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ABC Trumpets How Japanese Use Obama to Learn English

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There's the old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well if that is the case, hundreds of students in Japan are flattering President Obama no end. That's because they're busy imitating him, all for a good reason. ABC's Clarissa Ward reports from Tokyo. President Barack Obama may not know it- Yes, we can. -but he is teaching students in Japan how to speak English. Hello, Chicago. If there is anyone out there- Or at least his speeches are. Hope in the face of uncertainty. Hope in the face of -- uncertainty. This is the Obama workshop at the Kaplan English School in Japan. Every week, as many as 200 students attend. Earlier this evening. They learn the President's speeches line by line, reciting them to their teacher, Makoto Ishiwata. You're very careful, okay, but let's make it smoother Ishiwata has also used speeches by Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy for his classes, but he says his students are particularly inspired by the message of Mr. Obama. Through hard work and perseverance- Through hard work and perseverance. Obama! Obama! It's no secret that President Obama is very popular in Japan. During the election, there were Obama T-shirts, cookies, even an Obama burger. Obama's speeches have been a huge success here in Japan. The series has sold more than 600,000 copies. Every book comes with a DVD and, most importantly, a glossary to explain terms like “stop-gap measures” to Japanese readers. The students at Kaplan say that while President Obama's vocabulary can be tough, his delivery makes him easy to understand. His speech has a passion and his speech is like a song. Ishiwata knows almost all of Mr. Obama's speeches by heart, down to the cadence and hand gestures. “To win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.” At the time when I first heard this, I almost cried. I just have to give you an applause there. It's a challenge for the students, but they are enjoying learning from both of their teachers. Clarissa Ward, ABC News, Tokyo.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 25 seconds
Country: Colombia
Language: English
Producer: BBC News
Director: EditorBlogger.com
Views: 280
Posted by: editorblogger on Nov 16, 2009

After clips of adult students saying “Yes, we can,” reporter Clarissa Ward explained from Tokyo: “This is the Obama workshop at the Kaplan English School in Japan. Every week, as many as 200 students attend” where “they learn the President's speeches line by line, reciting them to their teacher.” That teacher seems to have a preference for those on the left, as Ward relayed how he “has also used speeches by Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy for his classes, but he says his students are particularly inspired by the message of Mr. Obama.”

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