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Chieko-san is very perceptive. When I chose the books to bring to our first lesson, I was afraid she would say that I am spreading my fields of effort too thinly, and that she would tell me to concentrate on one or two areas. She took my Kanji, Hirigana and Katakana workbooks and my pitiful attempts to speak, and gave me homework for our first lesson that would strengthen my speaking, by practicing reading aloud, constructing a conversation for us to perform at the next lesson, and other small things to work on. I feel challenged. She is the best fit I could ever wish for. Domo Arigato, Chieko. Lesson #2 Chieko-san brought a first-grader's text for me to borrow. I had requested this. Being able to find your reading level is a big component towards confidence, and painless vocabulary building. She critiqued my homework assignment, explaining that textbooks written for those accustomed to American social "small talk" do not reflect conversation between Japanese. Domo Arigato, Chieko! Lesson #3 We continued using the method where I would write a dialogue on a specific subject, then read it to her. This really becomes vocabulary and grammar under fire. Domo Arigato, Chieko-san Lesson #4 I am learning so much about Japanese culture along with grammar and vocabulary. I have many books that touch on these aspects of life in Japan, but not to the degree that Chieko-san shares with me each meeting. I look forward to each lesson. Domo arigato, Chieko-san! Lesson #5 We re-organized my study plan, as my daily activities sometimes get in the way these days. Chieko-san is understanding, and had solutions to suggest which definitely helped. Domo Arigato, Chieko-san! Lessons #6 and #7 This has been a study in efficiency! We've made a whole new way for "Busy People to Learn Japanese" and to learn the written language as well. I have Kanji reminders on my fridge, and I construct sentences in my head when I'm in the kitchen. Can't wait for the next lesson. Domo Arigato, Chieko-san! Lessons #8 and #9 Even when I am deficient in preparation and feeling guilty, but willing to do SOMETHING, Chieko-san uses the time to push me a bit. I do love games! Shiritori is a word game that uses the ending syllable of the first word to start the next one. So now I'm working on vocabulary harder than ever, and working to translate the ichinensei reader, and Tom's CD titles.Monohoshi ya! (apologies to Basho) Domo Arigato, Chieko-san! Lesson 10 Our lesson time is never boring. When I am unprepared for a specific area, Chieko-san throws in something like listening or reading. This week I hope to be ahead, as I have taken the English translation of the assigned story, made a list of the English vocabulary and set to work finding the translations, not bothering with the grammar yet. I will probably just get used to hearing the correct grammar when Chieko-san reads the story to me in the Japanese.Domo Arigato, Chieko-san!
Chieko has been very generous with her time and her gifts. I truly feel she has added to my daughter's interest and enthusiasm for Japanese.
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