Faculty Members – Atsushi Iwabuchi

Atsushi Iwabuchi

Ikebukuro Campus
Japanese Teacher

When and why did you decide to become a Japanese teacher?
When I was 26 I went to Australia on a Working holiday visa. I was influenced by a teacher who taught me English and started to be interested on teaching my mother tongue to foreigners. Originally I was working as a Nature observation instructor so I felt it had something in common with my previous teaching job.
Could you please tell me about the contents of your lessons?
I've been teaching a wide range of levels from beginner to advanced. Since I am also in charge of career counseling I also talk about studying in college during class. I am also in charge of the vocational school experience class held at Ikebukuro so I also plan classes with vocational schools.
What is the fun part and the difficult part of teaching Japanese?
The smile in students when they finally can express what they wanted to to say it is irreplaceable, plus it leads them to their own motivation. Students have grown up in different circumstances and they have different ways of thinking so classes need to be flexibly changed accordingly. It is fun to try and fail but it is also difficult.
What is the most important thing for you when being in contact with students?
I am constantly conscious about my goals. When developing a lesson I am aware that I can empathize with what they can study that day and their sense of achievement when they do learn it. I believe that accumulation of accomplishment will lead to the ultimate goal at the Japanese language school: first choice college.
What can you find in ISI that you won't find in other Japanese schools?
I hear stories from the students saying that the teachers at Ikebukuro Campus are strict. But I am sure if they talked to friends from other schools you wouldn't think so. Spoiling and forgiving is easier than being strict. It is often said that schools are tough and I think that is evidence that the students are facing the school properly.
What do you think is the most important thing when international students study Japanese?
I think that the most important thing is their objectives. Willing to join a famous university or a leading business is not a temporary purpose but a specific goal so I think it is important to learn Japanese and use it in the university or company of your choice in Japan.
What kind of students you want to be enrolled?
I am a goal-oriented person so I think you should do whatever is needed to achieve the objective you have in Japan. People with a passive attitude that can't do anything have no place in Japan, even if they are Japanese. Even foreigners are waiting for a stricter life.
Finally, a few words for the future students.
Those studying abroad shouldn't be fine with anything but choose themselves what is good for them. Why do you want to study abroad, why choosing Japan. If the result of these questions still leads to studying in Japan then surely that is the correct choice. It would make me happy if ISI was part of that choice too.