Confusing Questions

I don’t know if it was a misunderstanding but I couldn’t and I still can’t understand one of Inari-san’s questions yesterday.

The question was: why do Filipino students study to use English?

I thought it was a strange question because it is the same as “Why do Filipinos study Math? Or Science? Or Filipino?”

I thought the answer was obvious: we study it because it is a subject in school.

I think Inari-san wanted to know why Filipino students can speak English better than Japanese students, but I think the answer is obvious too. Filipinos can use English better because we use it more.

And I told him that one of the reasons we can use English more is because of the difference in culture. Philippines is different from Japan. Japan is different from the Philippines.

Teaching and learning English is different from teaching and learning Math, I think. In Japan, 1+1 is 2. In the Philippines, 1+1 is 2. In America, 1+1 is 2. In Spain, 1+1 is 2. In Kenya, 1+1 is 2. In Nauru, 1+1 is 2.

In Japan, “Good Morning” is おはようございます. In the Filipino, “Good Morning” is Magandang Umaga. In America, “Good Morning” is Good Morning. In Spain, “Good Morning” is Buenos días. In Swahili, “Good Morning” is Habari za asubuhi. In Nauruan, “Good Morning” is Omo Yoran.

There is no one way to teach a language. Teachers teach language differently and students learn language differently because of the difference in language, culture, society, and beliefs.

As I told Inari-san, Japanese learn English differently because Japan is different from the Philippines, and there is nothing I can do about that.

But I can do something for the students who join my class. As long as they are interested and/or willing to make effort to improve, then I will keep doing my best to help them get to their goal.