Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2017 brings lots of laughter and happiness to you all!
Today I want to write about English to motivate you. This entry is for all language learners, and this blog entry is the very first one this year.
The very last part of last year I made one of my dreams come true. It was studying abroad in Italy to improve my painting skills. It took five years, but I am glad that I made it. Before sharing the story, I want to share the English part first.
I started studying conversational English to study abroad 8 years ago. One day I found a very beautiful horse painting on a porcelain tile online. I couldn’t speak English at all then even though I could read and write. Our English education is based on grammar, and we don’t learn how to communicate with people in English at school. I wanted to learn how to paint the horse, but the class was in Arizona, the States. I couldn’t understand conversational English and how I could take the class……… There was no choice to study conversational English for me. Since then, taking the horse painting class had become one of my dreams.
There was a really good free online language studying site 8 years ago. I met an American boy who was 15 years old, just started studying conversational Japanese. He and I made good friends in the site. One day I asked him if he could teach me conversational English, in turn I would love to teach him Japanese for free. Since then he had become my conversational partner. We started exchanging languages on Skype every day. Sometimes we Skyped more than for 12 hours a day to improve my English and his Japanese. We exchanged our languages until he graduated from high school. I really do appreciate what he did for me. After several years, he came to Japan to visit me twice. He became a fluent Japanese speaker and now he is getting a master degree at graduate university. Two years after studying conversational English, I made my dream come true. I studied abroad to take the horse painting in Arizona. It was my first trip alone in the States. I met two really nice American ladies and since then, two of them have become my American moms.
English opened my world. One of the ladies whom I met in Arizona has run a porcelain school in Michigan. She asked me if I was interested in coming her school. I sad, “Yes!”. Since then she has been my closes female American friend. We have traveled a lot to take porcelain painting classes in the States. I have met lots of American painters here and there and made friend with them. Now, I have a lot of American moms in Alabama,Tennessee, Idaho and everywhere. Every year I have been to the Michigan school to improve my painting skills. I stay at her house and she has introduced her family, friends, culture, everything. She also has become my English teacher as well.
I also met several Americans ( one is American Jewish) and a Brit who were studying Japanese online 8 years ago. They all have become my language partners and we still have been exchanging languages on Skype. One of them become a professional online English teacher. He is teaching me English every single day on Skype. I do appreciate him a lot as well. My British friend visited me twice, and my daughter visited his two years ago. Now his family and my family are good friends. We sometimes Skype with our families.
While studying abroad alone in the Sates, I started being confident in conversational English even though I say funny things in English. One day I saw an advertizement of an international porcelain convention in Thailand. It was five years ago. A lady who is teaching Queen’s place, posted the advertizement on Facebook. She asked me if I was interested in coming to the show. I said, “Yes!” again. I have believed that if we want to do something, we shouldn’t hesitate anything. I went there with my Australian friend who had never met in person even though we had been friends on Facebook for years. I made good friends with her. We both won prizes.
Well, long story short, my dream that I made come true last year relates to the show. I saw some amazing works in the show. I figured out they were from an Italian guest artist. I was so inspired by her artwork. I asked her that I wanted to learn from her, but she said that she didn’t speak English. I was very disappointed at it but couldn’t give up to learn from her. I made friends with her on Facebook. After I returned to Japan, I messaged her. Her daughter replied me soon in English.
Her daughter told me that her mother would go to an international convention in Canada as a guest artist. I went to the convention to learn from her. I also took her classes in Texas, America as well. Then, finally I took her classes in Italy last December!
When I told my plan to study abroad in Italy alone to my husband and daughter, two of them dropped their jaws because they knew that I can’t handle Italian conversations at all. Two of them said they couldn’t believe that. I didn’t hesitate at all. I always grab all chances to make my dreams come true. I know where there is a will, there is a way.
I really think English opened my world much much wider and has made my dreams come true. Now, Italian will make my dreams come true. I know I have to study conversational Italian.
I want to say to all language learners, Don’t worry about your accents and mistakes. Languages are communication tools. I have a Japanese accent, but people understand my English very well. I have no problem to communicate with people in English. If you want to speak English, just start speaking English. Without speaking practice, you never ever come to speak English at all. If you can handle two languages or three languages, your world will become much much more international! I know it very well, and that’s why I am studying English and will study Italian!
Thank you so much for reading such a long blog entry. I know I have been making a lot of mistakes in my written English and I apologize it.
I hope this blog entry is helpful to keep studying another languages. I am thinking I want to publish a book with my experiences some day in the future. This is one of my dreams!!