Testimonials (証言)

Updated: 6th Dec 2022

I have been studying with Can sensei for the past 6 months and overall, it has been an enriching experience. Through his lessons, I have started to think more about the subtleties of the Japanese language and be more deliberate with my word and grammar choices. Even though I studied for 4 years under a Japanese teacher for my O levels, these subtle nuances were never taught. I also like the emphasis on the cultural aspect of learning Japanese. Learning a new language means exploring how the native speakers view and experience the world so it was very helpful and interesting to have Can sensei introduce these in class. Lastly, I also like the time we get to practise conversation in class. This has always been the toughest part of learning Japanese for me even back in school. So having this time to do so in class is very helpful.

By: Tan Hui Lin
Student in private class
Coming from self studying 1.5 years prior, this place was the best for me to start learning seriously. Off a single test, Can-sensei understood what needs to be worked on for me. This was crucial as I was not clear what was correct and what was wrong having no guidance prior. When answering questions he will usually provide even more insight than just an answer, Even if the question posed is not a concept learned yet, he is willing to talk more about it. Hence this was extremely helpful for self-studying individuals as our knowledge tends to be everywhere and may not follow a textbook or format. Lessons usually start with conversation with peers before the actual work and concepts are taught. This is unique to TLS and it really helps provide a place to practice and apply what we learnt as well as socialize and get to know our peers at the same time. Not only will it reinforce what we learnt, we could also make new friends there too.

As for the teaching style, Can-sensei tends to integrate teaching both the culture of Japan as well as the language concepts. The teaching pace is not too fast so he is able to slip in time for such lessons. One week he can be teaching us about the “Enryo” culture of Japanese workplaces, and the next he can be teaching us on how to plan a trip to Japan. These are not common in other language schools but yet essential when learning the language and more so if one is planning to work in Japan.

Yes, Can-sensei is not a native from Japan and some may not think it is good. However, I think it is quite the opposite. It is precisely because he is not a native that he can understand where us Singaporeans are coming from and how to approach both Japan and Japanese. If there is a certain expression unique to Singaporeans that we don’t know how to translate into Japanese, Can-sensei will know how to translate it. Precisely because he is Singaporean that he understands it whereas a native Japanese may not understand the expression let alone translate it well.

Can-sensei himself is kind, approachable. Rather, calling him kind is an understatement. Can-sensei will always go out of his way to help us whenever we need and he is more than willing to go the extra mile just to help us. I remember asking him a simple question on a piece of Japanese grammar and not only did he give an answer, he also gave other materials for me to look up. This is not limited to teaching the language either. He also offers advice on Japan trips, offers to help us buy anything we need from Japan.

Can-sensei also talks about his likes and dislikes a lot as well as allowing us to watch dramas at times during lessons. All this makes him very approachable to me as it won’t look as if I am talking to someone I do not know at all. I never found it hard to ask him questions during lessons or even after.

As such, I recommend everyone who is trying to learn Japanese or Japanese culture seriously, to come to TLS as I do not know any other place as conducive and immersive as TLS. Or any person that is as passionate and knowledgeable as Can-sensei. His unwavering passion and unending knowledge of Japan leaves me in awe at times…

By: Joven Lo
Student in Intermediate class

A very welcoming place for beginners to learn Japanese language. I started with them since Foundation Studies and it helped to set the foundation needed before moving on to the main textbook. There are opportunities for individual and paired projects and these help to increase your understanding of the nuances and the culture itself. It is definitely not a place where drill and practice is being practised. We usually start off the lesson with 30 minutes of conversation where we are paired with our peers in the class to listen and converse. This makes learning the language more meaningful as we are learning to apply our knowledge in authentic contexts. I do not know much about how typical language schools will deliver their content, but at Tsubasa Language Services, we do not rush to finish the chapters in the main textbook. I love the parts when we have the opportunity to watch snippets of Japanese dramas during lessons to see how the phrases are used in context. I’m glad I chose here to start my journey of learning the language. I don’t think you can find this form of dedication demonstrated by Can-sensei in other Japanese language schools.

