The Glad Game > 2009年6月のアーカイブ

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2009年6月のアーカイブ

Michael Jackson died at 50

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away last Thursday. He was one of the most imporatant music figures of our time.

For me, a teenager in ’80s, he was a superstar and a symbol of America. He had a profound influence even on Japanese teenagers. Boys wearing a black glove practiced moonwalking in the classrooms, and everyone wanted to visit Disneyland to see Captain EO. When he first came to Japan, we adored his performance so much that there was a national craze for him.

When I first visited the U.S. in 1988, I bought his “BAD” poster. I wanted to bring it back to Japan in mint condition; I couldn’t put it in my crammed suitcase. So I held the poster carefully all the way back to Japan. I couldn’t have been any happier when I arrived at my house with his poster in mint condition. 

To understand Pop music in English was a great incentive to learn English. Getting information of international stars was difficult since I lived in a rural city. There was no cable TV, internet, nor English magazines at that time.

I was looking forwad to going to his concert when he was to have a world tour. I’m sad that it will never happen. I thank him for being my idol and helping me to be motivated to study English in my school days.

追悼 マイケル・ジャクソン

号泣するほどのファンではなかったけれど、金曜日にマイケル・ジャクソンさん急逝のニュースを知ってから、すっかり元気がなくなってしまいました。週末は英語のリスニングはお休みして、アルバムを聞いていました。

 1980年台にteenagerだった自分にとって、マイケルの歌にはたくさんの思い出がつまっています。クラスの男子がヘタなムーンウォークを披露していたこと、アメリカでBADのポスターを買ったこと、キャプテンEOを見に行った事、ウォークマンのイヤホンを友達と片耳ずつ分け合って聞いていたことなどが懐かしく思い出されて切なくなりました。

 洋楽が好きな中学生にとって、海外アーティストの話している言葉を理解したい!というのが英語を勉強するうえで、一番のincentiveでした。今、海外アーティストのインタビューをある程度理解できるようになったのも、ミーハーだったおかげかも。

 マイケル追悼の番組やインタビューをCNNや海外HPで見ながら、”He missed his childhood and now he’s gonna miss his old age.” という言葉に胸が痛みました。心よりご冥福をお祈りいたします。

English Mania

What do you think of when you hear the word “mania”? Beatle mania, sports mania, or religious mania?

 

There is a new mania called “English mania”. There are now two billion people studying English around the world. On the TED website, there is a video about Chinese students practicing English by screaming ambitious words. They shout “I want to speak perfect English.” “I want to change my life!”

I was overwhelmed by the video. Tens of thousands of students repeating these ambitious words after an English teacher in a big plaza is just amazing.

 

China has become the world’s largest English speaking country since they have started learning English in the third grade. “English mania” seems just the right word to describe their great zeal for learning English. Better English skills mean a better opportunity for work, and a better life for them. Chinese students have to take a test that determine their future. 25% of the test is based on English. English proficiency is a matter of life and death. In the video, a girl was introduced as having been studying for 12 hours a day for 3 years to prepare for the test.

 

On this TED video, Jay Walker says English has become the world’s common language that will solve its “common problem”. I think it will be nice if I can speak with anyone I want to regardless of their nationality. As for me, English has enriched my view of the world. In this regard, I think English mania is good. As the Chinese government has decided to make their students learn English as an international language, I’m relieved that I don’t have to learn Chinese as a new world common language!

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice

I was shocked and distressed to hear of the passing of Dr Tiller on June 2 in America. He was an obstetrician and was murdered by an anti-abortion zealot when he was attending mass.

Dr Tiller performed abortions in the third trimester and was frequently denounced by media for that. Such doctors are scarce because of the increasing risk of the procedure in the third trimester, and for fear of provoking raising ethical issues. A famous critic called Dr Tiller “Baby killer” repeatedly on media. I think In my opinion this kind of personal attack on in the media has something to do with is partly responsible for the violence the violent attacks on Dr. Tiller.

