Cultural References for Advanced Learners


Have you ever wondered what characters are talking about when you are watching TV shows or films, when they say things that don’t seem to match the rest of the script. There’s a high chance that it’s a cultural reference.

Here are some examples:

“Here’s looking at you kid!” Casablanca

“Use the force, Luke.” Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

“To be, or not to be?” Hamlet

This is why it can be useful to read classic novels and watch classic films. With a larger knowledge of English-speaking culture, you can understand what characters in more modern books and films or television shows are talking about. It can even help you to understand jokes.

FREE Google Hangout Lesson – Limited to 5 People


Some of you may be wondering if you can take a free Google Hangout lesson with me to try things out. Well, on Sunday, 30th March you can. All times Japan Standard Time (GMT + 9:00). Each hangout is limited to 5 people. You can only take one of these hangout lessons. To book, email me telling me which level you’d like to try. You need a Google Account (i.e. the one you use for Gmail/Google Drive/Google+).

Elementary (15:45-16:15)

Buying Train Tickets

Useful posts: Understanding Time and How to Buy Train Tickets)

Intermediate (16:20-16:50)

Describing Places

Useful posts: Describe places and Comparing Things

Upper-Intermediate/Advanced (17:00-17:30)

Talking About Movies

Useful posts: How to Talk About Movies and Books and Tell Stories Easily Using 4 Parts