Japanese people often get a hard time for their lack of English language skills. But with so few Japanese ever setting foot outside their own country, it’s little wonder that one of the most frequently heard reasons given for struggling with the language is the lack of opportunity to use it.

Just last night, in fact, I was completely caught off guard when a teenage girl in my local convenience store seized the opportunity to break out her English and asked me whether I needed a plastic bag. Unfortunately, I was completely unprepared for the question and it was only after she had repeated herself three times that I realised that a) she was speaking English and b) I’d probably just ensured that she never dare to do so ever again.

But perhaps the prospect of a free cup of coffee would rekindle her enthusiasm for language?

As part of a promotional campaign for the launch of its new ReFLEX language learning software, Rosetta Stone is opening a special limited-time-only cafe in a Shinjuku book store, giving customers the chance to use their English, and doling out free cups of coffee to those who can.

For just two days next week, visitors to Shinjuku’s Kinokuniya Shoten will be able to try out their English for free when the mock cafe opens its doors on the first floor of the store.

The Rosetta Stone Language Cafe is staffed entirely by native English speakers, meaning that Japanese hoping to grab a free cup of joe will be forced to steel their nerves and bust out their best English. And if they can’t? Well, it just so happens that a certain company has a new language learning program to help with that…

Visitors to the cafe will also be able to try out the company’s new ReFLEX software, which – with its focus on real-life scenarios and audio-visual cues – will come as quite a surprise to many Japanese whose English language education is heavily grammar-focused.

The company is hoping that this year’s language cafe will be as big a success as it was during a similar promotional event held last year, which saw long lines of people waiting their turn from the moment the doors opened. Whether they were there for the chance to practice their English or just for the free coffee, we’re still not sure…

The Rosetta Stone ReFLEX Language Cafe will be open from 1 ~ 7 p.m., Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November.

Source: My Navi News