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...
posted by a cat at 18:00| Comment(0) | Writing | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

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.
posted by a cat at 10:00| Comment(0) | Writing | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

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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2017年02月24日

ひさびさの Lv5 Perfect!

今回はエッセイではなく、架空の相談とそれに対するアドバイザーの回答です。
Fruitful English の日記添削で、ひさびさの Lv5 Perfect!
You(= a cat) wrote :
I asked an imaginary question with the answer.

あなた(= a cat)の作文
Dear Advisor:
I teach math and science to high school students. Some of them do not have any motivation to study. I am trying to do my best, but they have no improvement at all. Their parents get mad at me because they have paid a lot of money. As the proverb goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink." What do you think I should do?

Thank you,
I am a cat.


Dear I am a cat. :
A fool learns from experience, but a wise man learns from history. From a historical viewpoint, I think you have three options. There were three famous warlords in wartime Japan. Their names were Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu. Their characters and strategies were totally different respectively.

The first option is the strategy of Nobunaga. You should say to your students, "If you don't study hard, I'll kill you!" The second option is the strategy of Hideyoshi. You should say, "If you don't study hard, I'll encourage you with all my heart." The last option is the strategy of Ieyasu. You should say, "If you don't study hard, I'll wait forever until you understand what I'm trying to do." You can choose one of the options, according to your preference. I wish you luck!

Sincerely,
The Advisor

添削結果
Dear Advisor:
I teach math and science to high school students. Some of them do not have any motivation to study. I am trying to do my best, but they (A_)aren't improving (_A) at all. Their parents get mad at me(B), because they have paid a lot of money(C) for the lessons. As the proverb goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink." What do you think I should do?

Thank you,
I am a cat.


Dear I am a cat(D):
A fool learns from experience, but a wise man learns from history. From a historical (E)point of view, I think you have three options. There were three famous warlords in wartime Japan. Their names were Nobunaga, Hideyoshi(F) and Ieyasu. Their characters and strategies were totally different(G), respectively.

The first option is (H)Nobunaga's strategy. You should say to your students, "If you don't study hard, I'll kill you(I) or punish you severely!" The second option is (J)Hideyoshi's strategy. You should say, "If you don't study hard(K)enough, I'll encourage you with all my heart." The last option is (L)Ieyasu's strategy. You should say, "If you don't study hard, I'll wait forever until you understand what I'm trying to (M)teach you." You can choose one of the options, according to your preference. I wish you luck!

Sincerely,
The Advisor

評価
Lv5 PERFECT!
*......とはいえ、ネイティブレベルというわけでは、ぜんぜんありません。

From T*****,
*なんと1時間以内で返却。新記録か!

Hello Mr. I am a cat,

Congratulations!! You wrote so well, and this was such a creative idea, with a great historical and moral lesson embedded in it. Your English is fantastic here!

In all cases, I just offered you alternative phrasing or slight refinements, like the addition of commas. It's a nice idea to say "aren't improving at all", and to use possessive form to introduce the strategies, but these are just suggestions.

*Way to go - this is sheer perfection!
*way to go = used for telling someone that they have done something well
posted by a cat at 21:30| Comment(2) | Writing | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年02月15日

1級英作文、逆の立場からも書いてみた

英検1級英作文2016-3、「日本で死刑を禁止すべきか?」
前回は禁止反対の立場から書いたので、今度は賛成の立場から。両方から書いてみるのは、いい練習になるでしょう!!

Fruitful English の日記添削に出したため、じっさいの試験(200-240 words)よりも少し短めになってます(202 words)。

You(= a cat) wrote :
I tried to answer the question;
Should the death penalty be banned in Japan?

あなた(= a cat)の作文
We have had (A_)a lot of debates about the death penalty(_A). Supporters say that it is the best way to prevent serious crimes. In my view, however, the death penalty should be banned in Japan(B) for three main reasons.

To begin with, misjudgments cannot be avoided. DNA testing has (C)proved that some (D)of the prisoners are innocent. Once innocent people are executed by mistake, there is no way to revive them. (E_)The tragedy happens, which must be remembered so as not to be repeated.(_E)

Apart from misjudgments, there is little evidence that the death penalty is (F)effective (G)to reduce crimes. In fact, the crime rate has been declining steadily in Europe after capital punishment was abolished. On the contrary, mass killings occur in the U.S.(H), although (I)the murderers are executed.

In addition, you should not misunderstand the cause of the issue. Juvenile delinquency is on the (J)increase in big cities. I think the (K)problem is poverty. The government should place greater importance on supporting the poor, rather than (L) punishing the criminals.

In summary, I believe that the death penalty should be abolished in Japan. Instead, we should spend more money (M)on helping the poor, which will no doubt lower (N)the crime rate.

添削結果
We have had (A_)many debates about the death penalty in society today(_A). Supporters say that it is the best way to prevent serious crimes. In my view, however, the death penalty should be banned in Japan(B), for three main reasons.

To begin with, misjudgments cannot be avoided. DNA testing has (C)proven that some (D) prisoners are innocent. Once innocent people are executed by mistake, there is no way to revive them. (E_)The Tragedies happen, and we must remember these so they are not repeated.(_E)

Apart from misjudgments, there is little evidence that the death penalty is (F)actually effective (G)in reducing the number of crimes. In fact, the crime rate has been declining steadily in Europe after capital punishment was abolished. On the contrary, mass killings occur in the U.S.(H), although (I) the murderers are executed.

In addition, you should not misunderstand the cause of the issue. Juvenile delinquency is on the (J)rise in big cities. I think the (K)main problem is poverty. The government should place greater importance on supporting the poor, rather than (L)on punishing the criminals.

In summary, I believe that the death penalty should be abolished in Japan. Instead, we should spend more money (M)on helping the poor, which will no doubt lower (N)crime rates.

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。
*やっぱり、先生からのコメントのあっさり感......。

From T*****,
Hello there!

What a well-constructed essay on the death penalty - you did a wonderful job!

Your work on English grammar and phrasing is commendable! I've worked to correct your errors and your sentences sound very natural. You will learn a lot from observing the corrections, so please enjoy learning from the revised sentences.
*(E)の後半と(J)は「DUO の例文どおり」に書いて直されてますね。まあ、まちがいではないんでしょうが。

One thing I wanted to point out is that we need to pluralize when referring to a noun in a general sense, like "crime rates"!
*「冠詞なし+複数形」で referring to a noun in a general sense は知ってるけど、「the+単数」で書くときもあるよね? ちがいがまったくわからにゃーい!

I hope this helps you! As always, it's a nice idea to review the corrected text by reading it out loud, and a few times, to help you become familiar in a written and spoken way, the sentences above!
*いろいろ考えてみたけど......結局は平凡でしたか? 反対したときの方ができがよかった気がするにゃん。
posted by a cat at 19:00| Comment(0) | Writing | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする