I hope you could all enjoy the short Golden Week break. My family and I went camping in Miki and took a day trip to Nose. We really enjoyed getting away from the city for a couple of days.
Anyway, I wanted to write today about the American Studies course. I know many students are struggling with the reading assignments, but you shouldn’t give up. Please continue to push yourself to read a little bit everyday. This is one of the main purposes of the course, to develop a reading habit in English. Developing a reading habit in English will help you with your other studies at CUBE over the next few years.
Here are a couple of pieces of advice:
1. First, read the chapter straight through once without stopping (don’t worry about unknown words).
2. Try to see the big picture. What are the main themes?
3. Read again with the aim of finding the main points and supporting details (highlight in different colors if necessary).
4. Go back and look up in the dictionary only those unknown words that are important for understanding the main ideas.
5. Write in your book (questions, comments, etc.).
6. Look for other related material (in Japanese if necessary) and write down notes in your American Studies notebook. This is called “reading around” a topic.
7. Talk about the readings with your classmates, teachers and other management course students.
If you stick to this, the reading will become easier and hopefully more enjoyable.
I understand some people are not really interested in American history, but we chose this textbook to give students some important background information that will help them understand and interpret modern events around the world. As you read, please think about how these events and ideas are related to your own life and what is happening in Japan.
Words of Encouragement
Remember that we grow and learn most when we are faced with difficulties and challenges. Please offer your own words of encouragement to your classmates if you see them struggling. Helping each other will make CUBE a special place where everyone can raise their potential.
Finally, please feel free to come and talk about American Studies with Roger and me. We will try to be available on Monday and Thursday afternoons (1:00 – 3:00).