Faculty Members – Hiroki Iwama

Hiroki Iwama

Nagano Campus
Japanese Teacher

Please tell us when and why you decided to become a Japanese teacher.
I worked at a service related job prior to my coming to ISI Nagano Campus. There I had daily interaction with people from various countries. Through my understanding of my own language and culture, I was able to assist my customers better as I overcome barriers of the cultural differences. With the desire to create a bridge between Japan and other countries and through ISI Nagano's Japanse language teacher's two year training course, I was able to apply my past experiences and help students with their language learning. Upon finishing my studies, I have now become a Japanese language teacher.
Please tell us about the class you teach?
I oversee two classes, and I am in charge of a class for students who hope to work in Japan as a caregiver in the future. The class is an intermediate level class, and students are working hard to prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N3 and N2.
What kind of classes are you aiming to deliver?
I try to think about how to help students understand and establish the language knowledge necessary for everyday life as I strive to motivate students to learn. Different countries have different cultures and learning backgrounds. So one's preferred learning method, consciousness, and the degree of learning will also vary.
Also, students have a limited time to improve their writing, speaking, listening, and reading comprehension in order to prepare for and pass the Japanse Language Proficiency Test. The most important thing is for me is to maintain a level of motivation. This is something that I try to maintain.
What are the reasons for study at the Nagano campus, that your are hearing from your students?
With my students, particularly those who want to become a caregiver, attend university, or enter a vocational school, NBL courses are designed to reach that goal. In addition to admission to nursing, other fields include IT and hotel (customer service). Other students have a desire to become interpretors.
Please tell us about the classes which are unique to the Nagano campus.
In the Japanese language department, students are assigned to one class in order to cultivate their Japanese language skills from basic greetings to daily conversations and writing, and to eliminate bias in teaching methods of the teachers in charge, such as Japanese culture, customs, and thinking.
Students in the Japanese language department are assigned a single class. This helps to develop their language skills from basic greetings to daily conversation, as well as writing. This helps to eliminate variations in teaching methods, or way of thinking among the teachers. However, team teaching may also be found in some classes.
Nagano Campus also provides specialized areas as well. As the classes are multinational. Plus there are English, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese translation. We also offer classes designed to deepen an understanding of various cultures.
What do you value the most when working with your students?
1. Respect for the culture and customs of a student's home country is the basis of our way of thinking.
2. Many students are coming to Japan for the first time abroad, and have various concerns. We take care to be aware of their psychological state of the day and encourage them in their efforts.
3. We are careful not to hurt a student's pride when correcting mistakes.

As mentioned above, these three are very important guidlines.
Finally, a few words for the future international students.
What kind of a country is Japan? Once you become familiar with the Japanese way of thinking, and become more familiar with ordinary life and culture, it will be easier to accept the differences. Also, those of you in their late teens to 20s, pursuing future dreams, those who are worried even if they have clear goals, yet uneasy about becoming independent before adulthood. Don't give up! The important thing is to decide your own future. There will be failures... This is normal. What is important is to think upon what you will become in the future, until it is realized. I will do all I can do to support you in this quest.