Lessons at WAHAHA
I have been staying in Fukuoka for almost two years and started studying Japanese by myself since arriving in Japan. During the time I had passed the JLPT N3, but I never had real confidence to speak in Japanese.
Half a year ago I considered that I needed to learn how to put my textbook knowledge into practical use so I started taking private lessons at WAHAHA. Thanks to the flexibility offered, lesson schedules and curriculum can be arranged to meet my own needs. Moreover, the teachers are nice, caring and professional. They know me very well and can always find my weaknesses to give valuable comments and adjust lesson directions to ensure that I am making good progress towards my Japanese study goals.
After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the school has started to offer topic-based online group lessons which I felt was a great complement to the private lessons. Everyone is staying home to prevent the spread of the pandemic, and being able to attend WAHAHA lessons at home is certainly helpful in continuing my Japanese studies.
How the Online Group Lessons helped my studies
I have joined the Newspaper & Novel Reading, Translation & Current Topics, and Conversation Lessons. All of these lessons have provided me valuable guidance to practical Japanese in everyday life and enabled me to sharpen my Japanese on different aspects.
Newspaper and Novel Reading (Reading Focus)
I have always been interested in reading Japanese materials, as reading skills are often practically useful on different occasions. Newspapers, especially, are written in a special style and structure differing from daily conversations. With the guidance of Yachi sensei, I have learned how to quickly grasp the main idea of a newspaper article reading the headlines, as well as learning how to read through the structures and locate key messages of the news. In the Novel session, Yachi sensei also guided us through reading extract of a chosen novel, through which I have gained an understanding on the narrative style of the writer and learned how to interpret the story with the descriptive details in the text.
Translation and Current Topics (Writing Focus)
Writing skills and translation skills are extremely important to me as an expat working in Japan. In the Translation lesson, we were given chances to practice writing our own translation from an extract and made comparisons with the work written by professional translators. Through the clear explanations given by Misako sensei, I have learnt the key to keep the authenticity of translation and have identified the nuances in my work. It was also very interesting to read and learn from the work of my fellow classmates. In the Current Topics lesson also taught by Misako sensei, we were given a piece of newspaper article and were guided to write a summary of the news using Japanese. I have gained a better understanding in the usage of adverbs and also in their importance in making more effective communications.
Conversation (Speaking Focus
Undoubtedly, conversation skills are the most important skills to live and work in Japan, and that is why I have joined the conversation lessons. In the conversation lessons, Junko sensei had introduced us to some very interesting hot recent topics that we can talk about in daily conversations. We were then encouraged to discuss the topic and share our views in Japanese, which was both important speaking practice and valuable cultural exchange! Moreover, Junko sensei had picked out some very common mistakes that Japanese learners make and taught us the correct expressions in different scenarios. This has greatly helped me express myself better without causing unnecessary confusions and I feel much more confident expressing myself now!
Online Seminar (Listening and Speaking Focus)
Last but not least, I am not missing out the chance to improve my listening skills and so I have been joining the monthly free online seminar organized by the school since its first. The free webinar is given by an expert guest speaker on a current topic and its corresponding social impacts, and participants from all around the world are invited to freely share their own opinions as well as the experience in their respective home countries. To me, the free webinars are very precious cultural exchange opportunities, as I have been able to hear different opinions from people of such diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, it is definitely interesting to learn a lot of current issues happening in so many different countries every webinar session.
The introduction of topic-based Online Group Lessons enables me to choose lessons of my interest and study needs. Moreover, the contents of each lesson of a specific topic are largely independent so I do not have to worry too much about catching up even if I missed the previous lesson. This course structure also provides flexibility so I can take care of my work schedule needs and still attend lessons to improve my Japanese on the specific areas I wish to work on. I would definitely recommend my friends and other Japanese learners to try it out!