New Testimonial from Intermediate Class student

Received this from one of my intermediate class students
I stumbled upon Can-sensei’s website before taking my N4 examinations last year (was desperately trying to google for hints to help me pass). As I scrolled through the website and read the materials/notes he offered, I realised that Can-sensei was someone that really understood what he teaches. Thus, I decided to email him to enquire about his classes and eventually signed up as a student.

People may ask about the decision to learn Japanese from a Singaporean instead from a native Japanese teacher. After a few months of lessons with Can sensei, I humbly offer the following reasons:

1) No language barriers during classes.

2) Being a Singaporean, he has went through a similar learning journey himself. Therefore, he has the knowledge of how to use our local context to teach Japanese (E.g. 受身形 = “Kenna” form). This makes it much easier to learn and apply the lessons we learn.

I find it hard to stay awake and focused even in one hour lectures. However, I have never found myself nodding off at any of Can sensei’s lessons. Class sizes are small and lessons are usually engaging, making it easier to absorb the content taught. Students are pushed hard during lessons. For example, intermediate classes are taught entirely in Japanese. Over time, I find my listening skills improving and I am able to better understand the Japanese dramas I watch.

If I had to use a word to describe Can sensei, “selfless” would be it. He constantly sacrifice his own time and resources to ensure that students get a proper education under him. He occasionally treats his students to meals (at relatively expensive restaurants) and often absorbs the cost of the teaching materials used in his classes. Hardworking students are rewarded for their efforts in the form of gifts. Major presentations usually come with small rewards to treat students for their hard work – the cost for all of these borne by Can sensei himself.

So for all those reading the testimonials, Mai Tu liao. Good sensei, quality lessons – sign up now.

By: Lee Chen
Student from Intermediate class


Testimonial from 2 months N2 student

Received a testimonial from my student who studied with me only for 2 months and passed N2.
I am pleased to write this testimonial for Can-sensei who prepared me for my JLPT N2 examination in Dec 2017. I am thankful for his guidance in my studies and would like to share some aspects of his mentorship in this testimonial.

I have studied Japanese for 3 years of studying Japanese, without a teacher and was able to attain at least conversational Japanese on my own. However, at some point in time I find myself stagnating in my progress. I met Can-sensei when I attended some Japanese Cultural Exchange
meet-ups on Meetup.com which he hosted. He suggested that it would be a good idea to take up JLPT as a form of testament to know where my Japanese abilities stand. So I did. However, I was naïve for me to think that I could managed on my own to progress beyond N3 and passed N2. It was under Can-sensei’s regimentation that I can proudly say that I am a holder of
JLPT N2 certification now.

I only had about two months to prepare for the examination. It was not easy to make that
huge amount of progress within that little frame of time, but under Can-sensei’s
guidance, it was actually possible to soar even higher than just passing the exam. Despite being
a Singaporean, Can-sensei has 11 years of experience in teaching Japanese. His
expertise in this field is actually prominent in his teachings. More often than not, his
explanations were easier to understand. It was clear that he has a better grasp of Japanese
grammar than a native Japanese would in their own language. In addition, He would
carefully weigh the work load with respect to his student’s abilities so that it does not get too
overwhelming. We were able to make a lot of progress as weeks goes by.

Can-sensei has been very stringent about my Japanese. This discipline lead to my
foundations in Japanese being solidified further. He would patiently explain, in the simplest
way possible, on areas where language learners like me tend to make mistakes at. That in
turn made me become a person that is able to consistently deliver and articulate proper Japanese. I think it is truly amazing that how Can-sensei is more knowledgeable and professional in teaching Japanese than an average Japanese teacher in language schools.

My sincere gratitude goes out to him for having me as his student and his commitment in his teachings. I truly believe that anyone under his mentorship and guidance would definitely triumph over any levels of JLPT. The qualification I have now is a great testament to that.

Matthew Woo
Passed N2 after taking 2 months
of lessons from Can


Testimonials from Students

Received a few touching testimonials from students and would like to share with all.

To become a Japanese teacher while you are a true blue Singaporean and staying in Singapore is no easy feat. When I first come across Can-sensei’s post on HWZ forum while looking for a Japanese school, I was a little sceptical about how well can a Singaporean teach Japanese. Given that the other Japanese language school in Singapore are well-established, with structure and curriculum in place, with all native Japanese teacher and lots supporting reviews and websites. So I did not immediately notice him, but while looking through the forum for reviews and tips with regards to Japanese language school, it did not take me long to notice that his presence was constant throughout the forum posts. And sometimes he also gives out advice about other well-known language schools, so I decided to visit his website and I felt that maybe I could give it a try.

