By Yukie, Student at EIGLOBE
Firstly, I want to say that English can be your “magic key”.
English is everywhere, so you will be able to communicate with native speakers and EFL speakers all around the world. You will help others, communicate with a huge variety of people and help yourself unlock all sorts of life’s doors.
Did you know that 400 million people around the world speak English as their first language? Not only that, but English is listed as one of the official languages in more than a quarter of the countries in the entire world. What’s more, English is the rest of the world’s second language. Most people in the world choose to learn English after their native language. In fact, one out of five people speak at least a little bit of English.
English is a useful language that we can learn. There is no demerit in learning English.
Here are some good points in order to learn English.
It can help us get a better job.
It makes it easier to travel.
It’s the language of the media.
It gives us a better access to knowledge.
It’s a fantastic intellectual challenge. (You can start it anytime.)
What do you think?
We should learn English as soon as possible!
I got interested in English when I was 15 years old.
At that time, I stayed in Australia for a year. It was my first time to go to a foreign country, to meet foreigners, to live without my parents. Everything was new, but everything was fascinating and I really enjoyed spending time there.
Then I wanted to improve my English and talk with a lot of people around the world. So, I made up my mind to study English harder than now. However, I forgot my decision after I came back to Japan. My life was comfortable in Japan, because I could talk with many friends without the use of English, I didn’t feel lonely, or uncomfortable in my daily life.
Furthermore, I completely forgot my memories of Australia when I started working. So, I didn’t have an opportunity to speak and listen to English.
5 years ago, something unexpected occurred.
This was a chance to live in the US.
At that time, I was an ordinary housewife, I was being pressed by a lot of tasks (taking care of kids, doing housework, etc.). So, I was afraid of starting something new; afraid of jumping in a new world, which I had never been to. I really didn’t like change. I wanted to have ordinary days. But how about my kids? I wanted them to see, feel, and think about the world. The world is huge. This feeling brought back memories of when I stayed in Australia. Then I decided to start entering this new environment.
I took the plunge and moved to the US.
However, I was disappointed with my English.
I couldn’t communicate with people in English! I more and more lonely. It was especially hard to understand topics about school. My kids were 4 and 5 years old. There were so many documents to submit before entering a school, and I had to read mail from their teachers every day. It was about class, homework, lunch, class events, the PTA, etc. I thought that if I was good at English, I would feel comfortable and I could help my kids. But I had no time to stop, I could only keep going as much as I could. Then I made up my mind to study English again. First, I took ESL classes at a university.
Then, I set 5 rules for myself, which were:
- Try to talk in English to at least 5 people every day.
- No chatting with Japanese friends. If I want to talk with my Japanese friends, I can do that once a week. I like talking, I will feel stressed day by day without no talking with friends. If I want to make friends in the US, I have to study English harder. This desire must be going to become a vitality to study it.
- Keep a diary in English
- Join the PTA or volunteer.
- Imagine my future how I want to be. It’s important for me to keep having positive Don’t forget to have fun studying.
In addition, I thought a balance was important to expand my English.
Listening and Reading
Speaking and Writing
So, I did it every day. My English got better little by little and I really enjoyed spending time with my friends in the US. I want to tell you about a lot of memories. If I have a chance, I’ll share them with you next time. Anyway, English changed my world for the better, and opened up opportunities to me. It helped me and my kids make new friends.
Two years have passed since I left US. I still keep in touch with my friends and sometimes talk with them. Last year, one of my friends came to Japan and we could meet again. Similarly, there are foreign workers at my husband’s office, so we sometimes invite them my house. We get to share our cultures. Even if we live in Japan, English lets us connect with the entire world.
As I said earlier, English can be our “magic key“. I always say this to my kids. Studying other languages is knowing other cultures, understanding people, expanding our minds and creating a global view. I hope that the world will be more connected when our kids grow up. They are the ones who are able to make the new world. So, I have to keep telling and showing them that English can be your magic key.
As such, I’ll keep studying English for them and my future.