Another testimonial received….
My desire to learn Japanese began when J-pop used to be prominent and it was then, I felt this necessity to not just appreciate the melancholic melody but also try to understand the lyrics by studying the language. Since then, I have moved on to other medias as well such as Anime, drama and even games to help improve my listening and reading skills. A brief trajectory of my Japanese studies include part-time classes at Japanese language schools (Cambridge Language School and Japanese Cultural Society), classes in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University, and finally furthering my studies here with Can-sensei.
With my experience in these various learning environments, I have managed to identity some areas where it would be more conducive to learn under Can-sensei. Firstly, Can-sensei’s teaching method is dynamic and flexible. A class is never boring with just pure grammar or vocabulary, you are not required to regurgitate any difficult words or learn through one-sided communication like in classrooms. More than often, students are not encouraged to ask questions by the competitive environment in language schools as some people may dominate the class. For myself, I am often relegated to the back of the class and the teachers usually do not have extra time after class to answer queries, as they have to rush for the next class. Here, under the guidance of Can-sensei, I am exposed to varied learning methods consisting of exercises, listening, speaking and even anime or drama in a single class. You will not be intimidated to ask questions as compared to being in a classroom since the study groups are usually small and encourage participation for every student.
Secondly, do not misunderstand that a Singaporean cannot teach a foreign language. I guess sometimes it’s better for someone who’s been through your woes of studying Japanese to teach than a native who’s been using the language naturally. Some words or sentences could be so contextual that it’s even also difficult for a native to explain, just like Singlish, there are just too many nuances in it to relate to a non-native. Before I started the class, I was rather skeptical whether a non-native could teach Japanese. However, after the trial class, I felt that he has sufficient knowledge and experience to teach students. I would also have to say I am impressed by the variety of textbooks and exercises he has invested in to teach. Moreover, his aptitude in teaching is shown in his passion. He will pay attention to your pace and identify your weaknesses so you can be assured that you will not be left out. Personally I feel that this is important in helping students learn better as most of the teachers in schools do not have the luxury time to pay attention to each student. Hence, the small class has allowed each student to learn better and also enhances the ability of the teacher to cater to each student more personally.
Last but not least, I feel that Can-sensei has really earned my respect, as he is not just a teacher but also a kind senior who shares his experience in Japan with all his students. He has helped us learn in many ways more than a classroom could.
By: Joanna Lim
Attended Can’s JLPT N1 Prep class for 20 sessions