An Unfettered Way of Thinking

One of my fellow English-lovers posted her question on Facebook: Can't we say "My uncle made Okinawa's food."?

Let me explain the details.
Her son took an English test at his junior high school the other day. One of the questions was the following: My uncle ( ) Okinawa's food. He actually wrote "made" in this blank, but his teacher didn't give him a point. The answer was "cooked". As such he was confused why it shouldn't be used in this case. His mother looked up both words in a dictionary, but they couldn't find the obvious difference or the reason why it shouldn't be used there.

When reading her question, I thought "made" would be fine. In fact, I say that I make dinner or I make Japanese food and so forth. However, I wasn't sure if there would be difference between them, so I asked a few native English speakers about it. They told me either would be correct and "Okinawa's food" was wrong. "Okinawan food" was correct. Our question was clear and her son told his teacher the next day.
However, the teacher didn't give him a point even though his answer was correct! Why? According to them, his teacher wanted him to write "cook" in this case. As such, his answer wasn't correct.

What!? Are you insane?
If it had been a conditional question like "Not use make", I could have understood what the teacher said. However, It was not that kind of question actually.
I wasn't surprised in this case because it wasn't the first time in Japan. I was so teed off at the typical Japanese English teacher. I'm sure that kind of teaching style confused those who are good at English, and beginners might have learned only cook was correct or we couldn't use other words.
That's why a lot of Japanese students are liable to translate Japanese into English word-for-word. I'm wondering whether the teacher is aware that his or her teaching style absolutely sets back the improvement of his or her students' English skills....

As an English teacher, I'd like to say this: The more words our students learn, the more varied expressions they can write. We should have an unfettered way of thinking in terms of composing sentences in English.

If I were his mother, I would protest against this point directly, and would question his or her English skills as a teaching profession.


Thank you for giving me your comment and I'm glad you agreed with my entry.
Ever since I started to teach English, I've faced that kind of situation....My students were actually confused which was right. Even though the Japanese government encourages us to communicate in English, I can bet our education style or system still lags behind.....How pity!

Hear Hear!

Thank you for putting this kind of issue clearly on the table, with a flagrant example. I think you are absolutely right. This teacher should wear a dunce cap in his/her class. I only hope such a rigid, narrowly-scoped teaching style is an exception to a rule.
英語教室 Lingo-Field (仙台)

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Author: VibrantRose TOEIC 935 (2018.4) TESOL認定講師