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日本で英語に触れる その1








英語のテレビ番組やDVDでの映画鑑賞もよいでしょう。大切なのは、聞き取れなくても気にせずに続けること。Keep at it.(根気強く頑張ろう)とあるように、語学の学習には地道な努力が必須。「継続は力なり」です。



Our Three Favorites for Regular Prac


Regular practice may be the two most important words for improving your English. If you truly want to improve your English, you need to practice regularly. You may wonder how regularly. That depends how much you want to improve. Improving your English substantially will require significant time. In this chapter we would like to discuss some options for regular practice. Please note that most of these options are free or almost free. While taking classes at English conversation schools or having writing coaches as we do at Aaron Coaches will help you, they are not regular practice. Regular practice is what will improve your English so you can speak better at English conversation classes or write better with your writing coach.


          The first option we would like to present is NHK English classes. We will be the first to admit that NHK English classes may not be the most exciting way to study. Let’s look at the advantages though. Firstly, they are cheap. Secondly, they are available for all levels of students. Thirdly, you have a written textbook and audio. The written textbook saves you from having to look up words in the dictionary again and again. If you tape the classes from radio or TV, using a timer if you are not home, you can listen to or watch them at your own convenience, again and again. NHK English classes are not exactly what we would describe as living in English. However, they have a large audio component and are easy to study. Most Japanese are comfortable with them. If you pick an NHK English class or two, and stick with it, doing all the classes and studying the book, your English will improve.


          The second option we would like to present is TV. Yes, television. Japanese television offers hours and hours of English programming. Sit down in front of the TV, turn on something in English, without any Japanese subtitles, and just watch. You may feel uncomfortable at first. Then you may feel unhappy because you cannot understand much. Don’t worry though. Just relax, have something good to drink and a snack. Watch some English TV every day and you will start to catch more and more. This is listening practice. Our brains are remarkable. If we listen, we will catch more and more. The key point here is not to worry about what you don’t understand. The key point is to keep watching and listening and you will understand more and more. Keep at it.


          The third option we would like to present is watching movies. DVDs are amazing. You can select the language you hear and the subtitles you see. We recommend that you listen to English, but we leave the subtitle decision up to you. You can watch the movies with English subtitles or without subtitles. We suggest that you do not watch with Japanese subtitles. Our brains tend to stop listening to English when we can read the Japanese. If you really like a movie, you may want to watch it over and over, with English subtitles and without subtitles. Each time you will catch more and your English will get better. You get out what you put in. Keep at it.