Kiyo has been teaching Japanese at VLLC for over 10 years over which time she has exposed many students to her love of Japanese language and culture. These students have gone on to use their Japanese language in careers both in Australia and internationally and fallen in love with her country's culture.
Why am I teaching Japanese? Because I am a Japanese person live in Australia? The question reflects how I love teaching Japanese to adults. Adults have a long history of work and lifestyle which often affects how they learn a language. My job teaching Japanese is also an opportunity for me to learn about Australia and its culture. Teaching and learning, parenting, and Australian education and tertiary training experiences consolidate my teaching. When I see my student’s outcomes, that is most satisfactory from a job perspective, the feeling is not so different from when I see my child's outcomes. When my students say “arigato gozaimashita” after each lesson, that gives me my next lesson's motivation.
Since I started teaching Japanese at VLLC I have met so many people who are interested in Japanese culture and language. This setting is my privilege and I have learned many different things through Japanese teaching. Firstly, I have learnt how students learn Japanese language, particularly in a western fashion, it is not only translation between two languages, it relates to situations and culture and I have found all students love learning with joy. So how to make learning joyful for adult learners? Imagination creates our fun role plays, acting on each other, including kinaesthetic learning, word games with pictures and Japanese characters can be quickly impressed on the brain.
During my 10 years teaching Japanese at VLLC, I have learnt relations between a person's satisfactory and achieved language goals constantly drive student learning motivation. VLLC's program divides the different Japanese writing scripts to learn – starting with romaji (romanized phonetic reading) then hiragana, katakana and kanji and this setting and level division makes it easy to start and logically understand for all students. Most of my students continue to learn because they can feel step by step and those learning steps are finalized in individual language achievements.
I appreciate the Japanese language curriculum in Australia. Some of my adult Japanese students have learnt Japanese language in their primary and secondary education. And a majority of those students still remember what they learnt and found that coming back to them, and those fun learning experiences stimulate their adult brains once again. The grammar never changes and it is such boring practice to learn patterns yet for adult students we need to find our individual learning style and pace, find one's short and long term achievements oneself and to look forward to improvement through language learning.
Australia has been ranked in the top three Japanese learning countries in the world over 20 years – China, Korea and Australia!! That high language demand is one of the motivations for me to teach Japanese for adult students and I love to hear their language journey goals in many different ways.
I conclude that my Japanese teaching experience in Australia identifies student's individual life goals, as a fun hobby or lifelong learning. I personally take this opportunity to teach Japanese for adults and it is an honor to have such a career. We know that learning a different language gives the brain stimulation which can prevent dementia. The practice can start at any age. Moreover, my current Japanese students are looking forward to opportunities with their future work relating to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Why don't you start and make such big opportunities for yourself and learn Japanese with VLLC!
Here are some stories about VLLC' students and why they are learning a language