SEC 英会話アカデミーでは、話せるようになることが一番大切だと考えます。
そして、次のステップへ。 それが、SEC英会話アカデミーの目指す英会話スクールです。

一人ひとりに、それぞれのレッスン。

  • 講師は、あなたの目標を理解した上でレッスンを進めていきます。
  • 受講希望の方すべてに無料体験レッスンを受けていただき、担当した講師の判断で初級コースと中級コースのいずれかに割り当てられます。
  • レッスンは集中力が高まるマン・ツー・マン形式です。
  • あなたに合わせたレッスン・スタイルでレッスンを受けられます。
Educational Blogs
User Profile   October 29, 2018

Have you faced a situation like this:

You speak with a native English speaker who cannot seem to understand anything you say.

You think you speak very clearly, not too fast, not too slow, just at the right pace.

But the native speaker just asks you to repeat everything because he can’t understand your accent.

We have all been there, right?

This is something that is very common to most non native English speakers who travel to English speaking countries.

You could be attending a business conference or traveling to one of your client offices.

Or you could be a foreign student who had scored well at TOEFL and GRE.

Whatever your credentials are in English, if others can’t understand your accent, it will make you frustrated and helpless.

This is where a clear pronunciation and accent is extremely valuable.

Record your voice and compare

One of the first things I suggest to English students is to record conversations you have.

For example, you can be calling your Internet Cable company – record what you say on your smartphone or your laptop.

Play it back a few times. Now compare, your pronunciation to a native English speaker on YouTube.

Having a benchmark is the first step to improve pronunciation.

This will allow you to identify the main words/sounds you are pronouncing different that native speakers.

This will be your baseline for your own accent improvement-training program. And remember, the key is deliberate practice.

Familiarize yourself with certain sounds in English pronunciation that are difficult for you.

For example, focus on a particular sound like R or V that stands out.

Then try to pronounce the vowel and consonant sounds together, before practicing the word, and finally the sentence.

Deliberate speaking practice is the most crucial point of learning English as it fosters familiarity and confidence.

Understand the subtle differences of Accent

Let’s move to our second pro tip on how to improve pronunciation free at home.

The key to reducing your accent or improving your pronunciation lies in the details.

For example, take the word “Garage”.

If you were brought up learning British English (most English learners in South Asia end up learning British English, growing up), you will pronounce this word as GARE-idge.

However, if you ever move to the US, you will hear Americans pronounce the same word as ga-RAHJ.

The difference is quite subtle, but most American English speakers who are not familiar with accents around the world will not understand you right away if you pronounce it the British way.

With a little adjustment in pronunciation, you can save yourself a lot of frustration.

Pay really close attention to Native English Speakers.

The number one tip to improve pronunciation free is practice.

You probably already know this but let me repeat – if you want to be fluent in English, you have to practice with Native English Speakers. Period.

There is no short cut or alternative.

While textbooks can help learn the basics, these skills cannot be mastered without frequent conversational use.

When you do have conversations with Native English speakers, pay really close attention to how they stress certain sounds.

For example, pay close attention to how they pronounce the “R” sound.

Go back your original voice recording. Is it as delicate as the way they say the “R” sound? Or look back at the “V” and “W” sounds. Or how the “T” sounds are pronounced at the back end of a word like “can’t”

Another example is words with the “A” sound. Words such as “bath”, “ask”, “laugh”, “class”, “chance”.

Pay close attention to where the sound is stressed. There is a very clear distinction in the way these words are pronounced in American English vs. British English.

Source: https://www.spokenenglishpractice.com/3-tips-to-improve-pronunciation-and-reduce-your-accent/

User Profile   October 25, 2018

I don’t know about you but there is something about Halloween that really brings the kid out in me. It’s that one time of year that I don’t feel overly silly for dressing up, gorging on candy, and getting creative with the pumpkin guts. It’s also when I allow myself to be a bit spooked.

I am usually the biggest scaredy-cat so most months of the year I steer clear of horror movies, but every Halloween I think, oh why not make myself a bit freaked out!

Here’s a list of some favourites that are perfect for you to enjoy with your little monsters.


