2019 Commencement

Haruka Ubukata



Dean Stronach, faculty, honored guests, fellow graduates, family and friends, I am truly honored to stand here and give this speech on behalf of the 2019 graduating class of Temple University Japan.

Three years ago, I enrolled in the master’s program at TUJ. It seemed like a perfect school for myself as I was hoping to find a place where I could study and also work to gain teaching experience in Japan.

However, with no previous experience studying at an American school, I was excited and yet so nervous at the same time. I would go to the Internet and type in some words like “American college slang you should definitely know”, just to be ready for the first class. I would find a few websites and learn new vocabulary that I might be able to use, such as “to cram for an exam”, “to pull an all-nighter”, and “to totally bomb a test and get screwed”… The last one just in case.

So, I was nervous. But I knew from the start that I was about to have a fruitful study experience. When I look back now, I actually see that I got much more than I had expected, and I would like to share that with you today.

Through a series of courses in the program, we gained both a theoretical and a practical basis for teaching English. Our classes covered various theories, concepts, terminology, and different approaches to teaching English. We read a number of studies that have been done in the field. I think we all had a lot of questions about language teaching when we first got into the program. What can we do to help students learn English? How do different factors influence learning outcomes? Is what we are doing in the classroom really effective? The knowledge we gained in the program helped us find answers to some of these questions. We also had the opportunity to put what we learned into practice, and that led us to more insights.

At the same time, however, I believe it is also true that there were questions to which we could not really find clear answers. While I have to admit that I sometimes found that frustrating, now I know it was actually an important part of learning. I learned to look through problems, gather and synthesize relevant information, and think and apply the information to solve those problems. The proposed solution may or may not have worked, but again I learned from the process. Such cycles of learning never end, and I believe this is essentially how we move forward in our lives, where, in many cases, there are no one-size-fits-all answers.

Finally, there is one other thing I am grateful for about TUJ. That is the inspiration I got from others to further pursue a career in the field. Having classmates who are so enthusiastic, I got motivated every time I walked in the classroom. Exchanging ideas with them broadened my view, bringing up new questions and wonders every class. I am thankful that I got to study with such wonderful fellows, let alone the great faculty who have led us to this day.

Wherever we go next, whatever our next step might be, we all keep going forward. I teach English and it never gets easy. I face a lot of questions, and struggle every day. And it is indeed what I learned at TUJ that drops me hints here and there, guiding me to be better at what I do. I do not know what my career will end up looking like, but I would always like to strive to be better.

Today, every one of us is about to make a new start in our life.
Graduating class of 2019, it is my hope that the time you spent with your classmates and professors at TUJ will help you get through every challenge that may lie in the future. I am thrilled, thinking what an exciting life awaits us all ahead.

Congratulations to all of us, and I wish everyone the best of luck.
Thank you.

2019年 卒業式


教育学修士 (M.S.Ed.)



けれども、それまで米国の学校で学んだ経験がなかった私は、期待に胸を膨らませると同時に不安でもありました。初めての授業に臨む準備として、インターネットで「絶対に知っておくべき米国の大学の俗語」と検索をかけてみたこともあります。いくつかのウェブサイトを見つけ、それまで知らなかった使えそうな言葉を勉強しました。例えば、「試験のためのガリ勉」、「一夜漬け」、 「試験はダメでひどかった」… 最後のひとつは念のためです。