Language school/語学学校

July 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

I came to Vancouver, Canada and went to a language school to get used to the local accent for only three weeks before the college starts.

My English ability at that time when I came to Canada was such I was able to pass a college entrance examination, because of the three month study in the Philippines. (Well, as I later noticed, the college where I enrolled have a lot of international students, quite rarely anyone fails by the entrance examination.)

I aimed to make friends from other countries rather than studying rally hard, because I’ll be in the language school only for three weeks. The afternoon class was fun and valuable, because the level of the class was high, my teacher was funny and knowledgeable, most of classmates were close and we hanged out often. But frankly, the morning class was boring. Well, it was also my mistake to be in the boring class that was a low-level class by submitting with a blank sheet, I was thinking that there is no part of Writing in the level classification test. . .

There were just few things that I could’ve learned in 3 weeks, but it was good opportunity to speak English with friends from other countries.

Another good thing that I went to a language school was to know different culture. Knowing the culture of other countries, I also found the position of people from my country. Maybe it’s weird for people who aren’t Japanese to hear that. I think I’m not a kind of a typical Japanese. I mean my personality. Because I think that I do not want to become it, a typical Japanese image in me.

Anyway I was surprised by my friends and teachers at the language school that they told me most of other Japanese people cannot speak English well and they don’t even try to speak to people from other countries, but I am different. I also agreed well that many Japanese people stick with only Japanese people and talk only in Japanese. I didn’t make any Japanese friends, because of the difference from the majority of Japanese. Perhaps for those reasons, it was not so hard to make friends.

Although I had only three weeks, I got tired of the language school, I thought that English ability won’t rise much even if I go over it. The reason is that opportunities to speak are basically limited, because most of classed are a group lesson, speaking is hard to be improved unless you make some friends and only speak in English. But even if you talk to people of the same level of English skills for a long time, it is hard to improve. Especially for those people who start from the lowest class. In my opinion, unless if you  make a lot of effort or you have a great potential to talk to anybody else. English ability won’t rise to a certain level no matter how long it is . Well, of course this is only talking about from my experience. Some school have variety of curriculas, so it cannot be said that unconditionally.

カナダのバンクーバーに来て、カレッジがスタートする前に3週間だけ現地のアクセントに慣れるために語学学校に通った。

カナダに来た当時の僕の英語力は、3ヶ月間のフィリピンでのストイックな勉強のおかげでカレッジの入学試験はパスできる程度にはあった。(まあ後になって気づいたことだが、僕の通ったカレッジはインターナショナルの生徒を多く入れていて、滅多に入学試験で落とされる人はいない。)

僕は、たった3週間の語学学校だから、勉強付けというよりも他の国の友達を作ることを目的にした。はっきり言って、午後の授業はレベルが高めのクラスに入れてくれて、先生も面白い人で、クラスも仲が良かったから楽しかったが、午前中の授業はつまらなかった。まあレベル分けテストで、Writingのpartがないと思い込んで白紙で提出してしまって、レベルの低いクラスに入れられてしまった自分も悪いのだけど。。。

3週間の授業で学べたことなんて数少ないけど、色々な国の友達が出来て英語を話す機会は多かったからそれは良かった。

語学学校に通ってもう1つ良かった点は色々な国の文化も知ることができたこと。そして他の国の文化を知って、自分の国の立ち位置(ポジション)もわかった。僕は自分で言うけど、あんまりというか、かなり日本人らしないと思う。(性格がね。)僕の中にある典型的な日本人のイメージ、それになりたくないと思って生きているから。

語学学校で周りの友達や先生にびっくりされたのは、他のほとんどの日本人は英語も全然喋れないしシャイで他の国の人と交流を持たないけど、僕はレアだと。僕も多くの日本人は日本人グループで固まって日本語しか話さないと知っていたからまあ納得した。僕も日本人の友達は作らなかったし、その大多数の日本人と違うおかげなのか、向こうから話しかけてくれる人も多くて友達を作るのはあまり苦労しなかった。

たった3週間しかいなかったが、語学学校は飽きたし、これ以上いても英語力は上がらないと思った。その理由として、基本的にグループ授業だから話す機会がかなり限られるから友達を作って英語を喋らない限りspeakingは伸びにくいし、でも同じレベルの英語力の人とずっと話してても伸びにくい。特に1番下のクラスから始める人なんかはかなり努力するか、誰とでも仲良く話せるようなポテンシャルのある人でないと、語学学校はどれだけ長くいても一定レベルまでしか英語力は上がらないと思った。まあ、もちろんこれは僕の経験から話しているだけで、学校によっては様々なカリキュラムを用意しているところもあるから一概には言えないけど。

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