So after contacting him through Whatsapp, I could tell that he treats the whole learning Japanese business very seriously and commits to it full time. My thoughts about private language teachers are more along the line of part time or ad-hoc basis, so again that left some strong impression. On the day of the trial class he was not feeling well, but he tries to teach and was very detailed about ensuring the pronunciation for the Hiragana characters must be correct. Although I did not had any experience with other Japanese language school, I felt that I could feel his sincerity as well as his passion towards Japanese language, as such my friend and I decided to embark on learning Japanese language with Can-sensei.

I appreciate how he put effort to develop foundation material which is like a “bridging” before moving on the first chapter of Minna no Nihongo I. Other schools may also be doing that, I am not sure, but my experience with another language school was not as great for their trial, given that they are too popular, they do not respond to my request until much later and only given that one specific slot within one month, the next one would be far away.

To add on, from the trial I can tell that Can-sensei’s knowledge about Japanese culture is very rich, he covers the nuances of Japanese well beyond the context of textbook and is able to further explain based on the context of the lesson.

I feel that being a Singaporean, he understands the difficulty of learning Japanese and thus he is able to share useful tips on how to tackle the lessons. He will first give an introduction to the chapter, follow by explaining the main points before going through examples. I personally felt that the lessons are to the point and the class size is very cosy. Although the class is not conducted in classroom setting, the trade-off of not having actual classroom complete with projectors and screen, the size made up for this. And aside from events like open house, majority of the time there would be no difference from being in a classroom.

Can-sensei always emphasize on the basics and the importance of having time to do self-revision, he tries to make it interesting by introducing drama and games to the class as well as encouraging conversation in Japanese. I do think that this type of style is not for the faint-hearted, be really sure to commit to Japanese as part of daily regime if you do want to join his class. He also spends time to do detailed analysis of the sentence pattern and question types and always willing to explain and brainstorm with you, especially so if he had not come across that word before.

Sensei always teach with the future chapters in mind as he hopes that students can benefit more from his teaching as well as believing in the potential of the students. Instead of teaching at the level equivalent to the lesson, which may bore you in the beginning and stresses you later, he will push a little more by teaching something more advance earlier on, so that when we reach the future chapters, we will be prepared to take on the more advanced material. As learning a language will only get tougher as we move towards the advanced level.

The way the classes are taught is very efficient and straight to the point as he expects that you also take ownership in your own learning. Thus the time spend in class would be learning new things as well as to clarify doubts. This is also done to reduce the time spent in class and so that you can progress efficiently without spending more money because by reducing “minimum number of classes” you need before JLPT. So instead of having a 3 hour class to go through examples by examples he conduct his classes with shorter hours to keep the cost lower for his class.

He is willing to help you to grow and learn in the area of interest and is flexible in learning beyond the textbooks. When you ask him for recommendation, he always have good recommendations and he will share tips with us outside of class. He is also concerned about the balance between study and play, he will inform us of any upcoming Japanese events so that we can appreciate Japanese culture outside of class and textbooks.

I am grateful to have met Can-sensei in my Japanese language learning journey and fulfilled my long time desire to learn Japanese.

Former student from Intermediate class
Stopped classes due to heavy workload in university and work
I have been studying with Can-sensei for about half a year. Can-sensei is very passionate about Japan. He always is ready to tell us about the different things in Japan, like the many regions and what they are famous for. Sometimes I wonder if he is already Japanese! 

He also wants the best for his students. He accommodated for my situation when I was looking for a job, by helping me with resumes and job offers. Can-sensei is not all work and no play, he is very friendly and engaging. The small group sizes also helps with this friendly atmosphere. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

I am only at the beginner level, but Can-sensei really motivates me to improve. I have seen glimpses of how proficient and natural sounding Can-sensei is with more difficult Japanese language and it is really inspiring. Can-sensei, looking forward to learning more from you!

-Benjamin S
From Beginner class
Japanese can be a very difficult language to learn and it can get daunting when going to class after class does not yield any significant improvement in proficiency. I have a friend whom I know have only been learning Japanese for a very short time and yet he was able to put words together so when I asked him who his teacher was, I was introduced to Can-sensei. After going for a trial lesson, I decided to enrol full-time and since then I have been enriched. Can-sensei inspires because being a non-native user, he has already mastered the language at a relatively young age. I am also very impressed that he made his own textbooks. Can-sensei’s knowledge allows him to answer questions that are beyond the confinement of the learning material. For all the people out there who have a genuine desire to learn Japanese, I hope you will get to know him and embark on a fulfilling learning journey.

