Background information of 4 poems

Taking the TOEFL test

This seventh poem describes a moment when I was in High School first grade. I took this test for my university application form. I had to go to the place in Gunma where the examination was being held and this place was far from my house. When I got to the place I was taken to a small computer room. It must have been the most difficult English test I have taken ever in my life. It took a long time because there was the listening part, the speech part and the essay part.

(94 words)

Taking the TOEIC test

This eighth poem describes a moment when I was in High School first grade. I took this test for my university application form. I went to a university in Gunma to take this test. It took more than two hours to take this test. It was just after lunch time so I was extremely sleepy because my stomach was full. Also the room I was in had the heater on really high so I was sweating a lot. For this it made me more sleepy and hard to concentrate. I wish it was a better environment to take the test.

(100 words)

Taking the SAT test

This ninth poem describes a moment when I was in High School first grade. I took this test for my university application form. I went to university in Tokyo to take this test. However going to Tokyo was too complicated and I got lost. So before the actual test getting there was the problem. When I got to the university it was like a maze there too so it took me a long time to get the test room. This test had English and mathematics and I am really bad at mathematics. I thought taking the test was a nightmare.

(100 words)

English in university

This tenth poem describes a moment when I went into university. When I got into the university I thought that I would have to hide my ability of speaking English again. However, this was a different story. My friends in my English class could speak English nearly fluently. I was relieved and happy at the same time when I found this out. I could be who I am after more than six years of hiding my English ability through Junior and High School. I was happy that I got into this university and meet Japanese people who can speak English.

(100 words)

Background information of 6 poems

Coming from New Zealand to Japan

This poem describes a moment when I was living in New Zealand and the time I arrived in Japan. I was going to a nearby elementary school. I was always in the class but I never felt I was in the class. I could speak English but I could not speak Japanese. So I had to gesture what I wanted to say to my classmates. Even I had the ability to talk English it did not matter. This made my skin color to stand out and to be left alone. I was only understood by the color of my skin.

(100 words)

Taking English tests in Junior High School

This second poem describes a moment when I was taking English tests through my three years in Junior High School. I was sitting at my usual desk waiting to receive the questions and answer sheets for the test. I would usual finish way before the bell rings and I had to wait at my desk until the bell rang. Even if I finished early I would always get nearly 100% in the test. I already knew basically everything so I always thought “Why do I have to do these tests?”. So it was actually boring to know everything. 

(98 words)

Teaching Friends English after school

This third poem describes a moment when I was in my third year in Junior High School. I was at school after class and my friend came up to me and said, “Can you teach me English?”. I was very surprised by this because nobody had asked me before to teach them English. I thought that nobody would ask me such a question. This was the first I used my skills of using English to someone in my class and I felt so relieved that I could use them without standing out.

(92 words)

Speaking English for the teacher

This forth poem describes a moment when I was in Junior High School third grade and I was going to England for my school trip. This moment happened at the airport just as I was leaving England. I was going through security and taking of my shoes and clothes. Suddenly I heard a voice from the front saying “KEN!!!”, so I rushed to the front and I had to translate what my teacher said to the security guard. Everyone was surprised that I could speak so much English because I always kept it hidden.

(94 words)

Having to study high level English in High School

This fifth poem describes a moment when I was in High School and I was in my English class. I had to do a sheet that the teacher gave to the whole class. I would finish earlier than anyone in the class and I would hand in my sheet. However my English teacher would give me extra things to do than anybody in the classroom. At that time I was very frustrating for me because I was the only one doing that extra stuff. However, because of this my English teacher at the time really pushed my limits.

(98 words)

Taking the pre 1 Eiken test

This sixth poem describes a moment when I was High School first grade. I took this test because I needed it for my university application form. I could not really talk to my friends about this test because a regular high school student would not take this test. If I were to say this to my classmates it would intend that I am showing off to them. Another reason I could not talk to them is that if I were to fail the test it would be embarrassing, for this I had to keep it a secret and study alone.