-Christine Lee
(Attended Beginner classes with Can-sensei and moved to Japan to do the JET programme)
Currently taking the Beginner’s course under Jasper-sensei. He is very knowledgeable about not just the language, but also Japanese culture and how language is being used in “real-life” situations in Japan. He is also extremely patient, answering many questions on various “what-if” situations by various students who have taken the initiative to do more research. Probably the best place in SG to learn Japanese as a working adult today.
-Clement Huang
(Currently in Beginners’ class under Jasper-sensei)
I joined TLS in 2021 as a student taking one-to-one lessons with Can-sensei. I have had prior experience with Japanese but I was finding it difficult to progress past the barrier that many language learners encounter when they reach the intermediate stage. However, with Can-sensei I feel that I have been making real progress with the language.

With 14 years of experience, Can-sensei is an excellent teacher who is very knowledgeable about both the Japanese language and culture. Moreover, he understands the JLPT assessment and its marking style well, and I am confident that under his guidance I will be able to perform well in these exams. I also appreciate that he does not shy away from correcting the errors I make, which has given me an awareness of how I can improve.

A good aspect of the classes is Can-sensei’s flexibility and that he doesn’t rely too heavily on the textbooks. He frequently highlights important grammar points that are important in the higher JLPT levels and provides his own notes that expand on the material contained in the books. He is also able to refer me to useful resources to support my language learning outside of the classroom.

Even though my classes have been online, the quality of lessons I am receiving is on par with in-person teaching. Can-sensei has been able to accommodate my specific requirements as someone looking for a more intensive pace of lessons than is typically offered by language schools. He has also made arrangements to allow me to participate in weekly conversation sessions to practice my Japanese in a more relaxed setting with other students. Thus, I believe the one-to-one lessons have good value for money and come with ample opportunities to interact with other language learners.

As an individual, Can-sensei is warm and personable, and I very much enjoy our classes together. He has been accommodating of any requests I have, and has always taken the time to answer my questions. It is a relief to have found such a dedicated and kind teacher who I can entrust my learning to.

I would definitely recommend Can-sensei and TLS to anyone interested in learning Japanese.
By: Nicole Doyle
Private student

Hi everyone, my name is Yuan Bin and I have been under Can-sensei for a year. I have been learning Japanese since June 2018. I have studied at both Ikoma and Bunka language school previously, before chancing upon Can-sensei’s lessons through Facebook and word of mouth from other serious learners.

I remembered clearly it was October 2020, I was looking for opportunities to further improve on my Japanese as I felt that I am stagnating in my Japanese studies. I realised that I didn’t have a full understanding of the Japanese grammar basics and I was struggling to keep up with the pace of the pre-advance class. Moreover, I was also finding 会話 opportunities to hone my Japanese language speaking skills. I decided that I needed to take action to improve on my Japanese language skills and so I contacted Can-sensei.

I decided to meet Can-sensei at his physical pre-advance class in October 2020 for a trial lesson. And trust me, that meeting with Can-sensei was a life changing experience. I was amazed by the Japanese language ability of his students. I was amazed to see his students presenting Japanese cultural topics using entirely in Japanese. Finally, what made his lessons special was the usage of Japanese dramas to teach Japanese and Japanese culture. Honestly, I have never seen a sensei who is just so passionate in teaching and going the extra mile for his students.

Without hesitation, I signed up to be privately tutored under him. My one year under Can-sensei was nothing but an amazing journey. Over the past year under him
I have:

  1. Improved my grammar knowledge of N5 and N4 which has helped me a lot when attempting N3.
  2. Significant improvement on my confidence for 会話.
  3. Deeper appreciation for the Japanese culture and values.

Can-sensei is no ordinary sensei. He is a sensei who cares about your progress and will hold you accountable for your Japanese learning journey. He also strives to see every of his students succeed in mastering the Japanese language and also appreciate the Japanese culture. Last but not least, he is one of the best sensei when it comes to grammar explanation as he uses English examples to help relate.

To everyone who is looking for a dedicated sensei who cares on your learning progress, I will without a doubt recommend Can-sensei.

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 the start of a great learning journey.

By: Brian Teh
Passed N1 in Jul 2019

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to study Japanese in a few schools such as Japanese Cultural Society and Ikoma Language School in Singapore and even COTO Language School in Tokyo. To those searching for a suitable school, I feel it is important for you to know your purpose of learning Japanese. Is it just an activity / pastime after work and school? Is it for your career development to accomplish a third language and work in a Japanese-related organisation? Is it to find a common community and forge deep friendships with Japanese language lovers alike? Is it to learn more about Japanese culture? If your answers is yes to all of the above, I will highly recommend you to learn under Can-sensei.

