A new hope

I’ve been second-guessing my approach to getting my kids comfortable with English for some time. They are growing up in Japan with Japanese daycare, Japanese-speaking friends, and a Japanese mother. The real kicker, they known I know Japanese as well. So where’s the motivation for them to speak in English?

Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

Enter Star Wars stage left and it’s like we’ve just hit the jump to lightspeed. I put episode 4 on the TV several weeks ago in a spur-of-the-moment decision and everything has snowballed since then. My eldest is now peppering me with questions around Darth Vadar’s extended family tree and the differences between a B-Wing and B-Wing/E (didn’t know those existed but do now), in English. The middle child likes going around saying “I did it!” in his best Anakin voice.

I’m over the moon (just off of Endor) about this whole development and excited to see where it can take us. I think it will be wise to stretch this interest as far as I can take it.

Luke flew around the ATAT, at the ATAT, above the ATAT, below the ATAT. Ah, the possibilities.

My children and I have found a common ground we are both passionate about. We’re they naturally fans of it? Did they sense my excitement and are looking for a way to bond further with me? I’m grateful for this opportunity no matter the origin. I’m not going to get my kids to be talking about much in English if I ask them how their day went or what they think of tonight’s okonomiyaki. When the conversation drifts to a topic we are both passionate about, suddenly there is a spark, and the effort is there to make it work from both sides.

We’ve watched a few episodes of the Lego Star Wars animated series as well and the youngest appears to be particularly taken by it. So keep the lightsaber duels, midi-chlorians, and blue milk flowing because I’m on a mission.