2017年04月12日

Homework Essay

I wrote an essay about language learning as a homework assignment. This will be a good practice for TOEFL or IELTS. I wanted to add more details but I am still a slow writer...

Question:
Do you agree? It’s of more value to enjoy language learning rather than studying for real world goals, such as getting a raise or a new job. (250-500 words)

My essay (before the feedback):
The other day, I had a discussion with my English teacher. He has taught English in numerous countries and realized that motivation is the key to success. Unfortunately, most Japanese students do not have the motivation to learn. Even if they feel they should study, their goals are practical ones, such as passing examinations or getting promoted. In my view, though, such goals are not so valuable as enjoying the language itself, for three main reasons.

To begin with, forced learning is not only ineffective, but also discouraging. In other words, it works only temporarily. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within yourself; extrinsic motivation comes from outside. The former is much more powerful than the latter. Once you get benefits from outside, you cannot keep your motivation without incentive pay.

In contrast, if you have true passion for the language, your experiences will be more than valuable. Some people predict that, thanks to advanced technology, similar to Alexa or Siri, you will not have to learn languages in the near future. I believe, however, no matter how advanced mechanical translators are, you could only convey superficial information through them. Communicating by yourself is much more enjoyable, leading to deeper understanding with each other.

Learning for fun also plays an important role in culture and society. As the world is globalized, more and more workers come to live in Japan, which has resulted in cultural conflicts. I think the root cause of the problem is lack of communication. If you learn their languages, such as Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Portuguese, it must be interesting, as well as great help for peaceful coexistence.

In summary, I strongly believe that the joy of language learning is far more valuable than studying for practical goals. As Nelson Mandela said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” (330 words)

My teacher said, "If a student is struggling with the language, how can he or she enjoy it?" That is a big problem...
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2017年04月08日

My Hero - Koichi Wakata

Recently, I read a book about Koichi Wakata. He is an astronaut and became a commander of the ISS (International Space Station). To be honest, until then I did not know much about him. Now I admire his great command of English, crisis management skills, and "harmonious" leadership.

『若田光一 日本人のリーダーシップ 〜ドキュメント 宇宙飛行士選抜試験II』
wakata.jpg



At the beginning of the training, he shed tears again and again due to his lack of listening comprehension. However, little by little, he goes far.
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2017年04月01日

Fruitful for Eiken pre1

Writing のネタ集めに地道に添削を...というわけで、Fruitful English の添削です。改訂された『7日間完成 英検準1級予想問題ドリル』が題材、模範解答は参考にしていません。

You(= a cat) wrote :
I tried to answer the question;
Should Internet bullying be strictly prohibited? (1st day)

あなた(= a cat)の作文
Now that the Internet has become a central part of our lives, we cannot do without it. Unfortunately, everything has its bad points. As more and more people use SNS, online harassment has emerged as a big problem. Sadly, several high school students (A) committed suicide (B_)because of(_B) cyberbullying. However, I do not think that Internet bullying should be strictly prohibited, for two main reasons.

To begin with, the Internet has no central control. It is all the more valuable because you can (C) exchange opinions and share (D_)information freely.(_D) Also, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the (E_)Constitution of Japan.(_E) (F_)Once government censorship begins, no one can stop abusing it.(_F)

What's more, Internet users can defend themselves. Schools teach reading and (G_)writing, which is called literacy.(_G) (H_)In addition to it, they should teach how to use the Internet effectively and properly, the so-called "information literacy."(_H) You can stop bullying through mutual understanding.

In summary, I do not think that the Internet should be controlled by the (I_)government to reduce Internet bullying.(_I) Instead, (J_)you can solve(_J) the problem (K_)(_K) education. (L_)Information literacy should be added to school curriculum.(_L)

添削結果
Now that the Internet has become a central part of our lives, we cannot do without it. Unfortunately, everything has its bad points. As more and more people use SNS, online harassment has emerged as a big problem. Sadly, several high school students (A)have committed suicide (B_)due to(_B) cyberbullying. However, I do not think that Internet bullying should be strictly prohibited, for two main reasons.
*(A) 悲しいけど、過去のことではないのですね……。

To begin with, the Internet has no central control. It is all the more valuable because you can (C)freely exchange opinions and share (D_)information.(_D) Also, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the (E_)Japanese constitution.(_E) (F_)If the government starts censoring things, nothing can stop them from abusing the power.(_F)

What's more, Internet users can defend themselves. Schools teach reading and (G_)writing. This is called literacy.(_G) (H_)They should also teach children how to use technology and the Internet effectively and properly. This is referred to as “digital literacy” and “information literacy.”(_H) You can stop bullying through mutual understanding.

In summary, I do not think that the Internet should be controlled by the (I_)government, even for something as seemingly positive as reducing Internet bullying.(_I) Instead, (J_)(_J) the problem (K_)should be solved through(_K) education. (L_)Digital and information literacy should be added to school curriculums.(_L)
*(K) "with" education と書いたつもりだったけど、なぜか抜けていた! おっさんミス!?

