Friday, February 1, 2019

Lesson Plans Made By TBOSL

Friday, February 2nd, 2019

ESOL Learners,

Did you know that since 2016, we have been making our own lesson plans for advanced level learners of English? Check out our online store for similar items at Here's the latest covered in January:

The Orange and White Contingent:
Question- Have you seen or used a $2?

The Long Haul
Question- Why do Japanese carmakers have a product which is so durable and longlasting when compared to their competition in the US?

Learn about current events which are relevant to the expat in the US. Shoot me an email if you are an interested and motivated student.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Change Your World. Be Motivated

<iframe src="" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Two Birds One Stone Learning(TBOSL)は新しくオハイオでの生活を始められた方々を歓迎します! Two Birds One Stone Learning welcomes newcomers to Ohio! We also welcome our current students and families back to School!

8/9/2017- Two Birds One Stone Learning(TBOSL)は新しくオハイオでの生活を始められた方々を歓迎します!
テキスト(614-219-9757)またはEメール(で “Back to School 2017”とご連絡ください。詳細をご検討いただいた上、レッスン受講が決まった場合にプロモーションが受けられます。新学年を控えレッスン可能日時は所徐に埋まってきております。ご連絡はお早めに!

Two Birds One Stone Learning welcomes newcomers to Ohio!  We also welcome our current students and families back to School! 

Longer than the rest, TBOSL has been Columbus, Ohio’s premier English Conversation, Test Prep, and Homework Help provider.

In 2016, we delivered 1700 hours of in-home and corporate site private lesson instruction to youth and adults from January 1st to December 31st.     

Also, we delivered 800 hours of group and classroom hours of instruction to ESOL students at Japan-America Society, TS Tech, Birchwood Foods, Texas De Brazil and to adult language learners throughout Columbus.

An endorsement from one of our long-standing families:

Recently my two children took the Eiken pre-1 and level 2 examinations.  Thanks to the help of your tutors, both children were able to pass the exams. 

Contact TBOSL to set up your free “getting acquainted” session to see if we are right for you while availability lasts.  

Daniel J. Stone, MBA
Principal Consultant and Trainer

Two Birds One Stone Learning, LLC
3700 Riverside Drive, #21861
Columbus, OH  43221

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lesson Plan- English in Japan (Elementary School Visits) Model Class for BOE

The recent Japan Times article of the survey ripping elementary English as useless motivated me to unearth a model class lesson that I led while on JET.  This lesson plan is available at my online store for free.  Constructive feedback and collaboration would be appreciated.  


In February 2006, I led a model lesson at one of the many elementary schools that I served at in Kawaguchi City, Saitama a city that borders on Tokyo’s Kita Ward.  The aim of this model lesson was to show the other native English teachers that were being dispatched to elementary schools the best practice in terms of utilizing the class’s Japanese homeroom teacher, getting the students involved by facilitating a positive experience with learning English through games, listening and singing. 

A decade has passed and while this model lesson took place during the dark ages of English training at elementary schools in Japan, much of what was or wasn’t getting done remains today.  The elementary school visits for a native English-speaking teacher can be a mixed bag in terms of outcomes and support.  Today’s teachers are more tech savvy and have done a great job of putting lesson plans, activities, etc. regarding elementary school visits online.  However, this still doesn’t solve the language barrier that many native English-speaking teachers have due to a lack of Japanese ability combined with the teacher’s inexperience and the absence of a set of goals and objectives to accomplish at the elementary visits. 

English education was formally introduced in Japan for 5th and 6th graders in 2011 and is still in its early stages.  In 2020, the formal visits to elementary schools with be required to spend 70 hours of English language instruction a year, doubling current requirements.  To that end, this model lesson serves as the bridge between “just winging it” to actually being prepared and hopefully will provide a positive experience with learning English through games, listening and singing in the classroom.     

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Commentary- Junior high students rip elementary English as ‘useless’: survey

Junior high students rip elementary English as ‘useless’: survey

Saturday, June 24th, 2017-  Columbus, Ohio-

I can remember teaching English at elementary schools in Japan back in the dark days of English training in Japan from 2004-07.  Back in those days, there was no established material, no budget for materials, nobody at the elementary schools that could teach English as a Foreign Language effectively, and certainly no establish benchmarks that we could refer to gauge effectiveness.  The outcomes of this situation were 1) I got in the best shape of my adult life, 2) my Japanese ability improved greatly, 3) out of determination to leave the schools better than the way that I found them, I volunteered to have the other English teachers at our organization observe a teaching exposition at one of my 5th grade classes.  The teaching plan which required interaction with the homeroom teacher, bag of tricks that I assembled and paid for out of my own pocket became part of everyone’s repertoire when visiting elementary schools. 

Clearly, being in good shape, having stronger Japanese ability, and growing as a teacher made me the winner, but the same cannot be said about the students that I served or the teachers that I worked with at the elementary schools.  In 2007, I returned to the US and honestly, I was disillusioned in the Japanese public-school system and the profession of teaching altogether. 

In 2016, I was interviewing an English teacher who recently taught in Japan for my tutoring dispatching firm.  When asked about her teaching experiences, she told a story of teaching at elementary schools in Japan that were identical to the one that I experienced a decade prior.  What about the “foreign language activity” program that has been in place at Japanese elementary schools since 2011?  “Any textbooks, established curriculum, and materials used for this?”, I asked.  No was the answer.  Hence, English at elementary schools in Japan was as if the hamster on the wheel.  It wasn’t in a good place in 2004 and wasn’t going anywhere in 2016.  The June 21st, 2017 Japan Times article of the survey proves this.  However, in retrospect, the fact there are currently 35 hours dedicated to reading and writing activities for 5th and 6th graders is actually some sort of resemblance of "kaizen" than the dark days that I partook in.  However, this breaks down to less than 12 hours per trimester.  The busy expatriates that work for Honda or one of its suppliers in Columbus that my organization has been training since 2014 average this much contact time with an instructor.  The difference is, the expat in Ohio is in the US to work for their company, the 5th grade student in school in Japan has the full-time job of being a student.  One that has become proficient in a second language in their home country didn't do so with so little dedication.  Maybe the expectation to become proficient in English 5th grade is unrealistic, however, the Japanese expat in the US that is over the age of 35 and can point back to the six years of compulsory English, yet can't do the basics is puzzling.     

While this article decisively points to the problem of English being teaching methods of translating English into Japanese, dreadful memorizing and grammar exercises as the culprit of zapping the good deeds originating at the elementary school level, the foundation at the elementary schools need to be looked into as well. Key questions that need to be answered- 

  • What is the aim?  
  • What is the curriculum?  
  • Who at the elementary schools is taking ownership and the lead while the native English teacher is away?  
  • Is there an established set of material and textbook available?

 I am pleased that 6th graders see value in the English skills acquired and see an overall benefit in English education.  This could be stronger if the foundation at the elementary school was approached and taken seriously by all involved.  English at the junior and senior high school level needs to be revamped altogether.  No matter how solid the foundation is at the elementary school, the archaic and backward way of teaching English at the next level has to be done away with. 

Lastly, the policy of doubling English classroom hours by 2020 (three years from now) is a step in the right direction.  It is not enough, but anything will do at this point.  Shame on those at elementary schools with concerns over being adequately prepared for the shift by 2020.  English at elementary schools was in full swing when I came onto the scene in 2004 more than 13 years ago!  How much time does the inefficient body of public schools in Japan that are being funded by taxpayers money need?

Daniel J. Stone, MBA
Principal Consultant and Trainer
Two Birds One Stone Learning, LLC
3700 Riverside Drive, #21861
Columbus, OH  43221