How Is Children’s Development Influenced by Picture Books?

Name: Kyoka Narita

Country: Japan

Recently, the numbers of children who use smart phones before they sleep instead of reading picture books are increasing now. Do you know how important picture books are? I strongly encourage the parents who provide smart phones to their kids to give picture books to their kids instead. There are a lot of factors that picture books provide, such as a great influence to children’s development. Let’s take a look at some influences below.

  1. Make children’s brains more active

While parents read picture books to their children, the children’s limbic system of the brain works more actively than usual.  The limbic system of the brain is one of the most crucial parts of our body which administers our controls, the need for sleep, emotions and memory. In addition, colorful picture books can be an excellent influence on their optic nerve. From this influence, children can get a superb sense of color.

  1. Communication skills

When parents read books to their children, parents usually change their voices, such as a sad voice, a happy voice and the other voices of feelings because parents want their children to comprehend the main character’s feelings. Parents also change their facial expressions while they are reading. Therefore, children can learn a variety of feelings: happiness, enjoyment, sadness, anger and the other feelings. The skill will be helpful to children when they communicate with other people. For example, children can identify how people feel because they have already learned some feelings through picture books.   Therefore, reading about a variety of characters’ feelings has a positive influence on children’s communication skills.


  1. Improvement of vocabulary and expression skills

One experiment shows that, in terms of children’s vocabulary skills, children are influenced by the amount of words that parents speak to their children. There is no doubt that parents talk to their children every day. However, you have to acknowledge the fact that it is just spoken language. Picture books are written in proper words and there are a lot of onomatopoeic words and adjectives. Owing to proper words, onomatopoeic words, and adjectives, children’s vocabulary and expression skills can be improved. If children have limited skills of expressions, they will face challenging circumstances because it is hard for them to interpret their observations appropriately. On the other hand, if children’s vocabulary skills are developed, they can acquire high skills of expressions. Likewise, these skills can be useful when children learn other languages.



  1. Improvement of curiosity

When parents read picture books to their children, they will ask a lot of questions to their parents about picture books plots. For example, “why does she/he feel like that?” or “why did she/he act like that?”     If parents are able to answer every single question, children can consider and comprehend more deeply. Therefore, answering the questions stimulates the children’s curiosity. Moreover, some experts consider that curiosity is helpful for children’s brains in terms of their memory.


In conclusion, picture books have a lot of worthy influences on children’s development. I strongly encourage parents to read picture books to their children instead of giving them smart phones.


Japanese TV Drama

Nami Matsuzawa, Japan

I like TV dramas that give me a lot of different emotion.I like these exciting times. Sometimes we are affected by TV dramas.When I’m tired, I watch TV dramas.After I can get my energy back. I think ” I will do my best tomorrow.” I don’t know why TV dramas have this strange power, but I am always encouraged by them.

Have you ever watched Japanese TV dramas? I will introduce them.

The first one is “HANA NO ZUBORAMESHI.” The leading role is a woman” Hana.” She is married, but lives alone because her husband works at a distant place.She is so lazy. She is not good at cooking, but she really likes to eat food. So she tries to cook easy and short recipes.


Her cooking food look  so delicious.The stories are a little bit funny and exciting . I think people are absorbed in this drama. Now, this kind of  food TV drama is in fashion in Japan. If you watch this TV drama , you will be hungry.

The second one is “Miss pilot.”  The leading role is a woman,” Haru Tezuka.” She couldn’t find a job, so she tried to apply to take a test for the airline company. She had never thought of working in the airline industry, but one day she saw the scenery of the sky from the airplane.  She fell in love with the pilot’s job. Her pilot trainer’s life begins. This story is  about Haru trying to become a pilot.


The highlight of this TV drama is her character.  She does not speak English well, andshe has not talent about  plane operations. Everyday, she was scolded by her instructor, but she is honest and full of energy. In addition, she never gives up. I was given courage by her. Her attitude makes me think that my dream may come true with my efforts.


What is more, I want to pay attention to her friendships. She is always helped by someone. Her best friend is “Chisato Oda.” whose father is a pilot. So she has great skills. She graduated from the most prestigious university in Japan, but she dropped out of the pilot trainer course. I don’t want to tell you the ending , because I really want you to see this moving scene with your eyes.

There are many interesting TV dramas in Japan. I would like you to watch one.



Relationship between Smoking and Health

 by Hana Tanaka, Japan

 What do you think about tobbaco? I really hate them because they smell very bad. When I go past person who smoked, I can see through he or she is a smoker. I learned that tobacco is bad for the smokes as well as around the smokers when I was a junior high school student. Nevertheless, my boyfriend is a smoker. He smokes a pack of tobacco every day.

So I will survey about the relationship between tobacco and health.


 I surveyed smoking with these four questions.

1.Do you usually smoke?

2.How much tobacco do you smoke?

3.What do you think about the people who smoke?

4.Do you think that smoking is bad for your health?

I asked three people. Two of them are EF’s students and the other is the clerk of the sandwich shop in front of the EF.

