At the Smiths English Conversation School(スミス 英会話 あざみ野校), we are always working hard to help students improve their confidence. I always encourage my students to speak with foreigners every time they get the chance. This of course is easy for me to say to my Azamino students(あざみ野の生徒さん), but what about me, the teacher. Do I practice my Japanese by speaking to Japanese? Yes I do, and I have the pictures to prove it! The other day I was walking around in Tokyo with one of my students and I was stopped by a reporter from Nippon TV (channel 4). They asked me to do an interview on TV in only Japanese. Of course I felt nervous, but what’s the worst that’s going to happen? I know it’s possible all of Japan may hear my “not so good” Japanese, but I also know the Japanese people will respect that I tried! So tried I did! Some of the questions they asked me, I just couldn’t understand, but there were several other questions I could understand and give a reasonable answer to This gave me more confidence as the interview continued. In the end we were all laughing and it was overall a very positive experience.
To make things even more interesting that day, on the way to the station we saw Gene Simmons from KISS. So of course I had to stop, say hello, and ask to take a picture with him. However, I always thought he was a taller than that… Anyways, if I can do an interview on Japanese TV, and talk to Gene, you can speak with foreigners too. We will always respect that you tried and are doing your best, no matter what the outcome. This will boost your confidence, and you’ll enjoy meeting new and interesting people. So I encourage all of you to do the same!!!