The definition of “community” is:
1. a group of people having a particular characteristic in common.
2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
One of the more difficult things to do as an adult is to meet new people and make new friends. Both situations can be very helpful in learning English.
- The Problem is, even though you have a new friend, you may not always share the same interests. For example, you may find a person, and you both enjoy playing tennis. However, maybe only one of you enjoys singing karaoke, and the other likes to go fishing.
In order to practice speaking English on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to find a community of native English speakers or teachers. Unfortunately they may not always be available in your area. So what else can you do? Well, you could find a community of Japanese learners of English. Perhaps your classmates or a friend of a friend.
Now days we have social media. This is a great way to meet new people. No matter your preferred app, social media is a convenient way to communicate with people who have a similar interest.
As an American living in Japan, I still have a lot of interests that many Japanese people don’t have. For example football, pro wrestling, or video games. Not many people in Kurume enjoy these things, but people in other cities or countries do. I have found many new people on Instagram, whom I have never met in real life. Yet we talk about many things every day. We have even exchanged souvenirs and presents through the mail. So it is possible to meet new people who are complete strangers and become good friends.
I believe the same can be done in the classroom. In your English classroom, there are many people. Generally you live in a similar area as well. You also share one major interest together, you all are learning English. Even though they are strangers to you, you have that one thing in common you can talk about. One thing that can create a bond together. Who knows, maybe you share other interests as well.
So give it a try and create a community within your classroom. After class or before class, maybe you can get a few other people and meet at a cafe or even in the school lobby. Make a plan to have a few drinks and talk about the day’s lesson together. Maybe even share ideas or adventures with these people. With this newfound community, they can help you and vice versa. You can both support one another and perhaps raise your skill level at the same time! Don’t be shy, and reach out to some new people and start a helpful English speaking community of your own!