Using AI in Lessons for English As a New Language/ ENL学習者のための英語レッスンでAIを活用する

In Japanese#T-shirt-Japanese click here

AI is changing the world faster than ever right now in Education and all other aspects of life. Do you use AI? Would you like to take advantage of the benefits of AI in language learning or teaching?

We find that it can be a great tool for language acquisition and output. In this and in following posts, I want to describe how we’ve been using it in our classes, show you some of the creative work, how we personalize learning, and how you can use it too.

Bing Image Creator is one of many new AI apps. It lets us type in an idea for an image and create it with the push of a button. Students can submit and edit prompts to change how it looks or to add or take away details. This helps with having a visual representation of the language they use. Also, it leads to discussion about what is the most effective way to get the image they imagine. We save the best image when we are satisfied.

We then upload the image to Canva, a design website, to create a design with text (Canva also has its own image generator). This is also where students can have creative output and talk about design elements such as fonts and the wording itself. When students can’t think of something they want to say, we research idioms and sayings that will best fit the image using another AI program, Chat GPT (which has many other uses we’ll talk about in other posts.

We put it on a T-shirt or other product in Printify where it is available for anyone to order. Students want to give these shirts to friends and family as gifts or wear them themselves. Doing so boosts their confidence level and gives them something to talk about with others when someone says, “Cool T-shirt! Where did you get it?”

Please visit the Mattison English online shop to see everyone’s work and support our endeavor of engaging our students in real-world activities. We’ve seen firsthand how these activities connect with their learning and even opinion output which is so important for interviews, essays, and proficiency tests.




Bing Image Creatorは多くの新しいAIアプリの1つです。イメージのアイデアを入力し、ボタンを押すだけで自動的に作成できます。学生は外観を変更したり、詳細を追加したり削除したりするためのプロンプトを入力できます。これにより、使用する言語の視覚的な表現が可能になります。また、学生が想像するイメージを最も効果的に得る方法についての議論につながります。私たちは満足したときに最良のイメージを保存します。

その後、イメージをデザインウェブサイトであるCanvaにアップロードし、テキストを含むデザインを作成します(Canvaには独自のイメージ生成ツールもあります)。これも学生が創造的な表現をし、フォントやワーディングなどのデザイン要素について話す場所です。学生が言いたいことを思いつかない場合、別のAIプログラムであるChat GPT(他の用途についても今後の投稿で話します)を使用して、イメージに最適な慣用句や言い回しを研究します。


Mattison Englishのオンラインショップを訪れて、皆さんの作品を是非ともご覧ください!私たちの生徒を実世界の活動に参加させる取り組みをサポートになります。英語を教えてきた長年の経験で学習や面接、エッセイ、そして試験などに非常に重要な(意見のアウトプット)にこれらの活動が関連していることを実際に感じています。



日本で英語を13年間教えた後10年前NYへ戻り英語を教えていますが、ここ数年日本と欧米における英作文; essayについてずっと感じていた違いをすこし書いてみようと思います。少しでも英作文に取り組む人の参考になれば…。









After teaching English in Japan for 13 years, I returned to New York 10 years ago and have been teaching English here. Recently, I have noticed some differences in English composition (essays) between Japan and the United States, and I would like to share my observations. Hopefully, this can be helpful for those working on English composition.

In English language education in the United States, it is considered important to have clear introductions, developments, and conclusions in order to foster logical thinking. On the other hand, in Japanese schools, composition emphasizes subjectivity and the expression of the writer’s emotions. Consequently, intentionally ambiguous sentences or comments are sometimes used to avoid making strong conclusions and inviting criticism.

For instance, when reading or hearing English expressions or news, it is common to predict the conclusion and follow along. However, when reading or hearing Japanese articles or news, they often end with sentences that do not reach a definitive conclusion, like “It is a difficult problem. Further consideration is needed in the future.” This can be somewhat disappointing. I have observed this thinking pattern not only in news and television comments, but also among adults, older people, and young students that I teach.

Having grown up in Japan’s education system, which is passive in terms of class participation, I struggled for a long time when I studied abroad in the United States. I had difficulty presenting my arguments and didn’t even understand the importance of presenting arguments.

Through my work in jobs that involved Japan and the United States, I have come to realize that developing arguments, presenting them, and acquiring persuasive skills are not only important for mastering academic English composition, but also essential for confidently thriving in international settings.

However, in many of Japan’s elementary, middle, and high schools, the focus is still mainly on improving language skills, and students are not provided with sufficient opportunities to learn about the world and engage in discussions freely.