Top 10 Halloween Movies for Kids


1. Hocus Pocus


3 Salem Witches are captured and executed for practicing witchcraft, but before they die they vow to return in 300 years on Halloween Night to take revenge. 300 years later, Max a witch-hating teenager resurrects the 3 witch sisters by accident and then has to fight their magic with the help of his friend, a zombie, and a black cat. One of my personal fav’s!

Good for ages: 8+

 

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas


In classic magical and dark Tim Burton style, The Nightmare Before Christmas is both spooky and delightful. Jack, the Pumpkin King, lives in Halloween Town filled with monsters, ghosts, gouls, werewolves, and more. He stumbles upon Christmas Town and a whole journey embarks.

Good for ages: 6+


3. Casper (On Netflix)


After inheriting a haunted mansion, the greedy heiress discovers a treasure protected by 3 ghosts. When Ghost eliminator moves in with his young daughter Kat, she makes friends with Casper, the friendly nephew of the 3 mean Ghosts.

Good for ages: 8+


4. Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (On Netflix)


Alvin, Simon and Theodore take advantage of their new gig at a movie theme park by wandering the grounds after hours. Among the attractions is the spooky Frankenstein’s Castle, where a real mad scientist is bringing the monster to life. But when the boys cross paths with the creature, they soon learn that appearances can be deceiving, and Frankenstein is more misunderstood than malevolent.

If they liked this, there's also on Netflix: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman

Good for ages: 3+


5. Mickey’s House of Villains


Revisit a childhood classic. The ultimate face off between Disney’s meanest, most scary villains, (Captain Hook, Cruela Divil, Ursula and Maleficent) and the house of Mouse. Everyone loves a Disney Movie!

Good for ages: 3+


6. Monsters Inc.


Your kids will definitely love Pixar’s popular movie Monster’s Inc. While not specific to Halloween, it shares a story about Sully and his one eye’d assistant Mike and the work that they do at Monsters Inc. (a scream processing factory). A funny, heartwarming, spooky movie.

Good for ages: 5+


7. Ghostbusters


The 1984 comedy, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver; features 3 unemployed, eccentric psychologists in their venture to eliminate ghosts.

Good for ages: 8+


8. Monster House (On Netflix)


An animated scary/funny film, directed by Gil Kenan about 3 teenagers who discover that their neighbour’s house is not actually a house but a living breathing monster!

Good for ages: 5+


9. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie


An animated Halloween adventure starring Winnie the Pooh and friends. Tiger warns his friends that Halloween is scarier than ever because the mysterious Gobloon is out to catch, and turn anyone he finds into a Jack-oh-Lantern.  But not if they find him first!

Good for ages: All


10. Hotel Transylvania (On Netflix)


A newer movie with all of your classics: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, Invisible Man, Werewolf family, and more. All these legendary monsters come together for once special weekend, no humans allowed.

For ages: 5+


Source: https://www.chatterblock.com/articles/90/halloween-movies-for-kids-top-ten/


User Profile   August 03, 2018

Mistake 1. Pronouncing Heteronyms the Same Way

Heteronyms are words that are spelled exactly the same but mean different things.

For example, “read” looks the exact same in both the present and past tense:

I read a chapter from “Harry Potter” every night.

I read the textbook assignment before this morning’s class.

However, the pronunciation is quite different, with the present tense using a long “e” sound, like “reed,” and the past tense using the short “e” sound, like”red.” Forvo has some great audio files of the present and past tense of “read” compared side-by-side.

To avoid this mistake, learners should take the time to familiarize themselves with some of the most frequently used heteronyms. The University of Michigan has a helpful list of common heteronyms and how to pronounce them.

Mistake 2. Pronouncing Each Vowel Only One Way

English vowels can be complicated, with just one letter having many different sounds.

For example, the little vowel “o” has three distinct sounds, and that’s without considering vowel combination sounds!

Using the links below, listen to the following words:

dove

lose

wolf

Notice how each “o” is pronounced differently.

It’s really important that learners take the time to study every possible sound made by English vowels. For an in-depth guide on all the English vowel sounds, check out this article.

Mistake 4. Pronouncing “Th” Only One Way

Here’s another mistake similar to the one above. The English syllable “th” has two distinct pronunciations, which many English learners tend to forget.

