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Five paragraph essay? Forget about it!

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Five paragraph essay? Forget...
We all know the structure of a five-paragraph essay: introduction, three body paragraphs with a thesis and example for each body paragraph, and a conclusion. This structure was helpful to memorize as we first began learning about how to write an essay. As you get older and your writing becomes more mature, you’ll find that this basic format is less sophisticated and makes your essay sound rigid.

Now, I often get the question, “How should I structure my college application essay?” and to that I respond,

“Anything but the five-paragraph essay!”

The reason I say this, is because this particular essay needs to illustrate who you are in the realest way possible. Real, as in not rigid, but rather breathing and living; filled with pure emotion, thoughts, and personality.

The college admissions essay should capture your genuine personality and quirks that cannot be captured through grades, test scores, and activities.

Think about the prompt that you have chosen to write and what you want to write about. Then, think about some of these questions:

–What do you want the reader to know about you?

–How do you want the reader to feel as he/she is reading your essay?

–How can you best convey those emotions through the use of words and structure?

Don’t worry too much about the structure of your essay. Start writing, and see what form your essay takes!
#writingtips #collegeadmission #collegeapplicationessay #essaywriting

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What is the purpose of admissions essays? 大学はエッセイを通して何を知りたいの? and Exciting Announcement!

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What is the pur...
Last weekend, I held a workshop for high school students and parents on "Admissions Essay 101." A large part of my audience is Japanese, and with Japanese parents who may have not attended college in the United States, the college planning process is stressful for both student and parents. I undeniably know that feeling, as my parents and I had no idea how to navigate through all of the information, rumors, expectations, and deadlines!

For a lot of students, writing the admissions essays is a big and daunting task. They know that this is where they need to show off their "soft skills" such as personality, talents, communication skills, and teamwork habits. But, how exactly do you portray yourself in a way that is appealing to the admissions team and paints an accurate and detailed picture of you?

First off, understanding the purpose of the admissions essay is a good place to start. Once we know the purpose this serves, then we can work backwards and make sure to hit the crucial points!

The admissions essay has THREE important functions:

①Tell your story
② Reveal your mindset
③ Convey your potential

To tell your story is to talk about who you are, where you come from, what experiences have you had. This is pretty basic, and if you answer the question to the prompt, there's no doubt you'll cover this part.

Now, ② and ③ may not be so obvious. Revealing your mindset, which is the way that you think, is crucial as you are telling your story. Make sure to include how you interpreted and then responded to the situation of your storyline to let the readers know what kind of thought process you have.

Carol S. Dweck, who studies mindset psychology, says "Test scores and measures of achievement tell you where a student is, but they don't tell you where a student could end up." What does reveal the potential of a student is the way that the student thinks. Now that you've revealed the way you think in ②, you can tell the reader how your mindset can be applied to the future, as in once you are in college as a student.

Phew! That was a lot of information. If you're interested in learning more about each step and learn exactly include this in your essay seamlessly, click here to sign up for a 2-hour WEBINAR.

In the webinar, we will include topics like:
- Information on two main application portals: Common Application and UC System
- What is the purpose of admissions essays? What is the admissions side expecting from the essay?
- 2 brainstorming activities to craft a convincing story for the essay
- Effective way to deliver your message using transformational vocabulary and easy-to-follow structure (hint: it's not a five paragraph essay!)
- Analyzing example essays to identify components of a successful essay

Seats are limited in this activity-packed seminarm sign up !
#collegeadmissions #collegeplanning #essaywriting #collegeadmissionsessay #aseenglish #大学受験 #大学入試

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Interview with pronunciation coach Aiko of Schwagirl

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Interview with pronunciation co...
Hi everyone!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Aiko of Schwagirl for my very first podcast feature. She is an American English Accent pronunciation coach based in Hawaii. Through her platform Schwagirl, she provides useful information for Japanese-English bilingual people to assist with learning English, English pronunciation and American culture.

One of the first things that stood out to me is our shared passion for the work that we do in our respective fields. In the episode, we talk about why we do what we do, which stems from our desire to are provide the kind of resource we wish we had in our youth (in her case, when she had just moved to the U.S. from Japan).

