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I'm a Japanese native, who was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Although I've become a naturalized citizen in the U.S., I've kept up with the very special language: Japanese. I've been tutoring Japanese as well as ESL as an independent private teacher (as a contractor) for over 25 years. I also have an extensive experience being an interpreter and a translator. I still belong to ABC Languages in San Francisco, and I've also taught at Sakura Gakuen in 2012. But I much prefer tutoring on an independent basis because it gives me more freedom, time flexibility, and creativity and ideas. I always try to custom tailor my sessions for each student.
As for the Japanese language, I cherish traditional Japanese but do keep up with the new and trendy style as well - as languages are living 'creatures' that never stays the same. Sometimes, however, it saddens me great deal to be outside of Japan and have to see the kind of ugly and preventable damages that's been happening to this old, complicated yet uniquely beautiful and fragile language. Its speed of deterioration scares me and makes me feel really powerless. But as the world is changing so quickly and is getting smaller everyday, the speed of communication is becoming more and more demanding, and I know I must accept this fact and make peace with it, so I do force myself to keep on learning and adapting. But at the same time, I still focus on keeping the 'core' of this language (or any other language for that matter) intact and try my best to protect its classiness. At times, though, I do discover some of the new phrases and ways of expression, and they crack me up! It makes me realize that maintaining an open mind is also important.
However, in my private sessions, I do emphasize the importance and clarity of building the solid fundamentals. Unless one builds the foundation thoroughly, he/she may never be able to build a solid house on top of it. While sticking to the foundation, I also provide provide lots of 'fun' lessons because I'm a fun-loving person myself. It's true; language lessons can truly be fun, and I believe it has to be fun!
My teaching style is different and unique. There's nothing somber about my style. Instead of relying entirely on a textbook, I incorporate a lot of motions, audio-visual aides, improvisational acting and role playing, and field trips. My students (especially those who're younger) seem to really like my methods and enjoy their lessons. They've expressed many times that they can hardly wait for the next session and just can't get enough of it. I believe this is how any foreign language lesson should feel like.
I've tutored many college students and adult students as well, but unfortunately most of them have gone back into the 'real' world and have lost our connections. But I still keep in touch with some of my much younger students. I wish them all the best this world has to offer.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Friendly, Caring, and Knowledgable Tutor! — Yoko is an excellent Japanese tutor. She is very knowledgable and passionate about the Japanese language: she will make sure that you understand how to speak proper textbook Japanese, and then help you customize your dialect, depending on your gender, age, etc. She also taught about cultural aspects of the language: from varying the type of speech depending on context (which is VERY important for ...
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