Could you tell me why you became a Japanese teacher?
When I was a student, I often heard foreign nationals say, "There is no trash on the streets in Japan, it’s amazing" and "Japanese culture is wonderful," and I thought “Why? What's so great about Japan?" I felt embarrassed as a Japanese not knowing about my own country, so I wanted to be able to explain properly about Japan to foreign nationals.
Please tell us about the joy and pleasure of teaching Japanese?
The moment when students from different countries talk to each other in Japanese and smile is the happiest for me. Sometimes students ask me “Why are Japanese like this?! (angry)”, but by thinking together with my students about how it is in their own countries, how it is in Japan, and why is it like that, we make new discoveries, and I think “there is no end to teaching Japanese (happy)”.
Please let us know what are the advantages of online classes, and your advices for maximizing student's Japanese ability while taking online classes.
On one occasion, because of the flow of the talk in class, a student showed us how he played the guitar and piano he had at home. Also, students who are shy and don’t speak much in face-to-face lessons are able to speak in online classes... I think the appeal of online classes is that the individuality and personality of the students that don’t show up in face-to-face lessons can be expressed. Because it's an online class, you should value the feeling of wanting to speak in Japanese and try talking about anything during the class. Watching classmates who have become friends on ZOOM meet in the classroom for the first time is touching!
What are your thoughts and efforts in online lessons (differ with face-to-face lessons)?
It’s easier to understand each other’s expressions in online lessons than in face-to-face classes. That's why I use a lot of funny faces and gestures in the class to keep students from falling asleep. I also always change the presentation method depending on the learning content, whether it's using the whiteboard, Power Point in ZOOM, or the chat function.
Please let us know if you have any unexpected happenings during the online class.
The music from a clock in one student's house rang out during the class. The song was called "It's A Small World"... It was a fun class with students from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and many other countries, so I murmured, "Oh, that's a great song for this class," which made the students laugh a lot.
Lastly, please give a message to those who are thinking or will be taking online classes.
Online lessons have a different appeal than face-to-face lessons. I think it's very convenient being able to study Japanese according to the students’ various situations. I am very much looking forward to studying with all of you across the sea!