Because we know JUST how lonely, intimidating, and confused life can get living in the U.S. as a Japanese native, we are able to provide the most useful information for people like us who may be a few years behind our journey.

My personal motto is "to be the person I needed growing up." During my high school and college years, not only was I lost academically, but also mentally. I needed a support system from someone a few years older who understood my background and could guide me to my aspirations.

I am so glad that I got to interact with this particular community of Japanese-English bilinguals- one that feels like home to me. I hope you guys enjoy the episode! Let me know what you guys thought, I would LOVE to hear your feedback.

You can click here to listen to the episode.

Make sure to check out her website at http://schwagirl.com. Her blog has great content for Japanese-English bilinguals!
#aseenglish #schwagirl #podcast #japanese #english #bilingual #communication

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3 Ways to Build Self-Confidence 自信をつける3つの方法

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3 Ways to Build...
We all know that self-confidence is a fundamental skill in life. According to Dr. Ivan Joseph in his TEDx speech, he says that self-confidence comes from repeatedly practicing a task and building small confidence over and over again. Once you get to a high-pressure task or situation, you have all the experience to be able to say "I can do this. I've got this."

But how exactly do we build self-confidence? Below, I've outlined the three ways that you can do to nurture this skill.

1. Stop the negative self-talk

Listen to the way you talk to yourself. When doubt and fear comes to your mind, do you feed into that fear? Or do you shut that voice out and feed it positive, uplifting words instead?

Next time your head goes "I can't do this" say to yourself "I CAN do this because I've done things I thought I could do before!"

2. Praise the good efforts instead of focusing on the improvements

Again, our mind automatically tries to find fault and point out the things we didn't do so well. Instead of giving lots of thought into what you did WRONG, why not praise yourself what you did right?

Focusing on what you did right will not only help you to see how you can recreate it again, it will also help you feel confident that you have skill and talent and that you are better than you think.

3. Interpret situations in your favor

Dr. Ivan Joseph uses an example of when he was courting his now-wife. When she turned him down, he didn't give up the first time. When his wife told him the second time that she wouldn't get with him unless "the world was coming to an end and hell was freezing over" he thought "well then I DO have a chance!"

You see, situations are always neutral. Nothing is ever good or bad, nothing is ever a success or failure unless YOU give it that meaning. So you decide. Will you decide to look at the situation in a positive light or negative light? Will you use the situation to your advantage and use it to encourage you?

Check out the full video if you're interested. Will you try these three tips to build your self-confidence? Let me know in the comments below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=759&v=w-HYZv6HzAs
#mindset #english #japanese #academic #selftalk #selfconfidence #tedx #ivanjoseph #aseenglish

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Admissions Essay 101 セミナーのお知らせ

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Admissions Essa...
Calling all higher schoolers in the San Diego area!

サンディエゴにあるぽーと会 (website here: http://english-ase.com ) で、College Applicationの際に提出する「Admission Essay」について学ぶ会を開催します。

ぽーと会とは、アメリカに住む親子の共育、進学、キャリアについて考える会です。サンディエゴの日系コミュニティーが一つになって親子をサポートする、素晴らしい会であり、3月3日に私を招待していただきました!

Common Applicationや幾つかの大学で実際に出題されているエッセイ・テーマを例にとって、「大学はエッセイを通して生徒の何を知りたいのか」を理解し、「自分を最大限に表現する」方法についてお伝えします。

アプリケーションが近い生徒さんをはじめとしたハイスクールの方を対象に、アクティビティも取り入れながら進めるワークショップです。

お友達もお誘いあわせの上、ぜひお気軽にご参加ください。皆さんのお越しをお待ちしています!

お申し込みは portkaisandiego.com までお願いします。
#mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskills #personaldevelopment #bilingual #writeabetteressay #essaywriting #writingtechniques #collegeadmissionsessay #collegeapplication #selfdiscovery #seminar #sandiego #aseenglish

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Fixed vs. Growth Mindset- あなたはどっち?

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Fixed vs. Growt...
According to psychologist Carol Dweck, there are two types of mindsets: fixed mindset and growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is based on the belief that people’s qualities are fixed- and therefore, cannot be changed.

