Oct 4, 2007

VOA Special English

Every day morning before going to my office, I write down the VOA Special English program recorded on my computer without seeing its text to learn English. It takes about one hour. And I listen to its program by using i-pod on my way to my office. They are good practices to learn English.

As you might know it, its announce speed is two third of standard English, and is written in about 1500 basic English words.

My favorite program is American Mosaic. It is formed by three parts, a new topic in the USA, a listener's question about the American life and music corner. I often take information about popular music in the USA there. It is very useful.

I think the Special English is good teaching materials for non-native speakers in English, so I have often recommend my acquaintance to listen to it, but by now, no one have started it yet. It is very unfortunate thing.

There are a lot of class of English conversation like NOVA in Japan, but its fee is very expensive. But to listen to the Special English is almost free, everyone with a computer can start it. Why many Japanese people do not use it, or know it, I think.

By the way, I have learned that a racial incident has happened in the South in the USA. Its name is Jena 6 case. Why, even now, these racial problems are happening in the USA, I don't know. These problem in the USA have no end and no complete resultion, I think.

In Japan, there are also discrimination problems. But it is difficult for foreign people to understand it because discriminated people have same skin, same hair color and same eye color of dicriminating people, there is only reason that they are born and live in particular area, and have particular ancestors.


ジョン said...

I knew that you studied English well, but it really sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into it. One hour every morning? I knew I could study Japanese like that! (Maybe I will once I'm out of school. Heh.) It's a shame that your friends don't use such a great resource, but perhaps they'll feel more like doing it once they see the results of your studying.

Yeah, the Jena 6 case (from what I've heard of it) is pretty bad. Like most problems related to race, it started over something pretty stupid. I haven't heard the latest news, though, so I wonder how it's progressing.

I think that many Americans don't really believe that discrimination exists in Japan except for discrimination against foreigners, but that, is, of course not true. As long as their is diversity, there will always be some sort of discrimination, unfortunately. That is human nature.

bikenglish said...

To Jonathan san

Thank you for your long comment. I am glad to hear your opinion about discrimination.

I think that people have a tendency to need a weaker one than him(or her) to stable his(or her) position. Almost all people have this tendency.

Through the Special English, I learned another racical incidents that happened at the Duke University. I also have learned that the Duke is a costly school like "慶応","成蹊","青山学院"(お坊ちゃま大学),and that the gossip has "racism","class problem","eliticism".

Every time, I try to concentrate listening to English during one hour, but my concentration always does not continue for a long time. Other things, or Japanese words appear in my brain.

To learn English equals to think in English, I think. It might be "a training", not "a learning". I must change my brain to a native speaker's brain. But it is difficult for me.

Again, the Special English is good teaching materials, so if you have a chance, please recommend your class to use it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Hannah from the Japan Guide penpals.

I have a set of the stackable Matryoshka dolls like ones you had a picture of in a previous post.

I live in the southern USA so I am used to the discrimination that you talk about. I don't know if it's worse here in the south than in the rest of the US, but sometimes it seems that way. A lot of it comes from the slavery issue I think. I think there is still a lot of animosity from both sides about it.

What is the discrimination in Japan that you mentioned about it? Like, what are the different sides disagreeing about?

BTW, thanks for emailing me. Your blog is nice. :)

bikenglish said...

Hannah sah he!

What I mentioned is called "Burakumin" descrimination. It is difficult to expain it by my poor english, I recommed you see this wikipedia.

If you see unederstand it, I want to know your opinion about it.

bikenglish said...

Hannah san e!

I am sorry that I forgot to express my gratitude to you.

Thank you for your comment. I am very, very glad that you posted your comment on my blog because the purpose of my blog is to communiacate foreign people around the world.

I can understand that there still has been racial desicrimination that can not be solved easily in the USA through your comment. Thank you very much.

I hope that you will post your comment again.