Standard Course, Online Lesson
I studied at WAHAHA Japanese Language School for several months. It offered me the perfect environment to meet new people, learn about Japanese culture, and of course, to improve my Japanese skills due to its language training programs.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to travel, so I was very excited when I learned that WAHAHA is now offering online lessons. That meant that I can now continue studying from anywhere.
I attended several online lessons and I was able to get the same WAHAHA experience the school offers locally, but now from home. Here are my impressions of the lessons:
The lessons are divided into Translation, Reading, Conversation, and Pronunciation. Each topic is presented by an expert in that subject.
During these lessons, we read and discussed an article. Misako Sensei guided us to recognize the slight by important nuances of some phrases. After that, each of us tried to translate a fragment of the text, compared our results with the group, then discussed the differences. Misako's translation practice is a very important exercise that is helping me to start thinking in Japanese and create more natural phrases.
Newspaper and Novel Reading
For me, the most difficult part of learning Japanese is reading. I have found it very challenging to read day-to-day Japanese written materials. But with the help of Yachi-sensei, I learned to recognize the structure of a newspaper, how to infer the content from the headline, and how to recognize the words that emphasize important information. We also read a passage from a novel. The professor guided us through the lines and encouraged us to look for details of the story that were hidden in the text. It was a good exercise to start reading in Japanese; not only understanding the meaning but also reading between the lines.
During this class, Mikako sensei helped us to pronounce correctly. First, she taught us the correct way to pronounce each Japanese sound, then she asked us to repeat them out loud. I was able to recognize the mistakes I have been making. We also practiced some vocalization exercises and learned the importance of rhythm while speaking. The professor used a drum to guide us through the exercise and challenged us to speak faster. I had so much fun!
During the class, Junko-sensei showed us some recently published research. She read us a passage which we then discussed. She always presented a variety of current topics that led us to a deep conversation. We compared and contested our opinions and added our own ideas, so it was very good speaking practice. Since it was a group lesson, we had opinions from students from all over the world. So for me it was also a cultural interchange experience. In this class, I not only improved my speaking abilities but also made new friends and learned new and interesting things.
Apart from the online lessons, WAHAHA Japanese Language School is providing free online seminars once a month. These are videoconferences where an expert presents a current topic and all the participants can exchange ideas. It is a very good opportunity to learn about the latest news and exchange opinions with people from all over the world. This is a place to learn and to communicate, so it is possible to use either Japanese or English. I have been attending these seminars since the beginning and I can’t wait to join the next one.