Friday, January 29, 2010

These were the days when I had to form a sentence before I started to speak

During my stay in Vancouver, I went to the Langara college to take English lessons. I used to take the bus, and would ask for "transfers". "Transfer, please" was the first daily colloquial expression that I learned by heart. I remember quite well the strange sweetness of time passage as I waited for the bust to come. The buses were numbered, and I had to take a certain number. When a bus approached with a number that I was waiting for, my breast throbbed with relief.

These were the days when I had to form a sentence before I started to speak, or, when I tried to do it on the spot, the words came out of my mouth only reluctantly and in a clumsy manner. I enjoyed speaking (or rather, to be more precise, trying to speak) in English, all the same.

On the latest visit to Vancouver several years ago, I went to Langara college, to meet myself in the past. The buildings and the campus greens had such a resonance in my heart, until I remembered in a vivid image the linguistically impoverished fifteen years old me walking around with paper bag lunch.

The Langara college campus.


(ma)gog said...

Dear Mogi sensei,

Your Vancouver experience series have awakened the memory of my youth.

I feel as if you were my old friend, with whom I could share the common experience and memories. (Please excuse me if I sound rude.)

I could endlessly think of the numerous sentences with the beginning, "There were the days when...", and every sentence will be with such vividness that it could almost make me cry.

Einstein's Brain said...

You have come a long way. You write English very eloquently.

r_yuzurin said...

When I was learning English at a language school, some instructor said that I had to speak without thinking in Japanese in my head.

Although I really understood what they wanted to tell me, at the same time I was not sure how to speak without forming a sentence.

I thought back to this.

Anonymous said...

Life much "slower" than the US with the trolley bus rides, across Lion's gate, through Stanley Park, once in a while cheering for the Canucks in the Stanley Cup playoff games ... Certainly a great location to begin one's English language experience.

yuki said...

I had to form a sentence,too as I started to speak.
Perhaps now as well.
Your episodes brings always back my memories.
I used to wish I would had learned English much eariler.
But now it is the good old days.
Thaks give me the good old memories.
I love your talk .

Yuzu said...

I feel always Mr.Mogi is with teenager of you.
Even when you lecture the contingent brain in recent years.( I think you don't think about the contingent brain when you are teenager.)
I concern that you are disillusionment by something , somewhere, and someone.
Anyway your memories are butterflies sweetness. These make me remember my memories like you.
I also have butterflies in my heart.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

When I was 15, I had been absorbed in the brassband club activity. I practiced playing the trumpet every day for better harmonic-melodic interval.

At that time, learning English to me was only for examinations. It was not vivid.

But,recently,I began to read some novels in English and think about Japanese in English, thanks to your perspective on English.

Now I'm feeling I have a similar assignment as that time. Yes, I'm still searching for the harmonic-melodic interval in the English language world...