On Friday a few weeks ago, an older Japanese couple who have been studying English with me for over a year together, went to Kyoto and found out, despite their continuous assertions to the contrary, that they could really speak English. The weekend before they were sitting in a hotel lobby and the husband noticed a foreign couple sitting nearby and after nodding a friendly non-verbal greeting to the foreign husband, decided to go over and talk to him. He approached the man, whose wife had just left to go up to their room to retrieve something, and said “Hello!” After that he proceeded to ask the man where he was from, how he was enjoying Japan and many other questions about the couple’s family. It wasn’t long until the man, an American from Brooklyn, New York, motioned my student’s wife to join them and they talked for about an hour.
In my lesson on Friday of that week, the husband was so excited to tell me about the encounter that as soon as he and his wife entered the room, he told me he had a flash report to make about their experience. He then pulled out his prepared text and explained what happened step by step in English. It was abundantly clear that he and his wife gained a lot of confidence in their English by this one important incident. They seemed to have come to my classroom with renewed dedication to continue and improve their English ability. All along in the past they had been convincing themselves that they would never really speak English and that these lessons were more for mental exercise than anything. That all seems to have changed! What a great story this was for me. It really made me feel great to have helped them to cross a bridge that they might never have ventured to cross if it weren’t for taking lessons at my school. The husband said that in their conversation they heard so many words and phrases that I had taught them and they were even able to get the American couple’s address and have recently sent a Christmas card to the American couple. Another Smith’s School of English success story! Simply wonderful!