Another, another WordEngine update

Update received 20th April:  WordEngine reports that their system is now functioning properly.

I believe that V-check is now properly functioning, and that people who had problems with v-check before should be able to retake it. If there are still any problems, please contact WordEngine directly in English or Japanese, or me (in English).

Update received 19th April:  They are still experiencing some critical errors. I’m sorry to say, if you haven’t done your V-check, hopefully all will be good for you to try again Friday.

Another update about WordEngine

It is always difficult to do updates on a system, especially a very complex website. I’ve received communication from students and WordEngine about this. WordEngine is working very hard to fix bugs (problems) with the new features of their system. What can you do?

  1. Wait
  2. Clear the cookies in your browser; here is how:
  3. On Wednesday/Thursday try again
  4. Don’t stress; don’t panic
  5. Enjoy life

The people at WordEngine apologise for any difficulties you are having. For now, just relax.

About WordEngine

Thanks to the three students who have asked about this. I didn’t know that this year the system is so different. Last year, WordEngine was an app to download, and a card to buy for students who don’t have their own credit cards. This year, I was told in an email in early March that the system is different and works on all smartphones, tablets and computers. They did not say that there is no smartphone app for iOS or Android anymore. The steps:

  1. In your web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, etc)
  2. Type, press “Go” or “Enter”. You should arrive at and,
  3. Bookmark it, or Add to Favourites.

Now, just use WordEngine from the website; no app needed. Yay!

Next steps (at home):

  1. Do V-check (to get your vocabulary size)
  2. Enter your card code for paid access
  3. Join the class group
  4. Study each week, Monday to Saturday at least 150 correct answers each week (about 10 minutes a day)

More information about learning vocabulary, go to Winjeel.Com > English Classes > Vocabulary.

Homework Quarter 1

All classes:

  • Classroom Vocabulary Quiz this week.
  • WordEngine: Get more than 150 correct responses each week.
  • Asano Books has left the campus, but you can still go to their shop near Nagoya University

Oral Communication FB

  • Review Orbits, Unit 0, 1, 2 Pronunciation, Small Talk, Vocabulary, Culture Note, and Conversation Strategies.
  • Preview Orbits Unit 3, Vocabulary, and article
  • Do WordEngine and get more than 150 correct responses each week. Study at least 10 minutes a day, every day.
  • Have fun

Oral Communication B & P

  • Review Orbits, Unit 0, 1, 2 Pronunciation, vocabulary, articles, dialogues, Small Talk (p7), Classroom Vocabulary (p11-13).
  • Preview Orbits Unit 3, Vocabulary and article.
  • Do WordEngine and get more than 150 correct responses each week. Study at least 10 minutes a day, every day.
  • Have fun

Communication Skills

  • Review Orbits, Units 0, 1, Classroom Vocabulary (p14-16), and small talk p10.
  • Preview Orbits Unit 1, Vocabulary (p15)
  • Review Into Literacy, Article: Extensive Reading, vocabulary p26 & article p27.
  • Preview Into Literacy, article, Book Clubs, p105-106.
  • Do WordEngine, and get more than 150 correct responses each week. Study at least 10 minutes a day, every day.
  • Do Extensive Reading (ER), read about 4,000 words each week.
    • Prepare a report/summary about your ER book for each Thursday
  • Have fun


  • Complete the library scavenger hunt (the questions we started in the library), and choose your first ER book. Read about
    • Week 1: 1,000 words (reports due each Monday)
    • Week 2: 2,000 words
    • Week 3 & all year 3,500 words each week.
    • Prepare a report/summary about your ER book for Thursday
  • Review Emails (p49-53); study Classroom Language in Into Literacy, p9-11.
  • Preview Into Literacy, Extensive Reading vocabulary p26, read Extensive Reading p27, prepare answers for discussion
  • Task 1: Write a simple email (in Word) to your teacher, print it onto paper, submit on Monday 23rd April. Topic: Any imaginary problem about the class.
  • Signup to WordEngine, do V-check, join the class group.
  • Have fun

During pronunciation & speaking tests

Andrew will be busy, and you should be too. While you’re waiting to do your pronunciation or speaking test, don’t waste time, and DO NOT USE JAPANESE during this time. You can do any of the following:

  • Listen to Vixen and the Crow, Reading in the Real World Intro, or Orbits.
  • Finish listening to the remaining Orbits units, 24-30.
  • Prepare for your own pronunciation or speaking tests
  • Review articles and vocabulary (and pronunciation) for
    • Orbits, units 16-23
    • Reading in the Real World: Intro, units 7, 8 9, 10, 11, and a graded reader you enjoyed
  • Oral Communication classes review extra information from poster and PowerPoint presentations and your own research for units 16-23
  • Review conversation strategies in:
    • Orbits, units 0-23
    • Conversation Gambits: 1, 3, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 46, 47, 50, 56, 57, 58
  • Help a friend prepare for their own pronunciation & speaking test
  • Review the story in Orbits, units 1-23.
  • Oral Communication class, prepare for your exam
  • Do Word Engine study
  • Do extensive reading
  • Complete your extensive reading reports

How to write a Christmas Card

This is actually really simple. Just mix together some phrases. The phrases are fixed phrases, and so using a computer translation system will ruin the card.