“Th” can either be voiced (with vocal chord vibration) or voiceless (without vocal chord vibration). Here’s how that actually sounds:

Voiced “th” in the word “than”

Voiceless “th” in the word “path”

The easiest way to tell the difference is to put your fingers on your throat and see if you can feel vibrations.

You can see and hear a list of words that use the voiced “th” on this page from the University of California Berkeley. They also have one for the voiceless “th” here.

Mistake 5. Pronouncing Silent Letters

It’s important to remember that pronunciation doesn’t always go by the letters in a word. Very often, certain letters aren’t pronounced in English words.

Consider the word “used” in the following two sentences:

I used the last of the shampoo.

I used to hate broccoli.

When alone, as in the first sentence, you pronounce the final “d” in “used.” However, when it’s a part of the phrase “used to,” the final “d” sound is dropped.

Source: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/english/importance-of-english-pronunciation/

User Profile   April 16, 2018

English can be a real pest, and even native speakers find themselves stumbling over some stubbornly tricky words. Sometimes they’re difficult to understand, other times they’ve been misused so often that their original meaning has gotten lost. Pronunciation can also be a problem. As a follow up to our article on confusing words, here are ten of the most difficult words in English.

1. Literally

If you know a language purist, watch out. Misuse of this word has been known to raise people’s blood pressure. ‘Literally’ means, “in a literal sense”, or “what I’m saying is not imagined, but truly happened as I’m saying it.” Therefore, popular uses like “I literally died laughing,” or “He was so embarrassed his cheeks literally burned up,” are not correct. (Interestingly, because of the sheer reach of its incorrect use, the Oxford English Dictionary has included an informal use for ‘literally’ allowing it as a tool to give emphasis, like in the above examples. Just don’t tell the Grammar Police!)

2. Ironic

Here is a word that has confused almost all English speakers – native or otherwise. (No, really – we could write a whole course on using irony correctly!) While irony is often understood to mean a coincidence or strange turn of events, that in itself doesn’t cover its full meaning. (In fact, as Alanis Morissette’s famous song, Ironic – with around 10 poor examples of irony – shows us, coincidences and unfortunate events aren’t enough.) While the concept of irony is extremely multi-layered, at its most simple it’s a way to use words to express the opposite of their literal meaning. However, unlike sarcasm (which also does this), irony is not intended to hurt. But wait! There’s also dramatic irony, situational irony, historical irony and others. Oh man! So what should you do in the face of such confusion? One option is to…let it go. Truthfully, irony is not an essential ingredient to a regular day and no one will think badly of you if you don’t use the word at all!

3. Irregardless (instead of regardless)

You might have heard people use ‘irregardless’ when they mean to say ‘regardless’. ‘Regardless’ means “without regard” or “despite something” (“He maxed out his credit card regardless of the consequences,”) and is perfectly acceptable. But despite what you might think, ‘irregardless’ isn’t a synonym! Because of it’s double negative (the prefix -ir means “not” and suffix -less means “without”) it means “not without regard”, which is actually the opposite of what its users intend. What a headache! So remember: While ‘irregardless’ appears in dictionaries, it’s listed as a nonstandard word. This means that although it technically exists, it shouldn’t be thrown about by people who’d like to learn and use English well.

4. Whom

Who knew such a little word could be so confusing! In English, we use ‘who’ to refer to a sentence’s subject and ‘whom’ to its object. But how can you tell which one you need? Try answering your own question with ‘him’ or ‘he’. If ‘him’ could be the answer, ‘whom’ is your word. (Handy trick: both words end in m.) For example: “Who/whom are you going to Brazil with?” Would you answer “With him,” or “With he”? You’d choose him – so whom is correct!

5. Colonel

This is a pronunciation bungle for many students! When you look at this word, you might think it’s pronounced co-lo-nel. And who could blame you? It’s not so simple, however, as it’s pronounced kernel (like a corn kernel!). But how did ‘colonel’ end up being spelled like that? Well, it’s an old tale of word-borrowing across history. ‘Colonel’ came from the French, who had originally borrowed it from Italian, after which they changed a letter (coronel). Then, English pinched the word for itself, before finally both the French and the English switched back to its original borrowed spelling (and the English to a whole new pronunciation). *Whew!*

Source: https://www.ef.com/blog/language/10-most-difficult-words-in-english/

User Profile   April 09, 2018

One of the most frustrating grammar mistakes that people can make is mixing up your and you’re.

