayaking experience is easier, and enjoyable. This dialogue does a great job of giving us a sit-on-top kayak lesson using real conversational English.

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そんなにスピードが出てるとは (2019/8/4付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Sheriff Polk sees Kate speeding in her car and pulls her over.

The police in America seem to be every where. They often hide and try to catch people driving their cars too fast. I've seen this in Japan, too, but not nearly as often. However, the first time I saw the police stopping a car, or "pulling over" a car, I was a little surprised at their tactic. My wife was driving, and a police officer jumped out from behind a tree, and jumped onto the road, in front of our car, and put a hand up, signalling us to stop. I was shocked! Since, I'm from America, my first thought was that someone was going to try attacking us, or stealing our car. If I were driving, I would've sped up, driven around him, and tried getting away. Luckily, I wasn't driving, and my wife knew to stop and "pull over." Phew! Anyways, today's dialogue talks about the friendly town police, and pulling over a young driver for driving too fast. She's lucky, but probably only this first time.

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夜9時以降は運転してはいけない (2019/7/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kate meets Marie, Harrison and Kazu at the park.

This week's Greenville conversation is about a teenager, or high school student, receiving a car for her birthday. I wasn't so lucky when I turned 16, but many people in my high school received cars as a present for their birthday. The families that had more money usually bought new cars for their son or daughter, but usually the student received an older, used car. As said in the article, there are many times rules that will come with the car. For example, their son or daughter must continue to get good grades in all subjects, not come home later than 10 p.m., do extra chores around the house, or other rules parents might make. The Japanese explanation at the end of the page talks about this and also that each state has it's own rules. It says that most states a teenager can start driving at 16 years old. Yes, by themselves. A 15-year-old can start driving with a driver's permit, but only if an adult is in the car.

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博士はフローズンヨーグルトが大好きなのさ (2019/7/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas runs into Melba and Doc at the local frozen yogurt shop.  

This is a small chat dialogue that leads up to a money making opportunity. Thomas, a high school student runs into Melba and Doc. It's been a little while since Doc has seen Thomas, so he comments on his height. Thomas has grown taller since the last time Doc has seen him. They talk about their frozen yogurt flavors and Thomas even mentions that the frozen yogurts look tasty. Tasty, just means that something has a good taste. It can be used for sweet flavors as well as normal food. Later, Doc offers Thomas some money for mowing their lawn the next day. The small chat is short, but perfect, and it even makes Thomas some money.

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寝袋とテントは一緒にここにある (2019/7/7付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu and Harrison pack for an overnight camping trip.  

Even though it's been raining for much of Japan, camping season is just around the corner. Two friends talk about what it is they need to bring in order to go camping. They are packing their swim suit and towel, so I'm guessing that they'll be swimming in a river, or in the nearby ocean. Right now, swimming in the ocean, or river sounds a little too cold for the Nagano Prefecture area. Also, while the conversation doesn't mention it, it sounds like the two high school friends will drive by themselves in their car. High school students are free during summer vacation, and many can drive, but many also have to work jobs, too.

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もっと軽めの料理が必要ね (2019/6/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

George talks to Marie about the cafe’s menu.  

We must change, always. Change is sometimes good, and sometimes bad. We say in English that "change is inevitable," which means that we can't avoid, or can't stop changes. This dialogue talks about changing a restaurant's menu. Even restaurants must change, sometimes their interior/exterior and of course their menus. Sometimes I miss what has been taken away from a restaurant's menu, but I have to change, and get use to their change. This week's dialogue is talking about making changes to attract more customers, especially younger customers. I think the recommendations for the new changes are good!

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完全にやらかしちゃった (2019/6/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie talks to Hannah after taking their history final.  

The dialogue talks about studying for a test, the last test of the year, and not doing well on it. It has some good expressions, such as "bombing a test." This sounds scary, doesn't it! Yet, all it means is to do terribly on a test. There's a Japanese explanation at the bottom of the dialogue to help understand it's full meaning. I think many can understand this conversation, or relate to it. Many of us may have been in this situation. We have studied hard for a test, but felt like we did terrible on it. Great dialogue for students who must take tests!

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両親は忙しいから、僕一人で行く (2019/6/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu talks to Harrison about his plans to go to Japan.  

This week's dialogue is about two boys talking about their summer vacation plans. One boy plans to get a part-time job, but the other boy, who is Japanese, plans to visit Japan for three weeks. He doesn't speak Japanese fluently, so he's nervous about visiting Japan. Both only talk about one month of their summer plans. I wonder what they will do with the other two months of their summer vacation? In most places in America, most schools have about three months of summer vacation. Having that much vacation time now seems like a dream! What would YOU do with three-months of vacation time?

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生では見たことなくて (2019/6/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah, Julia, Kate and Marie wait for the Rose Parade to begin in Portland.  

This dialogue talks about a very popular event in Portland, Oregon, USA. It's a festival that lasts for basically the month of June. There are too many events to list! However, some of the highlights are the city fair with amusement park rides, the parades, both during the day and the starlight parade. The starlight parade is at night and everything has pretty lights. Also, there are floats during the daytime parade, as mentioned in the conversation. They are made from flowers and a lot of other natural plants, moss, etc... It's a big event for Portland, Oregon! I've been to it many times, and it's fun for all ages. Although, this dialogue could be used for any scenario where many people come to watch an event. Especially, big events! Here is a link to the Portland Rose Festival website, but it's quite big and maybe some of the English is difficult. http://www.rosefestival.org/

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昼ごはんを持ってこなかったの? (2019/6/2付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia, Hannah and Marie eat lunch outside at school.  

Eating lunch, or any meal, outside is always a nice change. It's nice to be outside when the temperature is just right, and of course not too many insects to bother you. In this dialogue, one mentions that she loves the sun, but hates getting freckles (dark spots on the skin from the sun). In America, we say that freckles are "kisses from the sun." The conversation changes to talking about their lunch. They talk about what they like, what they don't care for and even trade cookies. This conversation takes place outside, while eating school lunch. I wish my school allowed the freedom to eat wherever I wanted. I'd really enjoy sitting outside on nice spring or fall days.

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前回遅刻した時にもそう言ったわ (2019/5/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas is late for work at the drive-through coffee bar.  

A realistic conversation about being a student, playing sports on a team and working at a part-time job. In America, I believe more students have after school part-time jobs. I think there are more expenses for a student in America, especially a high school student. Most states allow students to start driving with an adult at the age of 15, and then at 16 they're free to drive by themselves. If parents let their son or daughter take their car, and pays for their gasoline, then their kid is really lucky. Otherwise, most students must buy their own car, pay for gas and all other expenses when going out and driving to places. So, a part-time job is very popular. Yet, for those who also being to a club activity, it makes the student's schedule very busy.

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見始めたら止まらなくなっちゃって (2019/5/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu and Harrison, binge-watch the Japanese reality show ‘Terrace House’ at Harrison’s house.

This week's conversation is about the Japanese reality TV show, "Terrace House." Two people have a conversation about watching season one, and a difference compared to an American reality show. They both enjoy the show, but both agree it's different from American shows. A fun word to learn, "binge-watch," is given a Japanese explanation below the article. My English explanation of "binge-watching" is to sit down and watch many shows, one after the next. Basically, you sit for a long time watching many of the same show, usually a TV series. One can also use this term to include "binge-eating" and "binge-drinking." Maybe you can guess from the description what both might be.

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新聞を読んで、昼寝だね (2019/4/7付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Roy spends the day relaxing.

This dialogue, about relaxing in the living room all day, is what I'd love to do. The man in this dialogue had a busy week at work, and just wants to be lazy, and relax for one whole day. This sounds like a dream to me. His children help him, by bringing him the things he wants, and one even makes him a turkey sandwich. I think everyone is okay with this, except one person. Great dialogue about wanting to do nothing, but relax all day!

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背は高くないけど、本当にいい選手だね (2019/3/24-31付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu joins his friends late to watch Julia and Hannah’s basketball game.

This conversation started with some vocabulary about a visit to the dentist, then changed to a basketball game and a good, exciting talk about the players and the game. At the beginning, they briefly discuss where to sit during the basketball game, which gives me a chance to talk about schools around me. The retractable/telescopic bleachers aren't in any schools near my area. Maybe many schools have bleachers like this in Japan, but not in my area. All students sit on the gym floor during assemblies/meetings, and during sports games, the people watch from the balcony area above the court. If you're not sure what retractable, or telescopic bleachers are, here are some examples of them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jH74uNVpy0, or a nicer system (but not used for school gyms), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayiU55r6YbU. With regards to the rest of the conversation, it sounds just like a normal exciting game dialogue. Good sports talk!

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エンレイソウよ。春一番に咲く花 (2019/3/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kate and Kazu go for a trail run and see trilliums blooming in the forest.

Spring is coming! A native English conversation, some about the first spring flowers in this part of Oregon. Two find their first trilliums for the spring while on a trail run. For those people who live near nature trails, trail running is a popular sport/exercise. It's great exercise, and a lot more fun than running on the street, in my opinion. A lot of beautiful nature can be seen while on the trail. For example, the trillium mentioned above, is a pretty white flower that appears all over the forested areas of Oregon in spring. Trilliums come in other colors, but I've only seen white ones in Oregon. There is even a beautiful lake called, Trillium Lake, that I visited many times as a child. Trilliums are well known to nature enthusiasts in this part of Oregon, maybe other parts of America as well.

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どっちかっていうと犬派だもんね (2019/3/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah goes with Marie to feed her neighbor’s cats.

In this dialogue, one person is taking care of her neighbor's cats while on a short trip to California. She must feed them, change the litter box (toilet box) and play with them a little. An easy job, but she gets paid each day for it. Usually, along with taking care of the cats, the person will also bring in the mail from the mailbox and make sure the house looks fine. Basically, report anything strange if something happens to the house, like a pipe breaks, gas stove is on, water leaking, etc... The article does a good job of creating a realistic scenario while adding useful words such as, feed, crazy about, allergic, itchy, sneezing, pretty and more.

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私はもっと運動しなくちゃいけないって (2019/3/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu and Kate go to the movies at the new movie theater.

This conversation covers two well-known subjects in America. "The Great Gatsby" and a Fitbit, are both discussed. "The Great Gatsby" is a famous book about America during the Prohibition period. The Prohibition is when it became illegal to have, make or sell alcohol. This started in 1920, and ended in 1933. The book has had not one, but two movies made about it. The last one was made in 2013 with Leonardo DiCaprio. The second topic, Fitbit, is a popular wearable device or watch that tracks your movements, activity and fitness level. The dialogue provides some information about it, but here is also a Fitbit promotional video to help explain it better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3bBTrNMY1w

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このポップコーン容器のサイズを見てよ (2019/2/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kazu and Kate go to the movies at the new movie theater.

