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[YRP Students' Essays] English for Communication

I wish to make my English better because I want to communicate with others properly. It may sound funny, but it is hard to be compatible with people who don't understand you. I believe that having a method to take contact to others leads to success in society.

When I went to America, I was only seven years old. I couldn't speak English, but my new classmate came to talk to me. I could only smile and say "hello", but it was very uneasy to be in that space where I couldn't understand what they were saying. I was nervous to communicate with people because I thought they might be laughing at my English behind my back. My teachers treated me well and I worked hard to improve my English. However, I couldn't make myself to speak with others because my English didn't improve at all. Also, I thought it was very embarrassing to have poor pronunciation. So, I decided not to speak.

It was quite lonesome not to speak with anyone. At recess I went to the corner of school playground, and when I had to choose a partner for some activity, I was always alone waiting for the teacher to choose my partner. Although I was still a child, I realized that was not a good thing. I was determined to become better at English.

First, I started out by trying to make friends. I took action when we were promoted to fourth grade. I actively went and spoke with many of my classmates and even a few teachers. As a result of that, two good things happened. I met my best friend, Lauren, and also my English improved remarkably. I remember that I was very happy at the time.

I felt happy then, but soon, I was unsatisfied again. Now, I hated my pronunciation. It was natural to have poor pronunciation for Japanese people, but I couldn't bear it. Saying people's names wrong made me irritated with myself. I did my best to pronounce everything correctly, but still it wasn't good enough. Sometimes people told me about my mistakes, but many of them gave up on me just because I was a foreigner. I wanted to get back at them, so I did everything I could to make progress. I read books out loud and looked over a pronunciation dictionary. Thanks to those efforts, my English skills came up to average. I really think that you need to work two times harder to learn English or other foreign languages.

Through my experience in America, I learned that communicating with others is the easiest way to succeed in society. In my opinion, fights and wars occur because people don't know about each other. The fastest way to understand each other is through communication. For that reason I want to improve my English because I want to understand others. Now I can talk with others much better than before. I speak in English whenever I can in order to maintain my present English skill and to improve them more. Communicating is important for learning language, and I would like to prosper in society by communicating well.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Yoriko Okamoto, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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