Gotou Sensei

Shinjuku Japanese Teacher

Branch: Shinjuku Language School
Lessons: Group and Private Lessons

"I don't really think of it as 'teaching Japanese.' I am trying to help support students who are seeking to learn."

Why did you become a Japanese teacher?

In the same class at the English conversation school I attended about 25 years ago, there was a person who taught Japanese for a living. He told me that teaching Japanese is a very rewarding job that aims to foster appreciation for Japan, and so I wanted to become a Japanese teacher someday. Since I was a student, I have enjoyed interacting with people from other countries and often went abroad. I wanted to let many foreigners know how good Japan is, so I became a Japanese teacher when I retire in 2022. Since many of my students are working people, I hope to be able to teach them about unique Japanese customs related to business.

What do you like about teaching Japanese?

I don't really think of it as "teaching Japanese." I am trying to help (support) students who are seeking to learn. What I try to do in my lessons is to 1) keep smiling during the 50 minutes of each class (I want to see my students' smiles), 2) offer something other than the textbook (+α), and 3) spend as much time as possible with the students talking. I would like to respect the students' feelings of "I like Japan and want to speak Japanese well" and provide them with a variety of information to help them love Japan even more.

How are your lessons?

The students studying at Japan Switch vary from those who love Japan and have experience to those who are working or coming to Japan for the first time. Everyone is very eager to speak Japanese well, and I know that, when we’re enjoying ourselves,  the 50-minute class will be over in no time. Even though I prepare for the class in advance, students ask me questions that are completely unexpected - which I very much enjoy. Also, they are often pleased when I teach them onomatopoeia, proverbs, or Kansai-ben. I hope my students find lessons as rewarding as I do and enjoy our classes together!

What are your hobbies?

I have many hobbies, but one that I continue to enjoy is traveling (I have been to over 80 hot springs in Japan. I also like beach resorts, vegetable gardening (I grow seasonal vegetables), making fermented foods (I prepare and make miso by hand every year), and watching sports (soccer, rugby, basketball, etc.).

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