Two friends go to the newly remolded movie theater. After ordering some popcorn, Kazu, who is from Japan, notices how big the portions are in America. The popcorn sizes, drink sizes, hot dog sizes and even candy boxes in the movie theaters all are much bigger than I've seen in Japan. They put so much butter and salt on the popcorn, and it's expensive! Before I moved overseas, I use to love American movie theater popcorn! Now after living overseas for a long time, I agree that the American sizes are too big and the flavor is too strong. This is a good dialogue to start a conversation about the differences of sizes and tastes from culture to culture.

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ジョーの名前を書いちゃだめよ (2019/2/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks to Julia and Marie in the school library about the history project.

This week's conversation is about working to finish a school project for history class. One of the students in a group doesn't participate, so the other must do more work. I think this sounds like some students or people that we all may know, or have worked with. Luckily, friends help each other in this dialogue! The writing includes some good phrases such as, "How's ~ going?" and "I have ~ to go." It's a good script, with a realistic scenario, as always.

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「虹のかなたに」が弾けるようになりたいな (2019/2/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Kazu start an after-school ukulele club.

This conversation is based around the ukulele. Some students started an after-school ukulele club and try to get their friends to join. The conversation then mentions the most famous ukulele song in America, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Actually the Hawaiian singer, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, or "IZ," mixed the song together with "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. This beautiful song was a world-wide hit! IZ was born in Hawaii, where the ukulele is from, but many think of Japan as its second home.

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ママ、あと数分は話しかけないで (2019/2/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie reads a book on rainy Sunday afternoon.

This conversation is held on a rainy weekend day. Rainy days are perfect for reading a good book. Luckily, this area of Oregon has many rainy days, so many books can be read by all. Perhaps that's why one the world's largest independent new and used bookstores, Powell's Books, is based in Oregon. Well, maybe not... Yet, in this dialogue a mother and her daughter make small chat about a book while tea is being made. There are some good book related words in the conversation, and good dialogue based around really enjoying a book. It makes me want to start reading a good book!

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前髪は短いけど、ひどくはないよ (2019/1/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah sits down next to Kate in the cafeteria at lunchtime.

I think this dialogue most can relate too. I found it humorous, because I've made the same hair cutting mistake when I was young. In the conversation, one of the characters is hiding her hair with a hat, or beanie. She soon tells and show how short she accidentally cut the front of her hair, or the bangs. Luckily, she has a good friend who doesn't laugh and is supportive. Sometimes I guess it's better to pay people to do things correctly, instead of trying it yourself. We learn from our mistakes... Just like learning English!

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毎日1時間トランペットの練習をする (2019/1/1-6付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Harrison and Julia talk about New Year's resolutions.

The year of the wild boar is here! The year 2019 has started, and I hope it's a great one for all! This week's dialogue talks about New Year's resolutions. This is a common thing many do, to make a list of things you want to change in your life, or about yourself. For example, exercising more, eating healthier, studying a language, reading a certain number of books or changing something about yourself that you don't care for. This last item is what one of the characters talks about in the dialogue. She wants to change something about herself. Do you have a New Year's resolution, or want to make one?

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パパがどれだけ厳しいか知ってるでしょ (2018/12/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia ask Marie and Hannah about their plans for New Year’s Eve.

New Year's is just around the corner! This means that New Year's is very close. In this dialogue, three talk about what they are going to do for New Year's Eve. Some already have plans, while one does not. One thing I found interesting in this article is how one of the characters suggested to another to mislead, or lie to her father. Interesting how many high school students do attempt to lie like this. They say that they'll spend the night at a friend's house, but really will go somewhere else instead. If the parents of both students don't speak about it, then the parents don't know the truth. Regardless and luckily, this lie suggestion quickly ended, and the students continue talking about other options of New Year's Eve plans.

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星の形がちょっと不格好 (2018/12/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie brings holiday cookies to share on the last day of school before winter break.

Christmas cookies are the topic of this week's dialogue. The conversations mentions some flavors that I don't believe are popular here. I think most know the peppermint flavor, but do you know what ginger tastes like? Maybe some do? Yet, it's different from the Japanese ginger root that you find cooked in foods here in Japan. The ginger in this dialogue is a difficult taste to explain... Like the Japanese ginger, it's the root that is used. It has a unique smell that goes with its strong flavor. It has a sharp or somewhat spicy, tangy taste. I don't think my description helps, since it's really a different, distinct flavor. Ginger cookies and other treats are popular around the holiday seasons, as well as peppermint. I don't think peppermint, nor the ginger cookie taste are very popular in Japan. I find it interesting to see how different cultures find some tastes more enjoyable and other tastes not so enjoyable.

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あれは使い過ぎだったよな (2018/12/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks to her brother Thomas about family Christmas presents.

Christmas shopping is pretty big in America, and it takes a lot of time to buy presents for everyone on your Christmas list. It can also be stressful getting all your shopping done, and thinking of good gifts for each person. In this dialogue, a brother and sister talk about Christmas gifts. Well, actually a brother who doesn't like shopping, gets gift ideas from his sister. His sister will make her gifts this year, which is a great idea. Although, it's because she already spent her money on herself the month before, oops.

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雪だるまを作るのにシャベルはいらないのよ (2018/12/2付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

China unveils robots to read TV news

The weather became warmer, but in some areas of Japan, the ski season has started. In this dialogue, two talk about how to make a snowman. I have always found this topic of snowmen interesting. I remember when I first saw a Japanese style snowman, with only two snowballs. I thought that the people who made it just didn't have time to build a third snowball, or the third snowball was too heavy to lift to the top. Years later, I learned that this was normal. Two snowballs for a Japanese snowman, and three snowballs for a western-style snowman. I wonder why it's like this?

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大混乱だったよ。かわいいんだけどね (2018/11/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

China unveils robots to read TV news

China just introduced two English (and Chinese) speaking artificially intelligent (AI) robot news anchor. The developers are calling it a robot, but to me it looks like a computer-made program. Either way, it still needs a little improvement, but it's off to a good start. Could this be the future of news reporting? If it becomes popular in the future, I think it could save a lot of money and other possible problems for TV companies. Maybe it would eliminate some jobs, but AI would also create a lot of new jobs, according to research firm, Gartner. You can see an example of one of the AI robot news anchors and Gartner's job statistics in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHPI1uH9llU .

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外国語を学ぶなら耳を鍛えなきゃ (2018/11/18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie and Hannah talk about how they did on their foreign language exams.

This dialogue gives some good advice for people studying a foreign language. It says you should listen to the same sentences over and over until you're used to the words and sounds. Great advice to all language learners! It also talks about exam/test scores and their grades. Basically, 100-90 (points or percentage) = an A grade, 89-80 = B, 79-70 = C, 69-60 = D and anything 59 or less = F. There's no E grade, only A, B, C, D & F. Another name for an F, is "Fail." So, if you get an F on the test, you "Failed" the test.

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ワカモレを全部食べるんじゃない! (2018/11/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Cliff watch football with their dad.

Two very popular things are mentioned in this conversation. Many Americans love watching football, and in this scenario, three decide to watch a National Football League (NFL) game. They eat a very popular snack, chips and guacamole, while watching the Seattle Seahawks play the Los Angeles Rams. Usually having a side of salsa along with chips and guacamole makes for a complete snack. I must admit that I miss this snack a lot! The conversation also talks about real teams, the last year's performance of the Seattle Seahawks and a talented player as well.

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嫌な夢を見ちゃうんだもん (2018/11/04付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

At the grocery store, Hannah and Kate get snacks for movie night.

Some friends are at the grocery store, buying snacks and drinks for their movie night. Just as you may guess, a movie night is where some friends come over, and you eat snacks and have some fun drinks all night. Perhaps even make, or order some pizzas for dinner. There are a couple interesting items mentioned in this dialogue. Root beer, is not a beer, but a cola that many Asian people don't care for. If you put ice cream in a glass, and slowly pour root beer into the glass with ice cream in it, you have what's called a root beer float. Americans love them! Also mentioned are pumpkin-flavored snacks and other food/drink items. These are quite popular during the Halloween and Thanksgiving season.

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女生徒からはたくさんの支持を得たと思う (2018/10/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kate,Marie and Harrison wait for the votes for the student council president's race to be counted.

The school student council president position gets announced. Kate, who ran for president against the popular boy, patiently waits for the votes to get counted. She gets a little sad, because she thinks she'll lose. Luckily, her friends are there to keep her motivated and wait for the announcement. They try to cheer her up with encouraging words. I think she's glad she waited around for the results, because... she won!

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僕は北海道から来たんだ (2018/10/21付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

In the cafeteria, Harrison introduces himself to a new student at the school.

A student from Japan comes to their school! His name is Kazu, and before moving to America he lived in Switzerland. This conversation is about introducing oneself and getting to know each other. It's a great example of how a dialogue starts after introducing yourself, and being able to keep the conversation going. Since winter is just around the corner, this dialogue also adds some small chat about skiing. Lastly, they mention the cafeteria, where all students each lunch. This can also be a fun topic to talk about while working through this dialogue.

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いいわ、好きに笑ってよ (2018/10/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Thomas bring home their school pictures.

School photos are somewhat of a big thing in America. Unlike most Japanese photos I've seen, in America the majority of students smile for their pictures. The picture will get put in the yearbook, but students also purchase many smaller photo prints. They use these small photos, about 63.5 x 89mm, to handout to their friends, and usually write a little message on the back of each. For the senior year, or last year in high school, students usually have many pictures taken, and then placed in a nice booklet that will stand up for display on a shelf at their parents' home.

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勝ち目はないけど、挑戦してみたいの  (2018/10/7付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Marie help Kate make campaign posters.

One of the characters in this dialogue, Kate, is running for (trying out for) student council president. She will have to give a speech and compete against the most popular guy/boy in the school. This dialogue uses the common phrase of "you guys," referring to a group of people, or friends. There's a better Japanese explanation written on the dialogue page. In this dialogue, Kate's friends help her make posters to advertise and promote her attempt to be the student council president. This dialogue made me realize that I've never seen a poster, or advertisement for any of the Japanese student council tryouts. While in American schools, posters, handouts, pins and much more can be used for marketing oneself. I find this interesting.

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モリーおばさんって好きよ  (2018/9/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

While driving to Aunt Molly's house,Marie and her mom get lost.

This week's dialogue talks about Marie's mom's sister, or Marie's aunt. They talk about many things, such as: referring to cell phone navigation, missing their street, a difficult job, younger siblings, dogs and a new place. As a normal conversations do, it flows together perfectly while bringing up many different items to discuss. Additionally, it also provides a very common imperative to express one's frustration or disappointment, "Darn it."

