Lesson 6: The Shinkansen
The unreserved seats are first come, first served.

I can listen to and understand someone talking about the shinkansen.

INTRODUCE

The shinkansen is a safe, convenient mode of transportation that many foreigners dream of taking when they come to Japan.

PRESENT

STEP A EXPRESSIONS

I. Go over the expressions with your tutor.

    1. First come, first served refers to a policy in which people who arrive first will be prioritized.

     

    We sell concert tickets on a first come, first served basis.

     

     

    2. On the dot means to be exactly on time.

     

    The train arrived at six o’clock on the dot.

     

     

    3. Spotless refers to something that’s extremely clean.

     

    I was impressed because the aisles were spotless – no trash, no stains, no marks.

     

    II. How would you describe the following modes of transportation? Use the expressions above.

    bus

    airplane

    taxi

STEP B PRONUNCIATION

The is pronounced as /thuh/ when the next word starts with a consonant sound. It's pronounced as /thee/ when the next word starts with a vowel sound.
Phrase Example

on the dot

/ on thuh dot /

He arrived at one o’clock / on thuh dot /.

the oldest

/ thee ohl-dist /

This is / thee ohl-dist / shinkansen line.

UNDERSTAND

LISTENING

Addison, Kelsie’s friend from Canada, is visiting her in Japan. Kelsie is showing her around Tokyo.

TRIVIA

Many English speakers use the Japanese term shinkansen, but another term you can use is bullet train. This is a literal translation of dangan ressha (弾丸列車), a nickname given to the shinkansen project in the 1930s. The trains are fast like bullets and even kind of look like them, so the name stuck in English!

PRACTICE

STEP A EXERCISE

Choose the correct answers.

1. You need to arrive early at the cinema. They sell movie tickets on a _____ basis.

  • spotless
  • first come, first served

2. Why are you late? I told you to arrive _____.

  • on the dot
  • spotless

3. This restaurant has a _____ policy. They don’t accept reservations.

  • spotless
  • first come, first served

4. I flew business class for the first time and was amazed by how _____ it was!

  • spotless
  • on the dot

STEP B EXERCISE

Rephrase the sentences using the expressions in the box.

first come, first served
on the dot
spotless
  1. The movie theater was extremely clean.
  2. They have a policy in which customers who arrive first will be prioritized, so we should get there really early.
  3. Let’s meet by the statue at exactly five o’clock.

CHALLENGE

Challenge 1

You’re watching a variety show on TV. Today’s episode is about what foreigners think of the shinkansen. Listen to the show. Then, call your friend and talk about it.

Today's Expressions

  • first come, first served
  • on the dot
  • spotless

Challenge 2

Discuss your ideas.

If Time
Allows
1

THE SHINKANSEN

2

SCHEDULES

3

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED POLICIES

1

THE SHINKANSEN

  1. How is a shinkansen different from normal trains in Japan?
  2. Do you think the shinkansen is too expensive?
  3. Do you think the shinkansen lines should expand to more places?
  4. Do you think the shinkansen is the best high-speed train in the world?

2SCHEDULES

  1. Do you generally arrive early, on the dot, or late to things?
  2. How important is it to be on time in Japan?
  3. When is it okay to arrive on the dot?
  4. Is it ever okay to arrive late?

3FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED POLICIES

  1. What places in Japan usually have first come, first served policies (ex. restaurants, theme parks)?
  2. Why do you think they have these kinds of policies?
  3. Do you think first come, first served policies are fair?
  4. How do you feel about places that refuse to accept reservations?

FEEDBACK

I can listen to and understand someone talking about the shinkansen.

LESSON GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

  • 4
    Very Good

    Could complete the task with ease

  • 3
    Good

    Could complete the task with some clarifications

  • 2
    Fair

    Could complete the task with additional instructions

  • 1
    Poor

    Could somehow complete the task with difficulty

PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK

NEXT LESSON

Chapter 7 Lesson 7 (Speaking) - I was in a pinch.