Why Japanese kids think they are learning English.

For one of my first lessons, I asked the students to get into groups and try to think about why they are studying English. These are some of the most common answers from 18 classes.

For the entrance examinations.
It’s a common language.
To go to America.
To interpret / translate.
Want to be a stewardess.
Want to be a pilot.
I like English.
Useful in the future.
Writing letters.
Go on a trip.
Talk with foreigners.
Sing English songs.
Because I want to enjoy movies in English.
Because its compulsory.
Because it is fun.
Because I want to be an English teacher.
I want to go shopping in Canada.
Because I want to go to the U.K to study history.
Because we want to change to a foreign school.
Want to become a world famous actor.
Because I want to become the Prime Minister.
When we get lost in New York it will be ok. (Because they can ask for directions)
Because I want to be hero. (Maybe from Heroes?)
Work for the United Nations.

And here are some of the weird reasons.

Eating food in America.
I buy something in English.
Because I was told to.
Because I want to eat mushrooms. – ????
Song song song song song song.
I want to study U.F.O’s
I want to talk to Obama in the U.S.
I want to talk to Clinton about politics.
Because I love John Lennon.
Because I want to watch October Sky.
English Speak
English is my friend.
I want to write a letter to Santa.
I want to meet Stevie Wonder.
I want to help poor people.
I want to go shopping reduce prices.
I want to meet alot of pretty girls.
We want many foreigner girlfriends.
I want to die in America.
Beuna-Voidable – I have no idea what this is….
I had an unpleasant experience in Japan – Again… WTF?
To invite Europeans and Americans to my house party.
I want to get an American husband.
To be the president.
Abroad go time.
Forso Cipty – ?

There are hundreds more to choose from, most of them written in Japanese. I asked them to write as much as possible in English, then used pictures to illustrate their ideas. Ill scan one later and drop it in here.


  1. looking forward to the scanned pic!

  2. This post is really funny!
    Kids are so cute!
    Also it is very important for them to think about the reason of studying English.
    You are good a teacher!

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