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そういうの、女の子は喜ぶ  (2018/9/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

While doing the dishes after dinner, Thomas talks to Hannah about asking a girl to the homecoming dance.

The homecoming dance is coming up! School just started, but students are already thinking about this big event. Homecoming, which is explained on the page, is a yearly event that all high schools have in America. It's a lot of fun, and some school homecomings are really big! In this dialogue, Thomas talks about who and how he's going to ask a girl to be his date to the dance. I've never heard of making a poster in order to ask a girl to the dance, but maybe it's a new tradition, or possibly only a tradition at some schools? I'm not sure. It's interesting.

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肩の筋肉がカチカチ  (2018/9/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie gives her dad a back rub.

Aches, pains and sore muscles is the theme of this dialogue. George's daughter, Marie, is kind enough to give her father a back massage, or a "back rub." Some common words are used when talking about muscle pains. For example, "stiff shoulders and neck" means that the shoulder and next muscles are sore and a little painful to move. The conversation ends with some recommendations, especially for "middle-aged people," or people around 45-65 years old.

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どうしてフットボールをやりたいか分かったわ  (2018/9/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Marie talk after school.

After school sports, or activities is the main theme of this dialogue. Harrison, a high school student, is going to try a new club, and try out for the football (American style) team. Luckily, in America, it's easy to change sports, or clubs. Each club is usually seasonal, which means it only lasts about three months. The high school football season always starts in the fall and finishes some time before the colder winter months. Soccer, cross-country (long distance running) and the fall play are examples of some after school clubs in the fall. However, a student usually only picks one to join.

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ゲームはやめて、本を読み始めるんだ!  (2018/8/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Cliff and Thomas talk about summer homework.

School starts next week for many schools in America. I was surprised to hear that an elementary school gave homework assignments in this dialogue. Maybe this is becoming more popular among elementary school students, I'm not sure. However, most JHS and HS students do not have to do summer homework. This freedom allows the older students to be able to get a job and make some extra money for whatever they might like to spend their money on, or save for. The dialogue mostly talks about homework, and also mentions a popular book, that was eventually made into a movie in 1990. The book's name is "Hatchet," but the movie's name is, "A Cry in the Wild."

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このしま模様のはどう?  (2018/8/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah,Thomas,Marie and Harrison compete in the monthly cafe trivia quiz.

After a three month summer vacation, the students in America are slowly getting ready to start school again. Before their September start, there are many "Back to School" sales for the parents and students. Because most public schools don't require uniforms, clothes shopping is quite popular during the end of August. New clothes to wear to school, new shoes and new backpacks for some! This dialogue talks about some clothes shopping, and choosing a new backpack. It's a good shopping dialogue for selecting colors, options and varieties.

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「恋のサバイバル」を歌ったのは?  (2018/8/5付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah,Thomas,Marie and Harrison compete in the monthly cafe trivia quiz.

It's trivia night at the cafe! Every month, the cafe sets up a trivia quiz night that groups can compete in. I'm not sure what the winning group receives, but it sounds like a fun event. In this dialogue, we listen to one of the eleven groups learn about the rules of the game, and answer the first four trivia questions. The quiz questions bring up some fun topics, especially about the color of a giraffe's tongue. Did you know that giraffes have dark colored tongues so it doesn't get sunburned? Interesting!

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ちょっと、苦労して釣った魚なのに  (2018/7/22-29付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie goes fishing with her brother Justin and her dad.

Spending time outdoors is a popular thing to do in Oregon. Fishing is especially popular because there are so many lakes, rivers and an ocean to fish in. This dialogue takes place on a quiet lake, with three people fishing from their boat. One of those people might not care for fishing, so it's interesting to "hear" her comments (if using the audio feature). Although, I think she might start enjoying it after catching the first fish. In many ways, I think Japan is a lot like Oregon. The many rivers in Japan attract many fishermen and women. I want to try fishing in Japan!

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帽子を持ってきたよ  (2018/7/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison paints the fence in front of Melba's house.

Summer jobs to help others, is what this conversation is about. I remember all the odd jobs I did to help my grandmother when I was young. Cleaning the gutters on the house, weeding her garden, mowing the lawn and so on. In this dialogue, maybe Harrison will get paid a little money for helping paint Melba's fence on this hot day. If not, he still gets paid with cold lemonade and Mela's famous peach pie! I think that's a nice payment!

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パパが保安官じゃなかったらな  (2018/7/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Cliff buy fireworks at the local fireworks stand in preparation for the Greeville Fourth of July picnic.

It's time for the fireworks to start! I just watched the first fireworks show of the year near my house. It was fun! It always amazes me how many firework displays there are during the summer months in Japan. In America, July 4th is the most popular time for lighting fireworks. This popular holiday is the historical day we celebrate America's independence from Britain. Each state in America has different rules/laws for fireworks. Some states are more strict about what you can and can't purchase. Oregon is somewhat strict, so some Oregonians (Oregon residents) drive to other states that have more relaxed rules, and bring them back to Oregon. This is illegal, but many do it anyways.

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いいお天気。空には雲一つないわ  (2018/6/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie,Harrison and Hannah go on a hike.

Like Oregon, USA, Japan has a lot of beautiful hiking, or mountain climbing trails, to explore. From my hikes in Nagano, I've seen a lot of nature, including two bears on two different occasions. This dialogue also mentions seeing a bear while they're on their hike. Fortunately it's only a black bear, which aren't as dangerous as the brown bears that can stand up to about 3 meters tall on their back legs! The article also gives a little black bear advice at the bottom.

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大きくなったら、犬を飼ってもいいって  (2018/6/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie takes the dog for a walk and talks to a child in the neighborhood.

Taking the dog for a walk, or walking the dog, is where this dialogue starts. While on the walk, Marie and her dog meet a 7 year-old girl. The girl is very interested in the pet and wants a dog of her own, so she asks many questions. The dialogue could lead into a discussion, or writing, about the responsibilities of caring for various pets, big and small.

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友達が来ると、私たちの後をついてくるの  (2018/6/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks to her mom about Cliff's behavior.

A little brother's job is to bother his older brother or sister. In this dialogue, Hannah asks her mom to talk to her little brother. It sounds like Cliff, her little brother, is doing his job well and bothering Hannah. The examples they give of what Cliff does is somewhat funny. I think many can relate to this dialogue if they have a brother or sister. I know my brother certainly annoyed me!

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私のシルバーのネックレスする?  (2018/6/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia, Kate, Hannah and Marie get ready for the Spring Dance at Kate's house.

The girls are getting ready for their Spring Dance and the boys will pick them up later. It's a good example of what goes on, and the talking, before a dance. Choosing what to wear, what accessories to put on and how to do their hair. It's a realistic scenario, and I'm sure the boys are doing something a little similar. The boys probably won't be worried about their hair as much, and perhaps the boys are each getting ready at their own house. Yet once together, they might double check to see if their slacks (nice pants) match their shirt. Most likely the biggest question they may have for each other is to make sure that their necktie matches, and is tied correctly.

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それは音楽の趣味がひどいからよ  (2018/5/27付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Hannah talk about a new album by Hannah's favorite artist.

The characters Thomas and Hannah have a chat about their musical likes and dislikes, or another words their taste in music. I like this expression, "taste in music" which means the kind of music you like. For example, "I have a large variety of musical tastes, but I don't care for country music". The dialogue also mentions a Japanese-American singer who seems to be quite popular in America. This is a fun argument between two siblings.

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本当に私がハリソンを誘っても気にしない?  (2018/5/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah,Marie and Julia decide who to ask to the Spring Dance.

A Sadie Hawkins dance is where girls ask boys as a date to a dance. Dances are fairly popular in America. My school had many small dance parties after every home football game. For these dances, anyone can attend and you don't have to have a date. Yet, for the special dance events, dates are required. This dialogue talks about who the girls will ask to the dance, and it uses the word "guy" quite often. "Guy" is noun used in place of the word "boy/man" but it can also be used for a group of boys/men, or a group of boys/men and girls/women all together. It's a fun dialogue with hints of one girl liking a certain boy.

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こんな大きな役はやったことないの  (2018/4/29付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Maria talks to Julia after play rehearsal.

This dialogue talks about getting nervous for a drama performance, and a softball game. It also offers some advice, all in native English. The drama club at my school in Oregon would put on a big weekend performance, much like this dialogue discusses. It was usually free, or sometimes they charged a little money to help cover the costs of the materials used for the stage props. I regret never going to see a school play while I was young. I always heard that our drama club did well!

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長い行列だね。30分は待たないと  (2018/4/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

The Polk family visits Disneyland.

Our dialogue takes us on a spring break trip to Disneyland in California! The parents want to take a break, while the kids talk about what ride they'll go on next. Reading this conversation made me wonder just how big each resort is in both America and Japan. I was surprised! Tokyo Disneyland Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea) is about 118 ha. (hectare) in size. California Disneyland Resort (Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney) is about 202 ha. The largest is in Florida, Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studies, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, several golf courses and more...) covers about 11,031 ha.! That's enormous!

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日本に行ってみたいな  (2018/4/08付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and her family board the plane to Los Angeles from Portland.

This dialogue takes place just before their airplane flight to Los Angeles. The conversation even sneaks in a comment about Japan Airlines, just for the Japanese audience reading this. For many who have never flown, it gives a good example of a short pre-flight scenario. It even provides information on how long a flight from Oregon to Japan would take. From Portland, Oregon a flight takes about 10 or 11 hours! That's a long flight, but an enjoyable one for those who like to fly.

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君がホラーを嫌いなのは知ってる  (2018/3/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Marie plan to see a movie.

In this dialogue, two talk about when and what movie to see at their local movie theater. They're talking about current movies that are playing now, some in Japan. This reminded me of why I don't see many movies here in Japan. One weekend adult ticket, in the Oregon theaters around my home in Portland, costs $11 (¥1,200). Compare this to my local theater in Japan which charges ¥1,800 for one normal ticket. Maybe it's not a big difference, but it adds up over time. So, I now prefer to wait until the movies come out as a rental. It saves money!

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きっと熱があるのね。体温計を取ってくる  (2018/2/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie takes care of her father when he comes home with a cold.

Getting sick is not fun! Luckily, in this dialogue Marie can take care of her father who is sick and has a fever. This conversation has some good words that should reaffirm what has been studied, as well as adding new vocabulary. It also offers some advice for helping a sore throat! Good timing since many seem to be sick during the colder months.

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どうしてグアテマラなの?  (2018/2/18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kate talks about a church service project.

