Thank You So Much!

I've just received an e-mail from the company to which I belong as a translator and interpreter.

A staff member informed me that they decided to entrust a task to me as an on-the-spot translator starting the next year.
Ever since I started to help translate or interpret, I've often taken on some tasks that I had to translate on the spot as well as ordinary translation assignments. Every time I took the task, which was a temporary one, I tried to do my darnest. Luckily, I was recognized as an on-the-spot tanslator as well!

I was surprised, but I'm beside myself with joy. haha

Hurt My Foot

After finishing all my lessons, I felt relaxed. I hoped that I would immerse myself in English all day long. However, I couldn't do that. As you may know, a lot of Japanese wives have been tied up with housework and preparation for the new year. I'm one of them.

I did the housecleaning, prepared New Year's gift for kids or Otoshidama in Japanese and so on. While I was cleaning my rooms, I hit my left foot on the corner of the door...> <;

"OUCH!!!"

Aw......I got a bruise and have difficulty walking........T T

い、痛い、、、、

Is It Useless?

Yesterday I posted an article about my English skills. Let me tell you what has been on my mind a little bit more. This time, I'd like to talk about the scores of language tests or language certifications.

As you know, I'm a non-native English speaker and English teacher. That's why I've been brushing up on my skills to reach an advanced level. I have to admit that the scores of language tests or language certifications can gauge how much a teacher can understand English or how a teacher's English proficiency is. It sounds like ridiculous, but that kind of trend is still there in Japan.
For that reason, I've tried to make a high score and pass a language test.

I'm likely to take language tests not only to give criterion for judgment to parents but to maintain my motivation to keep brushing up on my skills, though, at the same time, I've had mixed feelings between academic skills and practical ones. I fully realize that's a different ball game.

As I mentioned yesterday, I often call overseas for inquiries on behalf of people who requested. I often have difficulty connecting with staff members because of a bad connection or their strong accents. I have to admit, of course, my listening skills are still poor.
Even though I can score high on the listening test, it's just a number after all. It doesn't unequivocally prove my skills high. Even though I can understand the news in English, it's only self-satisfaction as long as I can't correctly and clearly tell others.
I can interact with others in English and use English to a certain degree, but I definitely need to learn about that point.

1月スケジュール ~~マムズ~~

Here's our next English meeting.

Day and Time: 22nd January 10:00~12:00

Participation Fee: ¥500 a participant (Cuz, a native English speaker will take part in it as well. If there's no guest speaker, it's ¥200 a participant.)

Place: Onojo North Community Center, Meeting Room 2(These're on the second floor)
We've been endeavoring to improve our English. We discuss the topic or article prepared by a leader. (We take turns being a leader.)

If you're interested in our meeting or have any questions, please feel free to ask me. We always welcome you!

I Fully Realize My English is Poor.

Ever since I started to help translate and interpret, I've luckily received assignments. Every time I take on an assignment, I can learn appropriate expressions, words and skills through it.
Occasionally, I take on an assignment to call overseas.

Frankly, I sometimes have difficulty calling overseas for inquiries. When it comes to casual conversations in English, I don't have any trouble. However, regarding calling for inquiries about others' affairs, it's relatively troublesome for me to tell staff members about the details correctly on their behalf.

I fully realize that my English is still poor....I should have more experience in calling for inquiries.

Unexpected Presents

I visited a woman who is in her 60's to give my English lesson yesterday morning. Usually, all my students come to a community center where I teach English, though, she broke her leg about a month ago and has difficulty driving her car. Besides, it was the last lesson of this year. That's why I visited her.

As I mentioned before, I give a little something to my students for a Christmas present in the last lesson every year. For her, I presented her with some Japanese sweets this time.
At the time, she gave me the following present!

Look at this!
IMG_0367_convert_20131218084005.jpg
This is a pouch for a smart phone.

She told me that I've been encouraging her to keep learning English, and she would like to express a small token of her gratitude.
How nice!

After her lesson, I had other lessons for kids in the early evening.
At the end of each lesson, I gave presents. They seemed to be pleased with them, so their delighted faces made me happy. :) I said, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Everyone! See you next year." to them. Some went out of the room, others were opening their present. I began to clean up the room. At the time, two of them, who are brothers, came to me. They said, "Here you are. This is for you!"

Take a look!
IMG_0368_convert_20131218084119.jpg
What pretty cards they are!
Yes! These cards were their own work! How wonderful!

You can easily imagine how their presents are precious things to me.
Thank you very much, everyone!

Their Academic Records

At this time of year, I have to prepare my students academic records. I write down whatever I saw their growth, and award grades for their English skills.
In addition, I give each student something a little lighthearted as a Christmas present. I hope they'll be pleased with them. :)

How will they evaluate me as an English teacher if they're given a chance? I'm curious to know about their evaluation....haha

A Challenging Translation

This morning I got up earlier than usual because I had planned to take part in an English meeting which would be held in the next prefecture from where I live.

Ever since we met through our mutual friend, we've tried to participate in as many English meetings as possible.
As you may know, I'd like to immerse myself in English, so I was thrilled to visit them.

I just turned on my PC to check e-mails as I did the household chores. I noticed that a new translation assignment had arrived. The thought flitted through my mind that it would surely be a challenging one.....Yes, it was a long and relatively formal document..^^;
At the time, I wavered whether I would pass up the meeting. I decided, however, to go there because I thought I would regret it if I passed it up.

After the meeting, I rushed back to my house to get down to the assignment. My English lessons would start in the early evening as usual, so there were only a few hours left. I finished about half of it before I went out for my lessons.

