Stephen Mansfield 先生

英国出身のフォトジャーナリスト、ライター、世界各国を取材している。国際研修室では「ニュース英語」「ライティングスキル」「Advanced Communication Skills」を担当。

担当コース「ニュース英語」「ライティングスキル」「Advanced Communication Skills」

What is your background?

I was born and grew up in in Oxford but regard myself as a Londoner. It's where I spent my formative years. I initially worked for the British government's educational affiliation, dividing my time between London and Geneva. I have lived at various times in Cairo, Barcelona, the south of France, and now Japan, my permanent home.
I moved into serious photography during the civil war in Lebanon, which I covered while staying in Beirut. Photojournalism, writing articles and books, followed in later years. The photojournalism work has appeared in over 60 magazines, newspapers and journals worldwide, including The Geographical, South China Morning Post, The Middle East, Wingspan, Skymark, Japan Quarterly, Travel Plan, Critical Asian Studies, and The Japan Journal. Subjects have included pieces on issues, travel, interviews, cultural and literary themes.
Photos have appeared in several books, and been exhibited in London and Paris. I have had 17 books published to date, with publishers such as Dorling Kindersley, Times Books, Gallimard and Oxford University Press. The latest title, 'Tokyo A Biography,' a critical history, came out in the spring of 2016 in Japan and Asia, the autumn in Europe and the U.S., by Tuttle Publishing.



発表した写真は、The Geographical, South China Morning Post, The Middle East, Wingspan, Skymark, Japan Quarterly, Travel Plan, Critical Asian Studies, The Japan Journal(※その他原文参照) など、世界各国で60以上の雑誌、新聞、ジャーナルに掲載されました。時代を反映したもの、旅の風景、インタビュー、文化や文学にかかわるものなど、さまざまな写真を撮ってます。写真は書籍に掲載されたり、ロンドンやパリで展示されたこともあります。
著書については、これまで17作を Dorling Kindersley, Times Books, Gallimard and Oxford University Press などから出版しています。最新刊はTokyo: A Biography という歴史考察の話です。日本とアジアでは2016年春に、ヨーロッパとアメリカでは同年秋に Tuttle Publishing から出版されました。

What do you emphasize the most when teaching?

I try to create an atmosphere that is congenial and liberal, but intense, where the students can feel they belong, are free to express themselves in any manner they choose on any relevant aspect of the topic. This does not mean the sessions are relaxed. On the contrary, with many items and components to cover in two hours, the aim is to remove the students from their comfort zone, keep them alert and attentive, ready to respond at any given moment. The objective is for the students to feel stretched to their limits, not intimidated.


What do you perceive from your students as their main objective for taking the course?

Although some commonalities exist, such as a desire to become an interpreter or translator, to know more about world events and a desire to explore associated language usage, each student has his or her own motive for joining the courses. This is especially true these days. Although their perspective on the future is often unformed, many students sense that they will be better qualified to deal with an inevitably more globalized, multi-ethnic Japan if their language skills are more evolved. Beside the acquisition of real world language skills, I suspect that many students are also here to identify their limitations, to discover weak areas in English usage and to address them.


What recommended study methods are introduced in the course?

Essentially, the recommended study methods for levels 1 and 11 remain the same, although teacher expectations may be higher at Level 11. Researching the backgrounds to our subjects is essential. Preparedness is vital. Time permitting, students should research the topics before the next sessions. The articles on the course usually replicate the following week's content, providing a useful guideline for finding recordings and articles that can be useful supplements. Being ready for the lesson can also help to boost confidence.

Look at several articles and listen to a range of broadcast reports on the same subject. You will start to see that much of the content is actually being recycled, although it may be expressed in differing language forms. This also applies to the subject of vocabulary, where there is a good deal of repetition. This is helpful for students, providing them with the means to reinforce and consolidate topic related diction, terminology and expression.

If it is imperative to begin preparing for the coming week at an early stage, this also applies to homework assignments. An early start allows you to review, improve and fine-tune your work before handing it in. This is particularly true of the "Writing Skills" class. Writers often cite the adage that the best writing gets done at the re-writing stage.




What can the students do to improve their English?

Essentially, students should be on these courses to learn from their mistakes. The well-documented fear of making an error in English is very counter-productive. An over-cautious approach to language learning will inhibit progress.

Most of us have, to some extent, to free ourselves from the educational methods inculcated in us when we were young. Japan's over-rigid, rather formulaic approach to learning may be effective with certain knowledge based subjects and disciplines, but is inadequate when applied to language learning. There is a socialization aspect to language usage, which presumes that Japanese are comfortable with non-Japanese, native speakers in all situations, not just the artificial environment of the classroom.



You are a journalist yourself. What do you reccomend your students to do or focus on when watching news?

It is vital to research the background to news stories, compare reports, note and learn to apply related language and vocabulary. Most news commentary is reducible to a small number of main points and concepts, which are duplicated within the same report and by other media. Try to identify these and be aware of how they resurface in articles and broadcasts. Though the style of presentation may differ, essentially, the message and content may often be identical.


Do you have any advice to our students who will also be in the same position in the future as English newswriters/interpreters?

While you may wish to pay tribute to your own culture and promote it to others, do not hesitate to be critical of it where you feel it falls short. This is a hallmark of maturity.


What do you enjoy doing outside of your work?

Time permitting - I work six-day weeks - I like to travel, read fiction and non-fiction books, follow new trends in film, and practice different styles of guitar: electric, classical and acoustic. After spending one year designing and making a Japanese garden, I now have to maintain it. I hold a black belt in the Shotokan school of karate.