Views #648 | Intermediate 5

Missing The States

Keiko talks about American things she misses now that she is back in Japan.

Todd: So, Keiko, now you are back in Japan. You live and work in Japan. Do you miss things about the U.S.?

Keiko: Many things. First of all, I miss my friends a lot. I miss the food, especially Mexican food.

Todd: Me, too. Me, too.

Keiko: Cause I think you and I both lived in California, the best place for Mexican food.

Todd: Right, I'm a huge taco addict. I love tacos and I'm bummed that I can't get tacos in Japan.

Keiko: Me, too.

Todd: Yeah, what's your favorite thing in Mexican food?

Keiko: I love burritos. It's a good combination of beans and rice.

Todd: Right. Right.

Keiko: I love -- and I used to go to this small burritos restaurant in The States and it was run by Mexican people and they didn't speak any English. We had to order in Spanish but the food was just as authentic as you can get.

Todd: Yeah, it's just fantastic back home.

Keiko: Yeah.

Todd: Now you mentioned Spanish. Did you study Spanish when you were in high school?

Keiko: Actually, I didn't because I was taking ESL class, English as a second language, so that counted as my foriegn language credit.

Todd: You were taking ESL classes.

Keiko: Yeah, I was.

Todd: That's not fair. You were getting easy A's.

Keiko: No, cause I think for three years I was sitting in the class and not understanding a word.

Todd: I don't think so. But you're perfectly fluent now so it is hard to believe you sitting in ESL classes.

Keiko: Well, thank you but it was pretty difficult the first three years and then finally one day, after three years, I just understood the word without trying to translate in my mind. It was kind of fascinating, but.

Todd: When you were in The States what do you think helped you learn English the most, was it talking with people or listening to radio or?

Keiko: I think everything, just to be in that situation and for just environmental English and my father tried to put me to the school where there's no Japanese so I don't hang out with the Japanese people so I was forced to be in a community of just American people so I think that was very, I learned in a hard way but I think it was the best thing that my father ever tried to do.

Todd: That's interesting. Well, thanks a lot Keiko.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

huge ... addict

I guess you could say I'm a huge taco addict, because I just love tacos.

When you are an 'addict,' you physically or mentally need something. Here, Keiko doesn't need the tacos, but she is using the words 'huge addict' to show that she really, really likes them. Notice the following:

  1. He is a huge coffee addict. I don't think he could survive without it.
  2. I have turned into this huge television addict.


I'm bummed that I can't get tacos in Japan.

If you are 'bummed' about something, you feel sad or disappointed. Notice the following:

  1. He was bummed about his grade on his test.
  2. If it rains tomorrow, I am going to be really bummed.

run by

This small restaurant was run by Mexican people who didn't speak any English.

Here, 'run by' can be replaced with 'managed by.' Notice the following:

  1. The group is run by a bunch of artists.
  2. This school is owned by Canadians but run by Vietnamese.


The ESL class I took counted as my foreign language credit.

The work that you do in academic classes in university is measured in 'credits.' It is usually one classroom hour per week for a credit, so a 3-credit class would have three hours of class every week. Notice the following:

  1. Doing a discussion along with this class will give you one extra credit.
  2. How many credits is your biology class?


After some time, I just understood the word without trying to translate in my mind.

When you 'translate' something, you change it from one language to another. Notice the following:

  1. It's better to learn another language without using translation.
  2. This books was originally written in Japanese and then translated to many other languages.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

addict • bummed • run by
credits • translated
  1. What language was this book from?
  2. She is a huge exercise , and her mood changes if she doesn't have time to run.
  3. I only need 13 more to graduate.
  4. This restaurant has been five different people in the last seven years. Nobody stays very long.
  5. I'm really that we had to cancel our travel plans.

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