Can-sensei is the most committed and passionate language teacher I have ever come across over the years. Despite the small setting of his classes, the syllabus and learning environment that Can-sensei provides will not pale in comparison to those big schools in the market. Can-sensei focuses strongly on building a solid foundation and as such, his class is relatively small with not more than 8 persons per session. This is a great bonus as every student obtains a good amount of attention from Sensei and he is able to correct you on the spot, especially on your pronunciation and conversational skills. With a small class, you will soon forge great friendship with your classmates and this makes learning even more enjoyable!

Another interesting aspect of learning under Can-sensei is his unique teaching syllabus. Although he uses the same textbook as Ikoma Language School, every student has to undertake a ten-week Foundation Studies class, which includes a project on Japanese dramas and a written test before you start proper on Basic Japanese (using the textbook). This is especially important to ensure a strong foundation in all students and true enough, students will find it easier to understand future lessons taught using the textbooks. This explains the reason for the 100% JLPT passing rate record in his classes!

The project also provides students with a different perspective of learning Japanese language outside the classroom setting! In fact, most of us develop an addiction to watching Japanese dramas after our project. Apart from using the textbooks, Can-sensei also includes other aspects of Japanese cultural learning in his syllabus such as tea ceremony, interview etiquette, Japanese history, Japanese social trends and Japanese drama watching; all without additional cost! I don’t think you can find this in other schools being conducted free of charge.

Above all, Can-sensei is a totally selfless Japanese language educator. He provides free learning materials and notes on his official website, which are accessible to anyone and, as I know, is always on the search path to writing study notes and simplifying Japanese language to all keen learners. This is the greatest contribution that a passionate educator can make to the learning society, which is an admirable trait!

It is with regrets that I am unable to continue my learning under Can-sensei due to personal commitments but I felt very blessed to have met him and learned under him for a short period of time. For all of you out there searching for a great learning and coaching experience on Japanese studies, I highly recommend you to consider learning under Can-sensei! And to Can-sensei: Sincerely appreciate and thank you once again for your guidance. You have been a great Sensei/Coach/Educator and I extend my best wishes to you and the rest!

-Lim JW

When I first started learning Japanese, it was not at Can sensei’s class. I originally started taking lessons elsewhere in a dedicated language school. However, due to personal and financial reasons, I decided to make a switch to Can sensei’s class due to recommendations from my relatives. I must state that the decision to make the change was an excellent one. He is a very dedicated teacher who really cares for his students and more.

When I first started off with an interview with Can sensei, he immediately got a sensing of my proficiency in Japanese. He understood that my basics, especially in particles, were not that strong. He then went through the process of solidifying my basics in a manner that I can easily understand. After which, he made sure that anything that I did not understand up to my level was clearly explained. To explain things in a way that we can easily understand, he sometimes uses language that we can very easily relate to, such as Singlish. That helped a lot in understanding certain usage of different forms.

Can sensei will often tweak the lessons and teachings based on the class and towards each student. He is very patient and attentive to our strengths and weaknesses. He not only teaches the grammar or vocabulary of the language, but he also strongly emphasizes on the way we pronounce the words. This is especially understandable as different intonations carry different meanings in Japanese. If one is familiar with mandarin, one would see it as being similar to the difference in intonation between the different tones.

Not only is Can sensei an exceptional teacher, he is also a caring one. He ensures that each student is comfortable in his class and even purchases expensive and comfortable chairs for his students so that they can enjoy class in comfort. He also enhances the learning process and makes it easy for students to be able to access the lesson from elsewhere by using a digital whiteboard supplementing the traditional whiteboard.

Can sensei not only cares for us during lessons but outside as well, and often tries to help others to the best of his abilities. With regards to personal issues outside of class, one can definitely look up to Can sensei for advice. Personally, Can sensei has helped me get through an extremely tough period of my time. I am very appreciative of him being there for me during this tough time and looking out for me and caring for my well-being.

Can sensei often encourage his students by giving them rewards and gifts from time to time and does his best to motivate his students to pursue their interest in mastering Japanese. He will often share his experiences of going to Japan and introduce shows that we can watch so that we can pursue our interest in advancing our proficiency in the Japanese language.

All in all, I must say that Can sensei is a very dedicated, exceptional and caring teacher that one should have. His care and attentiveness is one to yearn for and you will find that studying under him is definitely a magnificent choice.

