I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics from the University of British Columbia in Canada where I took Classical Japanese, Newspaper and Essays in Japanese, Origin of English, and Historical Linguistics, to name a few.
I passed the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) level N1 with a 168 out of 180 while living in Japan; I was there for 2 years teaching English on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme. I was hired by the Ibara Board of Education in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, where I was contracted to teach English at local kindergartens, elementary schools, and middle schools. I was promoted in the second year to relocate to the main local middle school, and I was hired separately to teach Adult English Conversation night classes to members of the local community, hired privately to film local television commercials for English related summer camps, invited to numerous local Rotary Club meetings for excellence, and was ultimately offered to renew the contract for another year, which I declined.
I have taught conversational and grammatical Japanese, Korean, and English to age groups ranging from 8 to 25 since summer of 2007.
I was an active part of student associations during my time at the university: Vice President, by election, of the University of British Columbia Japanese Association and Department Head the year before, and Executive Member of the Japanese Relations at Queen's University and Head of Arts the year before.
All tutoring / lessons can be conducted in Japanese, Korean, and English. I look forward to meeting you.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of British Columbia - Bachelors, Linguistics
sketching, reading, watching movies, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, cooking etc.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to first get to know the student. I want to talk about likes and dislikes while paying attention to the way they talk; I think this will help me and the student become closer, and therefore have fun, rather than sit for an hour while I inject information.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would like to provide trivial and fun information when things get a bit dry. The lessons don't always have to be heavy and serious - I would like the student to leave feeling like they had fun !
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Incorporating a topic into a sort of game helps the students get more eager to familiarize themselves with it, as well as get lots of practice without feeling like they put in too much effort.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think teaching about the nature of fish is more important than how to catch each type of fish.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try different methods; if the student has a hard time understanding something literally, I will try metaphors. If the student has difficulty figuring out one problem, I will try a differently worded question or associate it with something the student can relate to.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think reading will be improved if the student has a wider range of vocabulary established first, by listening. This way, not only will the student recognize more when they read, they will gain more confidence every time they do. I would try to talk to the student whether or not they fully understand what I am saying.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I usually use recognition and repetition to help students practice a topic. To remember vocabulary, for example, there is no better way than to USE the words over and over again. I tend to make sure the students can at least pronounce the words and use the right conjugations, and later if they not only recognize the vocabulary but can REPRODUCE them in a different setting, I know they know.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I think it depends on the student. Some students are better when pictures and images are involved; some are better off when things are written down in prose. I think a vital part of my job is to figure out which ones are necessary, and use them effectively for each student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
When I study a foreign language, I try to take lessons that are taught by a person. But when I am not at the lesson, I still look for ways to constantly expose myself in that language. My go-to is to watch movies or TV shows. I have no idea what they are saying at first, but I pick up words here and there and get more used to the intonation, pitch, idioms, expressions, etc., of the new language than I would by just reading a textbook. I will encourage my students to do that too, if possible.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By strong encouragement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I think it is vital to have conversations with the student, rather than sitting them down and having them listen to me while I go on and on, pouring information on them. I want to talk about THEM so that they are comfortable telling me what they need and want to improve on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students need visual materials; some students need me to write things down in prose, and some might even need to have something happen to them directly. I will figure out what works best for each student since each student is different from the next, and I'll use what I can come up with for different topics.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I will ask why it is that they are trying to learn the subject. I can see a student wanting to learn more about chemistry because of the cool experiments, but having a hard time understanding the formulas and equations. I will just have to make the link between the experiments and theoretical aspects smoother and .. somehow more fun.