After my lessons, serving dinner and bits and bobs, I got down to the rest of the translation.
Yes! I managed to finish it! I finished it faster than I had expected. :) Lucky me!

I Have Misgivings About Our English Skills.

Yesterday, my son's school held an open class. Every time I visit there, I'm thrilled to see his growth and his attitude during the lesson.

This time, I was more excited than usual because it was an English lesson. I was very intrigued what the lesson would be like as an English teacher. As such, I was the first to arrive and waited the lesson would start.

Contrary to my expectation, it wasn't intriguing at all. I'm afraid, but I have to say it was too childish: our children learned only 1 to 20 and played a game which kindergarteners usually play with.
Don't get me wrong. I know some of them don't have any experience in English. For this point, they need to learn the basics of English. However, they learned the same thing again and again. In fact, my son told me that he'd had it with the lesson because it was the third time to learn 1 to 20.
Learning something repeatedly is important, of course, but I believe it depends on the content and their age.
As for 1 to 20, for example, they're old enough to understand it at once. They should have practiced other things such as phonics or introducing themselves.

The Japanese government insists that we learn more practical skills. The teaching outline was modified. Still, there's a long way to go.
If our children, who the ability to quickly learn anything, keep learning that kind of thing again and again, Japanese English skills could drag far behind that of the other nations....

Expected Too Much of Him

Those who have studied English might understand what I mean, though, learning English will be absolutely a strong point for any kid's future. I really have a full realization as I teach English and help translate or interpret.

For that reason, my son who is in the third grade, has been learning English in my class. You might think that teaching English to my kid would be somewhat challenging. Simply put, I mean that I'm not only a teacher but a mother to him. Actually, I occasionally have mixed feelings on the cusp of the part as a mom.
I might be quite strict with him when it comes to English, though, I try to have a warm side within the strictness.

In fact, I told him that he could quit learning English or he could change to another English class. However, he says that he'd like to learn English in my class. As such, he understands that I'm very strict with him.

Last week, he took the annual examination. I hate to sound like a doting mom, but I believe his skills are enough to get full marks. Unfortunately, he missed it...Aw.... Much to my chagrin, he missed only one point out of the full marks!
He was, of course, disappointed with himself and I was, either because in spite of his hard study, he missed only one question last year as well.
I know it was partly attributed to my teaching before the test....
I might have expected too much of him.^^;

I hope he tries to use his failure as a springboard to improve his skills..
He and other students are supposed to take an interview test next February.

" More Power To You All!"

With Suspicion

Yesterday I went to the community center where I regularly teach English to give my lessons as usual.
When I arrived there, its manager asked me about the room I used last.

He said, " Do you know the curtain was torn?"
I answered, " Yes, When I entered the room, it had been done like that. I thought I should tell you or its caretaker, but I guessed you had already known..."

Actually, there are some sheets on which the caretaker stamps after cleaning each room. Noticing the curtain last Tuesday, I saw one of the sheets. The caretaker had already stamped it, so I thought the manager or other staff members knew.

He said, " I see... Today's morning- Wednesday morning- our caretaker told me, and I asked everyone who used this room. Unfortunately, no one knew about it, nor did they say, "Oh, it wasn't torn when I used it"
... So, I guessed you or your students did it when you were tidying up after the lessons."

At the time, I was miffed at his remark. As such, I gave a straightaway and flat denial and said, "Absolutely NOT! I prepare and tidy up everything by MYSELF before they come in and after they go out. Furthermore, I told them not to touch any of the posters or whatever.
When I used this room last, absolutely it wasn't torn. However, it was done last Tuesday."

I don't know who did this, though, I should have told him or other staff members when I noticed it....Aw....

The last English Meeting of This Year.

I regularly take part in an English meeting twice a month. Today was the last meeting of this year.

A native English speaker, who regularly joins us, came back to our prefecture in all haste from Ohita this morning. He was in Ohita yesterday because of his business.

After catching up on each other's news, we got down to an article one of our members had prepared. She gave us an interesting one: 46 Things That Surprise Foreigners in Japan.
You might have heard some of them, but let me share about a few things.

Taxi doors open automatically.
Everyone eats KFC for Christmas dinner.
People hand out free packets of tissues on the street.
Heated toilet seats.
The incredible variety of KitKat flavors.

etc....

We were chuckling as we read the article. In fact, the native English speaker was surprised to see taxi doors opened automatically when he came to Japan. In addition, he had doubted about the second one, but he found out that it was true when he saw a long line of people waiting in front of KFC on Christmas day. (I think not everyone eats KFC, though. lol)

We enjoy sharing about other funny stories from him. What was more, I talked and talked to my heart's content. I felt fulfilled. haha
Thank you everyone, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. :)

Doting Parents and Foolish Parents

The other day, luckily I had time to chat in English with a friend of mine on Skype two days in a row. She's been tied up with bits and bobs; nevertheless, she squeezed our chat-time into her schedule.

During our chat, we discussed an article she had sent me. At that time, she said, "Do you know 親ばか or doting parents and バカ親 or foolish parents?"
I was curious to know the difference between them. You might know, though, the former refers to parents who devote themselves to their kids and always think of them as quite excellent kids among their friends. The latter refers to parents who always annoy others with their self-centered attitudes and care about only their kids. They never care about whether others are miffed at them or not.

As for the former, I can understand as a mom. Every parent thinks that their kids are the apple of their eyes.
The latter, they think everything in their kids-oriented way what we call Monster Parents

Anyway, I should be careful not to be categorized into the latter..haha
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Author: VibrantRose TOEIC 925 (2017.4)

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