I often hear people say “There aren’t many opportunities to speak English in Japan.”
English in Japan: A Week in the Life of a Smith’s Student
Masako is a wonderful student who is both keen and energetic, a powerful combination in the academic world. Here is how Masako spent the last week. Note: Masako is married and works full time as a designer, and yet still makes time for all this in a week.
Saturday June 27th Masako took 2 lessons back to back. She arrived 10 minutes early and chatted with 2 other students [in English]. Between her lessons, she spent the 15 minute break chatting casually with Chiharu and looking at books and magazines in SSE Ohtsu’s library. All told, she spoke English for almost 2 hours.
Sunday June 28th Masako joined Smith’s “Hiking in Hyogo” event. This started with meeting at JR Ishiyama station at 8:00am, 2 hours of chatting with teachers and other students [in English]. Along the way, teachers and students from SSE Kamishinjo, SSE Kawanishi and SSE Tsukaguchi joined the group. We walked and talked and ate lunch all day, finishing around 5:00pm. All told, Masako was immersed in English for over 9 hours! For more on this event, click HERE
Monday June 29th Masako and her husband came for dinner at our house. They were both extremely keen to help us during our busy wedding preperation and family visit time. Masako took my parents for a tour their first few days here and also loaned us futons for my family to sleep on. Her and her husband also invited us for a BBQ a few months ago. So we owed her and her husband a dinner, and used picking up the futons as an excuse to invite them over. I cooked my [not so] famous but delicious Mexican dishes. All told they were at our house for about 3 hours.
Wednesday July 1st Masako came to our monthly English Breakfast Club. This event is held the first Wednesday of every month at a restaurant in JR Ohtsu station. We chatted and drank coffee for about 2 hours.
Saturday July 4th Masako will take her regular weekly lessons. 1-2 hours of English exposure.
Total time directly exposed to English this week: about 17 hours.
Total cost: regular monthly lesson fee, train to JR Namaze and back, and 500 yen for the “Onigiri Morning Set” (with coffee).
Edward, SSE Ohtsu