Working at E-café has been very interesting and fun because of the staff. Even though I have a different cultural background, the staff members are always bending over backwards to help make my job easier. Sometimes they help me wash dishes or clean up. Sometimes they act as an “ice breaker” to help introduce shy students to the E-café. My job has been made easier because of the support from the staff and their open mindedness when it comes to trying new ideas. A good example of that is the whole staff’s effort in making the E-café movie. It is very helpful to work with people who see the benefits of young people having a chance to speak English and meet foreigners as opposed to seeing English as a barrier.
Talking with the young people who come to E-café has been like watching the metamorphose of a caterpillar changing to a butterfly. Originally when students come to E-café they might be a little shy and reserved, but as they continue to visit it’s easy to see them become more relaxed and more interested in speaking English. All of the students that come to the café try to use the best of their English ability regardless of their level. Also, the more comfortable they are, the less worried they are about making speaking mistakes. I have had a large range of conversations with the students. Sometimes they need help with their studies or we play games or we have serious conversations about worldly events or we talk about simple things.
I think the effect of the E-café can be very positive for the people who visit it. The E-café not only has the ability to help people with their English learning , but E-café has the ability to wipe away stereotypes and help peak interest in other cultures.
I remember when my first time work in E-café, not a lot of customers came because they were so shy. However now, they talk a lot of things from love, life and dream. Sometimes, I get ``shocking`` information such as no holiday for students, Christmas is only for couple, only boy gets chocolate on valentine and so on. It`s so fun to hear their stories. I can learn a lot of things from them.
For me as a non-native English speaker, E-café is a good example to show that English is global and fun to learn. One of my costumers decided to travel to Philippines for 1 month to practice his English after come to E-café. His confidence to speak English is increasing.Another costumer also decided to go to Canada after several time come to E-café. So, I believe E-café will support Japanese young people who have a big dream and want to be a part of global communities.