A Little Visit to an English Club
This week I went to Koge to present the history of the United States of America and to interact with the nine children of the English Club at a certain primary school out there over the hills. A couple of the children had sent me a handwritten program for the event in advance, and they were all able to introduce themselves to a degree of fluency I thought rather remarkable for their age.
Up to now the few primary school visits I've made have been to present to the entire school, so this was a bit unusual. Not all of them made their excitement entirely apparent, but I was told afterward that one of them had the impression that I had flown in from the Old Country just for this event, and that he kept asking if my plane had arrived yet.
I'm not sure any of them were able to wrap their heads around the idea that I'd been here twice as long as they had, but they did seem toward the end to grasp the difference between a country and a state as it relates to the US. The visual demonstration of the difference in size between the US and Japan--seeing the two countries superimposed on a map--probably made the biggest impact. Most people forget how many regions the US has, how much the climate varies from one end to the other.
There ought to be more events like this, at least for schools that have English clubs. We never had anything like this in New York when I was a child, but then, we didn't start studying foreign languages until middle school, and then it was only French or Spanish. I imagine meeting someone up close from the other side of the world would have broadened my horizons in all sorts of ways.