More 4 descriptions

7. First English learning 
When I was one or two years old, my parents gave me English learning materials.  The system I used is called “World Family”.  I watched DVDs in English and spoke some English words.  I don’t remember well, but I like the word “popcorn” and said it in good pronunciation, my parents told.  I like speaking English, and it may come from this experience.  The DVDs and other materials from World Family are in shelves in my room.
Next to them, there are notebooks and textbooks I used in junior high and high school.  What a lot of notebooks I used for studying! 
The older I grow, the more difficult materials become.  They bring out the nostalgia in me. (118 words)
8 A teacher who likes singing
It was the first time to learn English in school when I was in first grade of junior high school.  I was looking forward to taking the English class.  However, I don’t remember about the contents of English classes.  I don’t remember the English teacher’s name, neither.  Just thing I remember is a song, “Beautiful Sunday” by Daniel Boone.  He sang the song in front of the students.  We did not song because we were shy about singing.  I remember that some of boys mimicked the teacher’s singing after the class.  Looking back on it now, the teacher succeeded in attract student’s attention. 
After one year, he was transferred to another school.  At a goodbye party in my school, he sang the song.  “Beautiful Sunday” became a byword for the teacher.  (131 words)
9 Having a talk with ALT
My junior high school had a ALT.  He always had a gentle smile, but I was little afraid because I din not have any confidence in my English ability.  Besides, I remember, he was so tall.  Some students talked with him in poor English and I just looked it with envy.  I wanted to speak with him like other students.  But I did not have courage to talk to him.
One day, we made a picture-story show in English class.  I drew a picture of a wolf.  The ALT looked my picture.  He came to me and said, “Is this a fox?” and many other things.  I tried to tell him that it was a wolf, but my pronunciation was not good.  We tried to understand each other in many times.  At last he said, “Oh, it’s a wolf!  Good job.”
This is my first experience in communicating with a native speaker in English. (154 words)
10 My feelings won't be fixed
I tend to watch the same movie in many times.  One of the most favorite movies is “Ladies in Lavender”.  The music of this music was used in the performance of figure skating, then I know this movie.  The DVD of this movie has no dubbing of Japanese, so I always watch it with subtitles in Japanese or English.  I remember the outline, lines, music of this movie because I watched it so many times.  Each time I watch it, I feel different things.  That’s depend on my mood, physical condition, circumstances and so on.  But that is not depend on language used in the movie.  The movie taught me that English is just a communication tool same as Japanese. (120 words)

Explanation of theme

People who can speak English is cool.  Songs sang in English is cool, too.  I feel just English is cool; it is far from my daily life.  But my parents, teachers in junior high school, some movies and books tried to tell me that English is language same as Japanese.  In actually, I am not so good at English and don’t like it.  My experience of studying abroad turned my idea. After the experience, English became a communication tool. I can become use English, and using English is natural things for me. These poems tell my changing of my mind. (100 words)

Background information of 6 poems

1. Study abroad
This poem shows my experience of studying abroad.  When I was in second grade of high school, I went to Oneonta, N.Y. to study music.  It was my first trip to abroad.  There were a lot of difficult caused by English.  I barely arrived at university where a music camp had.  I could not understand staffs, roommate, teachers.  I did not have companies from Japan, so I was the only person who cannot speak English well.  But I had my weapon, saxophone.  I tried to express my idea through music, not in English.  Gradually, many people understood me and talked to me. We opened up our heart through music. (109 words)

2. Sing in English
When I was in second grade in the high school, I sang “Memory” from a musical “Cats”.  In the musical, “Memory” is sung by Grizabella, who is oppressed by other cats.  In the song, she songs her desire; she wants to be accepted them.  I feel painful and unbearable. 
The difference between singing in Japanese and English appears on my behavior. When I sing in English, I can feel like I become another person.  That is because English brings me the so-called exoticism.  I am not so good at speak from the heart in public.  English helps me to act Grizabella. (101 words)
3. Harry Potter and a Japanese girl
Harry Potter put a spell on me.    
When I was about ten or eleven, my father’s friend gave me DVDs of Harry Potter.  First, I enjoyed it with Japanese dubbing.  Through watching it again and again, I wanted to hear the actors’ and actresses’ real voice.  So, the second I tried to watch it with subtitles, no dubbing.  I remembered almost all lines in Japanese, I could understand even with no subtitles.
After I watched one of movie from Harry Potter series, I started to read books of them.  I read them at least 20 times, and I wanted to read them in the original text.   
I like reading books in both of Japanese and English, watching foreign movies because of Harry Potter. (123 words)

