The trickiest parts of learning a language are finding opportunities to use that language, and building confidence to speak freely. While English is a compulsory school subject in Japan, immersive contexts with opportunities to use English are hard to come by.
Apart from the odd Japanese sentence or word, it is encouraged that Second Family English (SFE) members interact in English. This is easier said than done when it comes to the youngest Japanese members. For them to speak, it takes trust, comfort, and ample opportunities to use language.
1. Speak English to your SFE Carer unless it's an unknown phrase
2. If a bub babbles in Japanese or neglects a learned phrase, they have to jump 10 times ('Bye-Bye Japanese')
Kota is the big brother of the group. His English ability is like a freight train hurtling through snowy tracks; he has the confidence to say what he wants to regardless of whether or not the grammar is correct. His motivation for studying English is at an intrinsic level in which he wants to improve his language skills for personal goals - mainly because he loves being the center of attention as an extrovert.
Yura is the newest English-lesson bub to SFE, and uses English with a lot of scaffolding (teacher assistance). She relies on extrinsic motivation (rewards) to study English, and only knows what she has been taught through SFE lessons. Although she has extrovert traits, she is shy when using English and needs a lot of prompting.
Yuri is the youngest English-lesson bub, and has the most experience with English. She can communicate effectively with previously-studied grammar, and has intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in that she loves to interact with her teachers in English, and equally loves receiving rewards. She is a very shy introvert.
I almost jumped out of my skin when Yura let out a shriek.
"Becca, look! I hand... window touch. It big! So scary!" Yura was pointing to a giant salamander resting under a rock near her hand. She was grinning as she called the other bubs over to watch. "Big, scary, yucky! Snake? No. Fish? No. Eyes are white. Yes."