Introduction(1)

Hi! Welcome to my poetry world.

My name is  刘晓旭 and was called as LIU XIAOXU/Asahi/Sherry and so on–I’m used to spelling my names in different languages,as a multilingual learner. I come from China and major in Japanese as a college student now–though I’ve been studying English since I was six in primary school and taking a deep interest in it for over nine years.

So why didn’t I choose a major on English? That is because I’m also fond of multicultural communication. And this is what this book is talking about–my experience of language learning, especially English learning. The book contained ten of my deepest memories of English learning, since the first time I start to get an interest in English, to recent days when I finally understood why I choosed Japanese as my major instead of English, and also include all kinds of happy and sad moments when learning and trying to balance English and other languages.

 

 

.Tried to present a Japanese anime character to a  foreign teacher

 

The first poem describes a moment when I first got interest in English. My mom sent me to a remedial English school when I was eleven, the age I loved anime very much but not English. And on a boring afternoon my foreign teacher asked me about the character I was painting furtively on class, instead of arguing on me.After class I apologized and tried my best to talk with her about my favourite character at that time, for nearly half an hour. My English was really really poor at that time so that I’ve been feeling very grateful to the teacher for her gentleness and patience till now. It was her that made me start to want to learn English well.

 

The second poem describes a moment when I won the first place of English final exam in high school.That was the first final exam in my high school and I got a quite good grade, especially English. In fact there was some unfair competitions at our school and sometimes the winner was win just because they’re senior officials’ children. But studying and the final exam was fair, so that I was very proud of myself when

won the first place and proved myself.

 

The third poem describes a moment when I  received the second-class reward in the National Olympic English Competition.

I didn’t find myself good at English because of hard-working  in childhood  until I’ve wined several competitions. So I became kind of complacent and didn’t work so hard. Then in the national competition, I finally found that there are far more students better than me. I became a little more realistic but still didn’t wake up from my silly dream.

 

The forth poem describes a moment when I was failed and scolded by my teacher. After winning in several exams, I started to honore the knowledge that I’d learned early in my childhood and  hardly ever study  English seriously in high school. That was quite effective at the beginning, but as time went on the old knowledge didn’t work any more. My head teacher noticed that and criticized me seriously. That was a little cruel for a girl with strong self-esteem, but it worked very well. Although I didn’t get back to the first place at last, I’ve always been thankful for the her words at that time.

 

The fifth poem describes a moment when I made the first foreign friend because of the same interest.

It was the first School Foreign Culture Festival for me in University and I cosplayed to be NANA as a member of comic club. That was a great festival when every country and student groups own their space and celebrated under the center stage together. At that time I made friends with an American and his classmates who also love cosplay and were wondering how to take part in Comiket in Dalian. Later we enjoyed comikets together on October, and I really enjoyed the amusement of international communication.

 

The sixth poem describes a moment when I

accepted guidance from a multilingual Canadian teacher about balancing L2 and L3.

That was my first English class in University. Our teacher was a slightly overweight but kind and cute Canadian lady. She introduce

Poetry Writing (final)

»

The Beginning of Language Studying

 

the fifth remedial class on the weekend afternoon

kept my soul travelling

couldn’t hear anything

 

Teacher passed by

Noticed characters on my bag

 

“Who is this cool girl?”

 

“wow…thank you!”

 

suddenly I found I was able to hear

tobuild a hope of studying

 

»

“Dark Horse”

 

Applause

Spotlight

Congratulations

 

I did it

 

Learning is  fair for everyone

 

Not depends on

who one’s parents are

how famous one’s teacher is

 

»

National English contest

 

Winner of a class

may not win in school

Winner of a school

may not win in province

Even national champion

may not win forever

 

There’re always higher mountains

farther skies

and shinier stars

 

»

After failed and scolded

 

Why are the birds so annoying?

are they laughing at me?

Why is the sunshine so dazzling?

Is it making fun of me?

 

But, what can I complain about

as a loser…

what else can I complain about?

lose to myself

 

»

On Comic-con

 

Princess Elsa is frolicing with her sister

Harry Potter is waving his wand

 

a novel world

funny and fascinating

 

Even not fully understand the words

can also understand each other

for the same love we own.

