Are you willing to take up the challenge?

From my Advanced class student:

I have been studying under Can Sensei for slightly over a year as of May 2018. Prior to this, I studied Japanese at Ikoma for about 8 months and continued studying Japanese while I was doing an exchange program in Tokyo.

To start off, I would consider my Japanese to be at around N4 level before studying under Can sensei. When we met in Feb 2017, I had hopes of passing the JLPT N2 by July 2017, to which he shot down by saying that it was far too unrealistic and attempting the paper in December would be a more realistic goal. Nevertheless, he encouraged me to go for the paper in July to experience sitting for the JLPT to better prepare for the one in December. In addition, he spared no effort in preparing me for the examination, rather than treating it as just a mock paper. Thanks to his tutelage, I managed to pass the JLPT N2 in July despite having only studied Japanese for 1 year and 8 months by that point, not to mention a mere 4 months studying under Can sensei.

Can sensei’s expertise does not simply end with preparing students for the JLPT. Japanese is a living, breathing language and I am certain that most learners would want to be able to use the language in real life, be it in their careers or to make friends or to better enjoy their hobbies such as anime, manga, drama or video games. Learning Japanese will invariably require learning more about Japanese culture to understand certain nuances, expressions and the etymology of certain words in the language – all of which are crucial in one’s pursuit of attaining fluency in the language. Can sensei is definitely a subject matter expert in this regard, having attended courses in Japan to learn more about the culture.

Probably one of the most neglected aspects of learning Japanese would be the pitch accent and intonation. Ask a native Japanese teacher about intonation in Japanese and chances are he or she will tell you that Japanese intonation is flat or that there is no intonation involved. This is quite a huge misconception and unless you have a very good ear for picking out the intonation and pronunciation, you would most likely pick up a few bad habits in pronouncing certain words the “wrong” way. I would say that Can sensei is hyper-aware of this issue and he always corrects his students on pitch accent. In fact, probably one of the first things that you would notice upon meeting Can sensei is that his Japanese sounds very natural, something people usually achieve only if they have been living in Japan for a long time or if they actively work on improving it.

To conclude, I highly recommend Can sensei to anyone who wants to take their Japanese to the next level. A word of caution though – his lessons are meant for those who are serious about learning the language, are willing to take up the challenge and have the time to revise after classes. If you enroll with the right attitude, then I guarantee it will be start of a great learning journey.

By: Brian Teh
Passed N2 in 4 months
Currently in N1 Prep class

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