Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Yoshie O

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Yoshie O Tutor Interview

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Q. Hi Yoshie O! Would you kindly give a brief self-introduction to the Cafetalk community?

A. Hello everyone! My name is Yoshie and I'm from Yamanashi in Japan. I started tutoring Japanese on Cafetalk in July. I'm glad to have found Cafetalk and being able to talk with people from different parts of the world. It's been a lot of fun, thanks very much!

By river Saône
By river Saône
Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from. Can you introduce your hometown?

A. I was born and raised in Yamanashi. I spent my life in my hometown until I graduated from university. There are a lot of mountains and small rivers, it's surrounded by beautiful nature. My high school and university were both in Tokyo so I commuted by train (1.5h half way!) for 7 years!

Q. Right now live in France. Can you tell us a bit about your life there?

A. I currently live in France's third largest city Lyon. Life is good here :) There are two rivers in Lyon: Saône and Rhône. When the weather is good, I enjoy eating lunch, having some beer with friends, taking a walk and watching the beautiful view by the river. Lyon has many shops and restaurants and it's very convenient, but at the same time there is a lot of nature and you can feel the historical atmosphere, too.

Lyon
Lyon
Q. Have you lived in countries other than Japan and France before?

A. Yes, I have. I used to live in London, UK. I studied there for my Master's degree and worked for a few years under my Working Holiday status. I experienced working in the museum, taking translation jobs etc., and I spent almost 4.5 years there in total.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. I take English-Japanese translations and proofreading projects in the meantime. My hobby is taking photos. I love photography and I often go take a walk with my camera and take photos of nature and landscapes in Lyon, sometimes portrait. I'm trying to improve my photo editing skills, too. The best time of the day for me now is to check my favourite photographers' works with a mug of warm tea!

Panoramic view from Fourvière
Panoramic view from Fourvière
Q. How did you become interested in teaching Japanese?

A. It was very casual at first as I was voluntarily teaching Japanese to my friends from time to time when I was in London. This experience gave me an interest in teaching the language more as I found myself enjoying teaching with some kind of cultural exchange in a way. Japanese learners have an interesting point of views towards the language which I never get to question myself as a native speaker. I started thinking that I want to be able to answer all the questions properly. That became my motivation to teach!

Q. You are fluent in English and currently studying French. Does being a language learner help you be a better teacher?

A. I am struggling with French because the pronunciation is difficult and I have to remember all the conjugations and grammar! European languages and Japanese are very different so I guess we have to put a lot of effort to learn each other's languages (Japanese for you, English and French for me). But one of the important things I think is to 'have fun' when we study. I feel the most grateful if my students think my lessons are fun and helpful at the same time.

Lyon's night view by the river
Lyon's night view by the river
Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like?

A. I have different lesson plans available on Cafetalk, but most of the time I get requests for Free Talk. I deliver this lesson based on what 'you' want to talk, and I would also ask what your goals are, or what skill you would like to improve so that I can have a better understanding of what you need, and do some preparation prior to our potential next lesson.

Q. One of your most popular lessons is your Japanese free conversation lesson. What do you think makes this lesson so popular?

A. Free Talk has a very free atmosphere as it's named, so I guess the students can speak with no pressure? Some of my students always prepare web links or texts for what they want to talk about in the lesson. I always welcome this kind of suggestion too.

View from Fourvière
View from Fourvière
Q. Other than your most popular free talk lesson, do you recommend any of your other lessons?

A. If you are planning to travel to Japan and want to learn some useful words or phrases in Japanese, Travel Vocabulary could be a choice. We would practice 'how to say in this situation' basis, and if you have any questions about travelling to Japan in general, I'm happy to answer, too!

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

A. Thank you so much for those who are studying with me regularly and also who have taken my lessons before. I truly enjoy talking with you and I hope I can continue supporting your Japanese studying. If there is anyone who is interested in trying my lessons, you are always welcome! I look forward to talking with you and studying Japanese together.

By river Rhône
By river Rhône
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Yoshie O


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