 

»

Start multilingual learning

 

I want to speak Japanese

English words come out

I want to speak English

Japanese words come out

Fall into confusion

 

“Do not translate”

 

Think as a Japanese when speaking Japanese

Think as a Britisher when speaking English

 

They’re languages

not subjects

or test questions

 

»

Japanese-major Students’ English Class

 

Agree?

Disagree.

 

“いいえ”

“yeah?Why?”

 

noticed the misunderstanding

the class burst into laughter

 

»

An International Party Night

 

I see stars on the sky

and also in our eyes

I hear songs of the wind

and also in our laugher

 

Japanese tries speaking English

English tries speaking Chinese

Chinese tries speaking Japanese

 

Also we have the same language

for we come from the same world that night

 

»

First English class in Gunma

 

Afraid

Nervous

Shall I choose English class in a foreign country

Will I become troublesome

I wondered

 

But no more nervous

when I see the kind faces

 

What should I nervous about

We all come for the same goal

to study and communicate

 

»

Why learning languages

 

There are so many wonderful sences

I want to appreciate them

There are so many beautiful voices

I want to hear them

There are so many witty persons

I want to talk to them

 

We cannot control the length of life

but can design the width

Poetry Writing Practice (3)

»

National English contest

 

Winner of a class

may not win in school

Winner of a school

may not win in province

Even national champion

may not win forever

 

There’re always higher mountains

farther skies

and better creatures

 

»

First English class in Gunma

 

Afraid

Nervous

Shall I choose English class in foreign country

Will I become troublesome

I wondered

 

But no more nervous

when I see the kind faces

 

What should I nervous about

We all come for the same goal

to progress and communicate

 

»

Start multilingual learning

 

I want to speak Japanese

English words come out

I want to speak English

Japanese words come out

Fall into confusion

 

“Do not translate”

 

Think as a Japanese when speaking Japanese

Think as a Britisher when speaking English

 

They’re languages

not subjects

or test questions

 

»

Why learning languages

 

There are so many wonderful sences

I want to appreciate them

There are so many beautiful voices

I want to hear them

There are so many witty persons

I want to talk to them

 

One cannot control the length of life

but can design the width

 

Poetry Writing Practice(2 )

»

On Foreign Comic-con

 

Princess Elsa is frolicking with her sister

Harry Potter is waving his wand

 

A novel world

Funny and fascinating

 

May not fully understand the words

But also understand each other

for the same love we own.

 

»

Japanese-major Students’ English Class

 

Agree?

Disagree.

 

“いいえ”

“yeah?Why?”

 

Noticed the misunderstanding

All of us burst into laughter

 

»

“Dark Horse”

 

Applause

Spotlight

Congratulations

 

I did it

 

Learning is  fair for everyone

 

Not depends on

who one’s parents are

how famous one’s teacher is

 

Three Poetry Writing Practice

An International Party Night

 

I saw stars on the sky

and also in our eyes

I heard songs of the wind

and also in our laugher

 

Japanese tried speaking English

English tried speaking Chinese

Chinese tried speaking Japanese

 

Also we had the same language

for we came from the same world that night

 

 

an Unforgettable Afternoon with my Remedial Teacher

 

the fifth remedial class on the weekend afternoon

I still kept my soul travelling

couldn’t hear anything

 

“Who is this cool girl?”

“Do you like her?”

 

“wow…thank you!”

 

I can’t remember how poor my words were

But I always remember

It was since that time

could I start to hear

to say something in English

 

 

After failed and scolded

 

Why are the birds so annoying

are they laughing at me

Why is the sunshine so dazzling

Is it making fun of me

 

But what else can I complain about

As a loser

lost to myself

Ten memories of English Language Learning(free writing)

1.The first English test in primary school

Perhaps that was not the first test, but was my first failed test. Students were turned to the desk to answer the teacher’s questions and she asked three words to translate on my turn. But I totally forgot the word “bear”.It’s just an amusing small mistake when I think about it now but I’ve really remembered it for a long time.

2.Tried to present a Japanese anime character to a  foreign teacher

My mom sent me to a remedial English school when I was eleven, the age I loved anime very much. And on a warm afternoon I tried to talk with my foreign teacher about my favourite character at that time, for nearly half an hour, after class. My English was really really poor at that time so that I’ve been feeling very grateful to the teacher for her gentleness and patience till now.

