Dear Members of Gunma JALT,
High is 86, low is 57, sunrise at 6:19, and sunset at 4:46. This is what my second hometown is like this time of the year—San Diego, California. Being born and raised in Gunma, Japan, I never expected that I would call this place my second hometown. Although I truly love and enjoy living here, I always miss my true hometown.
My first JALT meeting was back in 2015, after coming back from the exchange program at San Diego State University. At the time, I vaguely started thinking about applying for Master’s programs in the U.S. I’d always wanted to become an English teacher at the secondary level in Japan, but the experience at State and the time at the JALT meetings have had a major impact on my life. During the exchange program, I learned the value of teachers who understand the relationship between linguistics and language teaching. JALT meetings and the knowledgeable members also gave me opportunities to think about practical issues in EFL teaching which could relate to theoretical aspects in linguistics. After attending some of the meetings, I became interested in teaching at the higher education level as many of the Gunma JALT members.
In 2016, after graduating from Gunma University with a BA in education, I got back in San Diego and started the MA program in linguistics at San Diego State. As I had known some professors and graduate students since the exchange program, that was a simple choice to come back here and continue my education. Now, while working on my third semester as a graduate student, I’m teaching Japanese to undergraduate students. Although my major interests are language acquisition and teaching in EFL settings, I have learned so much from the teaching experience at State.
In next spring semester, I’m finishing all of the requirements. I originally wanted to stay in the States after the program, but I decided to go back and get working experience in EFL teaching. In summer, I will take the teacher’s license exam in my hometown. Although I will leave here for a while, if I keep dreaming, I can always come back to the States and resume studying, I believe.
I’d like to express my special thanks to Mr. John Larson and Mr. Raymond Hoogenboom for giving me this great opportunity to contribute to the Speakeasy. I’m also grateful to Gunma JALT for having a major impact on my life. I wish the Speakeasy another successful year ahead and hopefully I will be back to Gunma JALT soon in the near future!
Graduate Student at San Diego State University