“With the low birth rate, will Japanese society face a crisis in the future?”
different from usual. So last week, one of
our viewers - I'll call him Shyun - he
messaged me and asked if I could give
any tips on how to prepare for the
speaking part of an English proficiency
test. Now, the only English test I've
taken in my life is TOEFL. I remember it
was actually not an easy test. I took it
early in the morning and I was very
sleepy, but I had to wake myself up when
I saw the questions because they were
really difficult. And looking at Shyun's
message, it seems like he's also going to
take a very difficult test so I want to
help him. Now, this is the speaking test
question he gave me as an example. I'll
read this for you. With the low birth
rate, will Japanese society face a crisis
in the future? So Shyun wants me to give
advice on how to answer this kind of
question and also demonstrate an answer. So let me first give the advice.
There are two points that I'd like to talk
about. First of all, the testers do not
expect you to give the "correct answer."
They don't expect you to give any
innovative or brilliant idea in your
answers because is everyone who takes
an English test and expert in social
issues? Does everyone know very well
about birth rates? No. So you can only
answer using your own knowledge that you
have right now. So your ideas can be
terribly wrong, but that's OK.
So don't be afraid to express your own
opinions. That's my first point. Now let
me talk about my second point. Of course
it will help if you can use English
vocabulary and grammar very well and
speak naturally and fluently, but these
are things that take time to improve,
right? If you want to improve your
English in these areas you need to read
and listen to a variety of things in
English and you need to
speak with a variety of people in
English very often, and for a long time.
But there is one thing you can
immediately do to improve your answers.
You can give an easy-to-follow talk by
speaking in this order. Let me go over
this for you.
So first, give your main point. Make your
main point very clear. Second, support
your main point with examples or details.
And third, give a conclusion. But most
English tests have a time limit to your
answers, right? So many times, you may not
be able to reach your conclusion in time,
but that's OK as long as you give a
clear logical flow and it sounds like
your speech will have a nice ending at
the end, if you had more time. So now let
me demonstrate my answer using this
speaking style, OK?
So this is the question again: "With the
low birth rate, will Japanese society
reach a crisis in the future? So here's
my answer, under 60 seconds.
Well Japanese society face the crisis in
the future? I think no. Earthquakes and
tsunamis cause major destruction
overnight, but the low birth rate
causes gradual destruction. Human beings
cannot do anything about natural
disasters but we can always adapt to
gradual changes. Us humans are foolish
enough to allow gradual destructions
such as global warming and the low birth
rate to occur, but we are not foolish
enough to just sit there and do nothing
about them. Yes, Japan will be full of
elderly people in the future. However, we
can use technology and other means to
adapt to this gradual change. And we don't have to do everything all by ourselves.
We have the whole world to cooperate
with. So ,we will not face a crisis in the
future, as long as we continue to face
the crisis now. So Shyun, I hope that gives
you an idea of how you want to approach
your English test.
And, this is E-mail Picks, so let me summarize my point in a short email.