The Meaning of Learning English


     This is a cliché, but I’ll use it: Time flies! What date is today? It’s March 19th! I’m going to write what I did a full month ago…

     I often join in some intensive courses on spring or summer vacations at a university. I was in an English class of the intensive courses on February 19th. Each course has 5 days: from Monday to Friday, and each day has two hours classes: from 10:00 to 12:10 (including a 10-minute break time).

     The class had 10 students, and I had already known 8 of them. That is, only one person was new for me. I had known the teacher, who was a little bit big American man, as well. I was able to study in the relaxing atmosphere because most of my classmates and the teacher were familiar to me.

     The course’s theme was “Talking about Japan: Social issues”. Sounds difficult, eh? Yeah, it was for the request for participants. The course description suggested having as much English ability as over 400 scores on TOEIC. The topics were bullying, Immigrants in Japan, North Korean issues, Controversy on Yasukuni Shrine, and so on.

     Anyway, the most important thing when you have to speak English is what you want to say or what you think about, not the English ability, I think. Many of my friends say to me, “If you speak English fluently but you don’t have any idea for the topic, your English ability is useless.”

     I studied many things through the class this time. I thought it was necessary for me to study English hard and to know many things all over the world. If you cannot talk about something in even Japanese well, you won’t say anything about it in English. And you know, it has a limit to widen your knowledge by reading or listening in only Japanese.

     I’m going to write about each topic of the course next time.


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