I often feel lucky that I was born with a gift, that gift being a native English speaker. We have life too easy, we never have to fear not being understood when we go to another country, knowing that someone in the area will be able to understand you. We don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a language unless we choose to. Therefore I feel privileged to give back to the Japanese to help them overcome the English barrier.
I have lived in Japan for 15 years and I have taught English to adults, businessmen, women and children but the most enjoyable for me is teaching kindergarten kids from the ages of 3 to 6. We teach them for only 20 minutes a week, they have 10 hours of lessons a year and by the end of that first year they can identify animals, fruits and vegetables, colours, 25 verbs, uppercase alphabet ,and their names, their ages and if they like things, of course at first they are shy, sometimes the first lesson they run towards the door crying in hysterics, thinking who is this strange-looking person in my classroom and why is he here but by the end of the first year they are shouting the English words and sentences so hard that their faces are turning a bright purple, sometimes so bright you think the child is going to burst.
Over the first year we have gained the children’s trust and from there we can provide a better education for them in the following two years of class. Today being the last class is always sad to say goodbye, the kids come running up to you, jump on you and give you a big hug, they say I love you Chris sensei, some kids are happy others are sad and most of the time I leave teary eyed but satisfied that I have passed the language to another Japanese child, who will feel confident in the future to be able to master the language I naturally learnt.