評価
Lv4 ほとんどネイティブの書いた英文と同じレベルに達しています。

From J******,
Hello Mr. I am a cat.
Excellent essay here!
Very well written, with valid points and strong examples.
I agree with you 100%!

Please let me comment on "digital literacy" vs. "information literacy".
Both are valid phrases.
"Digital literacy" is the successor to "computer literacy" and includes it.
"Information literacy" is not restricted to technology.
Both seemed to fit here, so I included both in my corrections.
For more information on digital literacy, please see this website:
What Is Digital Literacy?
*知らなかったにゃー……。もはや、たんに「情報リテラシー」じゃないのね。

Additionally, as a side note, you no longer have to capitalize "internet".
It is perfectly fine to still do so, but it is now "officially acceptable" to leave it uncapitalized.
*これも気がつかなかった……(問題冊子の設問が大文字でしたね)。

I hope this helps.
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2017年03月19日

Hacking language learning

I bought a book on impulse. Now, I am reading it. This is a language learning book for the rest of us!
Fluent in 3 Months: Tips and Techniques to Help You Learn Any Language
fluent in 3 Months.jpg

The author, Benny Lewis, made a TED talk.


He was also awarded "Traveler of the Year" by National Geographic.
Traveler of the Year
"There are so many interesting people on the planet, so we should all try our best to get to know them!"
As Nelson Mandela says: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."



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2017年03月04日

the Japanese National Anthem

恒例(?)の Fruitful English の日記添削公開。今回は日本文化の紹介です。
*This blog entry has nothing to do with my personal beliefs.
You(= a cat) wrote :
I tried to answer the question;
What is the traditional music in Japan like?

あなた(= a cat)の作文
Every country has its own traditional music. Japanese people have a variety of musical instruments. For instance, "Wadaiko" is a Japanese big drum; "Shakuhachi" is a Japanese flute made of bamboo. These are still played at special events such as summer festivals and New Year's Celebrations.

Japanese traditional music also includes songs. I think the most famous song in Japan is the national anthem called "Kimigayo." Its distinctive character lies not in the music but in the lyrics. It is extremely short, simple and mystical because Japanese people appreciate the beauty of simplicity. It might be the shortest national anthem on the planet.

Although everyone in Japan knows the lyrics, which was written about 1,000 years ago, most of them do not know what it exactly means. Some say it is a battle hymn, others say it is just a love song. I am trying to translate it as precisely as possible.

The title of the song, "Kimigayo," literally means your era. The lyrics is as follows:
May your reign last for 1,000 years, 8,000 years.
Until pebbles merge into a boulder, covered with moss.
That's it! I believe this was made to admire the Emperor of ancient Japan. May your reign last forever!

添削結果
Every country has its own traditional music. Japanese people have a variety of musical instruments. For instance, "Wadaiko" is a (A)big (B)Japanese drum; "Shakuhachi" is a Japanese flute made of bamboo. These are still played at special events(C), such as summer festivals and New Year's (D)celebrations.

(E)Traditional Japanese music also includes songs. I think the most famous song in Japan is the national anthem(F), called "Kimigayo." Its distinctive character lies not in the music but in the lyrics. It is extremely short, simple and mystical because Japanese people appreciate the beauty of simplicity. It might be the shortest national anthem on the planet.

Although everyone in Japan knows the lyrics, which (G)were written about 1,000 years ago, most of them do not know what (H)they mean, exactly. Some say (I)the song is a battle hymn, (J)while others say it is just a love song. I am trying to translate it as precisely as possible.

The title of the song, "Kimigayo," literally means (K)"your era". The lyrics (L) are as follows:
May your reign last for 1,000 years, 8,000 years.
Until pebbles merge into a boulder, covered with moss.
That's it! I believe this was (M)written to admire the Emperor of ancient Japan. May your reign last forever!

評価
Lv4 ほとんどネイティブの書いた英文と同じレベルに達しています。
*評価は下がっても、コメントしてもらった方が学びは多い。

From T*****,
*やはりいつもの先生。他の先生たちはどこに行っちゃったんでしょうか!?

Hello there,
Wow, this was a great historical lesson for me! I knew the Japanese national anthem was short, but I had no idea what the lyrics meant - thank you!

We only needed to make very small adjustments here!
Adjectives can be tricky, but we try to place the most defining adjective closest to the noun, so "big Japanese drum" and "traditional Japanese music" are most natural.
*うーむ、コレはむずかしいにゃー......
Also, "lyrics" are countable, so we need to pluralize our conjugation for this word.
*"lyrics" は複数形だった!
Then, we can refer to the "song" or the "anthem" that was "written" for certain reasons - these are all natural expressions.
*あ〜コレは知ってた......けど忘れてた!

I hope this helps you - really terrific work!


*How beautiful and mystical it is!
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