3.First won the first place of English final exam in high school.

That was the first final exam in my high school and I got a quite good grade, especially English. But that was not a full score. And I learned the amusing truth when talking with my teacher later. It is said that I’d been the only full score at first but the English teachers were not so happy to see that. Then they reexamined my test paper and finally succeed–there was a Chinese punctuation in my composition…

4.Received the second-class reward in the National Olympic English Competition.

I didn’t find myself good at English because of hard-working in childhood until I’ve wined several competitions. So I became kind of complacent and didn’t work so hard. Then in the national competition, I finally found that there are far more students better than me. I became a little more realistic but still didn’t wake up from my silly dream.

5.Was scolded by head teacher for cockiness and marking time

In fact, I honored the knowledge that I’d learned early in my childhood and hardly ever studied English seriously in high school. That was quite effective at the beginning, but as time went on the old knowledge didn’t work any more. My head teacher noticed that and criticized me seriously. That was a little cruel for a girl with strong self-esteem, but it worked very well. Although I Ididn’t get back to the first place at last, I’ve always been thankful for the her words at that time.

6.Made the first foreign friend

It was the first School Foreign Culture Festival for me in University and I cosplayed to be NANA as a member of comic club. That was a great festival when every country and student groups own their space and celebrated under the center stage together. At that time I made friends with an American and his classmates who also love cosplay and were wondering how to take part in Comiket in Dalian. Later we enjoyed comikets together on October, and I really enjoyed the amusement of international communication.

7.Accepted guidance  from a multilingual Canadian teacher about balancing L2 and L3

That was my first English class in University. Our teacher was a slightly overweight but kind and cute Canadian lady. She introduced herself at first and asked us if we’ve had any questions. I noticed that she was also a multilingual learner so I asked if she’s had the same trouble with me. She seemed to be moved by looking back on her past and talked a lot about how to think in different languages and balance them well.

8.Responded “いいえ” (sounds like yeah)when teacher called me on an English class and made a big joke

The mass of languages was quite a common scene on our English class. The most common situation was that Japanese-major students used to say “はい” instead of “here” when our teacher called the roll. And what’s more, one time when teacher asked me if I’d like to get married right after graduating from University, I replied “いいえ” (sounds like yeah)directly and the whole class was a little shocked when my Japanese-major friends soon understand and burst into laughter.

9.Last meet with American friends before going to Japan.

We had a small party at karaoke before my setting off to Japan. It’s been a long time since the last meet. Their Chinese was getting better and better when my English was getting worse and worse. The party was full of funny Chinese and English,and Japanese I spoke mistakenly. And it was the most amusing moment that I forgot how to reply to “thanks” and said “大丈夫” naturally…

10.The first English lesson at Gunma University.

I thought that with professional Japanese learning I would be farther and farther away from English, so I didn’t expect to continue to learn English after coming to Japan. But luckily I choosed iida sensei’ class. I was quite nervous on that afternoon because It was my first English lesson at Gunma University and I had a lot of concerns about my status and my English now. But luckily my teacher and classmates were so kind that I quickly got into the atmosphere. And now this lesson even makes me think deeper about language learning and multilingual study.

 

Ten memories of English Language Learning

1.The first English test in primary school

2.Tried to present a Japanese anime character to a  foreign teacher

3.First won the first place of English final exam in high school

4.Received the second-class reward in the National Olympic English Competition

5.Was scolded by head teacher for cockiness and marking time

6.Made the first foreign friend

7.Accepted guidance from a multilingual Canada teacher about balancing L2 and L3

8.Responded “いいえ” (sounds like yeah)when teacher called me on an English class and made a big joke

9.Last meet with American friends before going to Japan

10.The first English lesson at Gunma University

Understanding and Thinking of Chamcharatsri, P. B. (2013)

Chamcharatsri (2013) shows how four Thai L2 writers expressed their emotions by poetry writing. It shows that L2 writers can express themselves well by writing poems based on their personal experience and emotions. And sometimes they even feel more free to create in English because they used to listen to English songs and watch English movies.The study also made an exposition of the advantages of poetry creation for second language learners, comparing with traditional fossilized English teaching.

