QW 1006 “SII SR-E10000”

When I tried typing “c” on my SII e-dictionary in vain, I knew the time had come. The e-dictionary that I carry around is the one I was given on a Golden Week holiday in 2005 (I’m using a newer SII model at home). It was my first e-dictionary. I really wanted to use one, but was hesitant to do so, knowing such devise was never cheap.

That was when I was trying to pass the STEP-1st grade test. By then I had been teaching English conversation (“teaching conversation” sounds weird to me now) for about four years, and trying to improve my English skills as much as possible while working there. One of the incentive programs that the school offered was to encourage teachers to pass the STEP-1st grade test. Those who’ve either passed the STEP 1st grade test or achieved 900 or more on TOEIC would have 100 yen (100 yen!!!) increase in their hourly pay. If teachers have achieved the other of two requirements, meaning they’ve both passed the STEP-1st grade test and achieved 900 or more on TOEIC, they would receive 150 yen raise in total. Being motivated to receive another 50 yen increase in my hourly pay, I was trying to pass the STEP 1st grade test. It took me three trials to pass its written test because I was terrible at the vocabulary section. My vocabulary is still small for sure, but it used to be so much smaller back then.

The then-highest end model of the SII e-dictionary, SR-E100000, raised my self-esteem. It may sound weird but true. It gave me a sense of pride that I was learning English “seriously”. It sounds really, really shallow to me now, but the 7 year ago-me was silly and shallow enough to conceive so. I’d no longer need such pride-inducing device to learn English because I’m firmly determined to live with English for the rest of life. If you’re learning English to pass any kinds of English proficiency tests or achieve certain points on any tests for whatever reasons, go ahead. Study like hell and get out of there as soon as possible. Then you start learning English for your own cause.

(50 minutes / 367 words)




English learner


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