By: CJ Ho
Current student in Pre-Advanced class
I have tried taking Japanese at a school before, but I found their approach to be too dry.  In contrast, Can’s approach to teaching Japanese is what I feel is the right way to learn a language. He teaches not just the words and expressions in Japanese, but uses anecdotes that allow us to know more about the culture behind the language. He also teaches not just the words of the language, but also its nuances. Nuances is important not just in communicating with the Japanese, but also understanding their psyche. For example, if one use a phrase over another that has the same literal meaning, what (hidden) feelings are they trying to convey? Nuances are important in understanding that. He encourages students to speak up in his classes, which helps us to become proficient not merely in writing/reading, but in speaking as well.  He offers to his students not just his knowledge of Japanese, but also shares his passion for it through things like songs and his experiences in Japan. He is friendly and approachable, which makes it easier for shy students to voice their doubts, and the lessons more enjoyable.

By: Ang Zhi Ying
Passed N2 after studying for 3 years under Can
Top student for N4 and N5 cohort

I have been studying Japanese Language for about three years, but just joined Can sensei’s conversation class this year. I enjoy going for lesson every week as sensei’s class is never boring.

Besides learning from notes, we get to learn through dramas, songs and games in class. Through sensei I get to know/ understand alot of things that I think I will never get to learn in Japanese school.

As class size is small, sensei is able to focus on each and every student, and will personally guide the weaker student to ensure that they are not leave behind. Not only that, sensei is very patient with student and is always there to help students to correct their mistakes made even after lesson. He will also give advices / suggestions on ways to improve the student’s Japanese. Learning under Can sensei is not as stressful as learning in Japanese School and I feel that I am able to absorb more and better.

Before making my mind to join sensei’s class, I actually did hesitated and doubted his ability in teaching Japanese as sensei is a Singaporean after all. When I attended his first lesson, I am shocked and impressed by his fluent Japanese and the knowledge he have related to Japan. I feel that it is hard for a foreigner to teach Japanese (as language is not by memorizing standard answers), but I am convinced that Can sensei is able to teach well as he never fail to answer all my questions asked during lesson. He is also a humble teacher as he will ask the student to review the lesson and will try his best to improve the lesson and make every lesson interesting.

By: Angela Ong
Student from Conversation class
Studied 1.5 years under Can
I am a current undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, and have been taking classes from Can for about 2 years. In February 2012, I attained my Japanese language Proficiency N1 certification, and have received an offer to work in Japan upon my graduation in July 2012.

Can’s teaching style and guidance in the Japanese language have been instrumental in helping me attain a business level of Japanese proficiency. Beyond the usual curriculum, Can always strives to make his classes interesting by designing innovative course materials, and emphasizes on conversational skills through well-structured exercises. He has displayed a level of professionalism that is on par with some of the top Japanese Language schools that I have attended in Singapore, such as Ikoma.

I believe what differentiates Can most from the other Japanese teachers is the personal relationship that he builds up with his students, and the extra mile that he goes to ensure that none of his students are left behind. Outside of class, he also often organizes Japanese karaoke sessions and trips to Japanese festivals held in Singapore (ex. Natsu Matsuri) to further instil interest and provide exposure to the Japanese culture for his students.

By: Daryl Soh/ NUS Graduate
Former student from Advanced I class
Studied 2 years under Can
I’m currently studying in Waseda University as an undergraduate. I’ve been taking Can-sensei`s classes for about a year and have to say by far, Can-sensei is the only teacher i’ve known who would do his best to help his students without a second thought no question ask.  When the need arises, the previous phrase ‘do his best’ does not give justice to him at all, as I would’ve to say Can-sensei would go beyond what is normally expected to help his student should an emergency were to occur just to help out as a teacher and as a friend as well.

Can-sensei`s teaching style is pretty flexible and allows me to learn various things not normally taught in normal Japanese classes and to be able to mix and match to fit my needs.

Thanks to Can-sensei, I’m now able to progress smoothly during my stay in Japan and in Waseda University.

By: Terence Kong
Former student from Private class
Studied 1 year under Can
Can-sensei’s lessons are very engaging. It is not uncommon for sensei’s students to be ex-students of certain institute or language centers. I used to study Japanese in Singapore Polytechnic but gave up even before I completed the first year. The lessons in SP were informative but the way the lessons were carried out was quite dry and monotonous. It was easy for me to lose interest very quickly.

