The 11 year course with my student! Our value of Learning and Teaching

Feb 21, 2022


This is the photo with my student at the Japanese restaurant in London. We have a Japanese lesson every week and our course is now the 11th year this February. 15 years and half have passed since I started my career at the UK university and I would like to share what I have learnt from my experience. It might be useful when you learn and teach.


I knew the importance of trust between a teacher and a learner, but I wanted to know how I could enrich our time and life through the lessons. Because you do not need a teacher if you just read a textbook and memorise the information. And I realised these two important points.


One is to let learners understand the Japanese attitude and the ways of thinking. My students were very happy when I taught Japanese perspectives behind the expressions. For example, the reason why ‘Do you want to meet tomorrow?’ is not used in Japanese is because the native speakers consider that showing one’s desire is not socially appropriate. And my students found it very interesting. They actually wanted to learn about Japan.


The other is to let learners think as the main character of the lesson. I found the importance of guiding them to express what they really want to say. They try to make a sentence in the new situation through my hints from what they have learnt so far. They feel great about themselves when they finally make the sentence on them own.


In this way, learners need to use their brain and it is actually good for their memory. And their achievement also motivates them even more. It is like I am watching and supporting the performer on the stage at the side.

それで、2016年にArai Academy of Japanese Studiesを立ち上げたとき、スローガンを「輝いて」にしました。生徒たちは私の人生の宝で、私の使命は彼らにグローバルな見方ができて、自信ある充実した人生を送ってほしいと願っています。

That’s why the slogan of Arai Academy of Japanese Studies is ‘Enrich your life!’ My students are my treasure in my life and my mission is to support them to become a global citizen and to feel great about their life.


It depends on the contents, but it might be effective if you let people engage and learn actively on something they are really seeking for. How would you like to learn? And what do you value when you teach? Let’s enrich our life!

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