An Interview with Sarah

On the first anniversary of Sarah’s employment with the British Council in Osaka, I took time out to have a little chat with the girl herself. We talked about her life in Osaka and compared it to her life in the countryside of Yonezawa. I also asked her about her reasons for coming to Japan and her future plans. We also laughed about some of Sarah’s experiences of cycling and travelling around the Kansai area.

FINALLY … I GOT IT WORKING!!! Here is our interview in full! Enjoy!

Here’s a simple worksheet – which you can download by clicking on the link – just to help you make some notes as you listen. I will attach the full script in a couple of days! It is good practice to listen a second or third time while you read the text in order to think about why you didn’t understand the first time you listened. Think about the reasons you had difficulties – was there unknown vocabulary, for example? Or, was it pronunciation that caused you problems?


After several late nights listening to the interview, I have finally finished the transcript. Here it is – I hope you find it useful πŸ™‚ If you find any mistakes, well done – but please ignore them!



Because I spent so long writing the transcript of our conversation, I’ve been thinking about “speaking skills” a lot. Next week on the blog, I will look at the differences between spoken and written language, and how that might cause difficulties for your listening. So why don’t you start thinking about the question.

This entry was posted in news and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to An Interview with Sarah

  1. satoshi says:

    I’m a student of BC Osaka.
    I’m in the Sarah class on Saturday afternoon.
    I can’t watch the movie…
    I use the Mac.
    But if I watch the movie, can I not use the Mac?
    Please tell me way of watching the movie.

  2. tonybrace says:

    Hi Satoshi! (And everyone!)

    This is Tony. Thanks for your post!

    Don’t worry! I use a Mac too. I am having some difficulties with the blog but am going to be working on it tomorrow. I had to give out the Newsletter first, but from tomorrow I am going to spend my time putting some information on the blog for all of you to read/listen to and enjoy.

    Sorry for the delay, but check back in a couple of days!

    It is not your computer!! πŸ™‚



  3. satoshi says:

    Hello Tony!

    Thanks for your quick response.
    I’m looking forward to watch the movie tomorrow : )

  4. tonybrace says:

    Maybe not tomorrow, more likely Tuesday or Wednesday. One thing though, it is not a video – sorry to disappoint you! πŸ™‚ It is a listening, so you can’t actually see Sarah, only listen to her talking to me! 😦

    Will work on it tonight!

  5. kk says:

    Hello. I’m a student of Sarah’s class, and also unable to listen this interview. Hoping catch this soon, thanks.

  6. tonybrace says:

    Hello dear bloggers … πŸ™‚ I am still waiting for the technical support people to support me technically … 😦

    I sent them the interview file and am waiting for them to explain how to convert it so that it can be put on this blog … it is very annoying as I paid for the software to do the conversions but …

    Anyway, while we are waiting, why don’t you have a look at the “culture” page and read about the London Olympics?

    Speak to u all soon!

  7. curly hair says:

    Here i am!!ive posted the comment on ur web and
    its so handy to listen!!!yeahhhhh
    Good job Tony papa!!
    I prefer to cosmopolitan country like Uk than Japan.
    Ive got knowledge that YONEZAWA is YAMAGATA…
    I might be Japanese definitely…haha
    I miss England so much now…

    Anyway, Congratulations that Sarah’s worked in Osaka.

    Ive enjoyed chatting with uuuuu!!!


    cu soon!!
    Ill come back on ur web site soon!!!haha

  8. tonybrace says:

    @curly hair

    hmm … i wonder who you are!? there are not so many students with curly hair so maybe i can guess πŸ™‚

    thanks for your positive comments and i am happy you learned something … look forward to seeing your comments again soon … and some questions if you have any! πŸ™‚


  9. curly hair says:

    if u dont correct about that, ill be angry to u!lol

    okay,ill do it!!!!

    cu, natural curly hair

  10. west end girl says:

    I’m your student and Sarah’s ex-student. πŸ™‚
    I really enjoyed your interview and the tapescript helped my understanding a lot.
    I think you both very relaxed and delivered natural conversation, didn’t you?

    Anyway, I’ve got a few questions for Sarah.

    1. Sarah said her best friend is Japanese.
    How and where did they meet?

    2. Also, she saw a drama series about Japan when she was a teenager.
    What kind of drama? Was it a Japanese one?

    Hope to answer my questions.

    Ciao! from west end girl. πŸ˜‰

  11. tonybrace says:

    @west end girl

    thanks for ur questions πŸ™‚ i will ask sarah for some answers!!

    i am trying to think who u are!! πŸ™‚

    by the way … all comments have to be approved by me the first time you make a comment … after the first one (for the second and third etc) it seems i don’t have to approve them … so sorry if you had to wait … i went to bed early last night after the beer garden social event … i will write more about that later

    cheers anyway … looking forward to more comments and questions from you … hontoni!! πŸ™‚

  12. genki says:

    Konbanwa : )
    I think I know the answers to the questions from west end girl…!
    1) I believe Sarah met her best (Japanese) friend when she was working at a language school in west London – he was in one of her classes. That was nine years ago… Can’t believe they’re still friends…
    2) The drama series she watched as a teenager was called ‘Tenko’ – it was about a prison camp during the Second World War & was quite popular in England in the late 70s/early 80s. Strange the things people remember & that influence them…
    Hope that answers your questions : )
    Genki XX

  13. west end girl says:

    Dear Genki-san,

    Hello, thank you for giving the answers instead of Tony!
    I’m very interested in these answers.
    Especially for the answer 2, I don’t know the drama anything. I’ll check it later!

    Dear Tony,
    Do you know ‘Tenko’? The title is obviously Japanese,
    but didn’t seem a story in Japan,I guess.

    Cheers, by west end girlxxx

  14. tonybrace says:

    @ Westend Girl and Genki

    Thanks for your information Genki … are you a private detective? Good work on the Sarah information!

    I remember the programme but it wasn’t one of my favourites, so I didn’t remember it clearly. But it was about a group of British (and Dutch) women prisoners of war in a Japanese concentration camp in Singapore. It was more about the relationships of the women under extreme pressure living in terrible conditions. I don’t think it was really political, in fact it sounds more like the reality TV programmes of today such as Big Brother!! πŸ™‚

    What does “Tenko” mean? Well, my answer to most questions anyone asks me these days is … GOOGLE it!!

    So, I Googled “Tenko” and came up with the following.

    “Tenko” is the Japanese word for Roll Call, where prisoners were counted and which included the obligatory “bow” to the Japanese masters.”

    Youtube is usually a great resource but for this TV programme I failed to find very much … only these clips

  15. Keiko says:

    Hi Tony,

    I don’t know either the drama ‘Tenko’.


    I’ve just check these clips, seems very sad isn’t it?

    The animation is fascinating, it was used some Japanese stuff in it, such as a sound of Japanese instrument ‘Koto’, a crane, apricots, the rising sun.

    I guess the stuff probably brought a typical image of far east Japan for Sara!

    And in the last clip, what are they going to do next ?!
    Are they having a naked parade to get their own back on Japanese solders?!

  16. Keiko says:

    I’m very sorry…… I had a spelling mistake ‘Sarah’!!===333

  17. tonybrace says:

    @ Keiko

    I think in the final clip the woman is kind of saying … Look! We all have to stay here … there is no point in us hiding anything from each other … we are all equal here and our civilian lives don’t matter … we are just women and we should be honest and open and be together … united … but I may be wrong! 😦

    Thanks for ur comment … some interesting discussion here which is great! Just what the blog is for!! πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s