A Super Mother and Son Team
I have had the honor of sharing time with many extraordinary people in my life and today I will share with you a Super Mother and Son team that I met through my previous work with a children’s English Educational company named World Family. World Family inspires over 100,000 families around Japan with their Disney World of English English language products and services. I had the privilege of working with World Family for over a decade. Much to my delight, Takuto Kawakami has been featured on CBS News. You can see his charming character and outstanding level of English Language proficiency in the video: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/10-year-old-tour-guide-charms-tourists-in-japanese-garden/ar-BBPIJYN
Takuto Kawakami’s Experience with Disney World of English
Takuto Kawakami has never been overseas and his mother, Kyoko Kawakami, doesn’t speak English. Kyoko has been using World Family’s Disney World of English language products and services daily since Takuto was a tot.
The teachers at World Family Club are all native English speakers and there are many opportunities for children like Takuto to meet and really get to know the 100s of teachers through weekly lessons and conversations on the telephone and Skype, through weekend musical shows that tour all of Japan and through special events like Spring and Summer camps where families can spend several days with teachers, so not only is Takuto’s English outstanding, but also his openness, excitement, and confidence when speaking with foreign people is extraordinary.
The Kawakami Angels Teach Me
I was blessed to spend several days with Takuto and his mother for different video shootings like the CBS News shooting above. They are very special to me.
I got to spend time with Takuto and Kyoko in their home in Okayama, so I was able to see where they live and enjoy slow-time with them. Their living room has an entire wall filled from floor to ceiling with books. Some are in Japanese, but many of them are in English. One thing that really impressed me, was something that Kyoko shared with me. She said that her approach with Takuto’s reading is to just have him read books that interest him and any words he doesn’t understand to just read and skip. Eventually, he’ll understand those words, so there is no need to look up each word and write down definitions. She said that she likes him to read for the sake of enjoyment.
That really caught me as a long-time learner of the Japanese language which was my major in university. I’ve been in Japan for 20 years and my reading is very slow and labored still. I have taken Kyoko’s advice and am reading for the sake of enjoyment, which has made the journey much more fun, and just as she said, the more I see the words I don’t know in context, the more I start to understand them and be able to use them gracefully in conversation.
Takuto’s Love of Samurai, American Presidents, and One Piece
Takuto is truly a joy to be around. He is very kind, polite and enjoys a good conversation, especially when it is in English. The last time we were together, he was really into historical Japanese Samurai warlords (Daimyo) and the many battles they fought. In his backpack, he carried around a thick, 500-page book filled with the different battle details, strategies, and players in the battles. He loved telling me about them.
He shared his love for American history and the presidents of the United States and said that I look at lot like James K. Polk, who was the 11th President of the US. He’s a big fan of former President Barack Obama.
He also talked on end about a comic called One Piece. He enthusiastically shared the details of each character and their respective bounties:-)
Takuto never got tired when we were together and was always interested in the next adventure, whether it was approaching a group of foreign tourists, doing a shoot in the studio or dressing up like Turkish Royalty as in this photo.
For a 10-year-old, he is so calm and mature. Above all, he is loving to all he meets.
I appreciate World Family for the opportunity to meet thousands of families like Kyoko and Takuto Kawakami. I appreciate Kyoko and Takuto for welcoming me into their home as an honored family member and for showing me, through their approach to life, how to enjoy each and every person, experience and challenge on the journey of life with more and more enthusiasm, love and courage. Thank you my Angelic friends.
Thank you for reading.