What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Would you correct my sentences?

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,694
Reaction score
51
Hello, native English speakers.

I'd appreciate it if you would correct my sentences.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In this school year, I taught English in high school for a year.
(In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March.)
It was the first time I've ever taught in high school.

When I first taught the students at the school I was assigned to,
I was really surprised how awful their English abilities were.

Some of them even don't know the very basic grammar rules of English.
One student wrote like this, "mother dog like", trying to mean "My mother
like dogs." She didn't know that the word order is different between
in English and in Japanese.

Even students with highest grades wrote like these; "When are you came here?",
"I went to here", "Tom has been Kyoto". I was astonished.


I think that the way English has been taught in this country is totally wrong.

I know how difficult it is to teach a language to people who don't need to use
the language at all. But I believe that there should be a better way to teach
English in Japan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin, an English teacher
 

eeky

先輩
Joined
8 Jun 2010
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
22
In this school year, I taught English in high school for a year.
"In this school year ... for a year" doesn't totally make sense to me.

(In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March.)
It was the first time I've ever taught in high school.
When I first taught the students at the school I was assigned to,
I was really surprised how awful their English abilities were.

Some of them didn't even know the very basic grammar rules of English.

One student wrote "mother dog like", trying to mean "My mother
like dogs."

She didn't know that the word order is different between
English and Japanese
.

Even students with high grades / the highest grades wrote things like "When are you came here?",
"I went to here" and "Tom has been Kyoto". I was astonished.

I think that the way English has been taught in this country is totally wrong.

I know how difficult it is to teach a language to people who don't need to use
the language at all. But I believe that there should be a better way to teach
English in Japan.
 

Monotori

後輩
Joined
19 Mar 2013
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
"In this school year, I taught English in high school for a year."

Do you mean this past year? It might sound better to say, "I taught English in high school this past school year" if the academic year is over or almost over. Readers would assume you've taught for a full year based on that statement. You might even want to say, "to high school students" because "in high school" is used mostly in "when I was in high school," as in when you were a high school student (I could be taking it too far, though). Or you could change it to "at a high school" for the same meaning as your original sentence.

"I was really surprised how awful their English abilities were."

It's fine, but using "at" is grammatically preferred. ("I was really surprised at how awful their English abilities were.")

"Some of them even don't know the very basic grammar rules of English."

"Don't even" sounds better to native speakers.

"I know how difficult it is to teach a language to people who don't need to use the language at all."

The repetition might sound strange, so replace the second "language" with a pronoun. ("I know how difficult it is to teach a language to people who don't need to use it at all.")

eeky took care of the rest, but I'll add that punctuation marks go inside quotes so " 'Tom has been Kyoto'." should be " 'Tom has been to Kyoto.' "

I'm being nitpicky, and some of these aren't really issues, but they'll make it sound the most natural.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,694
Reaction score
51
Thanks for the corrections, eeky and monotori. It seems that I should study English much much harder or stop teaching English.


Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
"I taught English in high school this last year." Is probably how I would say the first sentence. It seems more natural that way.

It was the first time I've ever taught in high school. You should change I've to I'd or I had. It is important to have consitancy in the tense of the sentence. Since "was" is past tense your other verb needs to be past tense as well. You could also change "was" to "will be" if you hadn't started yet.

Some of them even don't know the very basic grammar rules of English. You can take out grammar. As long as it is used with the previous sentence it is understood. It sounds more natural that way to me.

Everything else sounds alright to me.
 

Monotori

後輩
Joined
19 Mar 2013
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
It seems that I should study English much much harder or stop teaching English.

No, not at all! There are a lot of small things native speakers tend to do that are optional (and some of them even depend on the region) so I'd say you know it plenty well enough to teach it. If you just keep talking to English speakers it'll come naturally. Don't give up!
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
Monotori is right! You are far better at english than even some native speakers. A lot better even than some Japanese people that come to America and try to communicate in english as well. I think you are doing a really good job with english.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,694
Reaction score
51
Thank you so much for your help and encouraging comments, OoTmaster and monotori.
(Is your screen name monotori from Japanese? If it's in Japanese, it means "thief".)

Since I haven't had enough experience talking in English, I'm
not used to speaking it. I think my pronunciation is good because
some native speakers have asked me if I had lived in the US or any
other English speaking countries. My weekest point is listening.