4. Summer course
During summer vacation, I went to school everyday to study for the entrance exam for the university.  My school had some courses, so I took the one for a long English passage reading comprehension question.  My homeroom teacher had the class.  When he read passages, my head became heavier and heavier.  Alphabets started to move on the paper; I fought off sleepiness.  I doubted whether I become to be able to understand an English passage.  But end of the course, I became good at reading it.  After the summer vacation, my scores went up well.  I cannot thank him enough. (100 words)
5. In English major
I decided to take sub-major.  When I visited a professor in charge, she said “It is said that taking English classes as sub-major is hard. Are you ready for it?”  I said “I’m okay.  I’ll do hard.”  After classes start, I regret taking them.  In the class, a lot of words I don’t know are used.  I don’t know the students taking classes together.  What is more, I have a lot of homework (I never speak complaint about it).  But I can get knowledge about many things and it also helps my music activities.  Now, I don’t regret learning about English in Gunma University. (104 words)
6. Texting
I made friends a lot in US.  After I came back to Japan, we sent messages each other.  But there is a time difference of thirteen hours between Japan and NY.  So, the time we can chat in real time is not so long.  Usually I receive message from NY at midnight or dawn.  Soon I wake up, I reply to her.  Sometimes this talk has been had until now.  Mainly we talk about our school life and music.  She learns music education in her university, so we speak the same language.  Our friendship and discussion will go on.  And I hope to meet her again someday. (107 words)

More 4 poems

7. First English Learning
In my room,
there are many English DVDs and cards.
Orange squirrel, yellow rabbit, big bird...
Many cute characters look at me from a shelf.

Next to them,
there are many text books, notebooks, handouts I used in school.

A shelf talks history of my English learning.
8. A teacher who likes singing
Early days in my junior high,
An English teacher sings a song in every class.
At first, he was alone.
Little by little,
he got company.
Students were amused at his singing.

End of the year,
he should left our school.
At a goodbye party, he spoke a little.
Instead of speaking, he sang.

Now, I can't say his name.
I can sing that song.

9. Having a talk with ALT
He looks like kind to everyone.
He looks like a humorous person.
If I could speak with him...

he turns to me and says something.
I can't understand.
But I try to say something.
He says
"Good job," with a bright smile.

I could talk with him? In English?
Yes, I can speak English.
I can... I can use English!

10. Don't fix my feeling
In the movie, people always do same things,
even if I watch it many times.
I remember,
in this scene, she says that words,
in that scene, he behaves like that.

Each time when I watch the movie,
Only my feeling is different.

Even through a fence, called foreign language,
My feeling has no difficult.

New 3 poems

4.  Summer course
Irritated, frustrated,
with long long text.

English is same as a dog's bark
Alphabets are just diagrams.

After this summer
Will it make sense?

5.  In English major
In the class
Students I don't know
A teacher speaking English
Long English text

Am I the right person to study with them?
Can I understand classes?

Just a thing I can do is
trying, trying, trying.

6. Texting 
"Good night," I say.
13 hours later
"Good night," she says.

Time prevent us

Every morning,
Check my cellphone with sleep-tousled hair
And say
"Good morning, today I'm gonna..."

3 poems based on feedback

1. Study abroad

I can't understand people here.
I don't know their feelings.
The only things I know is...
they love music.

I speak in music.
It helps me.
It makes them smile.
It makes me smile, too.

Music breaks down our wall.
Music connects us.


2. Sing in English
I was a cat
Old cat
Everyone hated me
Sadness, anger, pain...

In the musical song,
I can become everything!

title " Singing in English"→ " Sing in English"
In the last stanza,
1 use " ! "
2 music room→ musical song

3. Harry Potter and a Japanese girl
Watching movies
Feeling as I am in the movie.

I can feel together their happiness, love,
and also sadness and hate.

I forget that
I can't use magic,
I can't fly in the sky,
I can't ...

No, it's unrelated
Imagination what I want to do


3 poetry

1. Studying in abroad

I can't understand them.
I don't know their feelings.
The only things I know is they love music.

I speak in music
It helps me
Always music helps me

At last,
I can enjoy speaking
I feel happy with my friends
And I feel
How much I love music

2. Singing in English
I was a cat
Old cat
Everyone hated me
Sadness, anger, pain...

In the music room,
I can become everything
3.Watching movies
Watching movies
Feeling with people in the movie

I forget that
I can't use magic,
I can't fly in the sky,
I can't ...

No, it's unrelated
Imagination what I want to do

10 memories of English learning

1.World family(correspondence course for children)…I watched DVD in English. There were many cute characters. The contents of the DVD is their daily life.

