One of my university students recently asked me to check her essay. She had to write this and submit it to be chosen to enter a special department at her university which focuses on the cultural aspects of English. While checking this, I realized again how important it is to have higher level students write essays and challenge themselves. One of the biggest problems for students when the try to write an English essay is to convert well composed Japanese into well composed English. Direct translation inevitably leads to awkward English. This is caused by the differences in the way things are expressed in English and Japanese. Japanese students invariably have trouble making smooth native sounding sentences.
To overcome this requires a lot of effort. The more English books and publications students read, the better and the more essays they write, have checked and then correct and reread, the better they will become; all the while moving more and more closer to being able to use English like a native user. High level students need to realize how essential writing essays is to their success.
My Student’s Essay:
I love English. This is a reason why I want to major in English-American culture. I have always wanted to go abroad and see the world. Today, English has become the common language for the world. English is the tool which enables people to communicate with each other and to acquire knowledge.
To tell the truth, I’m not good at English. But I desire to improve my English as much as possible. I am interested in how people think, how people feel, and differences between cultures and the influence of different religions and so on. I want to study these things through English.
For me the English-American culture department is the highest and strictest environment in which to study English. Professors and students are highly motivated and active. This department will demand a large amount of tasks. It will be hard. But I am determined to accept the challenge and to overcome all difficulties. I would like to build up a firm foundation to become a working member of society. So I intend to fully immerse myself in the English-American culture department!
Especially I’m interested in movies. Movies are often masterpieces which are created through the application of various talents. Their creation demands the director’s full focus and insistence that the actors follow his direction. Talented actors and actresses act out and express the meaning that the director wants to portray. Artistic music and elegant sets elevate the work’s charm. It appeals to and moves many people’s hearts. Movies show a different world from my own. And it is in relation to various fields such as history, environment, culture, humanity, and so on. Through watching many movies, I can learn a way of thinking about life.
Another thing I’m interested in is religion. NGOs and NPOs are developed in The U.S.A and Europe. And volunteer work is more popular than in Japan. It makes people more relaxed and often quite kind. On the other hand, due to religious differences wars have been carried out and a lot of people have lost their lives. Religion has worked to both improve and worsen people’s lives but the bottom line is that it still exists and holds an immense power to shape our world and lives. Japanese do not have such a strong faith. So I want to learn about these deeply.
I was very impressed by how well she composed this essay. But even more than that, I felt great when she said that she was going to write more essays. She has realized the value of writing essays and I am sure that this decision could be an important turning point in her study of English. I really look forward to a lot more from her from now.