Friday, September 12, 2003

Seminar in English

I attended a seminar given by an Australian guy in English to 17 Japanese business persons and me. It was a kind of expensive seminar that attendances are paid by their companies. The speaker guy sounded professional, worth of money; clear voice, clear talk in moderate pace, good attention waking and lots eye contacts.
Unfortunately, each time he asked us "OK?" " All right?" "Did you understand?" "Can I go on?" there was deadly silence from attendances. Attendances hardly made eye contact with the speaker. I could see he was getting exhausted each time he could not get response from his audiences. I am afraid I dared not to voice alone there. I have my own life to fight for living and working in this society.
About lunch time, He asked " OK, We have lunch break from now. What time is lunch time in Japan?" Attendances were keeping deadly silence..........deadly neglected words from his personality to attendance's personalities..………. the least I could do I gave an answer just “12 to 1” .
At the end of seminar, he said " Thank you" and "Good-By" Still silence...............but me " thank you" in her small voice....
Japanese coordinator then came in and " Thank you" in Japanese. Suddenly the room came alive and people started saying "Thank you, it was a good seminar... " in Japanese and so on.
I understand now no wonder foreign teachers in Japan are under stress.