In the past, Dr Tiller was shot in both arms, his clinic was bombed, and he was threatened to revoke his licence with having his licence revoked. Media should think The media need to take more responsibility the influence they give to people for the influence they have over people when they demonize a person.

There is an intense political and ethical battle over the abortion issue in America. For pro-life activists, abortion is a murder to a fetus. Meanwhile, pro-choice activists claim it’s the inalienable right of women to be able to choose to have an abortions. It seems difficult to reach common ground as it contains religious and political issues this area contains so many religious and political aspects.

I’m afraid that There is a considerable danger that if pro-life opinion becomes popular, abortion would be banned or restricted severely. The fact that 820,000 abortions were performed in a year in America shows there are needs for abortion doctors the extent of the need for doctors who are prepared to perform abortions. If abortion is were banned or restricted, the number of illegal abortions would increase. Such illegal abortion won’t be able to protect women’s health Illegal abortion present a danger to women’s health because…….

According to a Gallup poll, 51% of Americans are pro-life, and 42% are pro-choice. The number of pro-life supporters has increased by 18% over a decade. Although, there is no poll on the abortion issue in Japan, I think that the majority of Japanese people are pro-choice. Because, since the custom of having a memorial service for an aborted fetus seems to be widely accepted in Japan. There are also guardian deity statues for aborted children in shrines. We feel sorry to see these statues which look like young children, but we never argued about right and wrong about abortion issue. I was surprised by the difference in opinion between Japan and America.

I like the Japanese way of accepting the abortion issue because no one should be blamed for performing an abortion, and women’s health should be protected under law. I hope violence that the fear of violence won’t deter doctors from providing performing abortions.

6月2日、アメリカで中絶施行のDrが射殺された事件について。かなり衝撃を受けました。ネットや雑誌の記事で情報を集めて、英語で感想文を書いてみたわけですが・・・。”スタイルが変!”ということで、がっさり訂正されました

 集めた情報を参考にして書いた部分は記事風。そこに自分の意見が混ぜてある・・・というのがダメらしいです。しかも最後の2段落は完全に自分の意見なので、いらないらしいです。とほほ。客観的記事の段落では、I で始まる文章はとことん訂正されてました。
 
 感想文だから好きに書いていいのかと思ったんだよ~。英文ライティングはスタイルにうるさいですよね。客観的な文章を書くなら、自分の意見をまぜないこと、特に I で始まる文章は入れないように・・・。以後気をつけるつもりだけど、日本語の感想文スタイルが癖になっているので、すぐには直らないかも・・・。

English Mania!

中国の英語教育の様子が、TED Websiteで公開されています。タイトルは
Jay Walker on the world’s English mania (注;ページを開くといきなり音声がでます。)

広場に何千人という学生が集まって、”I want to speak perfect English”,”I want to change my life!” と叫んでいる様子は圧巻です!

中国では小学校3年生から英語学習を開始しており、今年世界で最も英語を話す人口が多い国になったそうです。このビデオでみる英語学習熱の高まりは、まさに”English mania”という言葉がぴったり。

中国の学生たちにとって、英語はよりよい仕事、よりよい人生に直結しているため、学習にも熱が入るのでしょう。講演者のJay Walkerは、”英語は問題解決のために必要な共通語である”と述べています。英語を話す事で、世界中の人々と話せるチャンスが広がるというのはいい事だと思います。

実は、私が英語をマスターするウン十年後には、世界の共通語は中国語に代わっているのではないか・・・と心配していたので、中国人が英語を国際語と認識して一生懸命学習するのは大歓迎です。

English maniaのビデオは5分以内で、英語もとてもわかりやすいので是非聞いてみてください。スクリプトはページ右手のほうにあります。中国人学生の熱狂ぶりに刺激されて英語学習モチベーションが高まると思います

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