This includes native speakers of English making this mistake as well! Just because someone grows up speaking the language does not mean they always know or pay attention to the difference between these words.

Don’t make the same errors! If you can write free of mixing these words, you are already ahead.

Your

Your is a possessive pronoun. This means that you use it when you are talking about someone owning something. In this case, the owner is you.

Any time that you are describing something that you own, you can use your. Note that the object form of the possessive pronoun is yours. This means that instead of saying your ball, you can replace the phrase with yours.

  • Julie was telling me all about your achievements! Congratulations!
  • I had no idea that these were your views on your role in the workplace.
  • Is this your book?
  • Is this book yours?

You’re

As with any other word, the apostrophe (’) symbol indicates that there are letters missing. For most contractions (words with apostrophes), it is some letters from the beginning of the second word that are deleted when the two are combined.

For you’re, the letter missing is “a”. You’re can be split into you and are.

Every instance that you use you’re, you should be able to replace the you’re with you are without changing the meaning at all. If the meaning is different or weird, chances are you mean to use your.

  • John said that you’re coming to the party on Wednesday night.
  • You claim that you’re Sherlock’s best friend, and yet you never know what he has been up to the last week?

Note that for both of these examples above, you’re can be switched with you are without changing the meaning at all.

Source: https://www.myenglishteacher.eu/blog/your-vs-youre/


User Profile   March 29, 2018

A good hook is a key to a successful essay. The hook should catch the reader’s attention and stimulate further reading.  If you can write a good hook sentence or small paragraph, consider half of the job done. A hook should be smart, concise, catchy, and unique. Sounds impossible? Not if you are prepared for the job. You can find a huge variety of sample hooks on the Internet. Usually, they fall into one of the below categories.

  • Quotes – This is the best bet if you are out of time. You can find a suitable quote (preferably from someone respectable) and stick it on top of your essay. Did you notice how we did it in this article?
  • Anecdotes – If you know a great anecdote related to the essay topic, you are in luck. Funny stories catch the reader’s attention and hold it better than any other hooks. But be careful, bad humor is a major turn off.
  • Questions – People enjoy when you are paying personal attention to them. That’s what you can do by using questions as hooks. See how we’ve done it at the beginning of the essay.
  • Scenes – You can describe a certain scene or an incident to help a person visualize it. Some people get attracted by visualization. This is a great hook for a descriptive essay.
  • Facts – Another easy hook is a fact, which can surprise the reader. Interesting facts are always appealing. For example, it takes not 24 hours but 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds for the Earth to rotate once completely on its axis. Or.. beer is considered as a food in Bavaria on the official level. Think which fact will surprise your readers.
  • Stats – This is a great hook for expository and persuasive essay types, in which you want the reader to believe in your competence.
Source: https://www.myenglishteacher.eu/blog/how-to-start-an-essay/

User Profile   March 05, 2018

Awesome (adj) is such a popular slang word in English all over the world and you’ll hear everyone from the young to old saying it. When you use the word awesome, you’re expressing that you think something is wonderful or amazing. It can be used in a sentence or it could be used in a one word reply.

Example 1)

“What did you think of Wolf on Wall Street?”

“It was awesome! I loved it!” (They thought it was a great movie).

Example 2)

“I’ll pick you up at 1 pm, okay?”

Awesome.” (Here it shows you’re cool with the idea and you agree).

Example 3)

“My friend Dave is an awesome single guy. You guys would be perfect for each other!”

“Really? I’d love to meet him.”

Cool (adj) like awesome means ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’. It also shows that you’re okay with an idea. Be careful the normal meaning of cool means a little cold so you have to listen to it in context to understand what’s being said.      

Example 1)

“How’s the weather in Canada these days?”

“It’s getting cooler. Winter’s coming!” (This is the literal meaning a little cold)

Example 2)

“What did you think of my new boyfriend?”

