3 – Regrets and Resolutions
The school in which I studied Japanese is actually quite good. Students are made to write essays, give speeches, do shadowing, study verbs and grammar, and the teachers don’t let them speak in their native tongue.
When I started to study Japanese in 2007, I had never had any real experience studying a foreign language. To make things worse, I was teaching English at the time. So I thought I knew everything about learning languages.
This made me a poor student. I sometimes tried to communicate in English. I often ignored my teachers’ efforts because I didn’t fully understand, and didn’t want to try. You could often find me being gently scolded by my teachers, for my poor efforts. To be honest, it embarrasses me even to write about this.
Now, looking back at my time there, I realise that I wasted so many good opportunities, because I was quite childish, a little selfish and terribly stubborn. Now, I know that I should have listened to the teacher, and trusted her knowledge and guidance. And I shouldn’t have been so lazy.
It’s ironic now, but I can often see the same kind of behaviour in my own students, almost every day. So I have come to understand my teachers’ frustrations, and told myself long ago that I would follow their wonderful example of being patient and persistent, and hope that someday my students will change as I did.