Some people advise me that I should talk with native speakers on
Skype. But I'm not willing to do that because I don't like to keep saying
"Pardon? Would you say that again?"

So I 'm going to use TV , radio and the Internet to practice listening to
English.

Thank you.

Hirashin
 

pauro12

先輩
Joined
14 Apr 2013
Messages
276
Reaction score
21
Thank you so much for your help and encouraging comments, OoTmaster and monotori.
(Is your screen name monotori from Japanese? If it's in Japanese, it means "thief".)

Since I haven't had enough experience talking in English, I'm
not used to speaking it. I think my pronunciation is good because
some native speakers have asked me if I had lived in the US or any
other English speaking countries. My weekest point is listening.

Some people advise me that I should talk with native speakers on
Skype. But I'm not willing to do that because I don't like to keep saying
"Pardon? Would you say that again?"

So I 'm going to use TV , radio and the Internet to practice listening to
English.

Thank you.

Hirashin

I guess you have friends and colleagues there, so give time to practice speaking with them, if possible.. Anyways, you mean you have difficulties in understanding some english native speakers based on their accent? I guess I want to help you, but I'm rather confuse if I would be of that help but I'm offering myself for skype, anyway.. I'm a Filipino, so if accent among native speakers is your problem, then you won't have it on me because filipino I guess were one of the english speaking people who speaks clear English.. It's nearly impossible to misunderstood Filipino's english I believe based on accent.. :D Either way, I want to learn more japanese so it would be a good exchange of learning.. And as per the teaching itself, have you tried teaching them about sentence constructions and the likes? I suggest that you teach them sentence constructions for a day, and tomorrow give them quizzes and make them write sentences based on the sentence constructions that you've discussed to them.. I hope I would be of that help.. :sorry:
 

Ukie

後輩
Joined
27 May 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
A lot of your sentences are correct and I still find minor errors in them that I would like to point out. If you are using this for conversational English, there are some words that may be used as opposed to using it for professional writing, where you should use better wording.

In this school year, I taught English in high school for a year.
(In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March.)

The above sentence doesn’t make sense as a school year is the equivalent of one year, whether it starts in April and Ends in March or starts in January and ends in August. A better way of putting it would be:

Conversational: I taught English in high school last year. (As it's been completed)
Professional: In the past year, I taught English in high school. (As you mentioned the past-tense of teach [taught]).

It was the first time I've ever taught in high school.

Good for conversational, but I would add ツ“thatツ” to the sentence: It was the first time that I’ve ever taught in high school.

When I first taught the students at the school I was assigned to,
I was really surprised how awful their English abilities were.

Good sounding sentence! (Though I would still positively encourage them to learn for their sake.)

Some of them even don't know the very basic grammar rules of English.

Some of them don’t know the very basic rules of grammar when it comes to English.

One student wrote like this, "mother dog like", trying to mean "My mother
like dogs." She didn't know that the word order is different between
in English and in Japanese.

One student wrote a sentence, ツ“mother dog likeツ”. The student was trying to say, ツ“My mother likes dogs.ツ” She didn’t know that the word order is different in Japanese and English.

Even students with highest grades wrote like these; "When are you came here?",
"I went to here", "Tom has been Kyoto". I was astonished.

Even students (with the highest grades / top of their class / with good grades) wrote sentences such as: ツ“When are you came here?ツ”, ツ“I went to hereツ” and ツ“Tom has been Kyoto.ツ”

I think that the way English has been taught in this country is totally wrong.

I think that the way English (is being taught / has been taught) in this country is very poor.

(I myself agree as there tends to be a Japanese teacher doing all the work and a Native speaker that does not provide much to the coursework at all. This is from experience going to parent's day as I have a child in elementary.)

I know how difficult it is to teach a language to people who don't need to use
the language at all. But I believe that there should be a better way to teach
English in Japan.

The use of English is rising in Japan and it is a necessity for students to understand that. This will help them get better and higher paying jobs in the future as they are bilingual. As a teacher (especially in high school when they are about to enter the workforce), I would enforce the principles that English will not only make you successful, but give you more opportunities after high school—such as travelling, being able to attend colleges abroad, etc.

David Walker,
Husband of Ukie (Yukie), lived in America most of my life and Okinawa for 7 years.
I hope this has helped, if you have any other questions, feel free to private message me for other reviews anytime.

Remember, never give up on a dream if it's your passion. Good luck!
 
Top Bottom