Last night one of my high level students came to class prepared. She was studying the vocabulary in a book which included 3800 words often used in the TOEIC. The words are ranked from 1 to 4 with the more difficult words as Rank 4. She prepared one of those small card sets with the cards on a metal ring. She is the first student I have who has done this. She writes the English word on one side and the Japanese on the other side. She includes either the adjective or noun form in addition to the form shown in the book. She practices these on the train etc. I knew the reason but I asked her anyway why she made the cards when all the words were arranged with their Japanese equivalents in the book for easy reference. She gave the obvious answer that she remembers better when she writes the words down at least once. During the lesson we reviewed about 30 words and practiced their usage. At the end of the lesson she had a good grasp of the usage of these words. She is an excellent student and will move into the international department of her company, a prominent advertising firm. I am very happy for her as I know that this move will give her the chance to use the English that she has worked so hard to learn. She graduated from a U.S. university five years ago and until now never had a chance to use English. So this is a great move for her. She will take a few months’ holiday from my school while she gets use to the new job and her responsibilities.
It has been great fun to work with her and I am sure that she will continue to contact me and again attend my school in a few months. Again, the opportunity to meet and work with such hard working students who have a dream to use English, makes this job very very rewarding for Smith’s School owners/coaches. A great life indeed!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)