Please tell us when and why you decided to become a Japanese teacher.
When I was a high school student, I enjoyed learning English and often conversed with one English teacher from Australia. This teacher seemed interested in Japan, and often asked questions about Japanese language and culture… but I had trouble answering them. From this experience as a high school student, answering questions for my teacher, I developed an interest in sharing what I know about Japan's language and culture. From that point I began studying Japanese language education, and eventually becoming a teacher.
Please tell us about the class you teach?
My classes range from beginner to advanced Japanese. Additionally I am in charge of teacher training to help them improve their skills, and also take part in recruiting new teachers.
What kind of classes are you aiming to deliver?
I try to plan my classes to draw out interest from my students. When I was a student and didn't have much interest in the class, I didn’t really pay attention to the teacher. However, when the class was interesting… those were the classes that I still remember. Our goal is to provide classes that students will remember... even after graduation.
What are the reasons for study at the Kyoto campus, that your are hearing from your students?
Kyoto School has Long-Term Course, Short-Term Standard Course, and Short-Term Practical Japanese Course. The Long-Term and Short-Term Standard Course is designed for students with a desire to go to a university or vocational schools, mainly in the Kansai (west) area. The Short-Term Practical Japanese Course is for students with an interest in Japan and want to learn the culture. There may be other Japanese language schools where you can experience Japanese culture, but I think that our biggest feature is that there is an [output] class where one can express oneself after having experienced it.
Please tell us about the classes which are unique to the Kyoto campus.
The Short-Term Practical Japanese Course is a course only offered in Kyoto Campus, as it has a focus on Japanese culture. It is a weekly program with a different theme each week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students learn about the history and origins of the culture unique to Kyoto. On Wednesdays, student can actually experience the culture. Thursdays and Fridays, the class has an opportunity to express, in Japanese what was learned.
What do you value the most when working with your students?
Firstly at the beginning of class, I have the students speak. No mater the issue… whether it is regarding career or life guidance… if there is a problem, I try to take action. It is important to understand the students' feelings before I give my thoughts.
Finally, a few words for the future international students.
Why don't you come and experience life in historic Kyoto? Come and enjoy studying in Kyoto, where you can learn not only learn Japanese, but also Japanese culture!