English Language for Olympics: Woman, 91, learns it

A Japanese woman has set to show that it is never past the point where it is possible to get familiar with a language as she offers to overcome the English language before the Tokyo Olympics happen in 2020.

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Setsuko Takamizawa, a nonagenarian, who will be 92 by next July when the Olympics begins in Tokyo, said she was stopped from learning English when she should have done so at a younger age because English was considered the “language of the enemy”.

The woman is one of the 200,000 Japanese who applied to volunteer at the Olympia and Paralympics. The organisers of the event require that applicants should be able ability to speak English even though it is not a mandatory qualification.

Takamizawa told Reuters that World War 2 broke out when she was a freshman at Girl’s Senior High School and that English Language was banned because it was regarded as the ‘’enemy language’’

The Conviction

She said that her grandchildren convinced her to learn English Language despite her age – that it is not too late for her to learn it. The Japanese woman confessed that her grandchildren had promised to teach her the language when she complained she can’t speak.

According to the Olympics organizers, not less than one percent of the applicants to the volunteer program are above 80 of age.

Anticipated Experience

Takamizawa hinted that she would share her stories with people around the world during the tournament if she learns it before it starts.

Natsuko, Takamizawa’s granddaughter, explained how her grandmother desires to know about the world and her country when she taught her about it. The Japanese expressed her desire to meet various people with different cultural background and values during the Olympic once she is able to communicate in English Language.

She said that the achievement would be the best experience for her.  

Ekene Ifechukwu

Ekene Ifechukwu is education writer. He has over 7 years experience in teaching and tutoring. He has taught in primary and secondary schools. He has affection for training children and young people. He aims at improving other people's lives through education.