Another good point of sensei’s lessons is that, as a non-native speaker, he understands our learning handicaps and capabilities better than some of the native speakers. Some nuances are lost, in translation/teaching, during institutional lessons because the teacher, who is a native speaker of the language, fails to translate the meaning of the words or sentences to our native language. With sensei, this does not happen because the lesson is conducted in a mixture of Japanese, Mandarin (for classes with only Chinese students) and English.

His lessons are sincere and passionate. I look forward to sensei’s lessons every week and when there is no lesson, I feel bored. To me, it is a good thing that sensei’s lessons are not rigid and though he conforms to a certain regimen for teaching, I feel that he brings something unique every chapter/lesson. Of course, his lesson is not limited to only the language but also the culture of and various insights to Japan.

Last but not least, I really feel that his pronunciation and accent of standard Japanese is great. It might feel a little weird, at first, to be corrected when you read aloud but you will experience the benefits of this when you speak in Japanese to a Japanese (especially when you go to Japan).

By: Christina Ng

Learning anything is not easy. Be it games, school subjects or things of interest or for work. To learn both effectively and efficiently you need one, motivation, two, stimuli to keep that motivation strong. What does this talk about motivation has got to do with anything you might ask. I will tell you motivation is extremely important. Both for the learner and the teacher.

Can is an extremely motivated individual, he is driven by both himself and his students. Teaching is a thankless job especially when you meet students like myself. We will test the limits of teachers and then some. We require mutual respect for a good learning experience. Can has successfully gained my respect.

At the very first, I did have a slight interest in the Japanese language, but alas, interest alone will not be sufficient to succeed in learning something as complex as a language. Any language, much less a language like Japanese (with all it’s deep meanings and levels of politeness; a misplaced particle here, mispronounced word there, and víola: the meaning changes drastically.) is hard to learn. People who received an education in Singapore can identify with this due to the strict bilingual policy here. Back to my interest in Japanese, it was like a light flickering in the darkness called indifference fuelled by interests like anime and the occasional drama.

I only took my first Japanese class in the classrooms of Singapore Polytechnic motivated by prospects of meeting new people (read meeting girls) and only because no one else wanted to take German with me. The teacher was a native Japanese lady. I must admit that she was a good teacher, above average. Still, being the kind of testy student that I am, the teacher fails to hold my attention for long and needless to say, I didn’t succeed in the course.

The timing was bad. I have finally found my push for studying the language. Found my rival to surpass and all I am looking at was a letter saying thank you for “donating” to the language programme in the polytechnic but you have failed and can no longer continue into year 3 Japanese.  By sheer luck, I met the person I needed to meet. I met Can one evening outside the clubroom of the Japanese Cultural Club of which I am a member of. He was always helping out with language studies in the club. Lost sheep that I was, I readily accepted a casual invitation to join him for book shopping at Kinokuniya Orchard. During the trip there, he offered to teach me after learning that I wanted to continue. I learnt he charged cheaply and his fees cover only the course materials, which means that he is basically doing this gratis. Also he is always donating books to the club, so he was a bit of a legend back then. Doubt, however, was present. Naturally, when learning a foreign language or any language for that matter, one would prefer to learn from a native speaker. Anyone else teaching wouldn’t be able to deliver as well as. Sort of explains the language ability of most Singaporeans but I digress. You will find yourself surprised here.

