2016年03月23日

2016 早稲田大(政経)自由英作文

The entrance examination for Waseda University
Read the statement below and write a paragraph giving at least two reasons why you agree or disagree with it. Write your answer in English in the space provided on your written answer sheet. (It is suggested that you spend no more than 15 minutes on this section.)
Smoking should be made illegal in Japan.
My answer:
I agree with the idea that smoking should be illegal in Japan. It is true that smoking has economic benefits. The Japanese government has huge debts, and the tobacco industry contributes trillions of yen in tax revenue. However, I believe that the disadvantages of smoking far outweigh the advantages. First of all, statistics show that the habit of smoking is the main cause of cancer. A lot of chemicals have already been banned because they may harm our health. Nicotine should be added to the list of illegal substances. In addition, careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Just a cigarette can lead to tragedies, such as house fires and wildfires. In conclusion, although smoking has a positive effect on the economy, the effect does not last long. In the long run, we cannot ignore the demerits. Therefore, smoking should be illegal in Japan.
(146 words)

※以下の解答例に対抗するつもりで、agree の立場から書いてみました。
※はたして、どちらがより説得力があるでしょうか?
※どの程度かければ合格なのかは、まったくわかりません……。

-model answer (河合塾発表)-
I disagree with this idea. It is true that smoking does harm to the health of smokers and non-smokers who are near them. It can cause lung cancer and heart disease, for example. It is also true that hospitals spend a lot of time and money treating sick smokers every year. However, to keep our democracy healthy, I believe adults should be allowed to do what they want with their bodies provided they do not hurt others. If we ban smoking, we will have to ban other harmful activities such as drinking alcohol or eating too much chocolate. It will never end. Furthermore, smoking is good for the economy. The government collects a lot of tax on cigarette sales, and the tobacco industry provides thousands of jobs for people in this country.
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2016年03月15日

英検1級英作文コンペ(3月)

writing essays 修行のため、gogakutan さん主催、雪さんご参加の「英検1級英作文コンペ(3月)」に挑戦です。
Should literature be taught in school?
Write an essay on the given TOPIC.
Give THREE reasons to support your answer.
Structure: Introduction, main body, and conclusion
Suggested length: 200–240 words
In my view, literature is essential to the development of the child and should be taught in school. Nowadays we face serious problems such as terrorism, poverty and climate change. I believe the cause of these problems is lack of imagination and cooperation. Without them, it would be impossible for us to build everlasting relationships and share dreams for the future.

First of all, literature stimulates children’s curiosity and nurtures their imagination. Reading story books brings the kids everywhere. They could feel as if they were traveling around the world, fighting against monsters, and meeting famous people in human history. Eventually they should acquire the ability to imagine all the people and their problems.

Literature includes not only novels but also plays written by great playwrights, such as Shakespeare. Teachers can lead the students to perform a play on a stage as a part of class activities. Through acting various roles, school children understand feelings of other people. Moreover, they should learn to cooperate to achieve the same goal. Cooperation is the only way to solve world problems.

Some people might say the education system should put more focus on practical subjects because one can read books at home or in the library. That might be true, but all kids do not have the chance to read their favorite books at home or the access to public libraries. School should offer the opportunity to learn literature for the sake of equality.

In summary, literature is extremely important for our lives. It develops the ability to imagine and cooperate. Our only hope for the future depends on the ability. Therefore, I believe literature should be taught in school.
(277 words, 50 minutes)

基本情報:
英検1級2014年第2回(Writing)20/28(不合格)、2014年第3回18/28(合格)
試験場では、2回とも40〜50分かけたと思います。
日常的に練習していないので、とにかく時間がかかりすぎですね。
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2015年11月11日

off topic

Writing や Speaking のテストで「びっくりするほど評価が低かった」というのは、おそらく off topic だったのでしょう。私の考えでは、日本語には topic や state にあたる言葉はありません。多くの日本人は英語話者よりも、topic をずっと広い意味でとらえています。ですから、無意識のうちに off topic になってしまいがちなのです。

私も小学校入学から大学卒業まで、日本語ですら Writing をきちんと習ったことはありません。卒業後に『理科系の作文技術』などを読んで、考えはじめました。しだいに日本人の書いた本ではものたりなくなってきて、はじめて ESL 用あるいはネイティブの小学生用のテキストで Writing を勉強したときには驚きました。目からうろこが落ちるとは、まさにこのことか……と。
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2015年10月23日

Describe the city you live in

以前に受講していたオンライン英文添削より。答案中の赤字は、先生が追加したところです。
Topic: Describe the city you live in.

My answer:
... Second, Okayama is famous for its ruins and legends. There are a lot of mounds where ancient kings were buried. The most famous old story in Japan is the legend of a boy called Momotaro. Momo means peaches in Japanese. Momotaro became friends with a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant. Momotaro and his friends fought with a group of criminals to save the people of his town. Momotaro might have been one of the ancient kings who were buried in the mounds. ...

COMMENT:
The paragraph gives one a glimpse of the interesting world of Japanese folklore. However, coming from a different country and culture, I was not able to understand the meaning of “Momotaro” when it was first mentioned. It is a helpful strategy to give a brief definition of culture-specific terms. See how adding the phrase “a boy called” aids understanding. Furthermore, the point about historical ruins and mounds can be exploited to include descriptions. You could have written how “seeing the ruins transport you to a different era” and “tourists are amazed to witness the grandeur of the age”

日本人には “Momotaro” が人名だということは当たり前なんですが、外国人には当たり前ではないのでした。外国人とコミュニケーションをとるときに日本事象や日本語の単語、固有名詞が出てきたら、わかりやすく説明する必要があるということです。
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2015年09月25日

Get out of your comfort zone

My teacher said to me, "Some teachers might say this essay is excellent, but you need to get out of your comfort zone. From now on, I'll ban using basic expressions such as first, second, and moreover."

After the feedback:
In my view, music is essential to our lives. Almost all cultures have their own music and musical instruments. The music industry makes billions of dollars worldwide every year; music is fun, and at the same time it has a positive effect on our lives.

First of all, music is a universal language. It is deeply connected with our emotions. Playing or listening to music can change our mood dramatically. When I am depressed, light and cheerful songs make me feel much better. Usually great movies come with great music. “Stand by me” has been unforgettable for us because of its theme song.

Its benefits, however, are not limited to emotionally. Music also enhances learning. It is scientifically proven that music encourages academic skills. Playing music uses many brain functions simultaneously. W. A. Mozart was not only a musical genius, but also a mathematical genius. Listening to baroque music improves the concentration and memory. As a result, students get higher grades.

Music also plays an important role in culture and society. It gives us a sense of unity. Singing together reminds us that we are not alone. “Koshien” high school baseball tournament is the biggest sport event in Japan. Before and after the game, spectators and players sing the school song together. They feel proud of their home team. Similarly at the Olympic Games, the national anthem is the highest reward in the competition.

In summary, music is extremely important for our lives. It effects our emotions, enhances brain function, and gives us a sense of unity. Without music I would die from loneliness. I cannot imagine a world without it.

Hello Teacher​ 英語教室
※岡山駅西口の近くです。
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