(100 words)

Explanation of theme

English is a communication tool for me. This tool I have can be used anytime, however when I stop using this tool it starts to rust this is the catch for this tool. I was almost born with this tool. I spoke to my family in English and Japanese. I also lived overseas when I was little. Therefore, when I came to Japan when I was about 12 years old I wanted to use this tool so I had keep it hidden because of the cultural difference. These poems describe the moments when I was able to use my tool and when I was able to use my tool and when I had to overcome some various situations. (110 words)

The last four poems

Teaching friends English after school

Everyone having bright faces

What is this feeling?

Everyone worshipping me

I have value

My darkness turned into lightness

I have a path

This path may lead on and on

I have found the light in me

Taking the pre 1 Eiken test

The only one

No one to talk to

If I do they will not like me

This is just my test

I have to do this

I know I do

But I don’t want to

One man standing

Taking the TOEFL test

Looking at the top

So far away

I have no confidence I will make

Will get the score I need

It’s like climbing mount Everest

Why is it so intense

Is there anything I can do to get to the goal

I must push through

Taking the TOEIC test

This place time moves so slow

Is it over yet?

I think there is steam coming out of my head

My eyes are so heavy the feel like metal

I need somebody to wake me up

Can somebody bring me a cup of water and turn down the air conditioner

HELP!! I NEED SOMEBODY HELP!!

Three more poems

Taking English tests in Junior High school

What am I doing?

What is this for?

Why am I here for?

I already know EVERYTHING??

Why am I repeating this all over again

I do not want to do this anymore!!

Having to study high level English in High school

No one talking

My pencil hitting the desk

Giving the paper to the front

Sitting at my desk

Head up in the sky

Just to get another paper

This cycle never ends

Taking the SAT test

Landing on an area unknown

Hundreds of students staring at you

Where to go?

Who to follow?

Is this right?

Is this wrong?

What is the answer?

This is the end for me

Poems based on the feedback

English in university

Jumping into a new world

I am still wearing my mask on

But everyone has no masks on

Here I can finally take off my mask→Can I take of my mask off?

I am free from my mask→Is anyone going to realize?

(New) No one is looking

(New)I am free of my mask

Speaking English for the teacher

Hiding in the shadows

Never to revel who I am

First time to expose my true self→×Do I expose myself? Or not?

Silenced ruled the atmosphere→×Everything is quiet

But the secret was not to be spoke of

(New)Is everyone going to be normal about this?

Coming from New Zealand to Japan

Everyone has a color

There are white, black, yellow, brown→White, black, yellow, brown

I am white

Does this mean anything→Why do you see me like that?

(New) I am white

Why does this have to matter→What does it mean?

(New) I am white

(New) Does this mean anything?

(New) I am white

(New) Why does it matter?

Please do not judge me by my color→Please, please do not judge me by that color!!

Three memories in poems

English in university

Jumping into a new world

I am still wearing my mask on

But everyone has no masks on

Here I can finally take off my mask

I am free from my mask

Speaking English for the teacher

Hiding in the shadows

Never to revel who I am

First time to expose my true self

Silenced ruled the atmosphere

But the secret was not to be spoke of

Coming from New Zealand to Japan

Everyone has a color

There are white, black, yellow, brown

I am white

Does this mean anything

Why does this have to matter

Please do not judge me by my color

10 significant memories in more detail

1. When I came back from New Zealand and started school in Japan in the English class. This time of period was a very frustrating time for me. The English level in the class was so low I was bored to death. However I could not say this to my parents and I kept putting up with the classes and tried not be a smart ass. I can clearly remember that the teacher was very nervous of having to teach English to a native speaker.

2. Taking English tests in Junior High school. In the Junior High school I was going to like every normal student I had to take English tests. I was shocked when the teacher wrote “color” as “colour” wrong for my answer. Then I realized that Japan is American based.