Already, you might already see that he is going the extra mile. He didn’t have to teach me or donate books on the language which aren’t cheap by the way. I decided to take up his offer. However, being me, my motivation quickly faded after a few lessons. I stopped attending. Usually what you would expect from any teacher who isn’t a teacher from school is indifference. I mean, would you really take the trouble to chase after someone for his own good at your own expense? Take note that he was not benefiting financially from teaching me at all. Quite the opposite in fact.
I shall not go in details but let’s just say his lessons became much more ADHD friendly. Also, there was the a really good carrot of a trip to the land of the rising sun to the top student in class. He has incorporated small rewards and jokes into the lessons making them quite interesting. Small tidbits of trivia and information to keep it going, your interest constantly piqued. Before I realised it, I was really into it. I found myself studying. My interest was quickly becoming stronger. I improved greatly and for once, I wasn’t the worst student in Japanese class. Which brings about another point. Can can take you 70% of the way. The rest is up to you. What I mean is that, if you study under him, you can expect the class to be tailored. He adjusts his style to suit the class and attention to weaker students in the class. The other bits are yourself and maybe a bit of luck no teacher can guarantee a pass if you don’t even invest some attention to his teachings or notes. Speaking of which, are of high quality. His notes are not merely ctrl+c, ctrl+v, print, photocopy and photocopy. Notes are concise and simple to understand. Yet like a good blended whisky, his notes provide content that makes you take the next sip, the next lesson. Made of experience and a personal library of language books and teaching aids and hints of trivia. Study Japanese under Can and you are not merely studying the language per sè. You are taking in culture. Things that schools will almost never really incorporate into their lessons. Classes are no longer just classes. Rather has a closer more intimate experience. Studying will no longer become a chore if you enjoy it. As the saying goes: “choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Same thing applies here. Teacher and student.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, Can is in my opinion, no ordinary language teacher. He has lots of teaching experience, the drive and motivation that one might say is contagious. People like him are rare. Even more so in the profession of educating. He often goes beyond the call of his duty. The air ticket to Japan is a good example. Should you lose your motivation to study if you are under him, he will help you recover it

-Peter Wong
Studied 4 years under Can
Currently a student council member for a Japanese club in Australia
Native Japanese speakers was shocked that his teacher is a Singaporean.
I had an lingering interest in Japan and its culture, the language included. That prompted me to start learning the language in early 2006 with one of the language schools in Singapore. The start was good as the atmosphere for full-time classes were more conducive and thus, making it easier to pick up the things that the teacher had went through in the class. However, after i made the switch to the part-time night classes, the change was so dramatic that I couldn’t catch up most of the time and that sometimes you will feel demoralized in your learning.

With Can, things are different. I met him through an online forum in 2008 and has been under him since then. His teaching methods are always modified regularly with the consistent feedback that he receives while adapting to the ever-changing culture and systems of Japan to help us stay at the peak of understanding and knowledge to give us that extra advantage over the others. His teaching methods are unique, yet effective. Even though his lessons may be a week apart but you will never distinctly feel the lack of practice as he will constantly provide online help if needed. His connections has also enabled us to receive feedback and advice from native Japanese speakers on areas of improvement or where extra attention has to be given. All these has given rise to a effective system of holistic learning that empowers us to be able to upkeep proper conversations with native Japanese speakers that we may come across in our daily lives.

Through the 4+ years that I’ve been with Can, I’ve came to improve my knowledge and understanding by a far stretch which is not limited to merely the language and JLPT examination systems and standards. Having been through the beginner and intermediate classes with him before and now taking the pre-advanced classes, I can say that his active engagement of every student as well as the effort that he puts into preparing for every lesson and student is the key to his success in teaching Japanese so far. For people who wishes to learn and understand more about Japan, regardless in any aspect, I feel that talking to Can will be an enriching and purposeful experience, much less to learn from him.

-Matthew Pan
Student in Pre-Advanced Class: JLPT Track
Scored 143/180 for his N3 exam after studying N3 grammar for half a yr only
I have always had an interest in Japanese language since young. However lessons from popular language schools can be very expensive. Hence, I tried learning the language on my own by buying some textbooks and reading them on my own.  This task, however, proved difficult. Firstly, it is difficult to apply what you have learnt without another person to speak to, making it hard to remember what you have just read on the book. Secondly, there is no one to point out that you have made a mistake.

Finding my Japanese learning very hard to kickstart, I tried looking for affordable and effective teachers. I chanced upon Can in a HardwareZone forum thread on learning Japanese, and have been taking lessons from him since.

Can’s lessons starts with conversing in Japanese, which ensures that you have applied what you have learned and that any mistakes will be corrected. Besides correcting your grammar and particle usage, pronunciation and intonation is also corrected, allowing you to speak like native Japanese, which can definitely impress both Japanese language learners and native Japanese themselves.

Can’s lessons are well paced and very easy to understand. Each grammar points are explained in detail. He actively engages with every student in the class to ensure that every one of us understands what is taught. This is something almost impossible to be achieved by the language schools, which usually accommodate larger class sizes.

Besides learning from the textbook, Can also makes his lessons interesting by engaging us in song translation and Japanese drama watching activities, enriching our vocabulary and understanding of Japanese culture.

