Student Inteview - Toni

1. Name:
Toni
2. Country:
Australia
3. Length of study Japanese:
2½ years
4. Why are you learning Japanese?:
I've been fascinated by Japan for nearly 40 years now. I also love learning new things, so studying japanese seemed like a great way to combine the two. Especially as I want to go to Japan soon and hope that knowing even a little japanese might be helpful (and fun!) as well as courteous while visiting.
5. How is your Japanese study?:
My lovely teacher, Miwa sensei, is fantastic – she's soooo encouraging and patient! And amongst her considerable array of expert teaching skills, her ability to read my wobbly characters upside down is absolutely astounding! Having a one-on-one class works really well for me as it's great to have the flexibility to get sidetracked from the "formal" lesson onto all sorts of other interesting topics – often about food! So I'm learning heaps more about Japan, its people and culture than I'd ever get from a textbook. My lessons are great fun and we laugh a lot, which makes learning such a joy – even though sometimes my brain sometimes "goes off on holiday" without me! I live in the country, so I'm only able to get to Melbourne for a 2 hour class once a fortnight. So my progress isn't all that fast, particularly in conversation, which is my weakest point. But that's OK – it's great I can go at a pace I can manage and I can practise reading and writing at home, so that's good. I've been quite surprised at how much I'm enjoying learning the patterns and structure of japanese – I never thought I'd hear myself say I'm enjoying grammar! Miwa sensei presents it in such a clear way using lots of games and great examples and I'm finding I really love the logic and elegance of how the language works and sentences go together – japanese has so many really neat patterns (and follows them by and large!) that I wish english had!! And of course there are kanji – thousands of them! But I find them visually very beautiful and love how each one has a little "story" to tell, so learning them isn't as daunting as I'd first thought.
6. Why did you choose JAPANEASY?:
I found Japaneasy quite by chance and the unusual approach really caught my eye. The idea that language learning could be fun and stay connected to the culture it belongs to made a lot of sense and really appealed to me. MUCH better than just plodding through some dry old lessons in a textbook that doesn't relate to the real world.
7. How would you like learning Japanese in JAPANEASY?:
I LOVE learning at Japaneasy and really look forward to my classes. Everyone is so friendly, kind and helpful as well as very professional. I feel as if I've been welcomed into a big extended family. Like the day I was totally surprised when everyone sang me happy birthday and gave me a gift and a delicious cake – wow! For me the best things about coming to Japaneasy have been making new friends as well as gaining a much better appreciation and even greater admiration for Japan and japanese people. Oh, and gradually learning to speak a little japanese! I think Mina-san has done a wonderful thing with starting Japaneasy and with the help and enthusiasm of her fantastic teachers and staff has created a learning environment that teaches much, much more than just how to speak japanese.
8. Your favorite Nihongo and reasons?:
I LOVE learning at Japaneasy and really look forward to my classes. Everyone is so friendly, kind and helpful as well as very professional. I feel as if I've been welcomed into a big extended family. Like the day I was totally surprised when everyone sang me happy birthday and gave me a gift and a delicious cake – wow! For me the best things about coming to Japaneasy have been making new friends as well as gaining a much better appreciation and even greater admiration for Japan and japanese people. Oh, and gradually learning to speak a little japanese! I think Mina-san has done a wonderful thing with starting Japaneasy and with the help and enthusiasm of her fantastic teachers and staff has created a learning environment that teaches much, much more than just how to speak japanese.