Gold Band Status

I usually have regular English lessons on Wednesdays, but I took my spring break for about a week.

Even though I took the break, I've been doing chores against the clock... Today I went to a driving school to renew my driver's license. My license is the gold band status called ゴールド免許 in Japanese, which is given to drivers that haven't had any traffic accidents or violations for 5 years.

Every driver has to attend a lecture, whose length of time depends on our license status, when we renew our licenses. For drivers who have gold band status, it's only 30 minutes. You might think that it's too short to call "a lecture". It might be, but it's informative because it gives us update on minor alterations to the current traffic law. To add to that, during the lecture, we find out statistics how many people had traffic accidents and died, what caused these accidents and so forth.

I'm ashamed to say, but the prefecture where I live was placed on a worst list acccording to the latest data....

Be that as it may, the lecture and other procedures were finished within an hour. I should be more careful when driving so as not to lose my current status..

To Go Beyond

Yesterday I chatted with a woman who lives in the U.S. In fact, I had asked her to give me some advice on my English skills. I posted a diary about my pent-up feelings, though, I've been struggling to improve them. I've tried whatever I could do, but it seems to reach the ceiling.

Actually, she had the same experience before: After she reached a certain point, she struggled to go beyond. She told me that going beyond was very challenging. In fact, it took some years for her to do that. It was just like my current situation.
During our talking, she gave me some tips. Some of them were so eye-opening that I should keep them in mind.

I don't know how long it'll take to break out of my frustration and go beyond, but all I can do is to be positive and keep going.

What Needs to be Done

I've posted similar journals hundreds of times on this blog, though, let me discharge my pent-up frustration about my English skills.

Ever since I started to brush up on my skills, I've been trying whatever I could do to improve them. I've never been satisfied with my skills at all... I can, of course, interact with people who can speak English to a certain degree, but I have to admit that I'm a non-native English speaker.
As an English teacher, one of my goals is to be an expert who has sophisticated skills and can speak English as if I was a native English speaker.
I've been trying various ways to improve my skills such as listening to CNN, ABC News, repeating these programs, recording my voice and checking it, writing English journals and reading the papers in English.

However, I've not figured out that what needs to be done to attain my goal. What should I practice?....
There seems to be no end...

Face Time

I finally talked with a woman who lives in the U.S this afternoon. She occasionally visited my blog and gave me her comments. I got to know her through our mutual friends, but I hadn't met her nor talked with her.

The other day, she suggested that we talk to each other on Skype or Face Time. I willingly agreed to her idea.
When I talk to my friends, I usually use Skype. This time I tried to contact her on Face Time.

On seeing her face on my screen, I couldn't stop talking. lol Luckily, her hubby was there and I had a chance to talk to him as well. :)
As my friends had told me that she spoke like a native English speaker, I could easily imagine that she had sophisticated skills. Yes, I marveled at her speaking! How amazing! At the same time, I realized that I should practice speaking more and more.
Thanks to them, I learned interesting phrases during our chat.

I hope we'll have a natter soon. :)

5月スケジュール ~~マムズ~~

Here's our next English meeting.

Day and Time: 7th May 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 (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!

As If It was an International School!

As I mentioned before, I went to a school to help interpret today. I had to arrive there by 9:15 and it was a little far from my house. As such, I left early in the morning to make allowances for a traffic jam; nevertheless, I got stuck in it....Xl
I hadn't meant to use an express way due to the curtailing my expenses, but I had no choice but use it to be on time...^^;

An entrance ceremony was held today, so there were a lot of parents and their kids there. I was surprised to find out that there were various nationalities such as Egyptian, Indonesian, Sri Lankan and so forth! As if it was an international school. After the ceremony, foreign parents had to fill out a lot of documents. How tiresome! Is it a typical Japanese system? Some weren't written in English, the others were so complicated to understand that I helped explain in English. It seemed hard even for a Japanese person like me.... I think there was plenty of room for improvement to proceed smoothly.

After the help, I was glad to meet new people and felt fulfilled. I had a great experience today. :)

To Help Interpret

As my friends know, I not only teach English but help translate and interpret. I often take on translation assignments, but as for interpretation assignments I rarely receive. I sometimes make overseas calls to make inquiries, though...

This Thursday, I'm supposed to help interpret! The task is that I'm heading for an elementary school and explaining the entrance ceremony and school life to some students and their mothers who have come from abroad.
They live in Japan because of their fathers' businesses or studies, they're getting used to using Japanese. Still, they need some help when it comes to that kind of meeting.

I'm doing my darndest so that they will be able to acclimatize themselves to their new lives in Japan as soon as possible. :) I'm thrilled to meet them very much!

Skyped on My Phone

Ever since my spring vacation started, I've been recharging my batteries and feeling relaxed. I have enough time, so I can do chores without being pressed for time. At the same time, it's true that I have less opportunities to speak English than usual. Those who know me can easily imagine, though, it's like a torture to me...^^; I've, of course, read the papers and listened to the news in English, but these never satisfy me at all.....

Yesterday morning I took part in an English open conversation. Shamefully enough, I often got tongue-tied during the time. Aw.... What poor skills! Don't get me wrong. When it comes to my skills, I've never exuded confidence at all.
Well, I was disappointed with myself. However, I luckily had an appointment with my friend in the afternoon to have a natter in English. As such, I decided to practice speaking to my heart's content!

This time, I skyped her on my smart phone due to my computer problem. As I mentioned before, every time I tried to sign in to skype on my PC, it wouldn't open. That's why I installed Skype on my phone. I wasn't sure if it would work well, luckily it did! Hurray!
What was better, our connection was so clear that we could practice speaking English without any troubles.

I was relieved that I would be able to skype my friends the same as always.

Stay the Night

After my son came back from camping, another his friend's mother sent me a text message. It said, "Why don't your son stay the night with our kids and their close friends at my house?"

That was a pleasant offer to him. He jumped at it, of course. I wanted him to have a spanking good time with his friends, however, I gave him one condition: if you want to stay the night, do what to be done at first.
After all, I told him to finish his homework for the spring break. Even though I've been admonishing him, he's put it on the back burner. What's worse, he's been liable to be lazy during the vacation. In fact, he had finished only few things by yesterday....--;
Finally, my patience snapped last night.... I told him that he wouldn't be able to go out until he finished all of them!

This morning he stuck to his desk and devoted himself to his study without distraction.

..........................You can do it....--; You should have done at first......

Anyway, he didn't manage to finish everything, but most of them were done. That's why I gave him the green light. I seem to micromanage him, though...

He must be making merry with his friends now...
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Author: VibrantRose TOEIC 925 (2017.4)

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