This dialogue has a lot in it that can lead to many discussions. It starts out talking about plans for spring break. This leads the conversation into road trips, or long driving trips in the car. Then, flying to Guatemala is mentioned. They then move on to talk about service projects, or basically volunteer project by a group of people. Lastly, the topic changes to being able to practice speaking Spanish. The main theme of the dialogue is service projects, but there's much in this very natural conversation!

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バレンタインデーなんて大嫌い  (2018/2/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Valentine’s Day. Hannah tries to avoid a boy who likes her.

This dialogue is a humorous way to teach about the differences in cultures. Valentine's Day and White Day are two holidays in Japan that I'm still trying to get used to. As many may know, Valentine's Day in America is done a little differently, and there is currently no White Day. For the children, classmates exchange Valentine's Day cards, and everyone receives a card from another, or from all students in their class. When you get older, the male traditionally takes care of Valentine's Day. It's a day to treat his loved one to a special day, evening or both. Cards can be exchanged, but usually it's the male who will buy sweets (chocolates, etc.), flowers, jewelry or all three for his loved one to enjoy. Having a special dinner is also an important part of Valentine's Day. It's becoming more popular for those who are single to take each other out, or do something special, as a friendship way to celebrate Valentine's Day. If White Day ever does become popular in America, I'm guessing it would be a day when the females treat to the males, opposite of Japanese culture.

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パパはもう冬に飽き飽きしてるから  (2018/2/4付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

George and Marie talk about Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and on February 2nd of each year, is a funny, but well known day that gets reported in the news in both America and Canada. This day is when a special groundhog (small furry animal) is taken out of his cage to observe the weather. If the groundhog is able to see its own shadow, because of the sun, there will be six more weeks of winter. If this special groundhog named, Punxsutawney Phil, doesn't see his own shadow due to cloudy weather, then spring will come early. Yes, it's strange, but it's fun to teach about it. At the end of the Greenville dialogue, there is a Japanese explanation which helps to understand this day. Additionally, here is an English video to reinforce it through English, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDFy7_DM_qQ.

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暖炉の前の軽食コーナーの近くにいるわ (2018/1/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Harrison and Julia are at the local ski resort.

A few go to a ski resort in Oregon. They all ski together, and Julia sounds like she's a pretty good skier. Although, she seems to have a little crush on one of the ski resort employees, so she stops skiing sooner than the rest. A "crush" just means that she likes someone more than just a friend. It's a nice winter-time ski dialogue with a cute "crush" line at the end.

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自分のカフェなんだから (2018/1/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Melba and Doc stop by the drive-thru and talk to Thomas.

The dialogue's conversation is all done around an order at a drive-thru cafe. This made me think about drive-thru services. Drive-thrus are convenient, and there are many different services that can be offered at a drive-thru. I recently saw the news here in Japan where a drive-thru funeral service opened in a city nearby. I didn't realize it, but they also have a similar service in the United States as well. I'm not familiar with what kind of drive-thrus are in Japan, but I'll list some of them in America. There are of course fast food drive-thru windows, but you can also return your rental movies at a drive-thru, buy alcohol, visit a funeral home, vote at a voting machine drive-thru and even get married by using a drive-thru service!

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私はファースト・ナイトに行くの (2018/1/1-7付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Marie talk on the phone about New Year’s Eve plans.

New Year's Eve has already passed, but as always the dialogue is great to use for native speaking-style English. I chose this dialogue because I think it's a perfect time to talk about what we did during the holidays, but more importantly to think about the new changes we want to make for 2018. It's popular to make our goals, or "New Year's resolutions," for the year. These goals are anything you want them to be. Some popular goals might be to read more books during the year, study more of a language, exercise, eat healthier, spend more time with family and so on. Now is the time to write out our New Year's resolutions. I'm making mine now!

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私、必要なものは全部持ってるもの (2017/12/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Hannah and Julia talk about what they want for Christmas.

A Christmas list is something I grew up making when I was young. It's a list of things you are hoping to receive for Christmas. This dialogue talks about what is on each person's list, and then the conversation changes to be more thoughtful of those around the world who are not as lucky. The dialogue is a good reminder that we should all be appreciative of what we have, especially around the holidays. Many of us receive gifts or money and usually to eat more food than normal. With so many in the world who don't have enough money, a safe place to live, enough food to be healthy, and many other unfortunates, it's also a good time for us to think about or help others who might need some extra care in our world.

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雪かきは重労働ね。手伝ってあげたら? (2017/12/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

First snowfall of the year. Thomas helps his dad shovel snow.

This time of year, many of the northern areas in Japan will have to get rid of the snow on their driveways, sidewalks, or the part of the street that they are responsible for. Some are lucky enough to only need a shovel to remove the snow. Other people need to use snow blower machines or even connect snow plow attachments to a tractor or car. This dialogue talks about shoveling snow, or getting rid of the snow with a shovel. It's great vocabulary to add to your English words now that winter is coming!

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レストランで感謝祭なんて経験はないわ (2017/11/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah, Kate and Harrison talk about how they spent Thanksgiving.

A few in a group talk about how their Thanksgiving weekend was. This is a past tense dialogue, great for listening or reading practice. It was interesting to see that one of the speakers and his family decided to have their Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. While it's not as popular, some do choose to eat out at restaurants for Thanksgiving. Especially if they don't have a big family, don't feel like cooking or just want to experience a change. I too have had a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant before. It's easy, but it's definitely not the same as a home cooked, everyone helping, family event dinner. Plus, when you eat at a restaurant, you don't have a lot of leftovers to eat for the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend.

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最高においしいパンプキンパイになるぞ (2017/11/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

The day before Thanksgiving. Marie and her brother make pumpkin pies.

It's Thanksgiving time in America. Thanksgiving is always on the forth Thursday of November, and usually the next day, Friday is also given as a holiday by most employers. This means that it's a long weekend of eating Turkey, relaxing and usually spending time with family. The day after Thanksgiving is called, "Black Friday." This day starts the Christmas shopping season, and the stores offer many sales for this day. It's the busiest shopping day of the year, and also the craziest. The stores are packed, and many have lines in front of them, waiting to open. Some stores have been known to open at 4am!

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なんでケイトが怒る筋合いがあるのよ (2017/11/12付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie talk about their friends’ dating drama.

This is a fun dialogue, perhaps disappointing for one character, who "has a crush" on a boy. As said before, "Have a crush," simply means that someone likes another person, but the other person doesn't usually know. Or, the other person may not be interested in that person who likes them. It's an interesting dialogue and could be used to discuss what is fair and respectful.

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ニュースは紙で読む方が好きなんだよ (2017/11/5付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Sunday morning at the Polk house. Thomas and his dad talk about the news.

Newspaper vs. online news, is a great topic for many countries right now, especially America. This is a good dialogue that could lead into an educational lesson about how credible, or how real the news is. America, like many countries, has a problem with unreliable news sources, or companies that sell wrong/misleading information. Unfortunately, because Americans haven't learned enough about misleading news sources, it can lead to making incorrect decisions. These incorrect, or bad choices, aren't usually the best choices for all people in America. This is why American schools are now teaching how to "read through the lines," or how to understand what is real news.

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こんなスローな曲じゃ誰も踊れないわ (2017/10/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison hosts a Halloween costume party.

It's Halloween time! That means that many people in America are busy making or buying a costume! Halloween is the second biggest holiday in America! Can you guess the biggest? That's right, Christmas is the biggest holiday in America. As for Halloween though, there are decorations everywhere, and many parties for kids and adults. It's the time when haunted houses get set up and open to all ages. Some are really scary, but most are for children and not as scary. Halloween is popular for all ages! This dialogue talks about different things that are at, or involved in hosting a Halloween party.

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人それぞれに得意なものがあるのよ (2017/10/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Cliff talks to his mom about Thomas.

I thought this week's dialogue gave great parental advice, that sometimes we might forget. Especially when we're growing up. "People are good at different things," which means that each of us is good at something, but sometimes we don't know it yet. Sometimes we can't even see it, until we take time to think about our strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes being good at something doesn't necessary mean that a person must be the smartest, or best player. Sometimes just being a good listener, a good conversationalist, a good thinker or just being a comfortable person to be around, could be a special talent, or something that someone is good at. I think that sometimes we may forget that all of us is good at something! If we haven't found it, then we haven't looked hard enough!

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私、笑ってなかった? (2017/10/8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Kate and Julia watch a football game on Friday night.

Now that the new school year has started in America, it's time for American football games. In this dialogue, some good words and phrases are used while they're watching the football game. Watching school sports is fun for many, but the most popular school sport to watch is football. All ages come to watch the football team. This reminds me that sport schedules are different in America. Students can play three different sports during the school year, maybe more with private clubs. Different school districts have different seasonal sports schedules, but generally the seasonal school sports look like this. In the fall, students can join: football, soccer, cross-country (running), volleyball and more. In winter, student can sign up for: basketball, dance, wrestling, swimming, hockey and more. When spring comes, they can participate in: baseball, track & field, golf, tennis, softball and more. Some schools have more sports and others have less.

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わあ、見て。新鮮なきのこ (2017/10/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

At the Farmers’ Market, Marie discusses the dinner menu with her dad.

It's still barbecue weather in Oregon, and dinner plans are discussed at a Farmers' Market. A Farmers' Market is where people bring their home-grown vegetables, fruits or other homemade items and sell it at a special location, once a week, or once a month. In this dialogue, they talk about their plans of what to make and who will make different dishes. They are all "looking forward to" it. This is such a great phrase that I think all must know. "I'm looking forward to (a plan)," can also be used in question form, "Are you looking forward to (a plan)?" Again, these dialogues are great for natural native English listening, reading and comprehension practicing!

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まだ何も作ってないの (2017/9/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas comes home hungry after football practice.

The dialogue is mostly about food, with some great native English phrases, but I thought it's interesting that American football was mentioned in the beginning of this. If you've been following the news, American football players have been kneeling, or putting one knee on the ground during America's national anthem. Originally, this started from a player wanting more rights for black people. He knelt during our country's song to show that he didn't approve of how black people were being treated in America. Recently, President Trump misinterpreted or forgot the original reason for kneeling and angered many of the NFL (National Football League) professional football players with his rude-style comments. So, many football players have decided this week to either kneel during the national anthem, lock arms together or stay in the locker room during the song, in protest of Trump's disrespectful comments about football players. America's Trump drama continues...

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すごく若いよね。生徒かと思ったもの (2017/9/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah, Kate and Harrison talk about their teachers.

Since school just started in America, the students in the dialogue chat about their teachers for this year, and share opinions about each. There are a lot of good descriptions for their teachers in this reading. At the end of their conversation, Kate and Hannah talk about studying a foreign language. In America, no foreign language is required for education. This means that if you want to study a foreign language, you must take it as one of your "elective" classes, an optional class that you can chose to take. There's a list of classes that the students can chose to take along with their required subjects. Some examples of elective classes are: foreign languages, cooking, art, stringed instruments, brass band, singing/choir, shop (making something with wood, metal or plastics), weight lifting/training and many more! I think it's fun to take these elective classes!

