We have received a new testimonial from our student.
Joined TLS under the tutelage of Can Sensei in 2020, after having neglected the Japanese Language since my days in the University. One of the greatest USPs of TLS would be that the teachers are local, true-blue Singaporeans. This may come as a shock, as the general idea may be that native Japanese would be the best people to teach the language. But I look at it this way, a local would be able to translate, convey and deliver the language knowledge to you in a very local context, making it easier to understand and learn. That’s not to say that the unique Japanese language nuances and culture are neglected. The teachers here seem to be very well-versed in the culture and are able to teach this aspect through mini-projects, Japanese Drama watching, and even organised Japan Tours (prior to the pandemic).
I have not had experience in other language centres prior to TLS, except for in University. The big difference in delivery, would be the opportunity for conversation, which is emphasised. One of the fallacies in language learning, is the lack of opportunity to speak it. This opportunity is in abundance at TLS, and it helps you to be more confident in the language and to learn from each of your conversation partners new vocabulary and sentence patterns, of course with the guidance of the teachers.
The pandemic was a hit to many businesses, and I was impressed on how well TLS handled the transition from physical face-to-face lessons to a total online platform, with recordings, Telegram groups and “digitalised” homework submissions. The teachers are also available online for consultation outside of class hours, which is great for example when you spot cultural or language aspects you are unfamiliar with, while watching J Drama, you can ask, and you will be answered.
Joining the programme was simple and practical. Can Sensei would assess you by taking a short test, through which he will determine which level / programme you should begin with. While I was originally assessed to re-study from the basics, due to my long hiatus, Can Sensei was also open to my idea of letting me go for trial lessons for intermediate students instead. So, definitely not pushy, just to make you study longer with him. On the contrary, I think as a teacher, he possesses many great qualities, which include – passion to teach, humbleness, generosity, willingness to share and recognising that learning is not one-way, but a two-way affair.
Whilst there is room for improvement, in terms of online delivery of the courses, I think it would be safe to say, TLS is amongst the best in providing Japanese Language courses. Memorable experiences thus far:
1. Uni-style presentation of Modality in Japanese Language (TLS invites Japanese natives to evaluate and comment)
2. Preparation of Grammar Study Deck (to guide and encourage us on self-study)
3. Watching Drama in class (I mean, having entertainment whilst learning isn’t that bad right?)
4. Conversational Skits
5. JLPT mock exams
6. There were a few “makan” sessions, which I unfortunately missed but looked very fun!
Thank you to TLS, Can Sensei and Teo Sensei for reigniting my interest in learning the language.
By: Jeff Yeoh
Student (Pre-Advanced Japanese)