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Kristin currently teaches Japanese at the Intermediate, Pre-Advanced, and AP high school levels. She recently graduated with a Master's degree in Asian Studies from Seton Hall University. During that time, Kristin served as a Teaching Assistant of Japanese for Seton Hall's Department of Asian Studies for two years and was a volunteer student teacher and substitute teacher at Passaic County Technical Institute.
Good second language teaching builds a solid foundation upon grammar rules, vocabulary, and syntax, but great foreign language instruction goes far beyond that. My hope is that my students of Japanese will fall in love with Japanese language and culture. Once they are fascinated and have the desire to learn more about Japan and its customs, this curiosity and interest can be harnessed as a gateway to teach. By incorporating important, interesting, and fun cultural perspectives in my classroom, my students will learn what is important in another society and why. I want to be enable children who are intrigued by Japan to learn more about a country with such a rich language and culture.
Lessons to Be Learned
Learning to speak another language means communicating not only in the style of daily conversation, but also interactions on higher levels with individuals in varying situations and settings. I want my students to learn that they can express themselves in simple terms in the beginning and progress to have intellectual and difficult conversations. As children grow and find themselves, I will help them to gain skills that are applicable to practical situations. They will learn to think critically, be creative, and not take what is given to them at face value. In my class, they will become culturally-sensitive individuals who can appreciate the value in another country’s customs while representing their own.
The Learning Environment
My goal is to create a learning environment that is safe, inspiring, and free of judgment. I believe that teaching and speaking in the target language as much as possible is the key to becoming what I like to call “communicatively competent.” I tell and reassure my students everyday that they will get better if they use Japanese as much as possible inside of the classroom as well as outside. Furthermore, and possibly most importantly, my classroom will be a place where children can find confidence in themselves and believe that they can achieve what they set out to do. I often encourage my students that even if they make mistakes in Japanese when speaking or writing, it is an integral part of learning and they should not be afraid.
My dream is to not simply teach Japanese as a second language to American students. I want to inspire them to partake in life-changing experiences related to studying or teaching abroad. I know that if they choose to continue with Japanese seriously, there are so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities just waiting for them. I believe that once you begin to study Japanese, you are forever a student of Japanese. The experiences and opportunities gained through studying another culture, language, and history will stay with you for the rest of your life. I encourage my students every day to realize the value of studying another language and culture. Although they are still young, I want them to know what could be possible in their futures because when I was in high school, I could not even fathom where my Japanese language journey would take me.
Technology user with both past experience (administration) and present experience (via education and instruction).
I hold a New Jersey standard certificate for Japanese Language and Culture (K-12) I have been studying Japanese for about 7 years now. I have participated in 3 intensive track Japanese language programs and have my M.A. in Asian Studies (concentration/thesis in contemporary Japanese society). My B.A. is in International Studies/Asian Studies.
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