People with fixed mindsets will ask questions such as:

Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?

Their focus is based on how they will appear to others, and they seek confirmation and approval from others- whether it’s in the classroom or in their careers. They must prove over and over again that their qualities exist and that they are enough.

A growth mindset is based on the belief that whatever your initial talents, interests, and aptitudes, you can grow your intelligence with time and experience.

Thus, you can see you growth mindset - belief that qualities can be developed over time- can create a passion for learning. This is the mindset we need to nurture whether it’s i the classroom or in the workplace.

The view you adopt will drastically change the course of your life. Which will you choose to have, a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? I’m going with growth mindset!
#mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskill #analyticalskill #criticalthinking #writeabetteressay #essaywriting #writingtechniques #growthmindset #fixedmindset #caroldweck #aseenglish

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4 simple steps to analysis- これでエッセイをパワーアップ!

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4 simple steps ...
Critical thinking and analytical skills are not only useful in school, but also in the workplace and in your day-to-day life. The process, although simple once you get the hang of it, requires lots of self-inquiry and self-questioning. Ask yourself lots of questions to fill in the gap between what you know vs. what you need to know.

Here are some questions to ask as you go:

What do we notice? What particular details stand out? What questions might we ask ourselves about those details? Why is this detail important? What is the purpose?

4 steps to analysis:

1. Make Observations

Make note of what you observe. Whether they’re obvious details or minor details that you aren’t sure how it will fit into the puzzle, make note of everything that you can. Write it out (or highlight, if you’re reading text) so you don’t miss any important details.

2. Find Connections

With the observations you have made, identify any connections between the details. How does one detail relate to another? How can you find a way to link details? What kind of relationship do the details have with each other?

3. Draw Inferences
An inference is an educated guess, one that is grounded in careful observation and informed by thoughtful questioning—the kind of questioning we have been doing as we make connections among our observations. Begin to think about what the observations and connections you have found could mean. What are you to make of the information you have at this point?
At this point, you should begin to see a pattern of how the details relate to one another. This pattern should lead you to start thinking about the conclusion, which is the final step.

4. Formulate Conclusion

A lot of students tend to forget about this crucial final step- don’t be that person! As you make inferences, it may be clear for you what your conclusion is, but you need to make sure the reader knows your conclusion as well. So, SPELL IT OUT FOR THEM by presenting a clear and thoughtful close. When I say thoughtful, don’t just say “This is my conclusion:________.” Talk about how that conclusion is significant to the bigger picture, ie. current events, politics, human nature. etc.

Tell me in the comments below, was this helpful?
#mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskill #analyticalskill #criticalthinking #writeabetteressay #essaywriting #writingtechniques #aseenglish

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Killing your ANT- ネガティブ思考を退治!

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Killing your AN...
Last time, I shared that out of the 60,000 thoughts that people have in a single day, 75% of thoughts are negative. Click here if you haven't read that article, because I HIGHLY suggest that you read that first.

Today, I want to share with you how to change those negative thoughts to empowering ones. Continue reading to find out how!

ANT is an acronym for:

All Negative Thoughts

Take a moment to think of all the ANTs you need to get rid of in your life right now. In these next six steps, I will show you how to exterminate those ANTS and change them for the better!

1. Write down your ANT on paper.

Be as thorough as possible when writing these thoughts. Write in detail these thoughts: the circumstance, the situation, the feeling, etc.

Example: I am not smart enough to get good grades.

2. Is this true?

The answer is most likely no. If you answered no, skip to Step 4. However, if your answer is yes, move onto the next step.

Example: No, it’s not necessarily true. I have gotten good grades before. I think I’m smart in some subjects, like math.

3. Can you be 100% sure that this is true?

If you really think about it, there aren’t many things in life that you can be 100% certain about. Ask yourself again, and don’t let feelings get in the way. Are you sure that your ANT is 100% true?

4. How do you feel when you think about the ANT?

Example: I feel bad about myself; I feel worthless; I feel not good enough; I feel like I’m a lost cause. I feel like I won’t ever get anywhere in life.

