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English as the International Language of Everything

This week has been a very busy week here in Japan. There is a lot of talk about how to open the doors for Japan so international visitors can come to Japan. The corona virus is still a problem, but the world is changing and maybe sometime in the near future Japan will need to make some changes too. We are slowly becoming a society that is living with corona. I hope we can do it safely and carefully.

Another big piece of news this week is that President Biden of the United States came to Tokyo. There was a big meeting with Prime Minister Kishida and some very important talk about how countries need to come together to keep Japan and Taiwan safe. I am very happy to see President Biden become serious about working together with Japan and keeping freedom safe for everyone.

There was another meeting with leaders from Australia and India as well. So we have Japan, America, Australia, and India meeting together to talk about safety. The four leaders talked about how they can work together and to use cooperation to keep everyone safe from countries like Russia and China. Of course, no one is anti-Russia or anti-China. We all know many good people who live in Russia. We all know many good people who live in China. The problem with these kinds of countries is that sometimes there can be problems in government and terrible things can happen.

When we look at how Russia has come to attack Ukraine we know that this is a terrible thing. But it is a terrible thing that is done by the Russian government and the leader. It is not done by regular Russian people. This is a very important thing for us to understand.

Another important thing that we must understand is that the leaders of Australia, India, America and Japan are meeting to talk about big problems and that they are using English as the main language to talk. Of course, Mr. Kishida has professional and expert English translators working with him, but the others are all using English as their main language to communicate. There is a gap in communication and English skills are very necessary.

Your teachers and parents tell you that English is very important to learn. You need English for your tests. You need English for your future university. You need English for a future job. But now we can also see that we need English for international peace and for safety too.

I think that there is a lot of pressure on students in Japan to learn English quickly. Of course you need to study a lot to pass your tests, but I also want to tell you that English study also needs a long, long, long time too. Many people study English, or any foreign language for over ten years. Some for twenty years. Some study English for thirty years. And some people study English for their whole life.

Don’t worry. This is 100% okay. Learning a language needs a long time. You do not need to have super incredible English skills. You do not need to know every English word in the dictionary. You don’t need perfect English, but you do need strong English. You do not need a perfect speaking style, but you do need to have good English communication skills. That is enough.

This week, many Otemae students are preparing for the next Eiken examination. I hope you will have a good result. I hope you will make some progress and feel great when you get the next Eiken grade. But if you do not get a good grade don’t worry too much. You are learning English. You are practicing English skills and you are growing your English understanding and English power.

Learning English is like learning music. It needs a long time. Learning English is like running in a marathon. You feel so tired. You feel like it is endless. You want to quit. But you must not quit. You must slowly move forward and continue. English study might be endless, but as you continue you will become stronger and better. You will be smoother and you will be able to talk about everything.

English is important. It is important for you. It is important for your family. It is important for your community, city, prefecture, and even for your country too. I hope you will be strong and tough in English, but also please ask your teachers to help you too. Otemae really has the best English teachers in all of Kagawa. We are all going to help you be successful and free.

One day it might be you who must speak for Japan to the outside world. Don’t be afraid. You can do it. Just keep learning a little English every day.