Making Japanese friends to improve your skills

Apr 26, 2023
Tomoko Photo

Tomoko-san joined joined Japademy at the end of 2021, becoming our first teacher located in Europe! She is highly appreciated by our students who enjoy her keenness to getting to know about their own cultures too. Her suggestion for students who want to learn Japanese quickly is to make native friends with whom you can practice what you learn and pick up new expressions and slangs.

Why did you choose to be a Japanese teacher?

I was working as an English teacher for several years and at that time, I felt if I could teach my mother language and the background of common Japanese phrases. I think language is made from the history, culture and traditions we have, and for this reason learning a foreign language is the best way to understand their way of living.

What do you like the most about being a teacher?

Supporting the students for what they need with what I have - Tomoko-san besides being really experienced is quite resourceful -.

What is the most challenging thing about teaching Japanese?

Motivating students that do not have a purpose for learning the language.

What do you think is the most difficult thing for students about learning Japanese?

In our language, the meaning of certain words or phrases may be different depending on the context and situation it is used as well as whether the speaker or listener uses it.

What do you think is the easiest thing for students about learning Japanese?

I would say that it depends on the student. While some students are very good at listening -which makes them great at understanding Japanese conversations, movies and music-, some others are really good at speaking -which is usually the result of them being able to easily understand grammar and vocabulary-. It is important to recognize where you are the best at and study harder on what you are not.

How do you motivate your students to learn?

I try to get to know the student’s goals and reasons why they chose to learn Japanese. Based on that I try to design my lessons in such a way that makes them interested.

What advice do you have for people who would like to learn Japanese?

Try to make some native Japanese friends. As the Japanese language is frequently changing day by day with new expressions and slangs being used, having the chance to practice speaking with them will help you learn new vocabulary and those new expressions.

Have you tried learning other languages? Which ones?

English, Spanish, and Danish.

What is the Japanese food that you would recommend to students?

Rice, fruits and fish are a must have! All of these are of good quality in Japan. Also, others like fermented food -miso, tsukemono, and nuka- although not that well-known by foreigners, are really great.

What is the Japanese food that you would NOT recommend to students?

That depends on how mindful you are about the quality of the food you eat. Some products in Japan may contain a lot of chemicals which I do not recommend. My preference is to go always for natural organic products.

Why would you recommend people to learn Japanese at Japademy?

The main reason is the flexibility you get when studying with us. As Japademy's teacher are based in different countries, you can easily choose or change the days and times you take your lessons.

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