From the 3rd grade through to the end of high school I studied Spanish. It wasn’t entirely my choice but that’s another story. I remember dreading going to my Spanish class in high school during my final two years because the class was way over my head. I lost all confidence in my ability and was so far behind the others that I chose to not bother with it. After all I lived in Thailand and there were practically no Spanish speakers in my grade so I could see no value in it.
It was to my father’s greatest surprise when I told him a year into college that I wanted to study Japanese in Japan. To this day he says it was the greatest shock of his life because not only did I come here but I actually learnt Japanese. So what was the difference? I was the one that chose to study Japanese.
I would like to thank all the students out there that have chosen to study English. It truly is a life-changing tool. With it, the world is at your finger tips.
As my students improve I ask that many of them try keeping a weekly diary in English so that I can correct their English in the written form. Spoken English and written English in many ways are like night and day as I’m sure all languages are. The rules are different. When we write we need to be careful of the emotion we are creating and choose our words carefully. I realize that we’re all busy so I know that doing it every week is tough but I try to encourage them to do their best. Those that do take on this challenge in time will make great strides in their progress but it won’t be seen overnight.
The other day I had two older students that came to me with very little English two years ago but now their diaries are quite impressive and combined with their in class speaking practice they are showing real promise. Humor has started appearing and natural comments to other people’s stories is heard on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s hard to feel you’re improving at times but if you continue to dedicate yourself to studying whatever subject you choose to a little a week in time the change is remarkable. It’s the power of compounding.
I again wanted to thank all the students at Smith’s Hirakata for working so hard for me. It means a lot to me.