Thank you for all the feedback, and thank you for your kind words about the blog. As most of your comments were in Japanese, it took me a long time to read through them all, but that was great practice for me.
One thought I had was that if the blog does its job, it is inevitable that it will end up with a lot of high-level writers. After all, the aim of the blog is to help people to develop their English writing skills! Some of you are probably impressed when you read comments written by Tomo and Anne, but I have watched their English develop over the years. Even though they are both very high-level now, they were not like that when we started. Of course, Anne and Tomo have studied by themselves as well, so I can’t claim all the credit for their improvement, but Anne wrote this week that:
１段目、１行目～２行目”I’m rushing to preparefor that.” の”rush to”の表現を使えるようになりたいと思いました。
That is exactly how I want people to use the blog, so if you notice any interesting or new language in my entries, please comment about it. If you want to try making your own sentences using the new language, I will check them when I do the feedback. By the way, Anne, I think “＞David has been choosing become difficult ーーーーDavid has been choosing became difficult” should be “the topics David has been choosing have been getting more difficult.” (A-Z: become)
One thing I will try to do is include more “easy” topics and short entries. As the regulars will know, I tend to choose topics quite randomly based on whatever I happen to be thinking about or whatever has caught my attention that week. Of course, I will still continue to do the difficult ones as well, so please don’t worry if you prefer those. I think that taking on difficult topics will help you to develop a wide range of vocabulary.
As some of you pointed out, there is a Japanese explanation of this blog in “About this blog,” but I guess that many people never read it. Maybe I should add a Japanese explanation to every entry. The problem is that it would have to go at the end. If it was at the beginning, it would look terrible when people checked lists of old entries, because they would all look the same. How about something like this?
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書くと必ず暖かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語のコメントでもOK。もし書きたいことの一部だけが英語で言えないなら混ぜて書いてください。その英語が知りたいなら、もしHow do you say 「〜」in English?と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれるでしょう。そして、私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら「”…”はどう言う意味ですか？」と、遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさんピックアップすると必ず自分の英語の自然さに影響があります。
Please give me some feedback on that, and I will post it on the new entry next week to see if it has any effect.
I certainly don’t want a blog where everyone comments only in Japanese – there would be no point in that. However, I think it is good for people to use Japanese as a tool to help them develop their ability to write comments in English. If someone new visits the blog and sees only English comments, they will probably just give up if their level is not very high. If there was some Japanese mixed in with the English, that might encourage them to try. If the regulars could add just one or two sentences in Japanese to summarize their English comments from time to time, I think that would be very useful. Shall we give it a try?
One point that most people seemed to agree on was trying to keep comments short. Of course there is no “limit” on the length of your comment, but please remember that the shorter your comment is, the more likely other readers (and me!) are to read it.
As for the “off-topic” discussions, I guess that if you put the name of the person you are writing to at the top of the comment, other people can just ignore it if they want to, so it shouldn’t be a problem. To be honest, I often skip through these personal messages when I am doing the feedback.
Anyway, thanks for all the comments. Your feedback was really useful for me. Next week, we are going to have a special guest, so the style will be a bit different from usual. I’ll tell you about it on Monday.
PS Hi Kimi. I laughed when I read your comment “It is that no matter how much I may learn, it is meaningless if I have nothing to talk about.” If you can write sentences like that, I don’t think you need to worry about your English!
PPS Hi YU. Thanks for writing an introduction. Maybe we could make that our topic one week? Every member could just introduce themselves and talk about their English learning history.