My First 3 Weeks in Monol and My English Study Method

I will be talking about my experience in Monol during my first 3 weeks. I will also share about how I learned the English language.

My First 3 Weeks in Monol

Note: Written on January 2023

Nice to meet you all. My name is Takata, I study English in the morning and work as a Monol’s student manager in the afternoon. It has been about 3 weeks since I came here. Since three weeks have passed, I thought it would be a good time to write a blog about my impressions of Baguio.

The first thing I felt when I came to Baguio was the abundance of nature. And the ups and downs of the hills. These two things are especially true around the school. When I first arrived at the school, I thought, “I am going to live in a place like this,” since it is quiet and comfortable. I go out on Saturdays and Sundays, but the ups and downs of the hills are so steep that I tried to walk a little and gave up soon after that lol. However, there is a shopping mall called SM Mall near the school, so I can get all my daily necessities, and if you go to the roof of the school at night, you can see a really beautiful view!

There are chairs and desks on the rooftop, so you can read books or talk with friends. Recently, it is cold when you go to the rooftop at night, so I recommend you to wear warm clothes.

We update our blog as needed (1-2 articles per week). I will write articles about the school, recommended restaurants in Baguio, and articles that will be useful for students who are considering studying abroad. I hope you all find it motivating to read MONOL’s blog every week!

My English Study Method

Note: Written on January 2023

This time I would like to share my English study method. By the way, it has been about 3 years since I started learning English seriously by myself until now. I would like to talk a little about my English learning history. Like many of you, I grew up with English education in Japan. I started learning English in the first grade of junior high school. Mostly, that is the age when most Japanese begin to learn English in earnest at school. From the first year of junior high school until my second year of university, I studied English. I did not study English at university either, but majored in literature. I was not particularly exposed to English more than others, and just studied English at school. My English test scores at school were only slightly above average, and my listening scores were always below average. However, I think I did have a yearning for English.

Four years ago, I decided to study English seriously and started self-study, but gave up after only one month. I think I didn’t last long because all I did was study at my desk. However, I couldn’t give up, so after one month, I started studying English again. I changed my study style and decided to go study abroad in Cebu after six months. After six months of study, I arrived in Cebu and started classes. Since I had studied for six months, I could not speak at all, but I went to Cebu at almost a beginner’s level. I still remember that I was a little shocked that I could not speak as well as I thought I could after studying for six months. With that, I decided to change my study style because I could not speak well, so I focused on speaking. I did only two things.

(1) Just read drama scripts and read English articles aloud.
(2) Started online English conversation.

How I improved learning English

I spent 80% of my English study time on (1), although of course I looked up words and expressions because there are a lot of words I don’t know in (1). Because I read aloud over and over again, I sometimes already memorized lines from dramas. Grammar, too, is not taught the way you learn it in school, but rather, you collect lots of example sentences and just read them out loud.

(e.g.) If you are learning a unit on when and where, just collect a lot of example sentences about when and where and read them out loud so that you can memorize them.

I especially focused on speaking, so of course my speaking improved, and at the same time I felt that my listening improved as well. I did not do anything special in this regard, but listened to English on podcasts and used 20 to 30 minute dramas on Netflix as English study materials, so I think I spent a little more time in contact with English.

(2) Immediately after returning to Japan from Cebu Island, I started learning English online. Personally, I believe that there is a limit to how much you can improve your speaking without actually speaking English with other people. In online English conversation, I always chose Free Talk. There are many other materials besides Free Talk, but I chose Free Talk because I could basically do it by myself. In the end, I left Online English Conversation after two and a half years, but I think the reason I am able to work in the Philippines now is because I continued with Online English Conversation and self-study.


Looking back now, I am really glad that I continued to study English. 3 years ago, I could not imagine myself working abroad. Three years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself working overseas in an environment where English was the only language spoken.

I thought that as long as I lived in Japan, I would never be able to speak English. Considering that I studied in Japan for 90% of my English study period, I think that you never know if you don’t continue to do anything. I would like to end here because I feel like I am going off on a tangent. I would like to continue sharing about my study in the Philippines and my English study.

Thank you for reading.