How did you become an English teacher?
After I graduated from university, I began to work at an insurance company, but I decided to study at the International House in London which my friend introduced me to. The course was only about 3 months, but I had a great experience, meeting students from different countries such as Europe and South America. I participated in the volunteer work to teach English to refugees from the Gulf war. After returning to Japan, I worked at the language center where young employees came to learn English after work.
Did you have any difficulty as a returnee?
I lived in the United States when I was aged 11-15 years old. My father worked in a foreign company and we lived in the suburbs of NY. Asians were a minority there. I went to a local school so I had a hard time communicating in English for about a year. But the school provided supplementary language lessons for me and my sister. I was happy about that.
After I came back to Japan, I had a hard time again reading Kanji, and Math was more difficult than what I was studying in the US. But I was happy to come back to Japan, because I had lots of choices for stationery, clothes and the stuff surrounding me. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to go out by myself on trains.
Was it difficult for you to keep your English level?
Yes, the English ability will go down very quickly if we don't use it. After I came back to Japan, I moved to a school which welcomed returnee students. They had lessons where I could speak in English with native speaking teachers there. I feel I got my grammatical knowledge by studying after I became an English teacher.
Is there anything you keep in mind when you teach?
As a teacher, I praise the children as much as possible. I also include some easy games in the lesson. For example, today's lesson was about "Jobs,” so I gave them some quizzes explaining certain jobs and the students guessed what they are. They like that kind of game very much.
For the youth class, I try to teach vocabulary effectively. For example, I ask them, "Have you ever heard the word in the news about COVID19?” or "You heard that word in the title of BTS's song, didn't you?" I know they must be very tired with school and club activities. So, I try to keep them focused.
How did you study to get EIKEN 1st grade?
I tried to memorize vocabulary at first. I listened to English news such as BBC. Whenever I encounter unknown words, I ask Siri, "Hey Siri! How do you spell ~~~?"
I asked Siri the spelling and looked it up in the dictionary.
I know that many adult students learn English to pass the test and get some certification. I think it is difficult to keep the motivation if they only focus on studying. It is important to include fun in studying such as reading Instagram posts of your favorite artists or memorizing the dialogue of your favorite movies.
What do you expect in students who have studied English?
If you understand English, you can communicate with people from all over the world, not only native English speakers but also with people who speak English as their second or third language. The information you get expands. You might know about news rarely broadcasted in Japanese news shows through the English media.
I want the students to get wider information, talk with people with different backgrounds and be able to accept diversity.
・Basic-F (FRI) 17:10-18:40
・Basic-F (FRI) 19:10-21:10