In My Own Words is an Indy Reads series where students tell their stories using their own authentic voice and words. Yoko and her husband moved to Indiana from Japan in the middle of 2020, and shortly thereafter Yoko joined our virtual classrooms to improve and gain confidence in her English speaking skills, to learn about American culture, and to make friends. We are so proud and honored to share her story with you. Hear more about Yoko in her own words.
I moved to Tokyo to start my job as a doctor there, and at that point I have already got married with my husband and he got the position in the United States in Indiana.
I was a Japanese doctor there, and I was really interested in American medicine while I was there, because America is so growed and has so many cases, so many different cases, and one of my dreams is to get a job as a doctor in the United States.
But my concern is, even after I get the doctor’s license here, if I don’t have any confidence to work in a workplace in different languages, I feel so– (pauses) I don’t like that. Especially in medical situation . . . I have really been concerned about that. So one of my dreams is to get a job here, get a job as a doctor here with enough English skills in workplace.
Also, I want to make local American friends here in the United States.
After moving here to the United States, you know, I don’t have a work here. (laughs) I don’t have a job here. So normally when I go out, it’s like just grocery stores (laughs). I didn’t have any local friends or family here, so I didn’t have any chance to hang out with friends or family. Fortunately I was ok [with] the quarantine time at my house, and also it was summertime.
During the college days I was a backpacker. I have so much passion to move to the new country, to live. As I said before, I was okay with quarantine time, but also I had a little bit irritation that, I know everyone had it in 2020, but also I had irritation . . . I couldn’t get English skill. Even though I moved to the United States, I had no chance to speak English. So I was really motivated to improve my English skill.
So I looked for every ways to improve my English skills while I was living in Japan.
I encountered Indy Reads Googling some stuff that gives me the chance of learning English online. I found some other English classes, like in churches, in Indiana churches, or some other areas, but I have really like reading books also, so “Indy Reads” — the words — have really fit me, so that’s why I send email to you.
For me, everything has been perfect so far, and will be.
I thought, before getting into the classes, I had imagined it will be more like classical, more like school classes, so I felt a little nervous about it, because I am a little bit shy person, so I felt nervous, like “oh my gosh, my English is not good, so I don’t know if I’m okay or not”, but everyone is perfectly friendly and so kind, so I feel so comfortable at every classes, and with every teachers, and every other students too.
We learned not only speaking English, but American cultures also.
We really enjoy learning American cultures, for me especially American history has been really enjoyable, because living in the United States and in the future working in the United States, I have to learn the others’ background, I must learn the others’ background who have lived here for a long time. That will smooth our relationships, and also it’s really good to know the people, the person.
It’s really good to know how some other students learn English, and also learn cultures, and also their backgrounds too. Mixing people who have different backgrounds is really good thing, and every other student has also been kind and friendly too.
I love it.