Essays on English in Japan

Trust me, Trust Yourself

Japan has the least confident students in the entire world. Anytime and anyplace, students will tell you directly, "I can't speak well!" And they mean it! But it's not only students. I meet serious, suited 50-year-old businessmen who blush and shyly wave their hands like schoolgirls who say the same: "My English is bad." Hipsters dressed all in black in a nightclub will suddenly lose their cool, start escaping towards the bar, and say, "English? Heta. Heta heta!" I hear this chorus of self-pity all the time!


The Right Tools

Students nowadays feel more comfortable than ever with technology. In Japan, young people never go anywhere without an array of devices in hand. Students never go to school without electronic dictionaries and media players and who knows what else. To step outside without their keitai in hand would cause instant panic. At home, students’ desks are covered with computers, game devices, plastic cases of software study programs, media players and bookmarked access to English study materials, programs, books and reference works of all kinds on the Internet. They are the most wired students ever in the world.

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「Essays on English in Japan」へ、ようこそ。名前のとおり、英語のエッセーについて日本で語ろうという場所です。このサイトは僕の著書『僕、ニッポンの味方です アメリカ人大学教授が見た「日本人の英語」』をきっかけに誕生しました。まだ始まったばかりですが、新しいエッセーを随時更新します。今のところ、掲載されているエッセーの大半は『僕、ニッポンの味方です』に収録されている日本語のエッセーの英文ですが、あらゆる話題の新しいエッセーを紹介していくのでお見逃しなく。あなたのお気に入りのサイトになりますように。読むことと考えることを楽しみましょう!


Welcome to this site!

Welcome to Essays on English in Japan. This site is just what it says: essays about English in Japan. This website goes together with my book, 僕は、ニッポンの味方です! An Anti-Grammar Manifesto—The Other Side of English, released by Media Factory Publishers in March 2009. Though this website is just starting, it will have new essays all the time. For now, most of the essays are English versions of the Japanese essays in that book, but keep checking back to find new essays on all kinds of topics. Hope you like it! Happy reading and thinking!
March 20, 2009

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About The Author

Michael is currently teaching at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in the American Literature section of the English Department. More information in the About Me page.