-Eden F
From Beginner class


New testimonial from student

Received a new testimonial from my student from Foundation Studies class.
Can-sensei is a sincere, understanding teacher who helped me kick-start my learning journey in the Japanese language. Personally, I had a shaky foundation in Japanese from years of watching anime, and Sensei went the extra mile to place me in a class that can suitably challenge my abilities. He strikes just the right balance between being a kind, friendly teacher and enforcing discipline in his students to complete and learn from their homework. The lighthearted nature of the class makes the time spent learning Japanese truly enjoyable to me, and because of this, I can juggle these extra Japanese classes with my current university workload. I like how Sensei encourages study groups among his students, that gives us a proper environment to consolidate our learning and make lasting friendships.

Not to forget, Sensei also incorporates interesting hidden aspects of Japanese culture into the foundation class, that allowed us to learn things we wouldn’t have otherwise learned if enrolled in a typical Japanese language school! I highly recommend Can-sensei for his passion in teaching and guidance, that helps students not give up in the face of difficulties and stay dedicated to their learning. May his passion reach through to you too.

By: Charmaine Ong
Student from Foundation Studies class
Doing both Foundation Studies and Beginner 1 Term 2.


Testimonial from student



Like to share another testimonial received from one of my students…

“I remember feeling puzzled when Can-sensei wanted to interview me when I first wanted to register for his class. It was only after attending his lessons that I realized the reason behind the interview was to ensure that potential students are mentally prepared for the rigour of sensei’s lessons. Some might find his teaching methods strict and make no mistake, he demands standards from his students. But at the end of the day, he just wants to pass on his love for the culture and language to those are sincere in learning from him. Don’t expect a classroom setting where the teacher delivers and the student absorbs. Every lesson is a two way exchange where participation from students is highly encouraged. You can see the dedication that sensei puts behind planning his lessons when he actively tries to engage his students through mediums such as songs, dramas, geography and even food! Class sizes are kept to a minimum so that sensei can personally monitor his student’s progress as well as to foster a close knit community. If you are looking to learn about the Japanese language and culture in a comprehensive yet fun way, I recommend you give sensei a chance!”

By Roy Goh
Student from Foundation Studies
Attended 5 weeks of lesson


Testimonial from student who passed N1

Received another testimonial from my student who passed N1 in July 2016.
Years of schooling have taught us that learning is boring and often done in a conventional classroom setting with many students.

If you think it’s the same for Can-sensei’s classes too, think again.

Can-sensei’s classes are very different from the conventional ones in school right from the start. In contrast to the large classes in which I’m used to, his classes are always kept small. The largest class I had attended so far had only 10 students including me. As a result, you’ll always be within 2-4 arms’ length away from Can-sensei, no matter where you sit.

With lesser students in a class, I had more chances to clarify any questions I had and in return, Can-sensei was able to pinpoint each student’s weaknesses and strengths more effectively. Every student had a chance to speak and read the passages aloud in every single lesson. That’s when Can-sensei will pay special attention to each and every student’s pronunciation and correcting them when necessary. It all paid off when native Japanese complimented on my pronunciation.

Classes are no longer dull with Can-sensei who strongly believes in learning beyond the textbook.

While I understand acing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is the primary goal for many, but like me, you’ll soon realize that there’s a limitation to what the JLPT syllabus is able to cover in real life. In fact, JLPT has also started to test on things outside the JLPT syllabus in the recent years too.

This is when Can-sensei’s lessons are put into good use. Can-sensei will not only cover the JLPT syllabus, but also teach beyond the textbooks in his lessons at the same time, by turning J-Pop songs, Japanese dramas, anime, games etc. into teaching materials.

As a result, Can-sensei’s lessons are highly entertaining and we can get to see for ourselves how the grammar and vocabulary we have learned in classes, can be used flexibly in real life situations. We also get to learn new vocabulary and grammar through it too.

Can-sensei also strives to teach Japanese as how they’re being taught in Japan and also sharing how it’s being taught in Singapore. Though both styles are noticeably different, we are free to adopt whichever way that is easier for us. Besides that, Can-sensei’s lessons also include a variety of topics such as Japanese culture, dissecting Japanese non-verbal communication like gestures and even Japanese dialects.

