Hello! My name is Mariko. I am a native Japanese and I've lived in the United States for over ten years. I am currently working at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. I love teaching and creating fun and interesting way for you to learn the new language. Learning a new language is such a fun and great experience. I would like to share the enjoyment I have had with students who would like to broaden their knowledge and learn Japanese language and culture!
A little more about me...
I was born and raised in Tochigi, Japan I lived there until 1995, when I moved to Kanagawa to attend Tokai University. After I graduated from Tokai University, I moved to the United States in 2000. I attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and majored in Physical Education with a concentration in Athletic Training. I graduated from IUP in 2002 and performed an internship at Loyola University for one year as their Intern Athletic Trainer. After completing my internship, I started working at Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) in Washington, DC as their full-time Athletic Trainer. I stayed at MSSD from 2003 until 2007 when I took one year off for family related reasons. I returned to work as an Athletic Trainer in a deaf environment as an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Gallaudet University.
It’s been over ten years since I moved from Japan to the United States. When I first arrived in the U.S., I had a basic grammar and reading skills, but limited communication in English. Before I enrolled in IUP, I studied at the English Learning School at IUP for several months to achieve the required TOEFL score. The first three years in the U.S. were the most difficult time for me, as I was not only learning to properly communicate but also was adjusting to completely new culture.
When I started working at MSSD, I had no knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). It was a life changing experience for me in many ways. I realized that I was not only responsible for learning the proper signs to communicate, but also the importance of sign in the culture of deaf individuals.
I do understand what is like to learn multiple new languages and how frustrating it is to not be able to understand, or not be able to communicate with others the way I would ideally like to. In a sense, I learned not only about grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, but also how different cultures view language, and the associated actions and reactions differently, even though you may think the message would directly translate.
I was also a tutor for a few middle school students for English, math, and Japanese classics during my college years in Japan. I enjoyed teaching and being creative. I also like art, painting, drawing, crafting, photography, music, and playing piano.
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