ESS, Hakumon Herald chairmen talk on charm and pleasure of learning English 〜英語を学ぶ魅力と楽しさ ―ESSと白門ヘラルド代表、大いに語る〜


  Chuo University’s English Speaking Society (ESS), with a history of 110 years, has friendly ties with similar clubs at more than 60 universities in the Kanto region. In contrast, Hakumon Herald published by Chuo’s English Newspaper Association once ceased to exist but has undergone a rapid growth since being revived a year and a half ago. In this specially arranged dialogue, the chairmen of the two English language-related clubs, Okuto Suzuki of ESS and Kento Isogai of Hakumon Herald, try to tell newcomers to Chuo University about the charm and pleasure of learning English.




Charms of ESS and Hakuon Herald

Isogai: To begin with, tell us briefly what ESS members do.

Suzuki: We’re engaged in a broad range of activity such as discussion, foreign tourist guide, speech, drama and interchange with foreign students by learning practical English, not class-room English aimed for admission exams. ESS offers its members an opportunity and place to practice English useful in everyday life.

Isogai: The main activities of Hakumon Herald are gathering news and making investigations to write articles. By writing our stories in English, we aim to enhance not only our English ability but also our writing skills as well. We’re also routinely engaged in editing articles for publication in the electronic and printed editions of our newspaper. Now what are the features of ESS?

Suzuki: Well, ESS is of course a club where you learn English. But I think one of its features is that it enables you to get communications skills in the process of speaking. After all, you have to rely on face-to-face dialogue or communications when you get engaged in a speech contest or drama as well as in a discussion or interchange with foreigners. I think I have acquired in that process an ability to present my opinion and put questions to the persons I speak with. Maybe I could get that ability because I spoke in English, a language not usually used by Japanese. What are the features of your English newspaper club?

Isogai: In the case of a newspaper, you have no direct contacts with your readers. But you can let your message reach the readers beyond time space and human relationship via the printed or on-line editions. That’s, I think, one of the features of our club activity. Of course, you can do the same thing in the Japanese language. But we find it more joyful to send out our messages to the people around the world by using English, which is a universal language. We have already linked our website to those of some student newspapers published outside Japan. We would like to increase the number of such links. Whether you publish your paper in Japanese or English, as you write sentences to let them reach your readers, you have to fully understand what you write about. To make that sure, you’ll have to learn things related to various fields. As for me, I think I could learn various ways of looking at things and build up my knowledge by trying to do that.



磯貝 まず、ESSの活動内容を簡単に教えてもらえる?

鈴木 ESSでは、受験英語とは違う生きた英語を通して、ディスカッション、外国人観光客のガイド、スピーチコンテスト、演劇そして留学生との交流まで、多岐にわたって活動しています。実践的な英語を身に付けるための練習とその場を提供している感じだね。

磯貝 白門ヘラルドの主な活動は記事を書くこと、そのための取材や調査。英語で記事を書くライティングを通して、英語力だけでなく文章力を身に付けている。あとは電子版や印刷版新聞の編集作業といったところかな。ESSの特徴はどんなところ?

鈴木  ESSは、もちろん英語を勉強する場所だけど、スピーキングの過程で、コミュニケーション能力が身に付くのが特徴の1つだと思う。ディスカッションや外国人との交流はもちろん、スピーチコンテストも演劇も、相手との対話によって成り立つものだからね。僕はそのうえで自分の主張を伝える力や相手に質問する力が確実についたと思う。英語という日本人が普段使わない言語を使っているからこそ、得られる力かもしれないね。英字新聞の特徴は?

磯貝 英字新聞の場合、目の前に相手がいるわけではないけど、ペーパー版やインターネットを通じて、時空、人間関係を超えて自分の発信したメッセージが届くところが特徴だと思う。もちろん日本語でも同様のことはできるけど、世界共通語となっている英語という言葉を用いることで、世界中の人々にメッセージを送ることができるのはとても楽しい。すでにいくつかの海外の大学とリンクしているけど、これからどんどん増やせていけたらと思う。それから、これは日本語、英語問わずなんだけど、文章は相手に伝えるために書くものだから、その内容について十分理解をしていないといけない。そのために様々な分野の勉強しなければならない。僕自身、物事の見方やさまざまな知識が身に付いたと思う。


Okuto Suzuki, chairman of ESS
Okuto Suzuki, chairman of ESS

Enhancing your potential

Suzuki: So, each club has its own merit. Since newcomers are free to become members of the two clubs at the same time, I do want them to enjoy the fun of both writing and speaking English. Looking back, our two clubs used to belong to the same club. (Hakumon Herald, which was launched in 1956 by a group of ESS members, became independent as a separate entity later in 1963.)

Isogai: I quite agree with you. But we might lose face if we had newcomers and found them better than us in both speaking and writing English. Joking apart, I think another charm of ESS is that it has so many members. We envy you always have a lot of plans and events to carry out.

Suzuki: When you have about two hundreds of members, you’ll find them different from each other as their fingerprints. We can get a lot of stimulus as we have so many characteristic members. We have a bright atmosphere in our club room and we fully enjoy it. We support each other regardless of grade or faculty. That’s been our longtime tradition. But Hakumon Herald also has many personalities among its members, doesn’t it?

Isogai: We are a much smaller club with only about 30 members. But perhaps because we have fewer members, we're on friendlier terms with each other. All our members work hard to live out their dreams of becoming a lawyer, public accountant or journalist. I always get overwhelmed by them. I am really impressed to see how hard they study English with the aim of enhancing their potential.