5. How would you feel without the ANT?

Imagine yourself without the ANT. Imagine your life without the ANT. How does that make you feel? Feel the shift in your body as you imagine a world without the ANT. Does it feel lighter without that heavy and negative weight off your shoulders?

6. Think of the ANT’s opposite.

Now that you were able to feel yourself without the ANT, imagine the complete opposite of your ANT. Write out the statement. How do you feel now and how does it feel different from the previous step? Do you feel strengthened, empowered, confident, reassured? ENJOY this feeling.

Example: I am smart and I can get good grades.

The final step is this: now that you’ve experienced what it feels like to live without, and even better, what you could be if you believed the opposite of the ANT, commit to it. Make a decision from here on out that you won’t let the ANT bring you down. This exercise is like a muscle; you have to keep working at it, you can’t get complacent. Next time you feel the ANT, don’t beat yourself up for having it come again. Simply repeat the six steps and make yourself feel good.
#mindsetmonday #mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskills #negativethoughts #ants #positivethoughts #aseenglish

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Ace your interview! 高校生、大学生、社会人は必見

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Ace your interv...
Part of acing your interview and making a great impression from the first interaction is knowing what exactly will go down.

With these four tips below, you can be sure to focus on the important things so you can go into your interview feeling confident and ready to impress!

1. Come prepared!

Whether you're interviewing with your dream college or dream company, make sure you take the time to learn about the organization. What is the organization's mission statement, what are its values? How do they treat their students or employees? Are people satisfied being there? What are new and innovative things that the organization is doing that made you want to apply? Voice these things and you'll be sure to impress your interviewers.

2. Research common interview questions and have answers prepared

If you look online, you'll be able to find the most common interview questions in any industry. Questions like "what is your weakness?" or "tell me about a time you made a mistake and how did you fix it?" are questions I have been asked frequently. Having prepared a few examples and answers beforehand will give you the confidence you need to know that you have your go-to answers without having to think on-the-spot.

3. Show that you are curious

Interviewers love being asked questions, because this also shows how much research you've done. Ask questions that are specific to your major/industry, such as your specific role in the company, specific activities and classes that a student in your major is currently taking, etc.

4. Don't forget that you are also interviewing them!

Interviews are daunting because we try to so hard to make ourselves look good to the other person. Sometimes, we try to be who we are not so that we will be accepted. But remember, no matter how much this school or company may be your dream organization, make sure that you two are the right fit and that you will be truly being there. Leave your ideals at the door, and be present in the interview so you are hearing exactly what the interviewer is saying about the organization and what you can expect. This is a two-way process; at the end of the day, both parties will be happier when both are satisfied and fulfilled.

Tell me in the comments below, which tip was most helpful for you?
#mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskills #インタビュー #就職 #大学受験 #interviewtips #collegeadmissions #aseenglish

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Resume-boosting: Don't do this!

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Resume-boosting: Don't do this!
A lot of students and parents alike ask me this ONE question when it comes to preparing for college applications:

"Should I add another extracurricular activity, even though I'm already doing band, cross-country, dance, etc. and I possibly can't fit anymore in my schedule?

"Should my child take an internship during their summer that is aligned to what they want to major in college, because what they're doing now is nothing related to what they want to study in college...?"

I need to say this:

You don't need to do anymore than what you are already doing, if you don't want to.

It's so easy to get caught up with how many activities you are doing, how many volunteer events you go to, how you look competitively against other applicants, etc. However, I want to let you in on a secret.

The reason colleges want to see your extracurriculars is because schools want to see what skills you have learned through those experiences.

It's not about which activity looks better than another, which one is more prominent than other. It's about what you have learned through that experience, what skills you have gained from it, and how well you can articulate your experience into proving its value.

At the end of the day, It's better to have done one activity over the course of high school and to be able to explain why it means so much to you and the person that you have become because of that experience, than to have done several activities that didn't leave you with any significant lesson/skills.

Comment below, do you agree or disagree? Is it quality over quantity when it comes to resumes?
#mindsetmonday #mindset #english #japanese #academic #studying #studyskills #resumeboosting #aseenglish

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