1. Program of Global Human Resources Development (TOYO Global RDS) >
  2. Students voice(Department of Tourism)1

Students voice(Department of Tourism)1

Japanese (TOYO Global RDS)

Japanese


Truly Useful English

Interview

Graham Robson
Associate Professor
Department of Tourism
Faculty of Regional Development Studies
Toyo University

Eriko Chiken
Third-year student
Department of Tourism
Faculty of Regional Development Studies
Toyo University

ロブソン准教授 知見さん

Prof. Robson: To what extent has your English improved since you entered Toyo University?

Eriko: Mt first TOEIC score was around 400 but I got 300 points more when I recently took the TOEIC test.

Prof. Robson: It takes a lot of effort to gain 300 points. Which classes did you take?

Eriko: In the first year, I took Tourism English and the SCAT special course for TOEFL, which helps a lot.

Prof. Robson: The Tourism English class focuses on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In your first year, you entered a speech contest held by the Faculty of Regional Development Studies. I know you improved your fluency and pronunciation in the course of preparing for the speech contest and you gained confidence.

Eriko: The topic of my speech was girls’ schools, as opposed to co-educational schools. My junior high school and high school were both girls’ schools. At Toyo University, I find myself in a co-educational institution for the first time. When I began studying at Toyo, I had so many surprises. So I referred to my own experience in my speech. When I was a high school student, I also participated in an English speech contest. But you didn’t need to write your own speech. You only needed to remember the script. But for Toyo University’s speech contest, I had to create the speech from scratch. It was tough. Before the contest I visited you two or three times a week to practice pronunciation. We shot a video, watched it, and picked up points that I could improve on.

Prof. Robson: In the second year, in the applied English class, we make more active use of English. We have more discussion and do group projects. Did you do any group work?

Eriko: Yes, a few times.In my second year, I took a vocabulary test every week to prepare for TOEIC. It was challenging. It’s important to prepare for TOEIC and improve reading skills. I like speaking and listening, but I lacked confidence when speaking English. I wanted to improve my English. So, I decided to study in the U.S. after completing the second year.

Prof. Robson: The TOEFL score is important for admissions to American universities.

Eriko: My first TOEFL iBT score was 38. It was bad. I went to a language school in California first and studied English there for five months. Then I was accepted by the university where I wanted to study. I desperately wanted to make a success of it.

Prof. Robson: In the first year when you took part in the speech contest, I noticed that you were highly motivated. For anyone trying to learn English, I think motivation is the key. What was the experience of studying abroad like for you?

Eriko: At first, I was shy. I found it difficult to talk with my classmates, who were native speakers of English. They spoke fast and I hesitated to talk with them. But I gained confidence gradually because I was staying with a host family. I talked to my host parents every evening.My host mother took me to school by car every morning. I chatted with her in the car.

Prof. Robson: Most of the study-abroad programs of Toyo University, especially those in England and Canada, offer homestay. What are the benefits of choosing homestay?

Eriko: You can experience a different culture. For example, American families go to the supermarket once a week to buy everything for the week ahead. They need a big car. In Japan, we tend to shop for today or maybe for the next day. I am also interested in Christianity. I went to church every Sunday with my host family and experienced that important aspect of American culture.

Prof. Robson: So your interest in Christianity opened doors to new people and new experiences in America. You use Facebook. So, I was able to see what you were doing in the U.S. on Facebook.

1  2   next page