The results are that three of them don’t smoke so they don’t like smell and they think that smoking is too bad. Also, I asked my boyfriend these questions. He said that he knows that smoking is bad for health but after smoking his mind will be clear so he can’t stop smoking.

This is the video about smokers. You will understand that smoking will increase the probability of death(mainly stroke in this video).

All around the world

Dana Lazzaro


Traveling is a way to see new places, learn new things and different cultures. It is a way to see different points of view and to grow up as a person. Every trip changes you a little bit, and when you come back home you’re a different person in some way.


Lately, I had the chance to go to lots of places with my family because they like traveling as much as I do. Last summer we went to Florida for two weeks and we traveled around Florida so that we could see all the different cities. We saw “small” cities, like Fort Myers and Daytona, and also big cities, like Orlando and Miami. I could see the differences between those cities, the small neighborhoods with a lot of lovely houses in Fort Myers and the big ones in Miami with a lot of mansions, the small and empty beaches and the crowded ones.

I liked everything about this trip. I had the chance to see a lot and to see how real life is in the USA. I live in Switzerland and I always watch American movies or tv series, and I’ve always dreamt about going there. So this trip was a kind of dream that became true.

This year I also went to London and Amsterdam for a few days.

I had the chance to see a lot of history and museums and they were really interesting but it was also interesting to see some characteristics of the countries.

For example, did you know that in Britain all the people always stay in line on the escalators on the right side? Because in this way the people that are in a hurry can go on the left side. I was really impressed about that! I’ve also been to Italy and to the seaside of Greece, but that was more of a relaxing holiday than a real trip.

I would really like to go far away, like in Asia or Africa to see some really different cultures.

Another way to see new places and new cultures are going abroad to learn a language.

You can learn a new language and you can actually live like a native of the place. You can change your lifestyle for a period and I think that this is really a great experience!

I study a lot of languages at school, and I like to travel in the summer and improve my additional languages. I’ve already been to Germany a couple of times to study German and I really liked that. So this summer I’m in Santa Barbara for a month to work on my English.

I think that this has been a really great experience, an experience that I will remember forever!

You live for a month away from your home and you are away from your everyday problems. You live a different life and you learn new things. When you come back home you will be an improved person, and maybe you will see things in a transformed way.

In conclusion, traveling is a way to change your personality and it is an experience that you won’t live again, and you will always have it in your heart, because it’s going to become a part of you. This experience is going to become something that you’ll never forget.


Japanese Soccer Player

Nami Matsuzawa , Japan

Do you know Japanese popular sports ?You may think of figure skating , gymnastics ,  swimming …..One of the famous sports in Japan is soccer! There are 18 soccer teams in J1 League (Japan 1 League) .You may know some team names which  are  Gamba Osaka, , Nagoya Grampus EightSanfrecce HiroshimaUrawa Red Diamonds, FC TOKYO and Kashima Antlers…..

I think that Japanese soccer players are smaller and skinnier than any other  players in the world.Some people may think Japanese soccer players don’t have skills and strong bodies .

But some Japanese  play soccer  abroad.Some Japanese soccer players have the oppotunity for success on foreign teams.They play against taller players .

Today, I will show you  a good Japanese soccer player.


His name is Atsuto Uchida. In 2006 , he became a Japanese professional soccer player as a right back .He played for J1 League  club Kashima Antlers. Uchida began his professional career when he debuted for Kashima at the age of 17 against Sanfrecche Hiroshima.

He is a very fast runner and has never given up his good attitude and is very competitive. So, he has to trust in his  team players and his team mate have to  trust in him , too. There is a nice relationship.

At the end of the 2008 season,  he made 34 appearances and scored once in all competitions. He was named J League Best Eleven for the first time. In addition, he signed a contract extension, keeping him until 2012.This is such a  great thing.

In 2010 ,  his team club continued to win  and he became a Japanese national football team player.His play made the  Japanese people happy. There was  no one who did not to know him at that time.

On 13 June 2010 , he joined  the German club Schalke04 .He was admitted because of his ability .He was not only fast,  but also a good defense player . He is not tall ,176 centimaters. He does not have a big body. Sometimes this characteristic is a weapon.He can run nimbly .This is one of the important skills in soccer.

When he joined Schalke04 , he didn’t  become friends with this team. His team mates could not  believe his skills. In addition , he could not speak German, but he never lost heart.

He thought “I will succeed and get back at everyone someday.”He tried to do extra practices. He became the hardest worker. His efforts affected his team mates. He was always selected as a regular member and became an essential player.

Neymar praised his defense skills. He was the first  Japanese person to win the Champion League Best 4 and sometimes he was selected as best eleven player in a European soccer magazine.




One day ,he injured his leg and he left  Schalke04 in 2017. He was loved so much by Schalke04 supporters. When he left , Schalke04 held a big ceremony for him.

Now he has returned to play for Kashima  Antlers. I think he will play abroad again in the not so distant future. He gives a lot of inspiration to Japanese children soccer players.

I think that he is not only Japanese successful soccer player, but also Keisuke Honda who played Ac milan  , Shinji Kagawa who plays Burussia Dortmund now .




Now , Japanese soccer players are rising. I want everyone to pay attention to Japanese Soccer Players!