Meet Sandy and Sue

In China, of course we have to learn English from junior school, but although almost all the textbooks that schools use were the same, there was only ONE course we used a different textbook
Well, in China ,there are some “Language Schools” that actually almost the same as the normal junior or senior high schools, they teach Chinese, Maths, PEs, Chemistries, etc all the same as those normal schools teach, but only English, these “Language Schools” will use different textbook

Although these schools have the name “Language School”, there are only a few of them actually have other foreign language lessons except English, probably the choosing of different textbook is a way to show the differences between normal schools and language schools, but anyway, because of that, we had totally different English lessons from those in normal schools

Then, these days, maybe because of the emotion of lonely or something like that, many people began to write essays for those characters from their English textbooks, and of course we didn’t learn that at all so we know actually nothing about those characters

But today, I saw somebody, maybe my school-mate, wrote an essay about those characters from the textbooks that actually we used in language schools (mine was Chengdu Foreign Language School), and that really made me moved

We used 2 series of books through my junior school (I began to learn Japanese from high school so I don’t know further about English lessons in high school), in Junior 1 we used the book called “Look Listen and Learn” (which we call it “3L”), and in Junior 2 and 3 we used the one called “Look Ahead”
3L was a very funny text book, each lesson is just a short story, and what we had to do was to memorize the story, and get the meaning of the words in the story.
But Look Ahead was much more difficult, it’s much more like an advanced-user’s textbook, but of course we were just Junior 2, it’s hard for us to understand that kind of difficult books, but we really tried hard

Well, of course I like 3L better because it’s easy and funny, and the most important thing is that the characters were lovely

Actually the title of this post was the first sentence of Lesson 1 in 3L, at that time it was even very difficult to add a title for each story because of the lack of English words we learnt, but actually, I can still remember the whole Lesson 1

Meet Sandy and Sue.
This is Sue’s class.
Her teacher’s Mr. Chrisp.
“Which is your pen, Sue?”
“The red pen, sir.”
“Here you are, Sue.”
“Thank you, sir.”

That was the whole content of Lesson 1, really easy, but you know what? One of our language school’s goal or principle was to have English classes in only English, so except our 1st English lesson, that our teacher was just talking jokes and give us English names, we only could talk in and listen to English.

As well as this really easy Lesson 1, we didn’t know anything about English except A to Z and the phonetic alphabet, we didn’t know the meaning of “meet”, we didn’t know the meaning of “and”, we didn’t know any word in the lesson! But our teacher still tried very hard to tell us what the meaning is

And also, I can still remember Lesson 39, which I won a prize in the Phone and Intonation Imitation Contest with this lesson

“Whose are these sandwiches, Tom?”
“They’re Billy’s.”
“Open the Package, Sandy. Take out the sandwiches. Put in this duster and this book. Hurry up! There’s Billy.”
“Hey! Leave my sandwiches alone.”
“Here you are, Billy.”
“That’s funny, these sandwiches are very hard? Hey! Give me my sandwiches quickly!”

That’s the content of Lesson 39, preparing for the contest, I had listened to the tape again and again since almost one month before the contest, and tried my best to imitate the intonation they pronounced, and I succeeded, I can even remember that I couldn’t believe it at that time, I cried, I shouted, I hugged my teacher deeply to show how excited I was.

But anyway, I’ve really leaved English away since long time ago, I promised to learn English on although I began to learn Japanese, but soon I gave up because there were not that much time for me to learn two languages well, and also I began to play too much from high school.

But I really think that it’s the best way to learn English in English, or I probably have forgotten almost all the English words if I don’t use them like now, although at the beginning it was really hard, so if you really want to learn a language well, don’t learn it in your mother tongue, just in the language you’re learning, no matter if it’s English or Japanese or any other languages in the world, just learn in what you learn, you’ll find it useful after years

Author: 星野恵瑠

Mac user, Niji-Ota, Chinese, Now working in Japan at MAGES. Inc., Future's aim is that one day my name can be listed in Wikipedia

37 thoughts on “Meet Sandy and Sue”

  1. @Beatrix The author was L. G. Alexander (who passed away in 2002) and the illustrations were made by Bailey Pettengell Design, LTD. The books were published by Longman (which is now under Pearson). There were four books in the Look, Listen and Learn series, plus the teacher’s books. Additional books were readers such as Mr. Punch and Professor Boffin’s Robot.

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  2. How wonderful! I actually have the book and was looking at those lessons as I read your blog post. I grew up in Argentina where we also learned English using the Look, Listen and Learn books. I still have my books 1 and 2. I live in the USA now and speak fluent English, but still remember these books fondly. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

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  3. 喔@0@,我到现在还以为就只有我们那一届是学的3L的教材,原来还有这么多同道哟!不过,我是在20年前学的啦!!!算不算学长?

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  4. I’m 33 years old from China ,Chongqing,I study english from this book,l very like this book,like sandy,Mr.Crisp~, like billy :leave my sandwiches alone!but time pass 20 years ago,my baby just have to say A B C……them don’t look this book!

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  5. I’m 27 year old from Iran and I have good memories of this book from my childhood, it’s nice to see many people have nostalgic common sense to this lovely book.

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  6. I’m Menna and I’m Egyptian. I’m glad that I found people from different nations who studied this wonderful book ( Look, Listen and Learn ). I also still remember the 1st lesson by heart. It seems that it was only yesterday I took it and memorize it but actually it’s been more than 23 years :)

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  7. Please: I’m desperately looking for the authors of the book (3L book). I had this text book when i was a youg girl and I forgot the title and the authors of Italian 3L correspondent. Can you help me ? thank you

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  8. “Which is your pen, Sue?”
    “The red one, sir.”

    I think Sue answers with “one” not “pen”

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  9. @Lovee:
    No big deal, but it really reflects something in your characteristic, maybe?

    Personally, I believe conversational language is much easier to master compared to formal one. However, public speaking or essay writing is the key factor in your mastering a language. Also I believe, in asian culture there is no such thing as CRITICAL THINKING and WRITING, which the westerner will learn.

    Even then, in China people learn integrated language and literature (语文), but for English it is not, it is SEPARATE thing which should not be combined together. I just personally prefer a systematic and proper language, or a thorough and accurate expression of idea, not an ambiguous and vague understanding. Maybe Asians did master in 察言观色, and use social skills to make life harder. Maybe I just fit into the western style of learning, or simple just rigorousness.

    Being an Asian is hard, to live in an Asian Society (Esp. The Great Celestial Empire) is harder.

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  10. @chakane048:
    細かいことは気にするな、そっちだってsimple becauseよりsimply becauseだろう tuzji22

    @小明猪:
    7,偶就是从不同语言分开写转变成不同语言合在一起写的,乃居然让偶又分开 tuzji12

    @eleven:
    学会英语是偶会修改CSS等东西的基础啊 baozie03

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  11. Kindergarten-level English (Not Joking)
    We use maths simple because it is a plural noun ‘mathematics’, and there is no PEs (Physical Educations?), Chemistries or nothing.
    OMG! You need to work harder on your English.

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  12. When i was a student , I don’t like English . Because i feel it is very difficult to pronounce . Time pass by . some years later , I have graduated from high school . I didn’t go to the University. I fall in love with the computer. Since I recite words every morning . because i must be into the code world.

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