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僕の髪は長い方がいいと思うだろ? (2017/9/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

The Polk family talks about Thomas getting a haircut.

One of the characters in this week's dialogue decides to get a haircut. This is a good dialogue that shares opinions about long hair vs. short hair on a boy/teenager. The conversation ends, hinting that Thomas has a crush on Julia. A crush just means that he likes Julia a little more than a friend. So, his decision to get a haircut is because he wants to look good for Julia. That's kind of cute!

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すごく簡単そうなピーチパイのレシピがあるわ (2017/8/27付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah hangs out at Julia’s house.

This week's dialogue talks about eating, or finding a way to use many peaches from an uncle's farm. It brings up a very popular website, called Pinterest, which is well known in English speaking countries. There's a Japanese explanation about this information discovery and sharing service. The article also quickly mentioned a home ice cream maker. When I was young, we had an ice cream maker too! It was a lot of fun to pick fruit, put it in the ice cream maker, wait, wait and wait for the ice cream to be made, and then eat it! Homemade ice cream is the best!

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これを見るとすごく心が揺さぶられるわ (2017/8/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

In Washington, D.C., Marie’s family visits the Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial

This week's dialogue gets a little more serious and talks about war, the USA Vietnam War and an uncle who served in the war. I think that this is good timing, since all of us may be a little worried about the current relationship with America and North Korea. I think that this dialogue gives us an opportunity to discuss current news, the world and Japan's future.

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今日見たいところを一つ選ぶんだ (2017/8/13付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

In the hotel, Marie and her parents plan their day of sightseeing in Washington, D.C.

This is a museum sightseeing dialogue that takes place in Washington, D.C. Each wants to visit a different museum, so they plan to see some of them on the hotter of the two days. The dialogue uses the American way of telling the temperature, Fahrenheit not Celsius. It also uses a good word to know, humidity, which is difficult for me to get used to in Japan. In Oregon, where the characters in this dialogue are from, the humidity is not as high as Japan. On the other side of America, in Washington D.C., the humidity is higher.

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新しいメニューを見た? (2017/8/6付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie and Harrison order drinks at the local espresso stand.

It's still summer vacation in America, and many high school students are working summer jobs. Unless your parents give you money, most students who want some extra spending money will get some kind of summer job. In this dialogue, Thomas is working at a local espresso stand, or drink shop. Some stop by for a small chat and to order some drinks. There are some good words and phrases in this, such as "guys," "recommend," "smoothie" and "in the mood." All are good to know!

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こいつ、動こうとしないよ (2017/7/23-30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Cliff and Hannah walk the neighbor’s dog.

This dialogue is about dog sitting, or taking care of a dog while someone is on vacation. This comes from the word, baby sitting, which is to take care of a baby/child for someone while they run errands, or go out for an evening. The dog in this article is pretty lazy, so it's kind of humorous because it reminds me of some dogs I've met. Luckily, not a dog I've owned!

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冗談を言ってみんなを笑わせるのが大好きだった (2017/7/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Roy’s uncle dies and Roy plans to go to the funeral.

This week's Greenville touches a little on death and funerals. I think this is a good dialogue to introduce some of the differences between Japanese and western cultures. For example, many westerners want to be buried in a box, and placed underground. There are wooden basic-style boxes, or really fancy metal boxes with a lot of padding on the inside of the coffin. However, many are changing their opinion about being buried in a box, and requesting to be cremated, or burned into ashes instead. Then, those who request to be cremated usually want to their ashes to be spread somewhere or a special place, like on the ground near a special tree, a favorite mountain sport, a river, ocean, etc... Most people who request to be cremated do not want their ashes to be kept in a box, or vase, as many used to do.

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今年の花火は特別だって聞いたわ (2017/7/2付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

At the Greenville 4th of July picnic. Marie, Harrison, Hannah and Julia watch the fireworks.

It's the Fourth of July in America! Fireworks are necessary for this holiday, and some firework names are taught in this dialogue. This popular USA holiday is America's Independence Day. America declared its independence from the British Empire (The United Kingdom) July 4th 1776. Americans speak English thanks to the British, but one of my classes didn't know this. They thought English was from America. Nope, England! They were surprised, but so was I from their beliefs about the origins of English!

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頭が大きく見えちゃう (2017/6/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah helps Thomas pick out new sunglasses at the store.

It's becoming time to use sunglasses more! This is a great shopping scenario dialogue. It gives some funny comments and opinions. By trying on different sunglasses and talking about it, they come to an agreement and make the purchase.

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早めに夏休みをスタートさせてくれたら (2017/6/18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Last week of school before summer vacation. Harrison, Marie and Julia meet for lunch.

Wow, summer vacation is already here for the students! They'll receive about three months of summer vacation. Lucky! Each person in the dialogue talks about what their summer vacation plans are. The students who are old enough to work may decide to work for most of the summer time. It's a great way to earn some extra spending money!

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ママ、ラベルを見なきゃ! (2017/6/4付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah learns to use the washing machine.

Learning how to use the washing machine. At some point, everyone must learn how to wash their own clothes. I had forgotten how I used to wash my light-colored clothes and dark-colored clothes separately. I suppose this is because I don't use warm water to wash my clothes since I've been living in Asia. I'm not sure why I stopped using warm water to wash my light-colored clothes, but I did. When using warm water to wash clothes, it makes it easier for the colors to "bleed" into the other clothes. This means that your clothing can mix colors and come out a different color then before. For example if you wash a red t-shirt and white socks together, your t-shirt color could leak and change the socks to a nice pink color. Now, I just use cold water for everything and wash it all together. Up until now, no colors have bled, but I'm sure my time will come.

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食べ物は十分すぎるほどあるわ (2017/5/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Memorial Day weekend. The Pirotti family packs up for a barbecue at a picnic area.

The Pirotti family is getting ready to have a barbecue next to the river with a group of people. It's spring time, and the weather has become much warmer. So, it's time to barbecue! Americans love barbecuing! This is a great conversation about getting ready to go somewhere, or "packing up" the car to head to a place.

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アイスクリームを食べに行こうよ! (2017/5/21付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Harrison and Hannah sit outside during school lunch break.

It's spring and the students now have a case of "spring fever"! It's not a disease or sickness, but instead it's an seasonal spring time energy that means you don't want to stay indoors or you don't feel like studying or working. This dialogue does a good job of expressing each student's spring fever, as well as a Japanese explanation. I think many of us can relate to this feeling of spring fever.

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見てよ! いいと思わない? (2017/5/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Kate, Hannah and Julia sit in the bleachers to watch the varsity baseball game.

This week's dialogue is about one person who has "a crush" on a boy. This term is very popular, and a fun one to learn. A crush just means that someone likes another person in more of a wanting-to-date type of way. The scenario is quite realistic and it's written in a way that high schoolers (and JHS students) would act.

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ごちそうしてくれるんだよね? (2017/4/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison, Marie, Hannah, Julia and Kate order food at Melba’s Cafe.

This is a cafe ordering conversation that has some very common words. Again, "treating" is mention as in the week before. "Treating" someone to a meal just means that you'll buy their meal. Another popular and common word, especially for students, is "awesome." This just means that something is really cool, or really great! The popular food, "chili" is mentioned several times. Chili is a cooked stew with beans, onions, tomatoes, chili peppers and meat. I can sometimes find canned chili, but it's really expensive. Although making your own chili is much more fun, and better tasting.

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そんなに上手だなんて知らなかった (2017/4/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

At school. Marie sees Harrison in the music room rehearsing for the spring concert.

This dialogue is centered around playing an instrument in a spring concert. The reason that Harrison is practicing for the concert is somewhat humorous, but also unfortunate. This conversation could easily be a realistic scenario. The dialogue has several expressions related to duration, or how long they've been doing something as well as many common music-related references. The conversation ends with the very popular expression "treat" as in, "I'll treat you to a meal" meaning that "I'll pay for your meal," as an example.

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おいしそうだけど、おなかがすかない? (2017/4/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia, Marie and Hannah have lunch in the cafeteria.

The students are having a small chat about Julia's lunch. Julia and her family are trying to eat meals without sugar. It's basically a sugar-free diet, not counting natural sugar. They discuss her food plan while eating lunch in the cafeteria. Many Americans consume too much sugar, and don't need that much sugar in their food. So, I think this is a great idea and wouldn't mind trying it myself, but... I love bread, and pasta too much!

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ママは絶対にファストフードを食べさせてくれないんだ (2017/3/5付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas picks up Cliff from his friend’s house and takes him out to dinner.

This is a great fast food restaurant ordering conversation. In fact, the Five Guys burger place they visit is a real burger shop. When I think of an American burger, I think of burgers like this place makes. I definitely don't think of McDonald's when I think of a real burger. In fact, you can watch a short video of a Five Guys' bacon burger being made here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNvlpYo3azY Another thing I should mention is that earlier in the conversation, Thomas says that they could eat frozen pizza at home. Some might confuse this as actually eating frozen, ice-cold pizza. Instead, another way to say and explain this is that they have some pizza in the freezer that they can heat up in the oven and then eat.

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テストまで15分なの (2017/2/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia and Marie study in the library at lunchtime.

Perfect dialogue for this time of year. In this dialogue the students are taking their "finals," or their last test of the year. They are studying in the library, just before their Spanish final. Spanish is a popular language to study in school, and many Spanish words are very common in America English, such as "amigo" (friend), "adios" (goodbye), "por favor" (please) and "gracias" (thanks). Because of Mexico's influence on American culture, Spanish has become more important to learn these days for Americans.

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最近遠くのものが見えづらくなっています (2017/2/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Ms. Mumpfort asks Marie about her eyesight after class.

This dialogue talks about getting an eye check, or an eye exam. It reminded me of the differences in exams from America to Japan. In America, we check our vision by covering one eye and looking at letters on the wall. We must tell the nurse or doctor what letter we see. In Japan we must cover an eye and tell where the opening of the partial circle is. When I first came to Japan I was required to take an eye exam. I didn't know what to do, nor could I think quick enough to speak "left, right, up, down," in Japanese. It was embarrassing, but luckily I could point with my finger instead of trying to speak the Japanese directions. Phew!

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女子の試合はつまらないって言うわけ?  (2017/1/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie, Harrison and Kate watch Hannah’s basketball game.

This is an interesting conversation about the size of the audience watching the girls' team verses the boys'/guys' team. The article keeps the topic at the school level, but many times I've thought of this topic at the professional level. Sometimes I have felt sorry for females in sports, because they don't have as many people/spectators watching their sport and they don't get paid the same as men in the same sport. It's really too bad...

