Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Have you heard what some Japanese fans did at the World Cup?

This year and again at the previous World Cup, Japan made headlines!

In today’s episode, we give you a connection skill to talk about your attitude toward keeping spaces clean.

Listen in to learn three new phrases to start a conversation around this rich connection topic.

Cleaning up your community

Aubrey asks Lindsay if she picks up litter she sees in the street.

  • Litter: any trash thrown on the ground

Lindsay answers yes, she tries her best to pick up litter.

She shares a story about her childhood, when she used to pick up trash with her dad.

Aubrey shares that she also does her best to clean up any trash she sees.

For many, there is a bit of hesitance in a post-Covid world.

We’re less likely to want to touch things that other people touched, especially trash.

Japan in the news

Aubrey asked this question because she was inspired by an article about Japan.

This video of this story went viral and a lot of people are talking about it.

In the viral video, you can see Japanese fans at the World Cup cleaning up the stadium after the game.

Japanese fans also cleaned up in 2018 after World Cup games as well.

In Japanese culture, keeping public spaces clean is taught at an early age.

This is a great conversation starter because you can compare how this is in your culture.

Taking care of public spaces

If you compare this in Japanese culture to the U.S., it seems Americans could improve.

Lindsay shares that there are subways in New York that need a clean-up to make the train experience better for commuters.

Japan is also known for its clean and comfortable public transportation.

As a collective, they care for each other by being mindful of their public spaces.

They make sure to respect these spaces and keep them clean for others to be able to enjoy and use.


High-level vocabulary is used in the article about Japanese World Cup fans.

It states that they picked up bottles, ticket stubs, garbage, and other stadium detritus.

  • Detritus: waste, trash, or debris of any kind

This is an less common word but will definitely elevate your English vocabulary.

It also shares that fans from other countries followed suit and also cleaned up after games.

  • To follow suit: to follow the example of something or someone

Not everyone agrees

There has been an argument regarding what these Japanese fans did.

Some say that it isn’t required to clean up after games since there are people hired to do this.

There are multiple opinions about this.

It is respectful to be mindful of the amount of trash you leave behind regardless of whether someone is paid to clean up after you.

In restaurants, some diners stack up their plates, glasses, and used napkins neatly after they eat.

This helps make clean up easier for the bussers and servers.

It’s not wrong to let people do their job since you paid for the service, but it doesn’t hurt anyone to be kind and helpful.

Join the conversation

This topic is an excellent way to connect with others.

You need phrases and vocabulary to discuss this topic.

We share two English phrases to talk about keeping public spaces clean.

Phrase #1: “Did you hear about … ?”

You can use this to ask about something you heard in the news.

You can start by asking, “Did you hear about…” and then insert what you want to discuss.

You will definitely get a response whether the person knows what you’re talking about or not.

If they know about it, they’ll add to the conversation.

And if they haven’t heard about it, they’ll ask about it.

“Did you hear about Japanese fans cleaning up after the World Cup?”

Phrase #2: “I heard…”

This is also a great conversation starter.

Say, “I heard… ” and then add a topic you care about.

Follow it up by asking if the person has an opinion on it.

Sharing news and interesting events will spark an interesting conversation.

This allows them to also share their thoughts on the topic.

“I heard in Japan they keep public spaces clean. Do you think we do that well?”


Taking action to keep your community clean is important.

There is value in participating to make pubic spaces better and cleaner.

There are communities and even companies that have trash clean-up days.

The way the Japanese shared their culture of keeping public spaces clean is a great example.

We can all seize opportunities to follow this example.

Join events where you can clean up your surroundings with work colleagues or people in your neighborhood.

This is also a good chance to talk to people while you make a difference.

Use the phrases shared in this episode to start the conversation and build that connection.

What is your take on the Japanese World Cup fans cleaning up the stadium after the game?

We want to know your thoughts so comment below!

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