I met many people who want to learn Japanese. A student wanted to make friend with Japanese. Another married to a Japanese, and wanted to communicate with his in-law family. One wants to understand Japanese anime. One has Japanese boss in her office. One wants to go to Japanese university. And one simply started out of interest.
Whatever reason you start with, learning Japanese will widen your horizon. You can make more Japanese friends. Your travel experience is no longer just having good sushi because you can interact with locals wherever you go. It also benefits your relationship with your Japanese colleague or neighbours, not only because you can express yourself in Japanese but also you’ll have better understanding in their culture and thinking.
Some of you have already tried taking Japanese courses. Unfortunately I often hear that they forgot almost all once the course is over. Others are feeling “I still can’t use it in actual situations.” Another told me “It takes too long time before I can communicate even in a simple manner. I feel like giving up.” When you attend a course, you’ll soon realize the fact that learning in the classroom does not mean that you can immediately communicate outside the classroom, that disappoints you.
Why is that so? Because there is a gap between the classroom Japanese and that of real world. I am committed to fill this gap by making the Japanese in our lesson as close as the one you hear & talk, read & write in daily life.
You Are Able To...
1. Learn Japanese With STRONG FOUNDATION
Your experience in learning with me will be very different from your own study or going to a Japanese language school. While building up your strong foundation in systematic way, you’ll learn living Japanese by:
2. Receive PROPER GUIDANCE BY Professional Teacher
I have ever taught an advanced learner whose foundation were weak as nobody has properly guided her. I remember it was much harder work for both the learner and myself to unlearn wrong grammatical habits and relearn the proper grammars and appropriate expressions fit in each context.
That experience made me realize how important to have a strong personal guidance from the very beginning.
It may sound boasting, but I am able to give clear explanation in detail grammar and appropriate word choice. These skills & technique are accumulated over years as a Japanese teacher as well as a translator. But still, it’s never be 100% perfect. In fact the longer I teach, the more questions comes to my mind. At times questions from students make me think and discover together. I guess I’m also a leaner forever while journeying with my students
3. Continuous LEARNING
Nowadays a lot of learning materials are available online, apps & dictionaries. That’s great! You should make use of these good tools for your study. Yet you still need a place to try out your knowledge in a safe environment with clear guidance.
I believe the role of teacher has shifted in this internet era, from just stuffing everything in the once a week lesson to giving guidance to learners in order to maximize their daily learning.
Thus, I’m here to keep your learning journey going. You are able to contact me via social media when you have questions or you want me to check your work. I want your learning to go beyond your lesson time. I share videos & tools just right for your level as there are so many stuff online that you might not know which one is good and suitable for you.
This process of journeying together enables you to be a perfect communicator in Japanese speedily and properly.
Customized For Group & Individual
Every learner studies with different reasons; some are travelling to Japan for holiday or business, others want to catch anime stories. I had students who need to communicate with their Japanese mother-in-law, or simply out of interest. Knowing your goal clearly, I will help you to increase vocabularies & expressions according to your needs, and give you practice in the likely situations that you may encounter.
Kick-Start Students To Converse in Japanese
Many beginners feel stressed with Japanese writing before finding joy in communicating in a new language. For such students, I have developed my original conversational textbooks for beginners to ease into the journey of learning a new language. This will enable you to use Japanese in a simple manner from day 1 before mastering Japanese writing.
Filled With Cross-Cultural Experience
Language involves culture. If we just translate from English, we may say something uncomfortable to Japanese although its meaning is correct. Thus I will teach you appropriate expressions fit in Japanese culture. Being an English/Japanese translator and married to Singaporean and living in a cross-cultural environment for many years, I will help you to adjust culturally, which removes your fear of offending Japanese unknowingly.
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Testimonies from students who attended Makiko's Class
Makiko san is exceptionally patient, kind and meticulous and without a doubt, one of the best teachers I have been so fortunate to have met in my life.
She puts in an incredible amount of effort to plan her lessons and she embraces an open mind when it comes to teaching, which is evident in her willingness to experiment with different methods of teaching Japanese instead of just relying solely on the textbook.
One experience that I will never forget was when I happened to chance upon a Japanese song on the internet that I quickly became obsessed with; I told Makiko san and she immediately came up with the idea of writing out the song lyrics together with me. And by going through the lyrics sentence by sentence, she taught me the meaning of the song without having to translate it into English.
I was very grateful towards her as it made me appreciate the song so much more.
I definitely recommend Makiko san to anyone and everyone who is keen on taking up the Japanese language. Her classes and dedication have benefitted me in many ways (Making a trip to Japan is no longer a headache!), and even though we are no longer teacher and student, she will always be a life-long friend dear to me.