“I liked him. He seemed like a cool guy!” (He seemed like a nice guy). 

Example 3)

“I’m throwing a party next week for my birthday. Do you want to come?”

Cool! Sure, I’d love to!”

Source: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/english/american-english-slang-words-esl/

User Profile   February 28, 2018

Who has time to study a list of 100’s of words!

How big is your list of words that you ‘should’ be studying regularly? Does it have 500, 600 or even 1000 words?

It is easy to build a big list of words very quickly, but it can be difficult to find the time to study them as often as you need to remember them. Let’s talk about the best way to get better at vocabulary building, and this is to stop reviewing ‘old’ vocabulary in your list.

Context is the Key to Quick Vocabulary Building

It is much easier to understand the meaning of a word when you see it or hear it being used in real life, in context. You can understand what the word means because of the situation it is being used in.

For this reason, I always recommend that you study interesting videos, articles, books or audio tracks so that you can connect the new word to the situation where you first seen it. If possible, use the original sentence where you saw the word being used as an example sentence with the new word. This process helps you connect an ‘unknown’ word to an idea that you remember where the word is being used.

Faster Vocabulary Building

In my experience, it is easier to remember new words when I review them for the first time within 1 day of learning them. When I review the new words 2 or 3 times within 1 week, I usually know them well enough to feel I have learned them successfully.

15 minutes per week should be all the time you need to spend studying to remember the words that are really going to stick in your mind long-term. The key, is to see or hear the words 3 or 4 times within that first week.

The best way to review the new words and successfully do vocabulary building is to watch the video or read the article again where you originally seen the new words. You are getting a review of context and seeing the words at the same time.

Why You Should Stop Studying ‘Old’ Wordsold vs new words for vocabulary building

If a word is used often, you will see it shortly after learning it. Therefore, if you forget a new word, it is probably not used very often. Why should you try to remember a word you are never going to use? The idea of vocabulary building is to find words that will be used often.

Also, once you have learned new words (after reviewing them for a week or so), you will probably recognize it if you hear it in audio or see it in writing for several weeks. At this point, you will either remember it when you need it for speaking or you won’t. Keep studying and exposing yourself to the language, to have the best chance of hearing, reading or experiencing the language and vocabulary as much as possible.

When Your Brain is Ready, You will Remember it.

Sometimes you find words that are difficult to remember because you haven’t learned other words that are similar to it. As your English vocabulary grows, it will become easier to remember more advanced vocabulary and strange words because you will be able to connect them to other words that seem similar in English.

If you can’t remember a word, no matter how hard you try… Stop studying it. You are not ready to learn that new word or phrase yet. If it is an important phrase or word, you will see it used often and it will become more familiar each time.

Source: https://realenglishconversations.com/vocabulary-building/

User Profile   February 26, 2018

Before you disappear
into your misty mountains
and impenetrable forests,
teach us to bear the weight
of our children on our backs
until they grow strong enough
to walk beside us.
Teach us to weave nets
of dreams instead of vines
to cradle our children
and ourselves while we rest
from the dangers and toils
of modern life that threaten
to overwhelm us
with nightmares
of extinction.

Source: http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/

User Profile   February 22, 2018

Here, we take a look at what some of the strangest English phrases mean – and reveal their origins…

Bite the bullet

Biting a bullet? What a strange thing to do! This phrase means you’re going to force yourself to do something unpleasant or deal with a difficult situation. It historically derives from the 19th century when a patient or soldier would apparently clench a bullet between their teeth to cope with the extreme pain of surgery without anaesthetic. A similar phrase with a similar meaning, “chew a bullet”, dates to the late 18th century.

Use it: “I don’t really want to exercise today, but I’ll bite the bullet and go for a run.”

Pigs might fly

We all know that pigs can’t fly, which is why people use this expression to describe something that is almost certain never to happen. It is said that this phrase has been in use since the 1600s, but why pigs? An early version of the succinct “pigs might fly” was “pigs fly with their tails forward”, which is first found in a list of proverbs in the 1616 edition of John Withals’s English-Latin dictionary, A Shorte Dictionarie for Yonge Begynners: “Pigs fly in the ayre with their tayles forward.” Other creatures have been previously cited in similar phrases – “snails may fly”, “cows might fly”, etc, but it is pigs that have stood the test of time as the favoured image of an animal that is particularly unsuited to flight! This phrase is also often used as a sarcastic response to mock someone’s credulity.

