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[YRP Students' Essays] What Canada Gave Me

"You should be careful not to forget English!!" I was told by my parents when I got back to Japan. The first time I heard it, I couldn't imagine myself forgetting English because in Canada, I was beginning to forget Japanese!! About four years has passed since then. Now, I feel strongly that I have to improve my English, especially my speaking skill and the vocabulary that I use. I want to set these as my goal for now. Let me explain why I felt I want to achieve my goal and improve my English skill.

The first reason I want to improve my English skill is because I don't want to be embarrassed in English class anymore. Recently, I feel embarrassed sometimes. For example, when my friend and I are discussing something, I sometimes forget the vocabulary that I want to use in English, even though I know how to say it in Japanese. It is so irritating that I can't do what I did in Canada, to naturally say what I want to say in English. The embarrassing part is that I have to look up the vocabulary using my dictionary in the middle of the conversation. Every time I do it, I feel sorry for interrupting the discussion. Also, I sometimes mistake pronunciation during a presentation or when I read out loud in class. It is so embarrassing. I think that if my speaking level went up and I spoke fluently, this wouldn't happen.

The next reason is because I don't want to waste my Canadian friends' kindness and their effort. A lot of my friends in the Canadian school and my Canadian English tutor helped me get used to Canada and helped me learn English. I was helped a lot by my best friend, Chantal. My Japanese friend in Canada introduced me to Chantal. They were friends already. Chantal was my first Canadian friend. She and my Japanese friend, Saki, taught me all about Canadian school. But one day Saki, the only girl that I could speak Japanese to, had to leave Canada. I was sad that she had to leave and a little bit worried about losing Japanese in my class. But Chantal was there and she was with me all the time to help me. Also, Chantal taught me English through gestures. I think I learned English quickly because of that. I didn't have any worries at school thanks to her. I was having fun going to school. She was so kind to me all the time and she talked to me like I was a Canadian. I can't express how much I appreciated Chantal. If Chantal hadn't been there, I think I wouldn't have any good memories of Canada. To repay the kindness, I want to at least remember English and improve the English skills that Chantal taught me.

Finally, I think that if I speak fluently and am good at English, it will be very useful in the future. For example, if I speak like normal native people and go on a trip, I think the people living there won't have any problem understanding what I say. There will be no concerns in traveling to English-speaking countries. It will be great if you can travel where you want to go without having any trouble speaking the language. I can go meet my friends in Canada and talk like a Canadian with them about some things that we did in elementary school. It will be fun. And most importantly, my dream is to be an English teacher for little children. It's because I like little kids; I sometimes play with my little brother's friends. Plus, I want to teach them English. So I have to be good at English to be a teacher.

As you can see, I have three reasons why I want to improve my English skills. First, I don't want to be embarrassed in English class. Second, I don't want to waste my Canadian friends' kindness. And last, I want to use this English skill in the future. So I want to speak fluently and have a variety of vocabulary to use. I never realized that I should improve this skill until I entered this school and met a lot of returnees. In the elementary school I went to right after coming back to Japan, there were no returnees. Because of that, I was becoming too confident that I could speak English and there were no people around me who could speak English. So, I couldn't use English and slowly began forgetting English. But now I am at this school and there is a lot of time to use English. I want to take full advantage of this good environment: borrow a lot of English novels from the library and read them, speak English with my friends and study as best I can in English class to achieve my goal.

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

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