Traveling abroad is not the only reason why SSE Katsura became a popular conversation school in the Katsura area. Many students have the chance to use the English language in their regular daily lives too. Recently, I’ve talked with my students about their use of English outside the classroom and I was pleasantly surprised by many examples of their English speaking opportunities.
English at a sport event
My student Arata is volunteering for the Kyoto marathon. This international race attracts runners from all around the world. Naturally, most international runners cannot speak Japanese therefore Arata communicates in English to guide and assist runners before and after the race. Kyoto marathon starting and finishing line is at the Nishikyogoku stadium which is only one stop from the Katsura station.
English at a beauty salon
Student Rie works for a beauty salon that is sometimes visited by foreign customers. It is part of Rie’s job to talk to them in English and take care of their needs and wishes. Basically, she is making sure foreign customers understand and receive the best service her salon can offer. I’m sure foreign customers truly appreciate Rie’s ability to explain everything in English.
English on the mountains
Student Kunihiro loves snowboarding. Japan has numerous famous locations for winter activities. These locations are visited by many every year therefore it’s common to also meet snowboarders from abroad. Sometimes it’s exciting to chat with them on the mountain slope. Being able to chat in English with others is a big part of the good time on the slopes. And Kunihiro is already looking forward to meeting more snowboarders from abroad next season.
English at home
Wataru is a student whose hobby is gaming. And he is very good at it. When he plays a game made by an American gaming studio, he plays the game in English. It’s much more enjoyable to play the game with the original voice actors and have a full and unaltered experience of the game. Wataru’s approach to gaming in English is a great way to combine two hobbies together, have fun and learn at the same time.
English at the station
It is not unusual to meet foreign tourists needing help with local transport or directions at the Katsura station . Some tourists are looking for a connecting train to Arashiyama or a bus to Miyama. Others are searching for a tourist path to the beautiful Katsura Imperial Villa. Helping travelers to enjoy beauty of Kyoto makes us all happy. I myself was able to assist tourist at Katsura station many times.
I feel proud of my students talking about being confident to communicate in English and use the English language in various daily life situations. Furthermore I feel satisfied hearing how the English language improves and brings joy to my students’ daily lives. Truly great to hear. Tom, SSE Katsura.