Key phrases:

  • To Yuki, I/We wish you and yours  (for person + family)
  • Dear Yuki, Wishing you
  • a (very) Merry Christmas
  • Happy/Wonderful/Fantastic New Year
  • Happy/Wonderful/Fantastic 2018
  • Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
  • Wishing you all the best these holidays
  • Peace, joy, and love to you and your family.
  • May your Christmas season be filled with joy
  • Sending you happy tidings this holiday season.
  • May this New Year be filled with joy!
  • God bless you this holiday season — Merry Christmas!

For more, see:

DO: Use phrases nicely put together, and maybe add a personal message if you like. Messages in cards are usually short and simple. However, each message should be unique. Example:

Dear Yukihiro,

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful 2018.

Many happy returns,

Hiroyuki & family

Another example:

To Masahiro,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and fantastic New Year. We hope all will go well for your trip to Vietnam this Spring.

Very best,

Hiromasa & Yuki

Notice about WordEngine

Lexxica will conduct server maintenance on December 19th starting at 12:30 pm and lasting until about 4 pm. Two security updates will be implemented as well as improvements to the WordEngine mobile flashcards application. Improvements to the app include faster task delivery speed and more recognizable transitions between the word tasks.

2017年12月19日(月) 午後12時半から午後4時の間メンテナンス作業を実施させていただきます。

Frank Lloyd Wright

Discussion questions for Reading in the Real World Intro.

  1. Summarise what you understand of the article.
  2. Is it important for buildings to use local materials? Why?
  3. Should all buildings be designed and built for the local environment?
  4. Do you agree with Wright’s ideas? Why?
  5. Are architects important for society? Why?
  6. What are some examples of well designed and badly designed buildings in Nagoya?
  7. How important is building design in our day to day lives?
  8. How do you feel about “form follows function”? Would you like to visit the Guggenheim Museum? Why?
  9. How do you feel about the design of Motoyama subway station? Or some other station?
  10. (Make your own questions)

Homework for Quarter 4


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had a great holiday.

WordEngine needs to be updated before it can work on iOS11. Please wait before upgrading to iOS11 or do your study on a real computer. WordEngine is a 32bit application, but iOS11 will now only run 64bit applications. If you have upgraded to iOS11, you will need to study WordEngine on a computer by signing into

Communication Skills

  • Review Conversation Gambits units: units 1, 3, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 46, 47, 50, 56, 57, 58.
  • Review pronunciation, and prepare for the Phonological Skills Check.
  • Review English First Hand 2: units 1-11 (including grammar & pronunciation).
  • Review Reading in the Real World Intro, units 7, 8 9, 10, 11 (Sons or Daughters?).
  • Do WordEngine (a little each day).
  • Do extensive reading, about 4,000 words a week, and have ER reports each Thursday.
  • Have fun 🙂


  • Review English Grammar In Use units: 42, 69, 72, 85, 98, 99, 109, 110.
  • Review How to Write a News Story.
  • Do WordEngine (a little each day).
  • Do extensive reading, about 3,500 words a week, and have ER reports ready for each Thursday.
  • Work on your portfolio/magazine, and final report.
  • Have fun 🙂

Oral Communication

  • Prepare Orbits unit 22 vocabulary, article, and article discussion. The topic is about suicide and may be sensitive to some people, however, it is important in society. Recently, there was a young American vlogger who raised the issue (very insensitively) about suicide in Japan, and caused a lot of social media discussion. IF you don’t want to, or cannot talk about this, please find your own article relating to animal welfare, and teach your conversation partner about this topic.
  • Review pronunciation, conversation strategies, and vocabulary from Orbits units 16-22.
  • Do WordEngine (a little each day).
  • World Plaza is open daily, from 11am to 6pm, please go often.
  • The final exam will focus on these points:
    • Vocabulary (units 16-23)
    • Pronunciation (an activity or two from Orbits)
    • Conversation (your own original written dialogue). Demonstrate structure, topic related vocabulary, conversation strategies, and knowledge of article topics discussed between Orbits units 16 to 23.
  • Have fun 🙂

Quarter 3 Final Reports

All remaining work from my students is due on Monday, 13th November, 2pm. I will be at my office from about 9 to 10am, and in the World Plaza from about 12pm to 2pm. Late submissions cannot be accepted without a doctor’s certificate.

What is due:

  • Communication Skills: Nothing
  • Literacy class: Task 9 revised (for your 5%)
  • Oral Communication classes: Final reports

Word Engine data for quarter three will be downloaded on Monday morning.