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人の顔が描けるようになりたいな  (2016/1/1-8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

In art class, Hannah and Julia sketch fruit for a still life.

Hannah and Julia talk about their artwork, their teacher and where they can get some help with their art technique. Perhaps I too could get some art technique help from Julia's sister, who happens to be home from college during her winter break. Winter break in America is usually about 2-3 weeks, depending on which area of the United States you live. The dialogue is a good conversation with compliments, talks about skills and provides opinions. The phrases and sentences could be used for many different school subjects.

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一緒に行こう。それが僕へのプレゼントだ (2016/12/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Christmas Eve. Harrison stops by Marie’s house with a present.

Here is a great example of the holiday spirit. Giving a surprise gift to someone who didn't expect anything is a great way to spread the holiday cheer. This dialogue also brings in some American music culture by mentioning a popular music group that most don't know of in Japan. Twenty One Pilots is quite famous in America, and they recently had a top ten single "Heathens" released in the movie Suicide Squad.

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雪がちらつくのを見たわよ  (2016/12/18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Carol comes home from Christmas shopping.

Carol just gets home from Christmas shopping, and the rest of the dialogue could be a typical family conversation on any winter evening. Her shopping reminded me that Japan had its first "Black Friday" shopping discount event on November 25th - 27th. I was surprised to see this because Black Friday is a crazy-busy one-day shopping discount day in America, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday officially starts the Christmas season. Many people try to avoid the Black Friday madness and choose to order their Christmas gifts online, which is a much more peaceful process.

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今年は楽しいパーティーになるぞ  (2016/12/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie helps her dad plan the menu for their annual Christmas party.

This dialogue is a perfect example of the people in Oregon and their food choices. Oregonians are sometimes joked about because they have many specific food plans. Simply said, a person who is a vegetarian doesn't eat meat. Vegetarians can then be more selective and choose to not eat other types of food as well. Here is a list that helps explain the different types of vegetarians, http://www.veggievisitors.com/vegetarian-types.htm Sometimes all the choices are even difficult for me to understand!

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あんまり上手じゃなくても、バスケの方が好き  (2016/12/4付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah sees Julia on the after-school sports bus.

The after school-sports bus is something that our school didn't have, but it's a great idea. While on the bus, the students in this dialogue talk about their club activities. This dialogue gives me the chance to clarify the difference between two similar clubs. The cross-country club is an after-school long distance (about 3,000 to 10,000 meters) running club. The Track & Field club is designed for shorter running distances, as well as many other events. With the T&F club having so many different events, you can imagine why it's more popular than the long distance, cross-country club. Yet, most JHSs and HSs have both.

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今年は僕が勝っちゃうかもね。  (2016/11/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thanksgiving morning at the annual Greenville Turkey Trot 5K race. Justin,Marie and George wait to start the race.

Greenville has a Turkey Trot 5K race every year. I'm sure it's a lot of fun, if you enjoy running as I do! It's a great idea to go running and use a lot of energy to burn as many calories as you can before eating a huge Thanksgiving holiday turkey dinner. Here in Japan we have the Labor Thanksgiving Day, but I don't know how many make large dinners to celebrate. I have heard that here in Nagano Prefecture, we have a Nagano Labor Festival. I'd love to check this out sometime!

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ウクレレはハワイから伝わってたって知ってた?  (2016/11/13付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Saturday afternoon at the Pirotti house.

In this week's dialogue they talk about the ukulele, which is originally from Hawaii. According to Wikipedia the ukulele came to Japan in 1929, but was banned during World War II because it was from the "western world." Some people kept the ukulele in secret and waited until after the war. After the war the ukulele was allowed to be played again in Japan. I'm glad because it's a great sounding instrument!

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大学では何を勉強したいの?  (2016/11/6付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah asks her brother Thomas about the SAT exam.

This week's Greenville Story talks about taking college entrance exams, the SAT test. In America, you can take the SAT a maximum of seven times each year. If you don't do well on the SAT exams, then you can take a test called the ACT. Many people say that the ACT is easier than the SAT, and many colleges accept both test scores. In this dialogue, I was happy to see that my university was mentioned, Oregon State University. OSU has a beautiful campus, and is a great school known for many reasons!

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彼は私のこと、友達として好きなのよ  (2016/10/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie run during P.E. class.

This week's dialogue is in P.E. class, just as they start to run. Marie tells Hannah how she doesn't like running, and then the conversation changes to talking about a possible movie date. This P.E. dialogue reminded me of a difference between cultures. In America, every P.E. locker room has showers in it. At the end of P.E. class you have to shower very quickly in order to have enough time to make it to the next class on time. Not everyone wants to shower, so sometimes the P.E. teachers makes it mandatory that all students must shower before attending the next class.

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私にとって最悪なのは、あのドリルの音ね  (2016/10/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia talks to Harrison about her visit to the dentist.

This dialogue gives me the chance to talk about teeth, or dental care. I didn't know it until I moved overseas, but the toothpaste in America is really strong compared to Asian toothpaste. I never had a cavity, a small hole in a tooth, until I moved to Asia. I was very surprised to get my first cavity when I lived in South Korea. I learned that because the toothpaste is weaker in Asia, that I had to brush my teeth a lot longer than I did in America. It's too bad I didn't learn this earlier, but at least I know this now!

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つい昨日のことみたいなのに  (2016/10/9付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie,Hannah,Julia and Kate get ready for a school dance at Marie's house.

I know that in Japan the school festivals and sports day are very popular, but I'm not sure if some schools have organized dances at the school. In America, school dances are quite popular and there are usually a few during the year. Some are not so big, and others can be a big event, where the boys need to dress up nicely and the women need to wear dresses. Dances are a lot of fun, but if you're shy and don't like to dance, it could also be a stressful, lonely time. This dialogue has small talk about how the girls look before they head to the dance.

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うちで今年一番人気がある品種ですよ  (2016/10/2付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Cliff go to the Farmers' Market.

In this week's dialogue, two go shopping at a Farmers' Market. In my area in Oregon, the Farmers' Market is usually only open during farming season, and for only one day a week, typically on a weekend. You can buy fruits and vegetables that were grown by local farmers. Sometimes there might be other vendors selling some handmade items, or other fun things to eat as the dialogue mentions.

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どこからスタートしたらいいのやら  (2016/9/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison and Marie visit Portland on a Saturday afternoon.

Powell's Book store is talked about in this dialogue. It's one of the most famous places in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A to visit. It's one of the largest new and used bookstores of it's kind in the world! It's huge! Powell's Books store takes up one whole city block, is four floors high. According to a page 17 article in this week's Asahi Weekly, the bookstore gets about 8,000 visitors each day! The store also buys 3,000-5,000 used books a day, and I'm sure they sell more new books than that each day. For a book lover, it's a place to dream about. For those people who don't read much, it's still an impressive experience! All ages and all different kinds of people can enjoy Powell's Books.

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みんなに会って、夏休みのことを聞くの  (2016/8/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie and her friends talk on the last weekend of summer vacation.

Summer vacation is almost finished in America. All students will be going back soon, and maybe some have started early. As the dialogue mentions, some students were busy during the summer break and some were bored. Regardless, all had three months of no homework. This dialogue discusses the last week of summer vacation and the differences of their break.

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なんで笑ってるのか教えて  (2016/8/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah reminds Cliff about his dog-sitting job.

This week's Greenville talks about dog-sitting. Dog-sitting comes from the phrase baby-sitting, but instead of a baby, it's taking care of a dog. When a friend or neighbor goes on a vacation, someone might ask for help to dog-sit. You may have to visit the house once or twice a day to walk the dog, or give water and food to the dog, or dogs if the owner has more dogs. If a student does the dog-sitting job, then they will usually be given some money for their help. If the owner doesn't ask for a dog-sitter, then they'll have to take their pet with them, or check them into a pet place where professional staff will look after their pet for as many days as needed.

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リンゴの実がなるまでどれくらいかかるの?  (2016/7/24-31付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie helps her dad plant an apple tree.

I think it’s interesting that even though it's summer break in America, some students are already bored. Personally, I don’t know how one could ever be bored when given so much free time to do anything you want. The dialogue talks about planting an apple tree, and Oregon has many apple trees. We had three very large apple trees in our yard in Oregon. Too bad that I didn’t appreciate this when I was young. I’d love to have many apple trees at my house now!

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「山に登る」って、登ったことないの?  (2016/7/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia sees Marie's summer to-do list in her room.

This article reminds me of camping in my backyard during summer vacation. Every summer my brother and I would set up the tent and sleep in it for many nights throughout the summer. I'm not sure if this is common all over America, but it's not uncommon to see this in Oregon. Also, in this dialogue is the word "awesome." It means "really great, really cool or amazing." It's very common and used a lot by younger people, but it can easily be used by middle aged people as well.

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ただゆっくりするの  (2016/6/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

First day of summmer vacation.Marie walks into the kitchen and finds her dad reading the paper.

Summer vacation finally arrived in Oregon, USA! School is out (finished) and summer vacation is here. Now the students can enjoy anything they want for three months. Some may have summer camps to attend, chores to do, or part-time jobs, but all students and teachers seem to enjoy it! Well, the teachers don't get a full three months off. They usually go back to school a month before in order to start preparing for the upcoming new school year that starts in September. Although two months off is still great! I wish we received this time off in Japan!

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あとひとつ期末試験があって、そしたら自由だ!  (2016/6/12付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas,Hannah and Cliff get ready for the last day of school.

School is finishing, and then the students are free. They'll be free to enjoy three months of summer vacation! This dialogue talks about the last week in school and the last day of school. Some will have a pizza party and play games, while another will go to a pool party and one plans to head to the river. Regardless of where everyone wants to go, they are all celebrating the last day of school, and the beginning of summer vacation!

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期末試験の勉強をしてるんだけど  (2016/6/5付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah calls Marie to talk about final exams.

This is the month that school finishes for all grades in America. So, it's "finals" time. "Finals" are what we call for the time of the year that we must take the last, or final test for the class. After finals, it's a long summer vacation!

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集中しようにも、つい気が散っちゃって  (2016/5/29付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Cliff tries to do his homework at the kitchen table.

Spring fever! Yes, it's something that all of us may get, but we may not know the name for it. In English, we have a name for it. "Spring fever" is when you don't feel like doing your necessary things, such as your job, school work, etc. Instead you just want to be outside enjoying the weather. Maybe spring fever happens more often in Portland, Oregon because it typically rains a lot during the months before summer. It rains about 71 millimeters more each year than America's national average. So, when there is a beautiful spring day, everyone wants to be outside to enjoy it!

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試着するのにお金はかからないでしょ  (2016/5/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia and Hannah shop for a prom dress for Julia.

