It's ok to pretend to know more than you do!

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday was pretty nice, wasn't it? And today is going to be just as nice with a high of 15C and mostly sunny skies. Tomorrow will be warm as well, but mostly overcast. It looks like we may see some rain on Tuesday and then it'll clear up on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the sunny weather will be accompanied by cooler temperatures with overnight lows dropping down to between 2C and 5C and daytime highs between 9C and 11C.

The other day a student shared some advice with the class from Pakkun, the Harvard-educated comedian and English teacher. Because he went to Harvard, he's more like a lecturer than an English teacher. In the article he talks about pathos, logos and ethos. These are not new ideas-they were originally from Aristotle, but they still hold true today. It's great advice!
aristotles ethos pathos logos

However, there was another part of the interview that wasn't the main focus, but I thought was fantastic advice for Japanese people. He said, "知ったかぶりOK". That is the best advice you will get this year!

So many times I hear students giving short answers or saying they don't know the answer when we are talking about something they clearly know more about than me, like Japan or Japanese culture. I think it's because they aren't completely sure of the answer and they don't want to give out bad information. One student even refused to read a book I recommended about Japanese history because the writer wasn't a professional historian!
It's ok! Don't worry about it! When we ask questions like, "Where's the best okonomiyaki shop in Hiroshima?" or "What do you think of the new tax system?" we don't think you are an expert on the subject, we just want to hear your opinion.

I know you pretend to know more than you actually do in Japanese, so why not do it in English too!? Trust me, we (English speakers in general and English teachers in particular) do it all the time!

It makes for great communication, and we don't get embarrassed when someone calls our bluff either. It's ok, that way we learn more. And so does everyone else, it's a win-win situation. Plus, it's a great conversation starter. And trust me, EVERYONE is doing it anyway, so you might as well do it too! On top of that, you get to practice your English more. I can't think of any reason not to do it. In fact, I'm going to start doing it in Japanese too, now that I know Japanese people do it to me when we speak Japanese! Ha ha!

Have a great day!

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