3. Teaching friends English after school. This is one of the most best memories. This memory can also relate to the reason I want to be teacher. My friends boys and girls would ask me about todays class and also ask about university exam questions. This was a big challenge for me and made more better at teaching English.

4. Having to speak English for the teacher in English (School trip England). This was the time in my junior high school third grade trip to England. This memory happened at the airport. I was going through security and taking of my shoes and clothes. Suddenly I heard a voice from the front saying “KEN!!!”, so I rushed to the front and I had to translate what my teacher to the security guard. The reason for this that our Japanese uniforms looked like soldiers so the security guard was very puzzled.

5. Having to study high level English in High school. This high level English was to get into the university which I wanted to go to. My English teacher at the time really pushed my limits. I was always thinking English to be as easy subject but when I meet this teacher my world changed a lot because of him. He would give extra homework than anybody else in the classroom. At that time I was very frustrated. 

6. Taking the pre 1 Eiken test in first year high school. The reason I took this test when I was in my first year of high school. I took this because of my applications to the university I wanted to go to. This made remember words I don’t have to remember and it was really boring. However this made my vocabulary knowledge broaden.

7. Taking the TOEFL test. This must have been the most difficult I have ever taken in my life. When I took the test I was tiny room that had about 10 computers. I can clearly remember when the speaking part started I was the first to start it was kind of embarrassing to hear my voice echo around the room. I am really glad I took this test.

8. Taking the TOIEC test. In my life I have taken the TOEIC test several times. The score has gone up ever time but I always get sleepy at the end of the test. I always get a perfect score in the listening but in the reading part when I have to read the article part it is a nightmare for me. In my daily life I am really bad at reading books so it is really a trouble for me.

9. Taking the SAT test. This was a test also for my entering to the university I wanted to go to. This test was the worst test every for me. I will never ever take this test in my life again. This test has English and Mathematics but I am extremely bad at mathematics. This test was good experience to realize how bad my mathematics is.

10. Using English in university. My image of Japanese universities changed when I went to Aoyama Gakuin University. I did not image I would be speaking so much English with my classmates. The English class I was in was the highest class in my department but I had no idea that there would be so many people who could speak English. Also my best friend from university could speak English fluently so we had a lot of fun talking with each other.

10 memories of English language learning which are important to me

1. When I came back from New Zealand and started school in Japan in the English class

2. Taking English tests in Junior High school

3. Teaching friends English after school

4. Having to speak English for the teacher in English (School trip England)

5. Having to study high level English in High school

6. Taking the pre 1 Eiken test in first year high school

7. Taking the TOEFL test

8. Taking the TOIEC test

9. Taking the SAT test

10. Using English in university

POETRY WRITING TO EXPRESS LOVE IN THAI AND IN ENGLISH: A SECOND LANGUAGE (L2) WRITING PERSPECTIVE

  1. What is your understanding of this article?

There were 9 Thai university students in Thailand for this research. They had had little to no overseas experience. The only English they had been exposed to was in the classroom. The research , interviews and writing was conducted in the Thai language and English.The type and style of poetry used in this research was not defined but looking at the examples it appears to be only “free style” poetry. The writer stated that the aim of this study was to “ investigate how L2 perceived themselves through their articulated emotions in their L1 and L2 writing.” Because the participants were Thai, this may have had an effect on the out come of the study that the writer was not expecting. The writing of love poems and expressing romance through written prose is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Thailand and therefore, even as L2, they were more familiar with and knowledgable of love poetry. A significant by product of this study is that after it’s completion the participants were able to reflect on their own experiences and better comprehend themselves linguistically, culturally, cognitively and emotionally.

2. Why is creative writing important to us?

To answer this question I took the perspective of “us” being educators involved with L2 students. As educators we are always trying to find ways for our students, who are constantly struggling to express themselves, to achieve success and being successful will gain confidence to use their second language. Creative writing comes in many forms some more suited to L2 than others. Poetry is one of those forms that lets students express themselves freely, despite the fact that “free form” poetry does not follow the rules of grammar and syntax.