Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Emi H

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Emi H Tutor Interview

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Q. Hello Emi-sensei, could you please introduce yourself?

A. Hi everyone, I am Emi H, and am a tutor at Cafetalk. I love talking to people and am a very curious one; I’ve been interested in interacting with foreigners ever since I was a teenager. I was culture shocked when I visited overseas for the first time, but I got more and more interested in foreign cultures. Then I started being interested in interacting with people from other countries, and find out about their cultures and countries. So I started volunteering with teaching Japanese to foreigners. It’s been almost 3 years now since.

Q. We hear you are from Tokyo, where would you recommend visiting if foreigners are visiting Tokyo?

A. I’d say Asakusa. It is in Tokyo but you could sort of taste old, the traditional style of Japan and it’s always packed with foreigners. It’s fun to ride the man powered taxi. There are some bilingual drivers who could give you guided tours. There is an area called “Kappabashi-dogugai” and it’s said that there is no kitchen or kitchen goods tools you can’t find there. I’ve heard you can usually find interesting food samples to munch on or one of the kind knives to take home as souvenirs. I once took my friends from Australia and they loved it!!

I’ve talked about this in my column as well but it would be a life time experience to take home to try getting on train in metro Tokyo in commuting rush hours. And I sometimes see those happy faces on the deadly train, and I know they are travelers. If it is spring time, you of course can’t miss the cherry blossoms.

Q. How do you spend your day offs? Is there anything you are into right now?

A. I work as a dental hygienist during week days, then I teach on Cafetalk most of the weekends, spend time writing reports to the student or creating new work sheets, power points for my students that I want to use in the lessons. For a free talking lesson, I spend 3 hours writing report after the lesson! I’m also a student at cafetalk so I could say I am really into cafetalk and Cafetalk is my hobby!

Just like other young girls, I do like shopping, makeup stuff, and accessories. Oh, can’t forget to mention about eating! I love eating and I explore new restaurant all the time with my friends. Right now, we are trying to conquest Omurice (Japanese old time popular menu, Omelet over fried rice) in Tokyo.

When I’m home, I would be sipping green tea and munching on Japanese sweets while I kick my legs and reading Manga or playing TV game. I am Otaku dipped into more than 1000 Manga collection! I like to travel when I have long vacation. My favorite place is Australia and I would like to visit air’s rock in the next visit.

Q. What are your suggestions in learning language?

A. I think people have different ways to learn that are suitable. But I personally try to enjoy learning language. For example, I have learned English pronunciation mostly from songs. I’m too busy thinking “I want to understand what the meaning of the lyrics is, I want to sound like them and sound good” so I forget that I’m studying. It’s fun learning this way.

Then I think it’s important to have a big dream, then small achievable goals. Big dreams to me are something like “I want to understand movie without subtitle” “I want to speak like native speakers” Small achievable goals to me are something like… “I will try to minimize the mistakes down to 5 today” or “I won’t use dictionary more than 3 times in my free talking lessons”. You feel good about achieving the goals and can be motivated by it so it’s good to set your goals at a reachable level. Each goals may seem small but if pile them up; you might reach to the dream. So I try to find what they achieved, instead of mistakes in the lessons with my students.

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about 『Writing in Japanese!』 Lesson? So you can send anything in those 10 sentences?

A. I once had a request from my students to proof read her diary. And that’s how this lesson was created. Basically you can write anything, unless it’s inappropriate, or something really technical that I would have no idea of. I offer to proof read Emails, Diary, and Blogs but most popular one is the diary.

Q. You have “Pen, Shodo lesson” how do you teach that lesson on Cafetalk?

A. Shodo is one of the things I am great at. I have 20 years of experience. I once was an examiner to the elementary Shodo test. I have won prizes as well. I’ve created lesson because my friend requested. I only offer these lessons to Japanese or Japanese advanced students. I will send the model and the instruction, and then you would practice on your own. Then you scan it or take a picture and send it to me, I will send you back with the advice.

Q. Lastly, do you have any message to Cafetalk students?

A. I am very fortunate that I have such wonderful students. I appreciate that I receive encouragement from students. When I encounter students who are so motivated and driven, I am influenced by it and I feel I want to work hard too! I am still new as a teacher, but I will keep learning as well and provide fun and clear lesson as possible. Please let me know if any request, I would try my best to work it out! (Right now I’m working on creating lessons using text books and lessons about Dental hygienist by requests)
I want to teach Japanese as long as I can continue. Please remember that I am a tutor but also am a language learner so I could relate to you when you have hard time or good time in learning. Let’s learn together!

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Emi H


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