Hello to you all!
I moved back to Japan from Australia in October last year and was worried that it was going to be too cold for me in Tokyo. But in actual fact I have enjoyed this year's winter and am glad that it was a mild winter and that we didn't get a belated cold spell. It's nice to see that the spring has come and the beautiful cherry blossoms have started to bloom.
I have returned to teaching after five years. I had forgotten just how frustrating teaching Japanese people could be sometimes! So many times in a group lesson I ask a question and wait for somebody to volunteer the answer, I know that most of the students in the class know the answer but nobody answers. Everybody holds back and waits.
I compare teaching Japanese students to watching the Japanese soccer team. You ask "How do they relate??" In last year's World Cup the Japanese team had great skills, they would get the ball to their goal but nobody would shoot!! Even though each team member was so very talented, not one of them would take the initiative to attempt a goal. Was this because they were afraid of making a mistake, was it because they didn't want to take all the attention or was it because they didn't want to be a "show off"?
So this is where the two relate, why are Japanese students so reluctant to speak out (shoot)?? I advise you all to use any opportunity that you have to practice your English, don't be afraid to make mistakes. As I have written before it is from these mistakes that you will learn. The more you speak out the better your English will become. So feel free to SHOOT!!