How I started learning English
The first time English fascinated me was back in 2004, when I was a 16 year old high school student.
It is not too much to say that my best friend changed my life then. She asked me to participate in a homestay programme together. I said “No” without thinking because I did not think of myself as the sort of person that was eager to have a new experience. I was quite conservative. But after that I kept thinking about it and came to the conclusion that I should give it a try.
I stayed in Australia for two weeks and could neither speak nor understand English at all back then, but it was the most enjoyable and amazing time I had ever had in my life. I discovered how interesting meeting people from different countries is and cannot forget the excitement I had. The only thing I regretted was that I did not have any English skills enough to communicate with people I met. It was only two weeks but it still is a huge beautiful memory of mine.
Going to Canada
In 2010, after I graduated from my university in Tokyo, I could not find what I wanted to do. I was at the crossroads whether to get a job in Tokyo or to go abroad and ended up making a decision about going to Canada to learn English.
I stayed there for two and a half years, which definitely helped my English improve. However, I was too shy to talk to my classmates and lost so many opportunities to make friends. Most of my friends were Japanese even though they were nice and we still keep in touch.
Coming to England
After I went back to Japan, I felt ashamed because I had not made enough effort, so before I came to England this year, I decided two things to achieve: 1) To study as much as I can; 2) To make lots of friends. I have still been working on these things, but since I came to The English Studio, I have been trying to keep myself engaged in the class, making lots of friends and talking to them a lot.
I am proud of myself because now I think of myself as a completely different person compared to when I was in Canada. I used to only focus on learning the language, but now I realized that English is just a tool for connecting with people. Not only did learning English give me the chance to meet many people, but it also broadened my point of view and changed the outlook on my life.
The best thing for me was that I met wonderful people who I would not have met if I was in Japan and I have been having a great time with them. I am in the advanced class and feel lucky to have our teachers, Mike and Val, who are one of the best teachers I have ever had. I have been learning so many things from them and my friends and will keep going until I get satisfied with my English.