As teachers, it can be easy to stick to teaching units that align with problem sets and manuals. However, it is important to also pay attention to global developments, select important topics, summarize public opinion, and plan lessons that encourage students to express their opinions based on their level of understanding. This requires time for preparation and a willingness to continue learning. Additionally, the teachers’ own international experiences play a significant role.

The beauty of Japanese writing and the charm of essays are wonderful cultural aspects that I personally enjoy reading.

However, with the increasing emphasis on students expressing their opinions in various certification exams and entrance exams, it is more important than ever to cultivate Japanese individuals who can engage in equal-footed discussions with people from different countries and evolving values. As instructors, we are always mindful of the need to focus on lessons that promote logical thinking and actively engage with our students. 


Farm Stay’23



ピンチに遭遇した時、私達はできるだけ黙って参加者があれこれ考えアイディア出す様子を見守ります。いろんなアイデアでアウトプットを生み出せる性質を持つクリエイティブな発想力は悩んだり考え抜いてこそ生まれるものだと思うからです。周りの人とのコミュニケーションが大切な事も多々あります。何度も失敗しながら、でも徐々にできる様になっていき、Learning by experiencingって大切ですね。子供たちが考え、想像力を膨らましていくその工程を見守るのが好きです。



Summer Reading Recommendations


Summer is here and so many of our students are having a great time spending it with family and friends.

One of the troubles they sometimes have is keeping up with their English skills. Our most successful students usually find books they enjoy reading. Because they enjoy the book they learn and develop vocabulary and grammar, not to mention communication skills. When they finish one book they are hungry for more, so it’s a great idea to have a few books for them.


We’d like to share some book titles and links for your family to enjoy.

Grades 1-3

Here’s a list of best-selling fun books appropriate for language development for elementary students in grades 1 to 3. These books are not only enjoyable but also promote language skills and imagination:

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney , book 1
  2. Dog Man” series by Dav Pilkey, Books 1-6
  3. Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne, 28 book Set
  4. Captain Underpants” series by Dav Pilkey, book 1-3
  5. Junie B. Jones” series 1-4 by Barbara Park
  6. Mercy Watson” books 1-6 series by Kate DiCamillo
  7. The Bad Guys” book 1series by Aaron Blabey, Books 1-5
  8. The Dork Diaries” books 1-3 by Rachel Renée Russell
  9. My Weird School” 1-4 series by Dan Gutman
  10. Amelia Bedelia” series by Herman Parish, book 1
  11. Big Nate” book 1 by Lincoln Peirce, 3 book set

These books offer humor, engaging plots, and relatable characters, making them perfect for encouraging young readers to develop their language skills while having fun. Remember to select books that match the individual reading levels and interests of the students to make the reading experience more enjoyable and beneficial.

Grades 4-8 and up

Here’s a list of best-selling fun books appropriate for language development for elementary students in grades 4 to 8. These books are enjoyable, age-appropriate, and help foster language skills:

  1. Harry Potter” book 1 illustrated series by J.K. Rowling
  2. Percy Jackson & the Olympians” 5 book set by Rick Riordan
  3. The Hunger Games” 3 book series by Suzanne Collins
  4. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  5. A Series of Unfortunate Events” series by Lemony Snicket
  6. Holes” by Louis Sachar
  7. The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan
  8. The Maze Runner” series by James Dashner
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis
  10. Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
  11. The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  12. Flora & Ulysses” by Kate DiCamillo
  13. I Survived” by Lauren Tarshis

We hope you like the lists. All of the books are read by many of our students and by native English-speaking kids as well. Reading the same books can give them more opportunities to speak with other students around them, too.
By purchasing using the links above, you will support us in providing more recommendations in the future.

One more highly recommended book is the “I Survived” series.



現地校では3rd Quarter が終わり、いよいよ最終のFinal Quarter に突入し6月の学年末に向けて最終スパートとなる時期。一方日本では旅立ちの季節である3月。


今回のブログでは旅立つ学生さんが海外での挑戦を振り返り語ってくれた言葉を少しご紹介します。これからNY生活に挑戦しようと思っている学生さんが少しでも現地の様子を理解し勇気 を出してくれるといいな、と思います。

Do you remember the first day of your new school? How did you feel?

Student A: When I started school in NY, I was very nervous. I was a 1st grader and I cried. But, Japanese friends in the class helped me a lot when I didn’t understand. On the 2nd day, I didn’t want to go to school and missed my mom. But I went to school every day because I knew I had to go to school.  My mom said I had to go to school. And she bought me my favorite juice and it made me happy. 

Student B: I went to Milton school for the first time. I was more excited, not nervous. The table setting was so different compared from Japanese school. I started in 2nd grade. I didn’t talk so much, but there was a boy that I could trust. So, I just kept following him everywhere and watched what he did.