Although Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world, learning with Can-sensei has made my 6-year journey more fun and easier to absorb.

Learning Japanese with Can-sensei right from the start of my learning journey has also gave me a strong foundation which saved me a lot of time from correcting and strengthening my basics, something that many neglect when learning Japanese.

With Can-sensei as your Japanese teacher, I’m sure you’ll be able to achieve your dream of excelling in Japanese with his small classes, while building on your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses and also his comparatively all-round education in Japanese compared to other Japanese schools.

By: Vanora Poh
Student since 2010
Passed JLPT N1 in July 2016, with a score of 56/60 for Reading
Studied 6 years and 7 months under Can



New Testimonial from Student

Received a new testimonial from student.
Can-sensei is a very patient and dedicated teacher. I always enjoy attending his lessons as I look forward to clearing any doubts that I have about the language. In his lessons, he always makes sure that I understand the concepts well by using clear and concise examples and will not hesitate to explain it again in a different way if I am still unsure about it. Through Can-sensei, I am also able to learn new things that I think I will never get to learn in a Japanese school such as sharing his knowledge about the language and the culture.

Another good thing I like about his lessons is that, as a non-native speaker, he understands the difficulty that students faced when learning the language better than native speakers. For example, two sentences having the same meaning but different in nuance. A native speaker may fail to explain the subtle difference between the two sentences. However, in Can-sensei lessons’ I am able to clearly understand the difference and in what sort of situation should I use these sentences. This is because sensei uses a mixture of different languages such as Mandarin, Japanese and English for his explanations.

To me, Can-sensei is an inspirational teacher that has always gone the extra mile to care for his students and I hope that one day I will be well-versed in the language as he is. I highly recommend his lessons/classes to anyone who want to learn the language.

-N. Tan
(Attend private lessons under Can)


New Testimonial from student

Received a new testimonial from a couple who is working in Japan now.
Attended my classes last year till Feb this year.
Can-sensei is devoted to his students, not just in helping us improve our Japanese language aptitude, but also in sharing his knowledge about the culture that cannot be taught through a textbook. His passion and love for the Japanese culture and language is exuberated in his lessons. He has good knowledge of the Japanese language and culture and has provided really helpful advice and tips for living in Japan. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn the language or even live in Japan.

By Tor Cheng Yao/Sarah Tan
Attended private lessons under Can


Testimonial from student

Received a testimonial from a student. (^_^)
I have been attending classes at a beginner level from Can-sensei since June 2015 and I have never looked back since. My Japanese journey started off at the start of the year in my final semester at NUS, I started my search for a tutor soon after that and came across Can-sensei’s blog and information through HWZ’s learning Japanese thread. I was able to see the dedication in his answers to many of the thread posts which led to the decision of trying out his classes.

The classes are of small group size where everyone gets to participate in the reading passages, grammar and vocabulary practices. Can-sensei has a wide range of practices and teaching skills to not only help to understand the grammar points, but it is his extra pointers such as the “formal equivalent” of the phrase that is out of the syllabus that makes it motivating to keep on learning.

The other unique part of sensei’s classes is there is a chance for Japanese anime or drama fans to glee in joy as sensei will play an episode from there and picks out some new vocabulary for the class to digest. This is the closest we could get to our 会話 practices.

Bonding like a family is also something sensei promotes in his class. There are opportunities for dinners, movie meetings, exhibition and many others. It is a good chance not only to mix with our classmates but also people from other classes as well. Sensei also has designated seniors to each class to assist him in answering queries so as to leave no question unanswered as much as possible.

Overall, my experience in Can-sensei’s class has always been very fulfilling and I would recommend anyone who seeks to learn Japanese can come for a trial class to have a sense on how the lesson would flow.

By: Joel Mok
Student from Beginner 2 class





Another testimony (^_^)

Learning a language was never my thing, even back during the school days.

Having chanced upon Can’s website, I would think this would be a good opportunity to learn the Japanese language, since I don’t want to keep reading subtitles when watching anime/drama, or using Google translate when reading Japanese articles/sites.

Can’s teaching style allows someone who has no prior knowledge of the language like me to have a quick understanding in a short time. His knowledge of Japanese is not confined to just the language, and is very well-informed of the culture as well. Having a small class allows all of us to be focused during the lessons.

It’s been 2 months thus far from the start of the foundation classes, and I must say that I’m glad that I’ve signed up for the course.

Thank you, Sensei.

By: SB Yeo
Student from Beginner class