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General Knowledge Subjects – Learning How to Think Just studying English will not make you effective at communicating with the world community. You can memorize formal greetings, but how far you can carry a conversation beyond that depends on your own awareness of contemporary issues and your ability to form and express your own opinions. If an American asked you to describe three good things about Japan, could you respond well in English? You probably think, "Well, it might be difficult in English." Okay, then do you think you could respond well even in Japanese? If you are not aware of, and regularly contemplating contemporary issues, you will have difficulty expressing you opinion even in Japanese. So the ability to communicate effectively in English is not just a matter of English language skill; it also depends on your familiarity with issues and forming your own opinions. No matter how much you study English, you will not be able to hold a conversation without awareness and opinions regarding issues. At our Seattle school, we do not merely teach test-taking skills toward certification exams like a test preparation school. We also want you to learn how to think and form opinions, so we offer general knowledge courses such as Living in America (including US Tourism Geography), American History, and Employment Preparation to help you broaden your knowledge and understanding of society. Furthermore, we hope that you will discuss the topics that you study, in English, with your host family and international friends.

In the Living in America class, in addition to practical skills such as how to manage your bank account and credit cards, you will learn directly from a professional health care worker about health issues, contraception, etc. Our students have listened in tears as AIDS patients shared their experiences with the class, leaving a deep impression on everyone. We hope that you, too, will be moved by these classes. In their summer and winter vacations, many of our students travel to the famous places they have learned about in the Tourism Geography and American History class. Traveling with background knowledge and information makes it easier to enjoy and appreciate the locations with one's heart and mind, rather than just with one's eyes.

International students should feel love and pride for their home country, and be able to describe their country, even if not in perfect English. How about you? When you are in Seattle you should take the opportunity to look back at Japan from the outside, and consider it deeply. We hope that when you complete our program you will be able to skillfully discuss both the positive and negative aspects of Japan. Continuous training to "think" and form your own opinions is essential for those of you who want to find jobs using English, working overseas, and serving as cultural bridges between Japan and America.