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2014年度郡山市中学生英語弁論大会(創作の部)上田稜真

   Pilot as a Bridge                   Asaka 2nd JHS Ueta Ryoma
   "Ryoma, what is the difference between a yukata and a kimono?" "A yukata is a kind of kimono.  We usually wear it in summer.'' " So , do all Japanese people wear yukata in summer?'' "No, we don't.  We wear it when we go to summer festivals." "So, is a yukata a costume for summer festivals?" "No,it isn't..."  After this, my host brother Nathan continued asking me more and more questions. But I couldn't answer them well. To be sure,one problem was that my English ability wasn't high enough. But l found that the biggest problem was that l didn't understand my culture well.  This shocked me.
   Last summer l did a homestay in Virginia for a month. Many people helped me prepare for this homestay. One thing we did was make an album to introduce Japanese culture.  l introduced Japanese events and customs in English with many pictures.  I talked with my host family using this album. I talked positively to let them know about myself and Japan.  I was able to learn about Nathan and the U.S. through these conversations.  Thanks to this album,we had a fun time.
   I positively asked questions when l didn't know something about life in America.   Whenever l asked a question, they asked me a question back. "So,what do you do in Japan?'"  "What do you think about that?''  There were many questions I couldn't answer about my opinions or Japan.  l thought l could make it with just my English ability and positive communication.  But l found that our conversations couldn't continue without my opinion.  I realized that it was necessary to know Japanese culture and to have my own opinion for better communication.
   This homestay was my first cross-cultural experience.  I learned the following things from my host family. The flrst thing was how wonderful it is to tell people about myself and Japanese culture. The second thing was how important it is to understand each other's culture. The last thing was how great it is to understand each other in spite of cultural differences.                                                                                                                 I have been dreaming of flying in the sky since l was a child.  l still have this dream. I want to be a pilot in the future.  But the pilot l want to be is not just the operator of a plane.  I want to be a pilot who acts as a bridge to connect people's hearts.  l don't who connects the hearts of travelers and the people they meet.  I believe that it is the role of a pilot to help people meet each other.  Because of my homestay experience, I want to be a pilot even more.  I really want to be a pilot in the near future.  l really want to be someone who acts as a bridge to connect the hearts of people all over the world.

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