Thursday, November 8, 2012
Tonight I am super thankful for my English classes that I teach. Every Thursday night, I drive off base (about 15 mins) and meet with 10-15 Japanese adults. They are very high-level English speaking and also highly educated. They listen to a 3 minute segment of the AP News and translate/dictate what they think is being said. They each take turns and read a few sentences and then I read what is actually being said. We discuss any vocabulary issues (i.e. snarled), phrases they don't understand ('politics make for strange bedfellows'), and the topic in general (the news segments are from a week prior so they have a week to translate, look up words, etc...so tonight we spoke about Hurricane Sandy mostly, with a little pre-election paragraphs too). I need to do research before class so it keeps me up on current world topics and I also get to learn a lot about the Japanese views on Americans, as well as their views on their own country. It is truly the best culture exchange as we are open and honest with great dialogue - even if our views are not the same. I think I get as much out of it as they do! I also privately teach a sweet lady on Mondays. We have become very close and she is one of my favorite people in Japan :-) She has shown significant improvement in her English as well, so I am thankful I could be part of her learning!