coach | teacher | traveller
I was born in Chiba prefecture where the mouth of Tone River is. Looking at the other side of the river, I’ve always dreamed that one day I want to make friends with Americans living in that land. Actually that land was Ibaraki Prefecture where locals speak exactly in the same way as us! So disappointing.. but anyway since young, I always had a longing to get to know new people from a different languages. I knew in my heart that speaking a new language opens new doors of communication with people I’ve never imagined that I can get to know.
Thus after gaining a few years of working experience near Tokyo, I became a Japanese language teacher as I wanted to since my high school days. Just as I enjoyed learning English and French, I also wanted to share my Japanese knowledge with foreigners in Tokyo.
Time flies. It has been more than 25 years since then and now I teach differently from the early days.
In my early years of teaching in Singapore, I couldn’t express myself freely in English. That caused miscommunication and misunderstanding, and sometimes I was even feeling hurt. But through my own journey of struggle as well as excitement in mastering a new language, I have learned how to teach Japanese effectively.
I have learned (and still learning) how to express myself in the Singapore context. My Singaporean husband, family-in-law, colleagues, and local friends… all these people are my good teachers to understand cross-cultural communication skills. It brings laughter, argument, and interesting ingredients in daily life.
Language involves culture. The other day, for example, I sent a message to a Japanese friend 「知らなくてごめんね。」which means “I’m sorry that I didn’t know that.” when I got to know about her problem. In the same situation to my Singaporean friend, would I say the same thing? Perhaps not as it’s not my fault for not knowing her problem. But Japanese do have group mindset “your problem is my problem.” Language does reflect the culture and the mindset of people who use it. We need to understand the difference to speak in a culturally appropriate manner.
With all that I have, I am happy to help your learning journey. It’s my joy to see friends master a language & culture from zero and get connected with people from different backgrounds.
Makiko Koshikawa is a native Japanese, married to a Singaporean with 25 years of teaching experience. She is conducting private & group lessons and also a trainer of the People’s Association Singapore, having courses in community centres. In the past, she has conducted Japanese lessons in NUS campus, Japanese Diploma Course in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, “Japanese for Tourism Course” organized by Singapore Tourism Board, and other company courses & public school lessons.
-Examples of Lessons conducted:
- Preparatory course to go to universities in Japan (JLPT N1 & N2 level)
- Business Japanese
- Exposure Course in Singapore Primary Schools
- Company Lessons (Hitachi Asia, Pioneer, DKNY etc)
She obtained the Certificate of the Japanese Language Teaching Competency, and Certificate of Japanese Instructor from Sendagaya Japanese Institute.
She graduated from Rikkyo University in Tokyo, and obtained Bachelor of Arts in French Literature.
Besides teaching Japanese, she is also a certified English teacher with Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from Cambridge English Language Assessment. She adopts CELTA’s creative teaching techniques and ideas in Japanese teaching.
Other skill: Translation & Interpretation between English and Japanese,