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Any Questions?

May 1, 2017American, Canadian, Education

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Do you find your university classes interesting?


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Danny Minn: ahh you know as an example I’ll often ask my students or tell my students, “OK if you have any questions anytime you can come to me after class, before class. You can come to my office. You can send me an email. (Yup) Uh anytime, (Ha ha) any questions uh you want to talk about anything, about English (Anytime) about uh living in the US or traveling, You know I’ve I’ve traveled to to a lot of different countries. (Uh-huh mm-hmm) Maybe you have some questions, something. I rarely (Ha ha) rarely get any students who come to my office just to talk or yeah, so (I) we put it out there.

José Cruz: Yeah- you know and- The thing is again, you put this in comparison with the normal sort of reaction you would expect in America, and you get like in- not just in every year but in every class (Mm-hmm) One or two- maybe they’re keenersa slang word meaning, a school pupil considered unlikable because of their over-displayed like of the teacher (1:03), maybe they want to polish the apple (Mm) but actually most of those kids who do ask you questions are just sincerely interested in getting new ideas and and to hear what it is that you have you say. And in Japan it’s just uh- Well these kids will just go- Well there areJosé should have said “there is” (1:20) a lot of reasons why they don’t ask. (Mm-hmm) And the biggest reason is they’re just shy. They’re literally shy to do so. They will not ask that question if other people are watching them even if they really want to (Mm) So you offer them, “Well come to my office.” And they don’t do that either So there could be other reasons for that. I- I I don’t think it’s- it’san example of repeating as opposed to using filler words (1:40) just disinterest, but to get to my main point, I think that is the bigger part of it. They’re not interested. They don’t really care (Hmm) Would you disagree?

Danny: No I agree. (Oh OK. Ha ha) I- I uh, and fair enough, maybe that’s the system. This is their time to (Right) “zone out”. You know, “de-“ what’s the word, “depressurize” (Uh, decompress) De-decompress, right?

José: Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah (They need that) Uh yeah they need that. Yeah they need that but they beenJosé dropped the necessary verb “have” (They have been ) (2:16) doing that since the 1980s. Sorry, the bubble burst in 1993. As- you know, 22 years ago. Japan is in a completely different place now, and I- I would, I would have hoped the universities, at least my image of universities is is to be the pioneer of social change, to be on the cutting edge of of guiding society towards whatever new frontier is- is on the horizon. And unfortunately I think most universities are arean example of repeating as opposed to using filler words (2:44) rather conservative that way. And universities are still teaching students, or still looking at students and still um, telling students the same stories that they were back in you know early and mid-eighties, when life was great.

Danny: Well the the story that they’re being told now, the students are being told now- that if they speak English at a higher level they’re going topronounced, “GONNA” (3:08) get a better job, I mean to oversimplify it, but (Mm-hmm) Right? (Mm-hmm) Uh, so…

José: You disagree with that, or you agree with that?

Danny: I agree. (OK. Mm-hmm) On the surface, right? If you speak English well, that will open up doors. It should open up doors, right? And the students know this, but they’re not doing the things that will help them achieve that level of English.


Why or why don’t you find your classes interesting?

Have you ever asked a question in class? Why did you ask it?

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Danny Minn image

Danny Minn


Portland, Oregon

José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia


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