I’m Maria Takenouchi. I come from the Philippines where English is a second language. My country has two official languages, Filipino and English. I started teaching English 26 years ago. There are many challenges when one is teaching but, I consider them as an opportunity for me to address them with a positive attitude to improve my craft as a teacher. I always try to embrace optimism and have a lot of fun in my classes. I’m married to a Japanese man and I have two sons. I’ve been living in Japan for the last 31 years, and I’m still counting on more healthy, happy and an enjoyable life in the country I now call my second home. One thing I miss the most in my native country is Christmas. I think the Philippines celebrate the longest Christmas in the world. When the month’s last syllable ends with a “ber”, from September, you can feel Christmas is in the air! I’m not kidding you! It’s true! The occasion is palpable. You can hear Chirstmas carols playing from the radio or homes, and Chirstmassy ornaments abound both in stores and in houses. The celebration officially ends on January 6th which is the feasts of the the three kings a.k.a. the three wise men. I wish you all the best in your English language aquisition endeavour!