High school prom! The school year is almost finished in America, and the high school prom is the last event for the school year. The prom is a formal event, or formal dance, where the boys rent tuxedos and the girls buy nice dresses. Each school has it's own dress code that must be obeyed or the student will not be allowed into the prom. Each school also has it's own set of rules as to who can attend. For example, my school only allowed the juniors (11th graders) and the seniors (12th graders) to attend the prom, and to be able to invite a date. The prom is a lot of fun for most, but it can also be a heart breaker for others. No matter what, the prom is the biggest event of the year.

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みんなすごく忙しいんだね  (2016/5/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah's family talks about summer vacation over breakfast.

Plans for summer camps! I had forgotten all about summer camps in the states. There seems to be a summer camp for everything. With three months of summer vacation, a one or two week long summer camp can be fun for a student. However, there are camps that may not be as much fun, such as a camp to help slower learners. For example, a camp for slower readers might be titled, “Reading Fun Camp.” This dialogue does a great job of giving different examples of camps offered during summer vacation as well as organizing a family’s busy summer schedule.

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もうムーンバウンスに入るような年齢じゃないもん  (2016/5/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah takes Cliff to his school's spring festival.

The festivals at my school were much different than in Japan. Well, in elementary school we did sing a lot, but there were no class competitions. In junior high school and high school, we didn't sing at all. Instead we cheered for a sport, or even had a dance after an evening sporting event. Additionally, all students did not get involved in preparing for the festivals. Instead a small group of students planned and prepared everything. I remember the festivals being fun, but we didn't share the same bonding as they do in Japanese schools.

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あなたはシェパーズパイが好きだと思ったんだけど  (2016/4/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah comes home from cheerleading practice and asks about dinner.

This week's dialogue talks about dinner, and a specific dish called Shephard's pie. I had completely forgotten about Shephard's pie, which is basically a meat pie with a whipped potato topping. I didn't like it when I was growing up, but learned to love it as I became older. Funny how our tastes change as we grow older. Perhaps many of us can relate to this.

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僕は、ママをひっかけたいんだよ  (2016/4/3付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Cliff and Hannah talk about what to do on April Fools' Day.

April Fools' Day is a fun day in America. I believe it's more popular to play jokes, do tricks or pranks on others in America than it is in Japan. This dialogue talks about this April 1st tradition, and some pranks that they did, or knew of. The pranks are interesting!

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キュウリを怖がる猫なの  (2016/3/27付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Herrison,Julia and Kate watch funny videos online in the library.

This dialogue is about watching video clips on the internet. I think all of us can relate to watching a YouTube video, some more than others. This week they use very common expressions relating to laughing, such as "cracks me up" and "hilarious." They also mention some well known viral videos that you could look up if you'd like to see what they're referring to. After all, I think we all enjoy watching funny/humorous videos!

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あの日について書こうかな  (2016/3/13付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie tries to write an essay for school in the kitchen.

This is about an essay writing assignment for English class. Marie has to write about her favorite memory, but is having trouble choosing one. I guess I understand, because it's difficult to choose just one favorite memory! Luckily for Marie, her father helps her think of a good idea.

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うわあ、一番安いチケットが100ドルよ  (2016/3/6付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie hurry to buy tickets to a concert during lunch.

This week's Greenville Story is about purchasing tickets and going to a concert. It also has some common slang, such as "awesome" and "dang" which are fun to learn. The students, Hannah and Marie, really want to see the Shawn Mendes concert. Shawn Mendes is a young Canadian singer who has become very popular. In America, his most popular song is called, "Stitches."

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ジョーが絵を担当することになっていたのに  (2016/2/28付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia and Marie work on a group project for their English class in the library after school.

Here is a dialogue about making an English project. We study English in public high school, but we are not required to study any other language. It's too bad, because there are a lot of Spanish/Mexican speakers in America, but we are not required to study it. America is very big and powerful, but it's also very behind in languages and education. Hopefully things will change for a more internationally aware country in the future.

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ほら、トーマスが私のろうそくを吹き消した!  (2016/2/21付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Hannah watch a home video from when they were small.

This dialogue is about remembering the past, or watching a video from our past. It brings up some great words for talking about birthdays. I don't have any recorded videos of my past birthdays, but do have some of my brother and me playing sports when we were in JHS and HS. I watched them a couple years ago and they were fun to watch!

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私、フリスビーを投げるのはかなり得意よ  (2016/2/14付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Harrison asks Marie to play Frisbee with him after school.

This dialogue is fun for me, because I enjoy throwing the Frisbee around. Ultimate Frisbee is not a popular sport, but it's fairly well known in America. I've only played ultimate Frisbee once. It was exhausting, but it was a lot of fun! Please read the dialogue to learn more about this sport. Here's a link to help understand the sport a little more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDGkT1n7ReU .

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朝ごはんを食べて、そり遊びに行こう!  (2016/2/7付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

School is canceled after a big snowstorm. Morning at Hannah's house.

This article starts off talking about having a "snow day." When you're in school, a "snow day" means that school is canceled because it's too dangerous, or difficult, for the buses to pick up the students. I believe this article is talking about sledding on the snow, which is great fun! Although for my area, when I was growing up, many times the streets were covered in ice. My brother and I would take out our metal runner sleds, and from our house, sled down the streets. There are many hills where my parents live, so we always had plenty of long, steep streets to sled into the valley below.

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うわあ!ツリーハウスね!  (2016/1/31付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia shows Marie and Hannah her artwork at school.

They talk much about art and use a lot of common art words that we use in English. It's a fun dialogue where Marie gets to show her artistic talents to her friends.

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だれかが犬の散歩に行く必要があるな  (2016/1/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Hannah decide who is going to take the dog for a walk.

One culture point I really like about this dialogue is the introduction of "flipping a coin." While janken is used in much of Asia for deciding things, in the west we typically "flip a coin." We have some other methods of deciding, such as "drawing straws" or having one person "pick a number from 1 to 10" and others guess a number, the closest number winning. Although they are not as popular as "flipping a coin.

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ホットココアを作ってくれる?  (2016/1/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie tries to find something to do at home during a snowstorm.

This dialogue talks about staying inside on a snowy day, which brings back memories of living in Oregon. Big snow days, or winter storms usually meant that the school buses didn't come to my house, so I didn't have to go to school. That was always a lot of fun for my brother and I!

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町の炊き出しの手伝いをするわ  (2016/1/3-10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie talk about their New Year's resolutions.

I think this is a great dialogue to start off the New Year! It's talking about making New Year's resolutions, or things we would like to change for the new year. A New Year's resolution can be anything. For example, eating healthier, exercising, working more, learning something new, etc... You could have one, or many resolutions. For me, I usually make a New Year's resolution, but forget it the week after. This year, my New Year's resolution is to manage my time better. Wish me luck!

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ケイトのパパが、古いドラムセットを75ドルで売ってくれるの  (2015/12/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks about Christmas shopping with her brothers.

This week's Greenville Story talks about putting money together to get a Christmas gift for their father, an old drum set. I like this, because I also want a drum set! In fact, just on a Japanese TV show this week, I saw something interesting. It's a portable electronic drum set that is made by a Japanese company, Korg. Here is a fun video clip to gain an understanding of Korg's product. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP09eXNtIb8 The other reason I enjoy this dialogue is because I like Thomas and Cliff's relaxed approach to Christmas gift shopping. They don't appear to get caught up in the Christmas crazy time of year shopping. Merry Christmas!

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ツリーを飾り付けて、クリスマスのライトを付けるの  (2015/12/13付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks about Christmas plans at lunch.

This is a dialogue about plans for Christmas preparations. Hannah is a little more excited about Christmas than her friends, so it makes for an interesting conversation. The dialogue has many Christmas related words, and even mentions a very popular Christmas song that I don't hear much in Japan. It's a fun Christmas chat!

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チョコレートっぽいものが欲しい気分  (2015/11/15付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie take a study break and make brownies.

This is a fun dialogue about taking a study break and making/baking some brownies. Actually, if you follow the directions in the script, you could make brownies from the dialogue!

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これは「下向きの犬」ポーズ  (2015/11/8付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah watches her mom practice yoga.

This week's dialogue is about yoga, an exercise that has proven great for health. It talks about trying something new, learning and practicing what you've learned. It also mentions some real yoga pose names that are always interesting to talk about. The names might be fun to read the in their Japanese translations as well!

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僕はとっても方向感覚がいいんだ  (2015/11/1付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie,Julia and Harrison go to a corn maze.

This conversation is about a corn maze and navigating through it. It uses some direction vocabulary such as "going left" or "opposite" while talking about the maze. When I was growing up, I wish I would've had a corn maze near me, so that each year I could try out the new maze design! I've still never tried a corn maze, but I went through the Kimnyoung Maze Park when I lived on Jeju Island, South Korea. It was a lot of fun! To my surprise, the owner was a an American! I think all ages can enjoy a maze!

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ホラー映画は好き?  (2015/10/25付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Halloween.Julia has a slumber party with Hannah,Marie and their new friend Kate.

It's time for the Halloween conversation! Being from America, Halloween is always such a big event, even if it's just trick-or-treating your neighborhood. Once you're too old to trick or treat, usually around JHS, then it's time to enjoy Halloween differently. You may pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters while enjoying their costumes, watch scary movies with the lights off, read a scary book, or of course there always seems to be a Halloween party somewhere for any age imaginable. There are many more things to do as well! I suppose there are those who don't do anything, but it is the second most popular holiday for a reason!

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クロスワードパズルをやってたんだ  (2015/10/18付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas talks to Melba and Doc at the cafe.

There are many types of puzzle games these days, especially for our cell phones. Yet an old game, crossword puzzles, are still popular to this day. This a small chat dialogue in a cafe that leads to helping out with a crossword puzzle. The words they need to find are also popular and well-known names in America.

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緊張することないって  (2015/10/04付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie talks to Julia and Hannah about play auditions.

The school play auditions is the theme for this week. It also mentions a little about, "The Miracle Worker" which is about Helen Keller. This dialogue could easily start a whole class about Helen Keller and how amazing she was! I think we could all learn from her, not to mention appreciate some things we take for granted. So, I really like how this play audition dialogue brings Helen Keller into it!

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図書館の向かいの小さなおもちゃ屋さんはどう?  (2015/09/27付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Julia talk about getting an after-school job.

This is an after school job conversation that talks about different places to apply to as well as a comment or two about each place they mention. My own high school allowed many seniors (12th graders) to leave school early to go to their jobs. This was popular for those students who wanted to make some extra spending, or saving money.

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ランチを用意するのに早起きしたくない  (2015/09/20付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah asks Thomas for a favor.