Suzuki: ESS also has many members who study English with a big aim in their mind. I feel such members are much quicker to improve their English ability. They study English not simply for the sake of learning English but for the purpose of doing something specific in the future. If you have a specific aim, whether it is realizing your dream, talking with a foreign friend or listening to interviews with athletes you support, you will surely get motivated. I’ll be pleased to see newcomers study English harder. But I want them to get in contact with various things and find an aim for which they’ll make use of their English ability. I think that providing members with a visible target is another role to be played by ESS.



鈴木  それぞれに、それぞれの良さがあるよね。お互い掛け持ちは自由だから、新入生にはぜひ、英語を書くことと話すことの両方の面白さを味わってほしいね。もともと同じサークルだったわけだし。

磯貝  同感だね。でもスピーキングもライティングも両方完ぺきな後輩が出てきたら、先輩としても面目がたたない(笑)。ESSは大人数なのも魅力的だよね。いつも企画が盛り上がっていてうらやましいよ。

鈴木 二百人以上もメンバーがいると、まさに十人十色。いろいろ特徴的な人が多いから、たくさんの刺激を受けられるよ。部内の雰囲気も明るくて、とても楽しい。学年や学部を問わず皆が支え合って活動する、古くからの伝統もあるしね。でも、ヘラルドもなかなか個性的だよね。

磯貝 うちは部員数こそ30人くらいだけど、少人数だからこその仲の良さがあるし、弁護士や公認会計士、ジャーナリストとみんな将来の夢が大きく、それに向かって勉強しているから、いつも圧倒されている(笑い)。その中で、英語を自らの可能性を高めるため勉強しているところには本当に感心しているよ。

鈴木 ESSにも大きな目標をもって英語を学んでいる人は多い。そういう人たちの方が英語力の向上が早いと感じる。彼らは英語をただ勉強するというより、やりたいことがあるから英語が必要だと思っているんだろうね。将来の夢を実現するためであれ、友達と話すためであれ、好きなスポーツ選手のインタビューを聞くためであれ、目標を持てば確実にモチベーションにつながる。もちろん英語を頑張ってくれるのは嬉しいけど、新入生にはいろいろなことに触れて、英語を活かすための目標を見つけてほしいと思うな。身近な目標を会員に与えるというのもESSの役割だ(と力を込める)!


Kento Isogai, chairman of Hakumon Herald
Kento Isogai, chairman of Hakumon Herald

For meaningful campus life

Isogai: What has prompted you to join ESS at all?

Suzuki: Well, one reason was that I liked English from the first. Apart from that, I thought it would be exiting to get acquainted with various characters there. I felt I might be able to have opportunities to find new viewpoints and let myself grow by coming into contact with many club members.

Isogai: Yes indeed, a student club has merits that you cannot experience elsewhere. There, you’ll make new friends, play together and understand each other while arguing with each other from time to time. In so doing, members go in the same direction. It’s important to attend class and seminars. But a club allows its members to get values and abilities different from what they get in class, doesn’t it?

Suzuki: I think newcomers will have more opportunities to get various experiences at their university than at their high school. Those may include club activities, part-time jobs, internship and studying abroad. Important is what they will feel, what they will think and what they will do through such experiences. They may sometimes make mistakes. But some of the mistakes students make are permissible. I would like to make ESS a club where each member can grow through such experiences.

Isogai: As may be expected of ESS chairman, you say a good thing! Hakumon Herald is still a new club. But I also would like to make it one where members can challenge new plans and interviews with various persons without worrying about making mistakes. I do hope that their activities will result in producing added values that can be appreciated by members of society. I might of course add we should put as much importance on enjoying our own precious campus life.

Suzuki: Fortunately ESS and Hakumon Herald have a lot of plans their members can work on and enjoy. As chairmen, we can feel at ease for that matter, don’t we?

Written By: Daisuke Aoki




磯貝 そもそも、鈴木くんはなぜESSに入ろうと思ったの?

鈴木 英語がもともと好きだったこともあるけど、やっぱり個性的な人にたくさん巡り会えることが刺激的だろうと考えたからかな。大勢の多様な部員に触れることで、新しい視点に気づき、自分が成長できる機会が得られると思ったんだ。

磯貝 そう、サークルでは、サークルでしか経験できない良さがあるよね。新しい友人をつくり、一緒に遊びながら学び、時には喧嘩もしながら相手のことを理解する。そうやってメンバーみんなが同じ方向へ向かっていく。大学の授業やゼミも大切だけど、それとはまた別の価値観や能力が身に付くよね。

鈴木 大学では高校までと違い、いろんな経験をする機会が増えると思う。サークル活動やアルバイト、インターンや留学。こうした経験を通して、自分が何を感じ、何を考え、実際に行動を起こしたか。時には失敗することもあるけど、学生だから許される失敗もある。こうした経験を積み重ねることで、ひとりひとりが成長できるサークルでありたいと思う。

磯貝 さすがESS会長、いいこと言うね(笑)白門ヘラルドも、まだまだ新しいサークルだけど、みんなが失敗を恐れず新しい企画やいろんな人のインタビューにチャレンジしていく風土をつくりたい。その結果、社会人の方などから評価してもらえるような付加価値が付いていけばいいなと思うね。もちろん、せっかくの大学生活だから、楽しむことも大切にしながらね。

鈴木 ESSもヘラルドも、みんなが楽しめるような企画がたくさんあるから、その点は安心だね(笑)。




Profiles of interlocutors

Okuto Suzuki: A graduate of Kanagawa Prefectural Tama Senior High School, he is a third grader at the Department of International Economics, the Faculty of Economics.

Kento Isogai: A graduate of private Kurume University Senior High School in Fukuoka Prefecture, he is a third grader at the Department of Political Science, the Faculty of Law.



鈴木奥登 : 神奈川県立多摩高校卒。中央大学経済学部国際経済学科新3年。

磯貝健人 : 私立久留米大学附設高校卒。中央大学法学部政治学科新3年。