KA VOICECAST for Monday, July 15th

KA VOICECAST for Monday, July 15th

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STORY TIME —The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster



KA NEWS for Monday, July 15th

KA is now offering our famed essay-writing course through e-mail for students in grade 4 of elementary school and above who currently live outside of the Kanto area. This is a serious, results-oriented program perfect for students who wish to pass essay exams for junior high, senior high, university, or the Eiken, TOEFL, SAT, or other exams.  Distance Learning students will write and revise weekly essays, complete grammar assignments, and build vocabulary to raise the register and effectiveness of their writing. Each student will correspond with a Personal Writing Tutor, who will guide the student through the course by e-mail.

Students wishing to participate in the Distance Learning course must have:

  • access to the Internet
  • a computer with Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader
  • a strong desire to improve their writing

For more information about this exciting new program, please contact Kikokushijo Academy or follow the link below.

KA will be offering a variety of Summer Courses at its 4 locations from the end of July through the middle of August.  Some of the courses on offer include Speech & Reading, Role Play, Juken, Art, TOEFL, and Essay Writing.  For more information, including dates, courses, and fees, please contact your school directly or follow the link below.

The KA KIDS INTERNATIONAL PRESCHOOL officially opens its doors in September, 2013. Applications for children aged 3-6 are being accepted.  Children who sign up for the KAIP program will be introduced to the fast-paced, advanced reading, and writing program with teachers trained in the Read Write Inc. Phonics method, currently exclusive to Kikokushijo Academy. KA’s professional, well-educated and trained teachers are strongly focused on developing the English skills of the students. The goal is to create happy, native-level English speakers, readers, and writers, right in the comfort of the KA Tama Plaza school.  For more information, and answers to frequently asked questions, please follow the link.




In English Rules, we take a look at the various rules of the English language, as well as why English rules, as a language.

PUN: the clever or humorous use of a word that has more than one meaning, or of words that have different meanings but sound the same.

There are 3 types of Single Word Puns:


1)   Homophonic Pun

Created by substituting one word for a similar sounding word.

*I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

*I bet the butcher the other day that he couldn’t reach the meat that was on the top shelf. He refused to take the bet, saying that the steaks were too high.


2)   Homographic Pun

Created in one of two ways: Either by using a word that has two different meaning, or by substituting a word with the exact same spelling as the word for which it was substituted.

*Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

*Did you hear about the optometrist who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?


3)   Compound Pun

Made by using a string of two or more words that sound similar to a string of different words.

*Where do you find giant snails?  On the end of a giant’s finger.


Tom Swifty Pun

A Type of pun that plays on the relationship of adverb to verbs.  To create a Tom Swifty, an adverb that refers to some part of the preceding line of dialogue is added to the end of a sentence.

  • “I need a pencil sharpener!” said Tom BLUNTLY.
  • “I think I’ll use a different font,” said Tom BOLDLY.
  • The girl has been kidnapped,” said Tom MISTAKENLY.

To say something BLUNTLY means in a direct way.  BLUNT also means without a sharp edge or point—such as a BLUNT or a BLUNT knife.

Saying something BOLDLY means in a brave or confident way.  BOLD is a type of font that can be clearly seen or easily read.

To say something MISTAKENLY based on wrong information, opinion, or judgment.


“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.  What is why it is called a PRESENT.”




In the sample sentence, DEJECTED is used in its adverb DEJECTEDLY.  DEJECTED means sad, depressed, or dispirited.  Synonyms include downcast, despondent, and crestfallen.  A good synonym phrase is in low spirits, and a common informal phrase is down in the dumps.


PUNCTUATE means to interrupt something at intervals.  It can also mean to divide writing into sentences and phrases by using commas (,), periods (.), colons (:), etc..


TURNPIKE is a wide road, highway, or motorway, where traffic can travel fast for long distances and that the drivers must pay a toll to use.  A TOLLBOOTH is a small building by the side of a road where you pay to drive on a road, go over a bridge, etc..


A CARTOGRAPHER is someone who draws or makes maps.


The verb DEPICT means to describe something either by an image in a picture, or with words.


PRINCIPAL means first in importance or main.  Synonyms include chief, primary, and foremost.


INDICATE means to give or represent information without the use of words.  INDICATE also means to suggest or mention something, to show or point to something, and to give information in writing.


For more WOW words from The Phantom Tollbooth, please tune into KA WORDCAST Lesson 15.