School lunch. In American public schools, the students, or parents, can decide if they want to have school lunch or bring lunch from home. This dialogue talks about different opinions to school lunch or making a lunch from home. They talk about whether or not the food is good, or "gross," and eating healthy.

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今年は私のクラス、全部楽みたい  (2015/09/06付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie walk home after their first day of school.

The students in Oregon, USA have finally started school! After a three month vacation, the students are back in school with new classes, teachers and classmates. Each year, and each class, the students have a new group of students that they study with. It's always exciting the first day of school to see who will be in your classes. The article talks about which classes they have, homework and teachers

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この夏は日焼けした  (2015/08/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah,Marie and Julia meet at the pool.

School has almost started in Oregon, U.S.A., and three high school students talk about a being at a pool and a beach trip. This is a great article for learning the native way of speaking about being outside in the sun, both the dangers and protection from it.

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何回か洗濯をしてくれたら、すごく助かるわ  (2015/08/16付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie's mom gets ready for a business trip and asks for Marie's help.

This dialogue is of a mother asking her daughter to help out at home while she leaves for a business trip in Seattle. Seattle is about a 3-4 hour drive away from where this Greenville dialogues takes place. The article includes some good vocabulary words that involve chores. The dialogue also has one sentence about a barbecue. As I've mentioned before, BBQs are very popular in America, so I'm glad they spoke of it in the dialogue to give a better understanding of American culture.

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ホウレンソウにケールだって?!  (2015/08/09付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas wakes up when he hears Hannah making a smoothie.

This dialogue is a quick conversation about making a healthy morning drink (smoothie) and getting ready for school to start soon. That's right, public school in America doesn't start until the beginning of September, so the students are still relaxing, playing and enjoying their free time. The teachers are now back to school and preparing for the new school year.

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ランチの後に英語と世界史があるの  (2015/08/02付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah talks to Marie on the phone about their new class schedule.

This dialogue talks about starting school and the classes, or subjects, they'll be taking for the new school year. This dialogue also gives us the opportunity to talk about the differences in school summer vacations. If you didn't know, American school students typically have about 3 months of summer vacation, or about 2 for the teachers. In Oregon, summer vacation starts at the beginning of June and ends at the beginning of September. In September, all students start a new grade, so none of them had homework during the summer months!

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マシュマロを持ってきたよ  (2015/07/05付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

4th of July -Marie and her friends have a bonfire in the backyard after the fireworks.

The 4th of July, America's Independence Day, is always a popular holiday in America. Barbecues and fireworks are very popular on this day! This dialogue doesn't talk about the 4th of July, but instead talks briefly about fireworks, then bonfires (big outdoor campfire) and barbecues. Great BBQ dialogue!

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ステキだけど、年上に見える   (2015/06/21付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah comes to school wearing makeup.

This article is about female friends talking about makeup. While men don't usually wear makeup, they should still know some of these terms. This is why I think it's a good article for both males and females!

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鼻血はよく出るの?  (2015/06/07付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie goes to see the school nurse.

This article starts with one of the standard textbook questions of, "What's the matter?" or simply known as, "What's wrong?" It's a great scenario involving the school nurse and Marie, the student. There are many good words that all should know in this article.

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あなたはうまくなじむと思うわ   (2015/05/31付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas gets a summer job at Melba's Cafe.

This dialogue is about a high school student who will start working a part-time job. I'm sure that the high school students in both America and Japan work because of similar spending or savings goals. Although one difference is that many students start driving without their parents usually from the age of 16. So, if a 16 year old does have a car to borrow from their parents, or have their own car that they bought themselves, then the gas expenses, or insurance and maintenance can become expensive. That’s one of the reasons I needed a part-time job when I was a high school student.

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すばらしいドレスね  (2015/05/24付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia and Hannah ask Marie about her brother's wedding.

This conversation jumps around smoothly to cover few topics. In part the dialogue, they mention that the wedding was in a big barn. I found this interesting, because I've never heard of a barn wedding. So, I guess some people choose barn weddings, but it must not be common, at least in the areas I lived in Oregon. The barn wedding reminded me of my college days. I went to a university in Oregon, and much of Oregon is used for farming. This means that there are many barns in Oregon. Sometimes a group of college friends (fraternities or sororities) would rent out barns to have and have a western themed party. Everyone always had a great time dressing up as cowboys and cowgirls.

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犬の散歩なんてたった20分じゃない   (2015/05/17付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Ellen talks to Marie about taking care of the dog.

This dialogue is about the responsibilities of taking care of a dog. I grew up with dogs, and as many know, they're a lot of work! Feeding, walking, bathing, petting, brushing and cleaning up after a dog can require a lot of extra time! This article briefly talks about some of them in a conversational manner.

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5回のダブルプレーはすごかったよ   (2015/05/10付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas talks to his friend Nate about a baseball game.

Baseball is America's second favorite sport to watch. It's also very popular in Japan as well! This dialogue does a great job of using some baseball expressions in a conversational manner. It also gives the opportunity to talk about the differences in measurements, centimeters vs. inches.

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あなたは新しいスーツを買わなきゃ   (2015/05/03付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie and her parents talk about Justin and Jesse's wedding over dinner.

This article talks about food, future plans and wedding attire (clothing) while sitting around the dinner table. A great, natural English conversation that ends up talking about suits. It made me laugh because I found myself sounding like George in this conversation, when referring to my own suits. It now makes me wonder if a couple of my suits are out of style (outdated) as well!

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伏せとお手もできるよ   (2015/04/26付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Justin comes to the house to meet the family's new dog.

A new dog is always fun! Especially a dog that's already been trained. This article talks about their new dog and more.

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アイスクリームのトラックが来てるよ   (2015/04/19付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Lunch break on a warm spring day.

This article reminds me of the ice cream man that sometimes would drive his cart, or van, through the streets of our town. We lived far from the city, so he wouldn't come often. When he did come, all the kids, younger and older, would coming running out to buy ice cream from the ice cream vendor. In this week's dialogue, the ice cream vendor is just outside the school. In some schools, the students are free to leave the school during lunch time. Especially in high school, where they can go out to their cars in the parking lot, or even drive to a fast food restaurant during lunch time. Each school has its own rules, and my high school allowed us to leave the school during lunch.

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またうちも犬を飼うべきかしらね   (2015/04/12付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie comes home after volunteering at the local animal shelter.

This dialogue talks about adopting pets from an animal center, or animal shelter. I like this topic not only because adopting pets is a great idea, but also because this word "adopt" is used for people as well. For example, "In America it's becoming more popular to adopt children from different countries." Enjoy the pet dialogue.

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電話してみたら招待券が当たったの!   (2015/04/05付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Hannah pick up Marie to take her to school on April 1.

Even though April Fool's Day has passed, this is a great dialogue of a perfect April Fool's Day joke. Those One Direction music fans may find this article even more entertaining. I find April Fool's Day interesting, because no one really knows where it originated.

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ドレス選びはあなたが頼りなの   (2015/03/08付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Jesse and Marie look at bridesmaid dresses at a bridal store in Portland.

This is a short talk about preparing for a wedding. It includes the word "bridesmaids," who are the women who stand next to the female, or bride, who is getting married. I haven't heard of bridesmaids in a Japanese wedding, but with western style weddings becoming more and more popular, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of this trend in the future.

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監督が頼りにしてるって言うの   (2015/03/01付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Julia, Marie and Hannah eat lunch together at school and talk about Hannah’s upcoming basketball game.

This dialogue talks about playing basketball at school. Basketball is a popular sport to play in school. However, when it comes to watching sports on TV, it's the third most popular sport in America. American football is the first, second is baseball, third is basketball, fourth is ice hockey and fifth is soccer. This is a little different from the rest of the world.

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1時間しっかり勉強してから、休憩を取ろう   (2015/02/22付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Marie sees Harrison studying in the library.

This conversation is between two students who are preparing for their final school tests. This is good timing since many of the students in Japan are preparing for their final tests, or “finals.” Enjoy the dialougue!

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誰か私にバラをくれないかな   (2015/02/08付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Valentine's Day. Marie gets a rose from a secret admirer.

I enjoy Valentine's Day and White Day in Japan, but sometimes I do miss how big Valentine's Day is in America. According to an article on page 2 of this week's (No. 2155) Asahi Weekly, the average person celebrating Valentine's Day in America will spend about $142.31 (about 17,000 yen) on their special day. Typically, this money will come from the man, since men usually buy and pay for everything on Valentine's Day.

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今日学校へ行かないとだめ?   (2015/02/01付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah misses her ride to school.

There is a lot that can be discussed from this dialogue. The notes on the bottom of the page mention some. Additionally, this is a time that I could mention that I always have great respect for the Japanese students I see walking or riding their bikes to and from school. I didn't realize how lucky I was when I was growing up to be able to take a warm heated bus in winter, or a cool air conditioned bus in the hotter months. There are many reasons that Americans have to, or get to take the bus. Too many to list here. Regardless of the reasons, I do think it adds to the problem of Americans not exercising enough.

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アンジーとサムが子犬を飼うことにしたぞ   (2015/01/30付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Conversation at the kitchen table between Hannah and her parents.

This is a good dialogue that talks about social media, or websites like Facebook and Instagram. The dialogue mentions these in a natural conversation while at their home. Personally, I'm not a fan of these websites, but I can understand their importance and how they help many to communicate, keep in touch and share photos, videos, etc...

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Bが取れればいいんだ   (2015/01/23付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Thomas and Hannah pick up Marie for school and talk about the Science Fair.

This is an interesting dialogue that discusses not only class projects, but also involves a high school student who drives his own car to school. As I've mentioned before, the driving rules are a little different in America. Each state has it's own driving laws, but in Oregon (where the dialogue takes place), teenagers can start driving with an adult at the age of 15. Once they turn 16, if they pass the driver's test, they can drive by themselves. Scary, right?!?!

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おもしろいセーターね   (2015/01/11付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

Hannah and Marie meet in the morning at school after winter break.

I laughed when reading this dialogue! It reminded me of the funny things that grandparents do for us. Of course they do it out of love and care, but sometimes they forget that we grow up quickly. This is a fun dialogue that maybe many of us can relate to!

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パパったらダンスまでしたのよ   (2015/01/04付 朝日ウイークリー 4ページ)   ★★★

New Year's Day. Marie talks to her mom while her dad sleeps.

New Year's Day! A good dialogue to start off the new year! When I was young, I remember going outside and banging on pots and pans after the New Year's countdown ended. Many still do this, while others light fireworks, or shout and yell in celebration. Also, many hug or give a small kiss to their loved ones right after midnight. The next day, New Year's Day, many get together with family or friends. After New Year's Day, it's back to work on January 2nd.

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