Having gone through his N5 class and currently in his N4 class, I personally feel that Can places great emphasis on building a good foundation in the language, making further learning less taxing. He has also gone the extra mile to keep his students motivated and interested not just in the language, but also the Japanese culture.

By: Cheng Ri Sheng
Student in Intermediate class
Studied 3 years under Can
Can is a very dedicated teacher who will strive to make students learn as much from him as possible. He tailors his classes according to every student’s pace and will spend more time with the student to ensure that they are catching up with the rest of the class. Hence, no one is left behind and everyone will be able to learn as required. His teaching methods are fresh and creative, wanting us to learn via different means such as song lyrics, dramas and Japanese culture sharing. Though it may be daunting for the beginners who first started learning, I believe this exposure to the Japanese culture should be introduced in conjunction with the learning of the language. As a student learning under him for a couple of months, I believe that I have improved my command of the language under him and dare say that new students will too.

By: Jonathan Lee
Student in Intermediate class
As his student studying Japanese with him for a period of time, I find Can an excellent teacher, with his unique way of teaching. His warm friendly and easily approachable personality makes him very popular among his students.

Instill Passion instead of just transferring knowledge
Can believes in instilling passion for the language instead of purely teaching the technical aspects of the language. He introduces interesting areas and cultures of Japan which he saw and experienced on his trips there. He also introduces the Japanese songs and trends to instill the passion in the language.

Teaching Materials not limited to Textbooks
His class is enjoyable because besides the grammatical aspects of Japanese, which many schools focuses on, he also introduces Song of the Day, Drama Excerpts of the Day, as well as Topic of the Day. Can polishes his students’ ability to listen and understand the language via Song and Drama Excerpts. He also brushes up their ability to speak Japanese by introducing a Topic of the Day for the students to speak freely in Japanese, using the sentence structure and vocabulary which they have learnt from the previous lessons.

Observant and Attentive to Individual Student’s Progression in Subject Matter
Can is observant during class to each student’s ability. He can correctly identify student’s difficulty in listening, speaking or other technical aspects in learning the language. He makes the extra effort to stay behind with the student after class to share pointers on how to improve the areas which they are weak in, and spends time to further explain and clarify any queries which may arise.

By: Valerie Wong
Student from Intermediate class
Studied 2 years under Can
Can has been a very focused and dedicated teacher. His devoutness to the betterment of his students are clear to all. He is extremely passionate about his work and helps his student by enhancing their studies through better translation. He uses unique ways of teaching so that we as students are able to better understand and remember.

By: Nellie Tan

2 thoughts on “Testimonials (証言)

  1. I have been studying Japanese for 5 years and underwent Can’s tutelage for the 2nd half of 2011 for JLPT N1. Can was able to find out my weak areas quickly through an interview and helped to arrest the issue. Using a variety of materials imported from Japan, he went through the grammar points slowly with me and made sure that I understood clearly the subtle meanings and usage of the N1 grammar. With his help, I was able to pull
    my grammar score from 25 to 39 and scored an A for grammar within
    half a year.

    Can exhibits great passion for teaching Japanese and he sometimes
    uses innovative methods to help his students learn, such as improving listening via dramas and songs, which makes his lessons very interesting.

    I would definitely recommend Can as a Japanese teacher for
    serious learners of the language.

    -Ken Chen
    Student studying for JLPT N1

  2. I have enjoyed my time learning with 先生. He takes his task as teacher very seriously, and his passion for Japan, Japanese culture, and the Japanese language shows in the reflective way he approaches teaching.

    先生 pays careful attention to the relative strengths and weaknesses of all of his students, and I can tell that he thoughtfully focuses on ways he can meet the needs of each particular learner. I am grateful that he adjusts his approach because it has allowed me to focus more on areas where I need to grow.

    While my classes with 先生 have been online, he conducts his online classes such that they function much more like in-person classes that other online classes I have taken. I have found other online classes frustrating because there’s less interaction between students or the rigor of material has been low, but 先生’s class is quite different. Students are expected to be actively present and participate more than in other online classes I have taken. He also conducts his class in way that echoes Japanese classroom culture.

    Finally, while I have been taking an introductory Japanese course, 先生’s knowledge of and skill with much more complicated grammar topics is evident. I am especially pleased that kanji and proper intonation are used in classes from day one.

    In summary, 先生 is a thoughtful facilitator that enthusiastically encourages students to dive into learning, focuses on our personal needs, and helps us build skills that support continued progress in Japanese.

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