Writer’s Note: I was NOT on vacation mode. So, there is scarcity in images. – Denise
Last month, I went to Japan to accomplish a very specific task: conduct demonstration lessons to interested individuals. “Piece of cake,” I thought. The school’s Academic Director (AD), a Japanese, accompanied me. Great! I would not get lost with this arrangement.
Touchdown to Japan, following my AD, I did not exert effort in trying to find my way. She can read and speak Japanese, so the word “worry” did not even cross my mind. Although, I thought that I should learn Japanese somehow to know my way around. Eventually, we found our way to our first accommodation.
The second day was eventful for me. It is similar as to when I am in the academy; I would have classes for 50 minutes and then break for 10 minutes. I have met different interested learners, all of which have different approach in learning English. They were excited, hopeful, afraid, embarrassed, eager, hesitant, and other emotions you could possibly think of when it comes to learning. It was the same story the following days. The more beginner learners I have encountered, the more I understood why they want to study the English language. It is the same reason why I want to learn Japanese as well – to communicate.
I have handled many students in the past. However, their programs were very academic. Most of them wanted to improve or even ace their TOEIC or TOEFL exams. The score was their main basis when it came to English skills. Although it would feel good to have a high score, it does not entirely say so much about one’s English skills.
English is not only a language now, but it has become a tool. A very interesting tool, I must say. My trip did not only allow me to travel again to Japan, or do demonstration lessons, but it also opened my eyes. It opened my eyes as to the reason why non-native speakers are eager to learn English. It also reminded me again, as to why I am involved in ESL teaching.
We all have our reasons. As I end this, I leave you with this question: why do you want to study English?