2.Harry Potter series(movie and book)…At first, I watched movies in Japanese, but I wanted to listen to actors’ and actresses’ voice. And I was crazy about Harry Potter series books, too. I read the series at the least 20 times in Japanese, so I could guess the meaning in English book. Especially I liked extra edition, ” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child “.

3.English song sang in English class (junior high school)…My teacher liked singing. I don’t remember well…

4.Having a talk with ALT (junior high school)…When I made picture-story show with group member in my class, I talked with ALT. I was afraid of speaking English, but he was very friendly so I could speak a lot.

5.English song(the musical song by “Cats” and “Les miserables”) sang in the music class (high school)…In the music class, we performed musical song. Singing in foreign language was great, because I could feel like becoming another person.

6.A movie,” Ladies in Lavender”. The DVD disk has no Japanese dubbing, so I watched it with Japanese subtitles. I watched it many times, so I could understand their English little by little.

7.Going abroad alone to study music. I stayed N.Y. for 2 weeks. (high school)…I have a long story about my experience in N.Y. I couldn’t native speaker’s English because it was very fast. But 3 days after I arrived there, I could enjoy talking with friends. It was not fluently, bout my friends helped me every time.

8.Having a talk online with my American friends. (From high school to now)…Sometimes we talked on chat or Skype. Always they care about me, so I could tell them my idea.

9.The summer course of English in my high school. (passage reading comprehension)…My homeroom teacher taught English, so I took his class. It was good opportunity to understand haw to read long passage.

10.Taking English classes with students majoring in English…Now, my English skill is not good. Taking English classes with students majoring in English is hard, but I can learn a lot of things.

About Chamcharatsri’s article

Which language is proper to express the feeling of love, their mother tongue or second language? It’s the main point of this article. In the result, there are some types.

First, Maiake preferred using his mother language(Thai). That’s because “he felt competent in his Thai language.”(p.147) But it is not mean that his English skill is low. He could use metaphor using simple words. He could say something difficult about love in different words. It can’t be happen if he had no English skill.

Second, Em preferred using English, second language. Chamcharatsri says that “he felt awkward and nervous because he had never used Thai to express romantic love”(p.149) in the article. And Em says that “I meant I used the English language more than Thai in every language skill.”(p.149)

What is difference between Maiake and Em? Why one preferred his mother tongue, and the other preferred second language? I think, the key phrase is “happened in English”.(p.149) In Em’s mind, the expression of love is explained in English. In the other hand, Maiake’s language to think about love is Thai. So he preferred Thai to write the poetry.

Considering this fact, poetry writing can help writers to think through second language. When writers try to write their feelings in second language, they will think in second language. That is good training for language skill.

Poetry writing has one more good effect for L2 writers. Chamcharatsri argues that “L2 writers can reflect on their personal experiences and gain a better understanding of themselves linguistically, culturally, cognitively, and emotionally.”(p.141) It means that poetry writing can refer to writer’s deep psyche. Poetry writing can effect on both of language skill and psychological side.

About Professor Iida’s article

1.My understanding about the article

Poetry writing is effective for L2 learners. There are mainly two good points.

First, they can encounter a lot of words. Iida(2016) argued that “analysis involved examining the lexical richness of the poetic texts.”(p.123). To expression their feelings, they try to find suitable word. When they choose words, it is important not only meanings but also pronunciation and spelling. That’s because poetry is type of art. L2 learners can increase their vocabulary through poetry.

Second, poetry writing is “a way to explore personal life experiences”(Iida,2016,p.132). As I mentioned, poetry is art. Art can open up people’s heart. So, if they had a difficult time, they can explain their feeling on poetry. It can be called a kind of self counseling.

2.Best Poem

I like the last poem “Look up!!”(p.129). In this poem, a subject is “people”. This is as if all Japanese people became united in spirit. In second stanza, the pronunciation of
“ly” is refrained. Readers feel tempo because of this, at the same time they feel a sense of unity, too. This is the feature of poetry. The atmosphere of this poem can not be described in essay and other way.

When the earthquake occurred, I was in elementary school. In Gunma, we had no tsunami, pollution by radiation or fire. Looking back on it now, it is great fortune.

I experienced the earthquake. It is the truth. But, did I know the sadness or fear that people in Touhoku felt? The answer is probably “No”. I lost nothing because of the earthquake.

From this poem “Look up!!”, I can feel sadness and strength of people. This is the truth of the earthquake that I didn’t know. All Japanese should share the feeling about the earthquake, and this poem can help it.