Use it: “I might clean my bedroom tomorrow.” – “Yes, and pigs might fly.”

Bob’s your uncle

Even if you don’t have an uncle called Bob, you might still hear this idiom! Its origin comes from when Arthur Balfour was unexpectedly promoted to Chief Secretary for Ireland by the Prime Minister of Britain, Lord Salisbury, in 1900. Salisbury was Arthur Balfour’s uncle (possibly his reason for getting the job!) – and his first name was Robert. This phrase that is used when something is accomplished or successful – an alternative to “…and that’s that”.

Use it: “You’re looking for the station? Take a left, then the first right and Bob’s your uncle – you’re there!”

Dead ringer

This phrase is commonly used to refer to something that seems to be a copy of something – mainly if someone looks like another person. The often-repeated story about the origin of this phrase is that many years ago people were sometimes buried alive because they were presumed dead – when actually they were still alive. To prevent deaths by premature burial, a piece of string would supposedly be tied to the finger of someone being buried – and the other end would be attached to a bell above ground. If the person woke up, they would ring the bell – and the “dead” ringer would emerge looking exactly like a person who was buried only a few hours ago! Other stories point to the practice of replacing slower horses with a faster horse – “ringers”. In this case, “dead” is used to mean “exact”.

Use it: “That guy over there is a dead ringer for my ex-boyfriend.”

Off the back of a lorry

This is a way of saying that something was acquired that is probably stolen, or someone is selling something that’s stolen or illegitimate. It can also be used humorously to emphasise that something you bought was so cheap that it must have been stolen! “Lorry” is the British version – in the US, things fall off the back of “trucks”. An early printed version of this saying came surprisingly late in The Times in 1968. However, there are many anecdotal reports of the phrase in the UK from much earlier than that, and it is likely to date back to at least World War II. It’s just the sort of language that those who peddled illegal goods during and after WWII would have used.

Use it: “I can’t believe these shoes were so cheap – they must have fallen off the back of a lorry.”

Source: https://www.english.com/blog/strangest-english-phrases-explained

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講師陣は、フィリピンの一流大学を卒業し、 教師の資格を持った講師や、英会話スクールの講師経験者です。

講師の予約や、講師からのレッスンレポートは、入会と同時に設定される“マイページ”で管理できます。

名前:カレン先生 Karren

専攻:心理学

学校:サントトーマス大学

私はすでに6年間ESL(英語語学学校)の教師として働いています。非常にクールな教師ですが、英語を教えるだけでなく、生徒と良い関係を築くことを大切にしています。

スケジュール

名前:ティナ先生 Tina

専攻:英語

学校:フィリピン大学

私が外国人に英語を教え始めてから2年が経ちます。色々な年齢、英語レベルの生徒を教えてきました。異なる文化について学ぶことに大きな関心を持っています。また、私は漫画が大好きで、余暇にアニメを見ることをいつも楽しみにしています。

スケジュール

名前: パメラ先生 Pamela

専攻: キリスト教教育学

学校: マウンテン・ビュー・バイブル・バプティスト大学

私は教えることに情熱を持ち、何年も前から教師をしています。豊富な教授経験を通し、多くの人々と学ぶことの大切さを分かち合ってきました。学ぶことは生涯のプロセスであると信じています。 私の余暇の過ごし方は、面白い本を読んだり、映画を見たり、歌ったりすることです。

スケジュール

サポート体制も充実。

名前: レイナルド・シー Reynaldo

専門: 電子情報通信エンジニアリング

大学: マプア工業大学(マニラ)

私は東京で米国企業に技術者として20年間勤務しました。その間、仕事や観光で色々な国を訪問しました。 タガログ語、英語、日本語 と福建語を話します。 温和な性格です。

最初の一歩が大切です。

カリキュラムのアドバイスは、担当した講師が無料体験レッスン時に行います。

必要に応じ日本語の話せるスタッフが対応します。