Caeden Polster : Klexon English Speaking Circle 2nd Semester

In my CIP, I participated in the Klexon English Speaking Circle, a college student and adult circle of Japanese people who want to practice and learn more English, and foreigners who would like to help, or make new friends.

As I will be working as an English teacher in Japan after the program ends, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice teaching English, and speaking in a way that is more conducive to learning and understanding. In my time at Klexon, I gradually noticed myself varying my speech complexity and speed for different participants based on their levels that I had gotten used to, and I also was happy to see great improvement over the year in their own English capabilities!

My advice for incoming KCJS participants would be to pick something that is related to what you are passionate about for your CIP, and keep an open mind. If you just leave your CIP after the required hours, or don’t participate in the extra social activities that may happen with members outside normal meetings, you could end up missing the opportunity to meet people who are as passionate as you, and make friendships that will last long after the program ends.

Caeden Polster : Klexon English Speaking Circle

Since I am in the academic year KCJS program, and I am a fourth year, I will be graduation at the end of the program. After graduating, I plan to stay here and work in Japan as an English teacher. Due to this interest, I decided to do something similar to my future career in my CIP, and since I plan to work in an Eikaiwa school like AEON, something like the English speaking circle Klexon seemed perfect.

In my time participating at the Klexon English Circle, I met a lot of amazing people from all walks of life, all with a genuine interest in learning English. From what I have heard from those who volunteered at schools and taught children, and from my own experience tutoring and teaching English through an online program through Toshin cram school in Kyoto and their Global English program, most people still in school generally don’t have much interest in learning English, and see it as only another class or something necessary. However, at Klexon, everyone is there because they want to be, and it is a really casual and relaxing environment. Everyone is not only motivated to speak in English and practice what they know, but also to learn more and to ask questions, and to make new friends.

I found my conversations at Klexon very valuable, as not only did I get to hear a lot of interesting experiences, I also got help with information related to my future career, and recommendations on where to go and visit in Kyoto. There weren’t only local Japanese people there, although they were the majority, but there were also people from France, Russia, Izrael, and many other places, all learning English now as a second, third, or sometimes even fourth language. It was really interesting comparing our experiences learning languages, and the differences between education systems in all of our own countries.

My advice for those looking into CIP opportunities would be to first choose something that you are interested in and are motivated to see through to the end, but to also choose something that challenges yourself or pushes you to keep growing and learning as a person. Many of my friends chose to pursue easy opportunities that wouldn’t really make them go out of their comfort zone or meet new people, but I think it is important to break out of your original group and keep meeting more people, especially if you are in Japan for a limited time unlike my situation.

Overall, I would highly recommend Klexon for anyone interested in education or language learning, or anyone who just wants a casual environment to meet new and energetic people to be friends with and practice language together!