In my opinion, creative poetry writing can not only help us learn to use English, but also help promote our understanding of English. English is not a subject but a language. Language is a tool for communication and thinking , a product of society and also a guarantee for the existence of society. Further more, it is a window for international exchanges. For L2 writers , only when they succeed in using English to convey their ideas and express their emotions , can they achieve the significance of learning a foreign language. When writing creative poetry, they may try to apply the more authentic way of expression they’ve seen in native English works, to focus on their self-consciousness rather than rigid examination content, and even try to think in English.

How to make English a language rather than a subject for L2 learners? It needs them to be separated from the solidified teaching content and begin to express themselves in foreign languages. Finally, when they begin to think in that language instead of only translating what they see , hear and think, the language will became a real language for them.

*the reading and writing homework for:

Chamcharatsri, P. B. (2013). Poetry writing to express love in Thai and in English: A second language (L2) writing perspective. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching, 2, 142-157.

My Favourite Poem

Life, thin and light-off time and time again

Frivolous tireless

 

one

I heard the echo, from the valleys and the heart

Open to the lonely soul of sickle harvesting

Repeat outrightly, but also repeat the well-being of

Eventually swaying in the desert oasis

 

I believe I am

Born as the bright summer flowers

Do not withered undefeated fiery demon rule

Heart rate and breathing to bear the load of the cumbersome

Bored

 

Two

I heard the music, from the moon and carcass

Auxiliary extreme aestheticism bait to capture misty

Filling the intense life, but also filling the pure

There are always memories throughout the earth

 

I believe I am

Died as the quiet beauty of autumn leaves

Sheng is not chaos, smoke gesture

Even wilt also retained bone proudly Qing Feng muscle

Occult

 

Three

I hear love, I believe in love

Love is a pool of struggling blue-green algae

As desolate micro-burst of wind

Bleeding through my veins

Years stationed in the belief

 

Four

I believe that all can hear

Even anticipate discrete, I met the other their own

Some can not grasp the moment

Left to the East to go West, the dead must not return to nowhere

 

See, I wear Zan Flowers on my head, in full bloom along the way all the way

Frequently missed some, but also deeply moved by wind, frost, snow or rain

 

Five

Prajna Paramita, soon as soon as

life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves

Also care about what has

———Rabindranath Tagore(1916) <Stray Birds>No.82

 

The reason why this poem moved me can mainly divided into three points.

One is its artistic conception to describe life and death by magnificent or melancholy natural scenes. Different from many lyric poems, he  portrayed nature pictures and thus arouses thinking and resonance, showing his philosophical reflection on life, death and human feelings. It was the beauty of  his words that really maked me immerse in the beautiful atmosphere.

Secondly, his thinking about life has greatly influenced me, so that I’ve always believed that life can be short but splendid and passed away peacefully.

The third point is its value in translatology. In its Chinese version(by郑振铎,1956),”Let life be beautiful like summer flowers And Death like autumn leaves.” was translated into an extremely graceful sentence and even caused great repercussions in China. That was the first time I’ve seen the aesthetic communication embodied in poetry translation. And it prompted me to believe that poetry can sometimes be translated perfectly.

My Understanding and Thinking of Iida, A. (2016). Exploring earthquake experiences

Iida (2016) expressed the characteristics of second language learners’ poetry writing and also showed the significance and benefits of poetry writing to the second language education.

In my opinion, one of the biggest differences between different languages is the words describing emotions. It’s very common that the words described emotions cannot be rendered perfectly in the process of translation.In this case, L2 writers tend to describe scenes more often when they write poems. By restoring scenes, dialogues and atmosphere, L2 writers can make their readers feel what they felt at that time.

And about the application of poetry in education, poems seem easier to be accepted than other literary forms for the refinement of words and graceful rhythm.Therefore, poetry may also stimulate students’ interest more in foreign languages at the stage of language popularizing education.

 

*the reading and writing homework for:

Iida,A.(2016).Exploring earthquake experiences:A study of second language learners’ ability to express and communicate deeply traumatic events in poetic form.System,57,120-133.