By Norton Juster


There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in. On the way he thought about coming home, and on the way home he thought about going. Wherever he was, he wished he was somewhere else, and when he got there he wondered why he’d bothered. Nothing really interested him—least of all the things that should have.

“It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,” he remarked one day as he walked dejectedly home from school. “I can’t see the point in learning to solve useless problems, or subtracting turnips from turnips, or knowing where Ethiopia is, or how to spell February.” And, since no one bothered to explain otherwise, he regarded the process of seeking knowledge as the greatest waste of time of all. As he and his unhappy thoughts hurried along (for while he was never eager to be where he was going, he liked to get there as quickly as possible), it seemed a great wonder that the world, which was so large, could sometimes feel so small and empty. “And worst of all,” he continued sadly, “there’s nothing for me to do, nowhere I’d care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing.” He punctuated this last thought with such a deep sigh that a house sparrow singing nearby stopped and rushed home to be with his family.

Without stopping or looking up, Milo rushed past the buildings and busy shops that lined the street and in a few minutes reached home—dashed through the hall—hopped into the lift—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and off again—opened the door of the flat—rushed into his room—flopped dejectedly (again!) into a chair and grumbled softly, “Another long afternoon.” He looked glumly at all the things he owned. The books that were too much trouble to read, the tools he’d never learned to use, the small electric car he hadn’t driven for months—or was it years?—and the hundreds of other games and toys, and bats and balls, and bits and pieces scattered around him. And then, on the far side of the room, he noticed something he had certainly never seen before.

Who could possibly have left such an enormous package and such a peculiar one? For, while it was not quite square, it was definitely not round, and it was larger than almost any other big package he’d ever seen. Attached to one side was a bright-blue envelope, which said simply: FOR MILO, WHO HAS PLENTY OF TIME. Of course, if you’ve ever received a surprise package, you can imagine how confused and excited Milo was; and if you’ve never received one, pay close attention, because someday you might. “I don’t think it’s my birthday,” he puzzled,” and Christmas must be months away, and I haven’t been exceptionally good, or even good at all.” (He had to admit this even to himself.) “Probably I won’t like it anyway, but since I don’t know where it came from, I can’t possibly send it back.” He thought about it for quite a while and then opened the envelope, but just to be polite. ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH the instructions inside stated—then it went on:


“Beyond what?” thought Milo as he continued to read. THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

*One (1) genuine turnpike tollbooth to be erected according to directions.

*Three (3) precautionary signs to be used in a precautionary fashion.

*Assorted coins for use in paying tolls.

*One (1) map, up-to-date and carefully drawn by cartographers, depicting natural and man-made features.

*One (1) book of rules and traffic regulations, which may not be bent or broken.

And in smaller letters at the bottom, it concluded: RESULTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED, BUT IF NOT PERFECTLY SATISFIED, YOUR WASTED TIME WILL BE REFUNDED. Following the instructions, which told him to cut here, lift there, and fold back all around, Milo soon had the tollbooth unpacked and set up on its stand. He fitted the windows in place and attached the roof, which extended out on both sides, and fastened on the coin box. It was very much like the tollbooths he had seen on family trips, except of course much smaller and purple. “What a strange present,” he thought to himself. “The least they could have done was to send a motorway with it, for it’s terribly impractical without one.” But since, at that time, there was nothing else he wanted to play with, he set up the three signs:




He then slowly unfolded the map. As the instructions had stated, it was a beautiful map, in many colours, showing principal roads, rivers, and seas, towns and cities, mountains and valleys, intersections and detours, and sights of outstanding interest both beautiful and historic. The trouble was that Milo had never heard of the places it indicated, and even the names sounded most odd. “I don’t think there really is such a country,” he concluded after studying it carefully. “Well, it doesn’t matter anyway.” And he closed his eyes and poked a finger at the map. “Dictionopolis,” read Milo slowly when he saw what his finger had chosen. “Oh, well, I might as well go there as anywhere.”



In the July 1st episode of KA VOICECAST, we talked about extreme weather conditions and natural disasters and the LET’S GET QUIZZICAL question was:

What percent (%) of the United States’ electricity is generated by wind power?


Approximately 3%

Today, more and more people are using wind turbines to create electricity from the wind.  Over the past decade, wind turbine use has increased at more than 25% a year.  Industry experts predict that if this pace of growth continues, by 2050 the answer to one third (1/3) of the world’s electricity needs will be found blowing in the wind. 


This week’s question:

In which of Shakespeare’s plays would you find this pun?

“Now is the winter of this discontent,

Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”


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