Writer : Tomoya S.
Editor : Karen W., (Juri A.)
Translator: Juri A.
1. Have you ever thought of learning a new language?
Back in the day, we did not have so many foreigners in Japan and even did not have many connections with other countries. What about now? The demand for speaking a foreign language has been increasing in proportion with more non-Japanese citizens in Japan, and now Japan has developed to be a so-called “globalized society.” Some of you might have heard someone say, “English will be prevalent more and more in Japan and could be a common language (meaning a language spoken by everybody) in the future.” That might be one of the many reasons why many TIU students are passionate about learning new languages, especially English.
At TIU, you feel you are speaking well enough, because the listeners, for example, teachers and exchange students listen to you patiently and try to understand you well. However, still, some of you might feel, “I have to speak more fluently.” Therefore, we are going to go zero in on the idea of becoming fluent in another language, particularly in English, and whether or not fluency is important when learning a new language.
２, Advantages of Being Bilingual.
In this section, we are going to look at advantages and disadvantages caused by being bilingual. I think the advantage is widening a circle of your friends, interacting with people from foreign countries, and becoming flexible to intercultural communication.
In my view, most Japanese students tend to make friends after acquiring English speaking skills to some level. However, some also talk to them and challenge themselves even if they don’t feel confident in their English.
There may not be many disadvantages to being bilingual, but of course, it takes a lot of your time to learn a new language. It is a bit hard to express yourself in a foreign language when communication methods are different from your first language.
3. Do we need to be fluent in a second language?
Lastly, whether all the things you do to become a fluent speaker are worth the effort or not, this topic is still controversial. However, I insist we do not have to become fluent at a language. That is because the purpose of learning a new language is communication and getting the message across. However, perhaps if you speak the language with the proper flow and pronunciation, the listener will be able to understand better.
This book Language Practice for First covers the ways you better work first in learning a second language. Of course, to be a fluent speaker is not a number one priority, but the book explains speaking fluently is difficult if we mess up our grammar and vocabulary.
What did you think about this topic? I hope it helped boost your interest in learning new languages, particularly speaking in English or Japanese (if you are an E-track student) with TIU campus community members. I hope we can all overcome the fear of speaking a foreign language!