Andy & Audrey
My family is planning a trip to Japan sometime next year and hope to explore Japan on our own. We decided to learn some basic conversational Japanese to prepare ourselves for this trip.
My wife and I enrolled in a 5 sessions “Japanese for Travellers” course at Hwi Yoh Community Centre. Ms Makiko was our teacher. We find her class interesting because she can explain in English to help us better understand Japanese. Ms Makiko is a native Japanese and she can share Japanese culture with the class which we think is helpful. For example, she explained the correct way to reject invitation or suggestion with Japanese. We find her class interesting and we have benefited. She used role play and games to help students practice dialogue in Japanese. She attentively listened to our dialogue during class activities and corrected our pronunciation and sentence structure.
We decided to learn more and subsequently continued with her 8 sessions “Basic Conversational Japanese” course to increase our knowledge. We are more confident to use Japanese for conversation after the class. We also have a better understanding of Japanese sentence structure. We are planning to continue her higher-level Japanese with writing when available.
We find Ms Makiko friendly, patient and helpful teacher. If you are a beginner and planning to learn basic conversational Japanese, I will strongly recommend you to attend her class.
Jenny (Attended "Japanese For Travellers" Course)
It is good to know and understand the language of a country when you visit and travel there. You can communicate with the local people, like asking for direction and assistance. When I came to know that the course “Japanese for Travellers” would be conducted in the community centre in my neighbourhood last December, I signed up for the class together with my three children.
Our teacher is Makiko Sensei. She is a friendly and cheerful lady. She taught us words, phrases and sentences which will be frequently used by travellers. She encouraged us to practise during classes. The class was fun and filled with laughter.
My family went to Japan in March. It’s time to practise our Japanese…………
One evening, we visited Yasaka Shrine. We were looking for a toilet. We walked a few rounds but couldn’t find any. It happened that I saw a security guard, I quickly went to him and asked, “Sumimasen, toilet wa doko desu ka?” Thank God, he understood my question. He pointed the direction and said “Hidari magarimasu” which we learned in her lesson. We found the toilet finally.
One afternoon we had lunch in Wazuka. The owner of this small restaurant can’t speak English. So we need to use our limited Japanese to order our food. 5sets of Katsu Don (One big bowl of rice, one big piece of Tonkatsu with salad, a small bowl of steam pumpkin, one piece soft beancurd and a bowl of miso soup). After we finished eating, we wanted to make payment. I asked her, “Ikura desu ka?” She replied, “¥ san-zen nana-hyaku go-jyuu” (¥3,750) . Wow…… this the cheapest and delicious meal we had on this trip. I told her,”Oishii”. She was very happy when she heard that and replied, ”Arigato gozaimasu. Arigato gozaimasu”. She asked,”O-kuni wa?” I told her we are from Singapore.
I am very glad that I attended this Japanese class and equipped myself with sufficient vocabulary to have good travel experience.
Arigato gozaimasu, Makiko Sensei.
Albert (Attended "Japanese For Travellers" Course)
It is my great pleasure to recall and write about my experience learning Japanese with Makiko-sensei.
I attended the 8 session “Basic Conversational Japanese” course before a 2 week self-guided travel in Japan. Despite having intuition for the Japanese language (from watching anime!) this course really helped me get over that tongue tied feeling I get when faced with a real opportunity to speak Japanese to another person. The course was divided clearly into 8 chapters for each session and we went from making basic introductions to expressing what we are doing, where we are going, and making recommendations. Makiko-sensei taught us a comprehensive vocabulary but emphasised various useful sentence structures to help us get our points across to the listener. For instance, how do you say to a vendor, "Do you accept 100 00 yen bills"? During my travels, I faced one such scenario and even though I did not know how to say "do you accept…" in Japanese, I simply remembered the Japanese to ask "Is something okay?" then asked, "Ichi-man en satsu wa ii desu ka?" and the clerk was able to understand me!
I also loved the way Makiko-sensei's interacted with the class and her attentiveness to the pace at which each of her student learned at. Makiko-sensei quickly observed my confidence in the basic vocabulary and often gave me more challenging question to answer in class. When she observed my readiness to try writing a bit of katakana, she did not hesitate to give me advice that are beyond the course curriculum such as how the particle "wa" is in actual fact written using the character "ha". Meanwhile, to another student who has just began learning Japanese, Makiko-sensei did not confuse her learning with curve-balls and instead conversed with the student using the vocabulary that she was comfortable with. The passion and effort Makiko-sensei puts into teaching her students inspires a fun and respectful classroom. I am confident that you will enjoy learning Japanese with Makiko-sensei, regardless what your current skill level is!
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