1. The first English lesson
In the elementary school
A new English textbook
I open it slowly with my smiley face
Dotted lines to trace alphabets
Pictures of foreigners
I’ve never seen them in other textbooks
Different from other subjects
More colorful and more friendly
I look the book with shiny eyes
The first poem describes a moment when I took the first English lesson. I was an elementary school student then. We were in the usual classroom, but classmates looked so excited. Before the lesson, we were given a new textbook. The English textbook has interesting pictures of people in foreign countries. In addition, they has new words made with so many alphabets. I’ve never seen contents like them. The textbook was different from other subjects’ ones. It was more colorful and looked so fun. Japanese, arithmetic, science and social studies didn’t have these attractive contents. I was interested in the lesson soon.
2. Sing ABC song
Sing ABC song in the elementary school
L, L, M?
N, M, L?
L, M, N!
Can’t sing the part
Too difficult for me!
The second poem describes a moment when I sang ABC song. I knew this famous song when I was an elementary school student, and I sang it for the first time then. ABC song and “twinkle, twinkle, little star” have the same melody, so I was familiar with the song soon. I usually sang it at home and in the elementary school. I liked the song and sang it many times. However, I wasn’t good at singing the part “L, M, N.” It was very difficult for me to memorize the order of alphabets. I didn’t practiced the part very much because I didn’t want to think deeply when I sang exciting songs.
3. Practice speaking English with easy words
In my English class
Practice speaking easy English words
Teacher says “apple,” we say “apple”
Teacher says “bus,” we say “bus”
Teacher says “cup,” we say “cup”
Light and loud voice sounds
I find English rhythm
The third poem describes a moment when I practiced speaking easy English words in the English class of the elementary school. I practiced the words, for example, apple, bus, cup and so on. I remember these words whose first letter was from “a” to “z” were repeated two times each. The rhythmical practice continued. Our teacher always said “repeat after me.” I didn’t understand what she said exactly, but we said these words with perfect timing. The atmosphere in the classroom was cheerful at that time. I maybe have mistaken the pronunciation of these words many times, however this practice was very fun for me.
4. Introduce myself in English
“My name is … Nine to meet you”
I don’t know spelling
I don’t understand meaning of each word
But I know
It’s a special tool
And I believe
It enables me to talk with people in the world
The fourth poem describes a moment when I introduced myself in English for the first time. I was twelve years old at that time. In the classroom, I learned the way of self-introduction. I practiced introducing myself with my classmates. I said “my name is Moeno Yokosaka. Nice to meet you,” and my classmate said “nice to meet you, too.” I didn’t know the meaning of the word “meet,” but I thought “I could speak English and I could communicate in English with my friends!” I only had said easy and short words before that lesson. Thanks to the lesson, I gained confidence.
5. Practice writing English words
In the English class of the juior high school
I have words’ test every week
For the test
Practice writing English words
Write “study” again and again
Study, study, study …
My hand works hard
I am so tired
The fifth poem describes a moment when I practiced writing English words. When I was a junior high school student, I had words’ test every week in the English class. I must have memorized only about ten words, but it was so difficult task for me. I practiced writing English words for the test. I wrote the same word many times. My notebook changed from white to black. When I practiced writing the word “difficult,” my fingers ached. When I practiced writing the word “study,” my heart ached. The English words’ test gave me the knowledge of the words and patience.
6. Talk to an ALT
I want to know the good pronunciation
So I have to ask an ALT
Go to teachers’ room to see him
My heart is pounding for anxiety
But I must go
I talk to an ALT
He says “hi!” with a smile
And teaches me so politely
Thanks to him
I smile for the last time
The sixth poem describes a moment when I talked to an ALT for the first time. I was fourteen years old then. I practiced the recitation of my essay for a contest. Through the practice of it, I noticed I couldn’t talk English with good pronunciation. I decided to talk to the ALT and ask the pronunciation. I had to go to the teachers’ room to do it. I encouraged myself, and opened the door of the room. The ALT smiled at me and said “hi!” with cheerful voice. He taught me the pronunciation politely. His kindness helped me at that moment.
7. Study English for the exam
For the high school entrance exam
I study English hard
I have to read long sentences
Very long sentences
They make me sleepy and confused
I don’t know these words!
When I read them
I always cheer myself
The seventh poem describes a moment when I studied English for the exam. When I was fifteen years old, I studied hard for the high school entrance exam. I wasn’t good at reading long sentences in English, but I must done it. The long sentences had the words I didn’t know. I was confused for these words, and they made me so sleepy. However, I fought them because I would like to enter the high school very much. The high school was fascinating to me. It was difficult for me to pass the entrance exam, so I had to do my best.
8. Radio English Conversation
In the morning
I turn on the radio
“Radio English Conversation” starts
“Keep on smiling”
I repeated it in my heart
The eighth poem describes a moment when I listened “Radio English Conversation.” I listened this radio program almost every day when I was a second-year the high school student. Listening this program was my practice. I was looking forward to listening it every day because I liked it. I turned on a radio to listen it in the morning. This program starts with exciting music. This opening song makes me happy. The casts of this program always say the key phrase “keep listening, keep practicing and keep on smiling.” This phrase cheered me up when I was tired from studying English.
9. Find my favorite book
In the school library
Alone and quiet
I walk around
Book shelves look at me
Alphabets surround me
I find a book
My favorite book written in English
Book a little shines
Glad to see it again
The ninth poem describes a moment when I found my favorite book written in English. I went to the library of Gunma University last year. It was quiet there. I walked between book shelves. Then, I found the title of my favorite book “Anne of Green Gables.” I was surprised a llittle, and I looked at the book without moving for a short time. I opened the book. There were some pictures of scenes I knew in the book. These pictures reminded me the story of “Anne of Green Gables.” I borrowed it soon and began to read it in my room.
10. Make haiku in English
I make haiku in English
Can I make it?
I’m not good at English
So it looks difficult
I collect my memories to make it
My memories reminds me
Various colors, shapes and feeling
My haiku tells me
English has attractive rhythm
The tenth poem describes a moment when I made haiku in English. I was a first-year university student then. I collected a lot of memories in my life to make haiku. To make a book of haiku, I decided the theme of the book. It was club activities. I remembered various colors, shapes and feelings about my memories of club activities. When I started to make haiku, I thought it was too difficult for me to make haiku in English. However, I could make a book of haiku for the last time. This experience taught me English has attractive rhythm and English is interesting.