I am delighted that I am currently having the opportunity to learn in one of the many colleges in Oxford University. Leaning in English classes and academic subject classes here are not only very challenging, but also very exciting to us.
At the beginning of this program, the teachers put great effort into getting to know us well. They memorized our names and our majors just in two days. The teacher told me that this was necessary to understand our personalities and to get to know each student’s English level, so that he could give individual feedback to each of us. Since students’ English ability varies from person to person, the teacher set different goals and tasks for each of us, so that everybody could improve their English skills. This was very surprising to me, but I could see that the teacher was trying his best to teach us how to improve our English, which made me extremely motivated. We participate in activities such as group discussions, and presentations in and out of class, instead of just listening to lectures. This learning style, helps us improve our speaking skills very effectively. I could already see some improvements in many of us including myself, such as speaking without any hesitation, when compared to our first day in class.
In academic classes, I am learning about new topics different from my field, which makes them more fascinating. The class that I am taking is ‘The world thorough Mass Media’, from which I have learned how media easily influence us in many aspects. My knowledge on this subject has helped in expanding my horizons, and I know that I will be able to utilize what I learned when I go back to Kyoto University to do my own research.
During this program, we not only sit in classes, but also socialize with other students from Kyoto University. We all come from different fields of study, and at first, it was not an easy task to get to know everyone. However, since everyone has their own unique personalities, and own reasons in joining this program, I enjoy being with them. They are all motivated students, and therefore being with them make me more encouraged. We willingly start discussions outside classes about topics we learned in English and academic classes, even though it is not part of our homework, or part of a given project. This is because we are all interested in the subjects we learn, and we like to share our opinions and our viewpoints. I realized that it is necessary and important to describe my thoughts and opinions when having discussions with people from other fields of studies, in order to improve my skills in explaining. Moreover, by listening to other people’s opinion we can expand our views of the world. For instance, several students and I had a discussion about “Do all humans have a right to live?” which was a topic taken up already in my English class. One student who specializes in law mentioned her opinion from her field, and another student made his opinion from a philosophical viewpoint, and I also shared my thoughts and standpoint concerning this topic. This discussion continued for more than two hours, but in the end, we could not reach any conclusion at all, which in the first place was not our goal. However, we all agreed that it is necessary to share opinions from various different disciplines in order to understand social topics, and gain knowledge from different angles. This made me realize that I must interact with many people from different fields of studies, a realization for which I am very grateful.
There are more facts to learn, but I know that teachers at Oxford University are doing their best to share their knowledge with us, and I know that students including me are willing to learn as much as we can to deepen our understanding of English and its culture through our experiences at Oxford University. I hope that I can utilize the skills that I gain here, and share it with other people when I go back to Kyoto University.
- 【学生派遣】オックスフォード大学特別サマースクールプログラム報告(3)（人間・環境学研究科・ 町田奈緒子）