Student C: My first day was online lesson because of COVID-19. Starting a new school and experiencing online lessons were both my first experience, so I was so nervous. But when I actually started going to school, I really enjoyed going to school. Everything was different from Japanese school. School had extra English curriculums and I enjoyed the atmosphere, which I felt like everyone was my family. 

What was your greatest achievement in America?

Student D: Moving to the USA changed me. In Japan, I didn’t know how big the world was. After I came to NY, for example, every house in Harrison was so big and everyone had a big yard. The parks were big as well. It was very comfortable for me to live in NY. In Manhattan, there were many kinds of people from all over the world. They get together and live in one place. And I felt we all need to get along with each other.
Understanding the importance of the world was my biggest achievement.

Student E: I didn’t play baseball in Japan, so I played baseball in NY for the first time. What I learned was everything in English. Learning a new sport in a different language was awesome.
Also, I was outside almost every single day with my brother doing sports such as baseball and basketball. That was better than studying and half of my friends I have now are friends from playing sports.

Student F: I could go to school every day and make many friends, and I could pass Eiken 2. They are all my big achievements! Now, I am going back to Japan. And I’m not so nervous about going back to Japanese school because I started Japanese weekend school in America after 2nd grade. I love American school! American school has more fun events like Halloween and Valentine’s Day. I will miss American school.  

What is your advice to people who come from Japan or other countries?

Student G: If you can, you can study English before they come to America. If you can speak a little bit of English in school, it will be more fun to go to school. It’s also fun to talk to American friends. American friends are so friendly. People are friendly and kind in this country. And don’t be shy to ask when you don’t know and talk a little bit louder so that everyone in the class can hear your voice. If you don’t speak loud enough, they might just not hear you! Anyway, play and enjoy!

Student H: Do what you want to do! You want to think by yourself so that you will be more confident when you go back to Japan. Your experience in America will give you a new opportunity for your future.

Student I: You don’t have to worry about communicating with American people so much. When I visited another local school and took classes with them one day, the American students tried hard to understand me. They even used Google translate to try to communicate with me. It made me happy. If we all want to understand each other’s hearts, even though we can’t understand perfect language, we can still be friends.  Just keep your mind open.

Student J: Just don’t worry about English. You will understand what they are doing and saying by watching and hearing. Don’t stay inside all the time, go outside. Some American houses have basketball hoops and you can play with them and sometimes they would invite you inside their house and you can become their friends. Reading and writing practice help, too, but talking with friendly American kids can teach you better English. They talk a lot!







“Farm Stay’22” at Mattland Farm, New York.

First time farm experience for all of them. These kids did so many things they’ve never done before.

In the morning, they took care of the pigs – cleaning, bedding, and feeding.
Then they had English lessons – agriculture in NY, carbon footprints and the environment, big and small business, cultural differences, and manners. Every afternoon, we enjoyed various activities – horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, swimming, night hike, egg hunting, fossil hunting, and target shooting.

All of the meat we had on the trip was provided by our family farm, Mattland Farm. We could all feel how important it is to treat the animals with respect, take good care of them, and definitely didn’t waste any food.

As each day passed, they took responsibility and helped each other to do the chores. They got done faster and faster and could feel what it’s like being a farmer.

The positive real-life experiences we have may enhance our abilities and play an important role in whether we all grow up to have a sense of purpose at all.
We loved to see each kid’s growth.

Thank you so much to our Mattison family for making this program happen every year🫶
We are so pleased to have such a caring and supportive family.🌟


Farm Stay 2022 in NY

This year’s FARM STAY is ON!

Our Farm Stay 2022 is 7/25 to7/31 this year. We are in final preparation.
Six ambitious participants are all excited as we are.
We can’t wait to share time on the Mattison farm!
Our regular lessons will be closed from 7/23-8/4.
Here we go!


Creative Photo Contest 2021

Presenting our student family Photo contest for 2021.

Many of our students enjoyed participating in last year’s event. The activity got students and families to look around to see more. It gave them new things to talk about and try while practicing and thinking in English outside of class. You can do it any time of day. Even when just riding in the car.

We’re looking forward to seeing even more people join this year.
We’re looking forward to seeing your creative photos.

We use the photographs to teach a number of lessons, from technology to composition to idiomatic expressions and poetry. It becomes something more than a contest.

Below are the three videos we created from some of the photos that were chosen by the students that took them.









🌻 Farm Stay2021🌻

🌻Farm Stay 2021🌻
Mattison Summer Program
We had the orientation for the Farm Stay last month with all the participants. Everyone had such a great time meeting each other👌

Farm Stay is all ready to start tomorrow on 7/20!
We’re so excited!