Received a testimonial from one of my students.
Humans were born to be curious creatures, we crave the knowledge of the unknown, constantly feeling the need to learn new things that would expand the horizon of our world. This gift of ours has led to many great things, from the steam engine to the technology that we so very need today to enrich our lives.
However, we are not superhumans. Bill Gates constantly thanks his teachers for playing a part in getting to where he is right now. If you haven’t already noticed, our path of learning has always been paved by ‘teachers’. Be it going to school, or even our parents teaching us how to walk, there is always someone there to guide us and assist us in learning. Yes, you may argue that self-learning is a thing and there are times where we can only rely on ourselves. I do not fully disagree with you, there are indeed benefits to self-learning. But first, let’s put this in the context of learning Japanese (which is the reason why you are reading this).
When I first started, I strongly felt that Japanese could be self-taught. I thought that I didn’t need a teacher, I thought that I could save the money to feed my materialistic lifestyle. Like I said, it IS possible to self-learn anything, including Japanese. But what made me change my mind? What made me willing to seek lessons?
I made big use of the vast resources that the Internet provided: Youtube tutorials, Meguro, Duolingo, you name it. I was getting nowhere. I’m not implying that these platforms are bad. I mean honestly, they’re great! If you haven’t tried, how it usually works is that you go through a number of lessons and you are tested at the end of every lesson. These lessons are relatively easy, you would be able to score full marks easily each time. But I still felt like something was missing. Why am I still facing difficulty conjuring basic sentences even after acing these lessons?
Passing these lessons felt like I am in possession of certain ‘tools’. How I am going to make use of these ‘tools’ is a different dilemma all over again. There was no clear guide as to where I should get started and I slowly began to feel lost. I needed help.
Googling ‘Japanese lesson Singapore’ would bring up a couple of reputable Japanese language schools in Singapore. If you’re reading this it means that you have definitely encountered their websites and have chosen to look for different schools, either because they are too expensive or you can’t commit to their lesson schedules (which are also the same reasons why I have chosen here over the other more reputable schools).
I was looking for value and flexibility, and both aspects stood out to me when I browsed this website. I remember having five tabs on my browser, all on the ‘Rates’ or ‘Fees’ section of each website. Needless to say, ‘Tsubasa Language Services’ was the cheapest (this is not an ad). But, as a fellow Singaporean skeptic, this thought always comes through our heads when we compare prices.
“Is it cheap because it is of low quality/lousy?”
My answer to that is no.
I am someone known to be sensitive to the feelings of the people around me, and from the first lesson, I could immediately sense the genuity and passion in teaching from Can-sensei. I also remember the sense of enlightenment and understanding during my first lesson. I was finally able to conjure basic sentences with the things I learnt on the various platforms! All from this one lesson.
Remember when I emphasised on the importance of teachers? Is a teacher that is able to teach well considered top-notched and respectable? Well, technically yes. But I beg to differ. A teacher that is able to teach well only shows that he/she is able to carry out his/her duty well. I believe that a ‘good’ teacher is one that can unleash the potential of their students and maximise their learning capabilities. And for that, I believe Can-sensei has done it, and has done it well.
In a business perspective, the most economically logical thing to do is to teach the contents of one chapter per lesson (which I believe is what most schools do). However, Can-sensei did not do that. During our first few lessons, Can-sensei regarded that I was able to grasp the basic concepts well, and pushed me to my maximum potential by not wasting time on chapters that he feels I am already proficient in.
That being said, I never liked learning as a kid. But somehow, Can-sensei has awakened the curious nature in me, and I believe he would do the same for you.
Completed 3/4 of Minna no Nihongo I in 20 lessons