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04

15

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QW 041412 “Lovable Candidness”

On a cold rainy Saturday, 2o college students came to my English seminar held in a university in Yokohama. The young participants were very motivated in English learning and I could do much more than I had planned thanks to their willingness to learn. What amazed me most was their ability to think logically and present their thoughts and ideas in a cogent way. I fell in love with those kids and already started looking forward to having an occasion to hold a seminar there once again.

After the seminar, some students talked to me. Which made me very happy. One of the students, a freshman who was most active and engaged in every activity, started commenting on what I had said during the seminar. I told them that the news sources which I thought were the most reliable at the time of 3.11 earth quake were BBC and CNN, the overseas news sites rather than domestic media. She agreed and mentioned how differently those overseas news site and Japanese media covered what was happening after 3.11. She added that she had spent six years of her secondary school days in Singapore, but stared losing the English proficiency she acquired after she got back to Japan. I assured her that she would soon retrieve her “dormant” proficiency once she starts polishing it seriously.

At the end of her talk she said to me, “You speak like an English learner who learned English within Japan, rather than studying or living in English speaking countries, but to me, you kind of have the British accent, don’t you?” People sometimes give me compliments on my pronunciation of English, which is nice, but I’ve never been told that I speak or sound like an English learner without overseas learning experiences. I was not angry, embarrassed, ashamed or anything upon hearing this. I just appreciated and even adored her candidness that made her say what she had thought about me without hesitation, which I think is very good.

What made me like her all the more was her acute listening skills. She could tell that I was heavily influenced by the British accent when I started learning English at school because most of the teachers spoke English with the British accent back in those days. That’s why I always adore such huge potentials that young people would have. That’s why I always appreciate such opportunities that I could be of any help to the future of those young English learners.

(40 minutes / 415 words)

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This photo was taken by Kazuhira Yajima during my seminar.
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Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

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