夏休み明け全校集会校長講話 2014年8月25日
Principal’s Speech at School Assembly August 25th, 2014

Principal’s Speech at School Assembly                   August 25th, 2014

Good morning, students. On the occasion of this assembly of the entire school, I would like to convey my impressions to all of you.  
The long holidays lasted for just one month, and you are back again to complete the first semester.  I’m so pleased to see you all here at the school gym.  
I recognize so many students – you look so fine, your faces somewhat suntanned and healthy.
 I do hope that you are well-prepared for the opening today of another chapter of school life.  As you know, we have a little more than a month to go before the first semester concludes at the end of September. The semester-end tests will begin very soon.
For students who did well on the last mid-semester tests, let me ask you to continue your great efforts.
And those of you who did not do so well, I urge you to make every effort to do better just as I had pleaded at the school assembly on July 24th.  
Please, please, never abandon the desire to get better. Remember, you will succeed as long as you try your hardest.     Now let me return to my idea on our policy of using English, in speech, writing, even casual conversation. That’s central to student life here at GKA. All right, let’s consider the positive side of the record here – and then review other areas that need more effort and improvement.One of the good points that I am pleased about is that many students regardless of their grades are ready to pick up the habit of speaking English.  
As principal, responsible for the school management and promoting this policy, I try to make it a rule to take the lead in talking to students and staff members in English.
Every time you respond to me in English enthusiastically, I feel so happy and very proud of you.
 I’m also happy to hear that more and more of you are speaking to members of the office staff in English.
That’s a welcome and wonderful advance in the entire environment of the school.          Now here are some points to consider for getting still better.
Let’s be realistic. We still have far to go to meet this difficult challenge.
 Students need more opportunities for expressing themselves in English – and if possible not relying at all on Japanese.  When a lady wears a dress, she may wear beautiful jewelry.
 Jewelry plays an important role – it has to complement the dress perfectly.  
If I may complete this analogy, use of just the right words and phrases, for even seemingly trivial matters, enhances your basic command of English in all situations.
To my mind all your efforts in promoting this policy, even in minor personal matters, should lead to improvement in the English-speaking environment beyond all the work you do in classes calling for English immersion.      Professor, Kazuko Nakajima at Toronto University in Canada – a leading expert in the study of bi and multilingualism and immersion education, notes that shifting languages in communications is like shifting gears in a car. No matter what you do, you have to strive to speak fluently and naturally just as you would drive easily as you shift from one gear to another. Certainly while studying specific subjects like Japanese and social studies, you can use Japanese. Of course, you should make the best use of the opportunity to write and talk in your mother tongue. At the same time, in English immersion classes as well as outside of these classes, you should   make every effort to concentrate on using English as much as possible.
That’s how and why our English Policy should be respected and observed.
 The spoken language is a primary means of communication to be used clearly and well. My advice for you as GKA students is that you should never miss the chance to use English in keeping with the policy of the school – and for your own personal and future professional benefit.         I am sure that many students and parents are interested in our English Policy.
 Language committee members in our last meeting in March kindly wrote sincere letters to me suggesting that GKA should promote the policy still more than it already does.
 I hear that the same committee has a plan to post newspaper articles on walls of classrooms and corridors for the same purpose.
 I have already asked those staff members to let students draw posters for promoting the policy. Then you will be able to point at the poster whenever you want to prompt someone who might be with you to speak English.
 I am going to urge all teachers and staff members to be more conscious of our English Policy. We will make sure homeroom sessions are conducted definitely in English, and we will try to speak carefully and deliberately to students in English.       From the bottom of my heart, I consider GKA to be a great educational institution.
  It is my strong belief that when the English Policy is thoroughly and voluntarily observed and promoted, when we learn to carry out the policy effectively in and outside the classrooms, our school, GKA Secondary will become a much greater school.    You know two expressions – Rome was not built in a day – and, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Why not take up the challenge together?  Never give up! We need everyone’s understanding and hard work. Let’s change the atmosphere.
All we need is our own dedication and action.  I know we can do it.
 Please, don’t wait until someone stops speaking Japanese.
Start speaking English without hesitation – full of confidence in your ability to use the language ever more easily and smoothly.  You are the ones – you and you alone -- can make it happen at GKA.  That’s the spirit we need.     Okay, I would like to conclude my speech by wishing you the very best of luck for the rest of the first semester.  Thank you so much for listening.    

夏休み明け全校集会校長講話            2014年8月25日