Learning English in Japan
A grumpy teacher's perspective

Blame no one.

If you are having trouble learning, do not point at your text, your teacher, your school, the national education policy, or yourself.

Don't blame the tools, make success happen. Take responsibility for your own learning. See every challenge as an opportunity to prove and improve your English.

When you feel frustrated, relax and take a deep breath. Learning is meant to be a challenge, and challenges are meant to be just beyond your present capabilities.

Set simple goals, at a reasonable pace. Balances your present level with a task that is just beyond your current limit. A book is written one word at a time. Smile and try again.

Language is a sport not a science. If you want to swim, you can try and learn from a book, but sooner or later you must jump in the water. Language, like all sports, is best learnt in action.

Make opportunities to talk and then TALK. If you want to improve your tennis, play more tennis. If you want to speak English, find a companion and make conversation. With actual talking experience study makes sense, without it lessons become nonsense.

Think like a pro. A pro practices at every chance, and every practice is another opportunity to get better. In practice, a pro pays attention. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What do I need to improve? What do I need to do to become better? A pro takes the responsibility to find the coach, the technique, the equipment, and the training regiment to achieve realistic objectives.

By thinking like a pro, we develop skills which work to make us lean mean learning machines. We start to enjoy performing at peek levels, and soon others begin to recognize the magic. We have learnt the secret to succeed in all that we choose. Our self-confidence helps others to realize their dreams as well.

What could be better than to meet someone from an entirely different culture and begin to share ideas, to be friends? The wonder of the world is ours, when we are communicating in English. English fluency starts to flow faster every time we talk, so smile and say "Hi".