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After completing my twenty units for TEFL certification, I am now equipped with the basic knowledge required to teach English as a foreign language. Currently studying Japanese as a second language at Tokyo International University, I have first hand experience with the struggles involved in language acquisition. This background knowledge helped me with my TEFL course, and visa versa. I am going to apply what I learned towards what I already know and explain some of the problems that English learners in Japan face. These problems include lack of native English speakers, pronunciation difficulties, and the public education system. To begin, the lack of native English speakers in Japan is often cited as a contributing factor towards Japanese students problems learning English. Since Japan is a homogenous society with a well-developed infrastructure, decent economy, and unique culture, most people can live their lives being monolingual, only ever speaking Japanese. While some Japanese people travel abroad or work in international environments, it is rare for people to use English on a daily basis in Japan. Since I am a native English speaker, I have had many conversations with local people wanting to practice their English with me because I have that skill set. Even though there are plenty of English language resources available online for free, I think that having a physical, native English speaker can be incredibly motivating for English learners. This is one of the main reasons that I wish to continue living in Japan after I graduate and become an English teacher. By that same token, pronunciation difficulties are often touted as a discouraging aspect of studying English. By nature of the English language, many consonant combinations can be difficult to discern by the untrained or non-native ear. As a consequence, these sounds are difficult to replicate without adequate, consistent practice. In my personal experience, Japanese students that study English are often embarrassed of their accents, and therefore are afraid to practice speaking. This can lead to slower language acquisition, or to quitting altogether. I think the knowledge of which sounds are difficult for specific learners can help to make the learning process go more smoothly. For example, Japanese people often mix up the L and R sounds, so as a future English teacher I can be careful to point out some subtle differences in tongue placement and provide a native example of the proper pronunciation. Finally, the public education system can be a contributing factor to the difficulties of English learners in Japan. Beginning to study English in Junior High School and completing basic study at the end of High School for a total of six years, it is often surprising to people that visit Japan how little English everyone speaks. This has to do with the way that learning is structured in Japanese public schools, and the slow pace of the classes. Combine these issues with the personal lives, club activities, and other school responsibilities of young students, and it is no secret that learning English can be a big challenge. I think part of the issue is a lack of resources in the Japanese public education system, and one of those resources is native speakers as I briefly covered earlier. Another issue I have noticed in my personal experience is a lack of motivation among students who have no interest in studying English. The Japanese people I have met with intermediate or advanced English all have had a strong interest in either foreign media, international travel, or careers requiring English ability. As a native English speaker hoping to teach English in the future, I can help my students find motivation by providing a fun classroom experience and introducing them to some of my favorite foreign media. All-in-all, learning a foreign language can be difficult for anyone. The amount of time and dedication required to achieve mastery seems daunting, but with the proper tools and a good teacher, I believe that anyone trying to learn English in Japan can succeed. I hope that I can put to use everything I learned in my TEFL course in my future career as an English teacher in Japan.