Faculty Members – Mina Ikeda

Mina Ikeda

Nagano Campus
Japanese Teacher

Please tell us when and why you decided to become a Japanese teacher.
I rememeber when I was in High School and attending an English conversation school. I was impressed when I saw one of the teachers asking questions to a fellow student about Japanese culture. So like that teacher, I had a desire to find a job that would let teach language and allow me learn about other cultures. This led me to become a Japanese teacher.
Please tell us about the class you teach?
I am in charge of teaching beginning to intermediate level classes. In addition to teaching regular classes, I am also responsible to provide guidance to students.
What kind of classes are you aiming to deliver?
I always want to make classes that are "easy for students to understand". Not only do I explain things vocally, I also use picture cards, photographs, illustrations, and sometimes videos to explain how Japanese can be used. Additionally, I also use tools such as PowerPoint to help me teach in my classroom. From this my students can study face to face with their classmates, making it easy for students with less confidence.
What are the reasons for study at the Nagano campus, that your are hearing from your students?
Many students hope attend a vocational school in preparation to finding a job. Many of the students are seeking service oriented jobs such as hotels or restaurants. Some are aiming to get IT jobs.
Please tell us about the classes which are unique to the Nagano campus.
Since Nagano is a small city, I think there are many opportunities for students to build freindships, such as working at the same part-time job or getting together during the holidays. Also there are parks in town so we go out to see cherry blossoms in spring season, autums read leaves as well.
What do you value the most when working with your students?
Treating people like adults. Many students are actually adults and are very independent. Studying Japanese is only one aspect of being a student. I want to be involved with my students as a person rather than just evaluating them.
Finally, a few words for the future international students.
My hope is that Japanese will become a “weapon” which will enrich your life. So, let's work hard together!

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