Coming to the turning point of your life in Japan

Chizuru Saito
Shinjuku school


In my case, I never thought to become a Japanese language teacher when I graduated from university. I thought I was going to just work in a normal company. However, I wanted to live abroad for a long period of time and went to study and did a home stay in Canada for one year. There I taught Japanese to local primary students and introduced Japanese cultures to them. In the process, I started thinking "This job is fun"...which is how I got here now. You never know what opportunity will make you decide your career choice.

Now I mainly teach Japanese language to students at the Shinjuku school. There are a lot of people in their late teens to early twenties, so I can see them grow, not only in their Japanese language skills but also as a person both externally and internally closely while they are at ARC. By the way, the thought of what students have is different. For example, there are people who want to learn Japanese for education advancement, who study Japanese language because they just like Japan without any reason, and who want to go back to their home countries after graduating from a university or special school in Japan. Also, some of them want to stay in Japan for a long time and find a dream which they have never thought. What I like about this job is not only teaching Japanese but also helping students, especially young adults, to find their dream.

I might like to do so because I discovered my profession while I studied in Canada. Students need to open the way to their future with their own hands. Therefore, the job to help them have power to open the way is ours. And, I feel that Japanese skill, living in Japan, and the process of learning are tools to discipline their mind.

As a superficial result, we have a 100% education advancement rate. However, actually it is also very important to educate the students so that they do not find it difficult when they are out in the real Japanese society outside of school. For example, no matter what great points they get on written examination, if the student cannot communicate properly in an interview he/she will fail the exam. Doing a part-time job or making friends are also important ways of communicating with other people. In order to strengthen the real Japanese language skills, students need to be trained not just according to textbooks in classrooms, but also need other experiences such as visiting Japanese families, or presentation training. These are all for the students to cultivate the abilities in the students so they can realize their dreams.

Students will spend the most important years in their life in Japan and reach their turning point here. For that reason, I always think about "what can I do as a Japanese teacher".