What's a Cassette?

This week marks the start of the school year in Japan, and so in the English classes I teach we’ve been giving the kids their new books. For the first time, the books come with a CD, so that they can do some listening exercises at home. For those that a repeating a year, and not getting a new book, the company was only able to get some cassettes, as the CD is not sold separately by the publisher.

Now this is true — there was one kid (about 7 or 8 years old) who took the cassette box and put it up to his ear. He had no idea what it was. We opened the box for him, and he just stared blankly at the cassette inside.