Learning English is very fun

Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m learning English now. I’m writing my blog in my poor English. I aim to write it in more natural English. I need to train my vocab. I tested my vocab in this site and got score “4,230 words”, that is lower score than 5-6 years old child.  I’m not good at reading English and writing English. In addition, I’m bad at speaking English and listening. Why I’m not good at English? I didn’t get English education? Today I’ll write about “English education in Japan”. (Umm…, almost all sentences in this paragraph begin with “I …”)

The reason why I’m bad at English is very clear. I didn’t learn English hard when I was student. I was very bad student. I thought that I didn’t need second language in my life. Someone give me DeLorean.

In addition, English class was not fun for me… When I was junior high school student and high school student, English education in Japan had focused on reading and grammar. Sometimes native speakers came to our class, but it wasn’t often. So a person of the same generation  is not good at speaking and listening. A couple of years ago, English education in Japan changed to focus on English conversation.

The reason why English education in Japan had been focusing on reading and grammar for a hundred year is very interesting. During the time when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world (edo period), Japanese culture was very unique but not advanced. At the end of edo period, American fleet and England fleet visited to Japan. Japanese people were surprised at their technologies. The visitors had advanced culture, technologies, knowledge, tools, weapons and armies. Liberal samurais thought they needed to learn these modern technologies/knowledge from foreign countries. They learned grammar, trained reading skill and then imported many books to learn modern technologies. The previous policy of English education in Japan was based on their thought. The purpose of learning second language for Japanese people was reading books, not conversation!

A hundred year after, the policy has already changed. The currently English education in Japan gives priority to conversation. And, almost all Japanese people think they should grow English conversation skill, not reading skill. But, my current purpose of learning English is still reading books. I need to learn technologies hard from computer books written in English. I had to start learning English from zero, because I didn’t learn English when I was student. But, today, learning English is very fun for me.

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6 Responses to Learning English is very fun

  1. AlexMcAin says:

    Ha ha ha ha, You are bad writing in English? sorry =D but I think totally the opposite, After living for almost 1 year in UK, let me tell you something, at least you write perfectly. There many people native talkers that they simply don’t know how to pronounce “you” correctly. I have nothing against them, I just saying that you are to rush with you. Of course always want to progress, so it’s good your idea of progress. Good for you. I think the best way it’s exactly what you post it in the end READING, I like a lot reading technical game/graphics programming books, they are a challenge to understand the new ideas. As an example I was reading the GPU pro 3 book and after end reading Crytek’s papers finally I see how ingenious they were, even if can’t reproduce the ideas so far.

    For me I need to learn more English vocabulary, and other languages too(need German-Hungarian-Japanese too many, I need more time XD).


    • minahito says:

      Hi Alex! Thanks for your comment. In a fact, I’m working on translating the book “Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design” from English into Japanese. This is my third challenge to translate book written by English. So I feel I need more vocabulary to make good translation in short time. But, translating books may give me vocabulary.

      And, I’m going to a lot of English books.

  2. Graeme says:

    I wouldn’t worry about where you rank in English based on an online test. I’m skeptical of the particular test that you posted a link to because it extrapolates from such a small set of data and doesn’t describe how it makes its conclusions. If you want to know if you are any good at reading English, read the newspaper. I would suggest trying NHK News English language site. Read an article in English, and then try to find a similar article in Japanese and see if you really understood the English by checking yourself. I read somewhere that there are considered to be between 2000 – 4000 highly used (they say ‘high frequency’) words in English, and that if you know these words you can understand most general conversation.

    One problem for reading technical things is that there are many more words than just the 2000 – 4000 common ones. Many science words come from Latin roots, though. The nice thing about this is that if you know the meaning of the parts of the Latin words you can understand the meanings of words you haven’t seen before. To give an example, think of the meaning of kilometer. This has the Latin prefix ‘kilo-‘ which means 1000. You already knew that a kilometer was 1000 meters. Now think of other words starting with ‘kilo-‘: kilowatt, kiloliter, kilogram, kiloton, or kilobyte. If you don’t know some of these words, search for them without the ‘kilo-‘ part and you learn two words at the same time. 🙂

    I found a nice website that has a list of Latin word prefixes and suffixes with definitions and examples.


    Look at two of the links on the left called “Greek and Latin Roots and Affixes” and “Suffixes”. Affixes come at the front of a word and suffixes come at the end. I think this might help you.

    That link also is from a GRE vocabulary list. GRE stands for Graduate Records Examination and is a standard test that undergraduates need to pass in the US to get in to a graduate program in college. You can make cards from the words to study, or you can buy flash cards somewhere like Amazon US, if you want to learn college level vocabulary.

    Anyway, I’m sorry this comment has become very long. I hope this helps a little and gives you confidence.

  3. AlexMcAin says:

    I agree in almost everything you wrote, specially the last sentence. Minahito you must be confident about your actual writing skills because they are good enough to communicate with anybody =).


  4. link says:

    It’s difficult to find educated people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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