I usually take some English intensive courses during the spring vacation. In fact, I took four courses this spring. I put down about the three of them here so far, and today I’ll write about the final one, which just finished last Friday.
That was in the end of February. An English teacher, who teaches at some universities, emailed me and offered a private course. I’ve taken some of his classes and he is my first English teacher at universities. As I know many people who are eager to study English, I volunteered to advertise his private course and gathered about 10 students. They were divided into two courses; in March and April because of the applicants’ convenience and the number of 10 which was quite big. I belonged the April one.
Each course had 4 days and each day had a 2-hour lessons. The topics were “Reality TV” , “Internet blogging”, “Recycling” and “The aging society”. In the topic of Reality TV, we discussed about the change in TV shows". In the 60s and 70s, basically TV programs were shot in the studio, and viewers just watched them at home. But since the 80’s, programs so-called reality TV has been popular, and viewers not only watch them at home but also take part in the programs, and recently TV producers and audiences have interacted and created programs together.
The second topic was blogging. Yes, this page is also a blog. You know, blogs are quite easy to set up, you don’t need any special computer skills. That’s why many people all over the world like me have own blogs and express many things freely every day. As for me, this page is very useful to improve my English skills. For Japanese English learners, it’s difficult to exhale what they have learned. I’d like to exchange views with others in my blog someday, not only using it as a workbook, though.
We discussed about recycling on the third day. In Japan, the way of the disposal of wastes depends on each municipality, but in general, people have to separate wastes into many categories. For example, in Nagoya where I live, wastes are separated over 10 kinds: kitchen wastes, spray cans, cans, glass bottles and jars, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, plastic containers, paper containers, milk cartons, newspapers, old clothes, unburnable wastes and so on. According to the article that we used in the class, the recycling system in Japan is going to be destroyed by exporting PET bottles against the Basal Convention. We need to reduce the amount of waste produced and rebuild the recycling system.
The final topic was the aging society. As you know, Japanese are long-lived. The average life span is now for men close to 80 and for women to 90. Japan is one of the richest countries and is brimming over with different foods imported from the world. We haven’t experienced any wars domestically for over 60 years since the end of World War II, and have made dramatic progress in medical treatment and medicine. According to the article we used in the class, it’ll be not so pessimistic about the aging society. If we raise the age of elderly people from 65 to 70, the ratio of the young to the old goes down, and we’ll have much population of workers. (Yesterday I saw many senior citizens, some of whom were over 90 years old, and they were really energetic…)
The final course was well-organized and well-balanced. I mean students can learn proper English grammatically, phonetically and practically, and have many opportunities to speak English. We had it at one of the participants’ house, and we enjoyed in relax ambience. Anyway, I was able to think and learn many things through the English courses. I’m going to join in some this summer again because I can not only improve my English skills but also expand my knowledge through them.