Countdown to Tokyo 2020

The countdown to Tokyo 2020 has begun.  366 days^ to go! 

Exactly one year from today, the 24th July, the opening ceremony is going to be held for the Games of the XXXII (32nd) Olympiad (see below for Glossary). This is the official name for the 2020 Summer Olympics.  The last time Tokyo held an Olympics was in 1964.  So, after an interval of 56 years, the city (and the country) will have Olympic Games fever again!

Nineteen years ago Sydney held the Games of the XXVII (27th) Olympiad, but I wasn’t in Australia at the time as I’d just accepted a teaching position in Japan. So, I didn’t experience what it was like to have an Olympics in my home country.

If you’re currently in Japan, how are you feeling about the approaching event.  Are you looking forward to it, dreading it or not bothered about it?

For those of you not in Japan have an Olympics (either Summer or Winter) and Paralympics ever been held in your own country? Were you living there at the time? How did you feel about it?

Overall, do you think hosting an Olympic Games is a positive or negative experience for a country? What kinds of volunteering opportunities are there? Is being able to speak English useful? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 ^ 2020 is a leap year.

If you’d like some help with improving your English (it doesn’t have to be for Tokyo 2020😉), you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter.


leap year – ​a year that happens every four years and has an extra day on 29th February

Olympiad – an occasion on which the Olympic Games are held

interval – a period of time between two events

fever – a state of great excitement

accepted – [BUSINESS ENGLISH] to say yes to an offer or invitation

approaching – coming near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance or time

looking forward to (something) – to feel happy and excited about something that’s going to happen

dreading – to feel very concerned or frightened about something that’s going to happen or that might happen

not bothered – If you are not bothered about something, it means that it’s not important to you or doesn’t worry you.

Monthly Review – October 2017


After a busy few weeks (definitions for the words/phrases in bold can be found at the end of the post) finalising my new ad (see below), I was finally able to get it going at the start of October.  Although preparing the ad had been a little stressful at times, especially when things didn’t work as they were supposed to, it’s exciting to see the final product and watch how people are responding to it.

So, if you see my new ad on Instagram or Facebook, I hope you’ll remember to like it!  Please feel free to share it with your friends and family too.

Countdown to Tokyo 2020

This month included what I consider to be a significant date in relation to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.  Do you have any idea what date that might be?  No?  Well, continue reading to find out.  If my calculations are correct, Tuesday, 25th October was exactly 1000 days until the Opening Ceremony!  That’s right, there are now fewer than 1000 days to go!  If you’re in Japan, have you donated any unwanted mobiles or small appliances yet?

Still on Tokyo 2020, but on a slightly different note, I was surprised and amused to read that some English teachers in Japan have been using classic British comedies, like ‘Fawlty Towers’, to help improve their students’ listening skills (click here for the full article).  This comedy revolves around a hotel owner, Basil Fawlty (played by the famous English comedian John Cleese), who is incredibly rude while pretending to be extremely polite to his hotel guests.  It makes for a funny sitcom, but isn’t a good example of how to treat guests in a hotel (or foreign visitors in your country!).


Tonight is Hallowe’en (more commonly spelt ‘Halloween’) and for the past few weeks a song has been playing over and over in my head.

It goes like this:

Hallowe’en’s coming on
and the goose is getting fat
Would you please put a penny
in the old man’s hat?
If you haven’t got a penny,
a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
then God bless you and yer old man too.

This is a song children in Ireland used to sing during Halloween a long time ago (and perhaps still do).  Did you know that Halloween originated in Ireland?  My mum taught this song to me when I was a child and I always sing it when Halloween is approaching.

Do you celebrate Halloween in your country?  If so, how do you celebrate it?  What do people do on the night of 31st October?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

If you’d like some help with your English, you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson.


a busy few weeks – a period of three or four weeks which were busy

finalizing – making final and definite decisions about something

adinformal for advertisement

get it going – get it started

preparing – making something ready

stressful – something that makes you feel worried and nervous

consider – think

significant – important

in relation to – in connection with

fewer than – [comparative of ‘few’ used with countable nouns] and means ‘a smaller number of’

on a slightly different note – is a phrase used when we want to let people know that we are going to chance the topic of conversation

revolves around (a hotel owner) – the hotel owner is the main character

sitcom – is short for ‘situation comedy’ which is a funny television (or radio) show where the same set of characters appear in various situations

originated – the place or point at which a new idea starts