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日本語 (Japanese)

Learning Japanese: Motivation

When I applied for the JET Program, I knew very little Japanese. At that time, I was working at a bilingual Japanese and English daycare. I knew the basics, such as colors and numbers. My understanding was decent. I didn’t put the effort to study Japanese while I was there because I was an English teacher at the daycare. I never felt the need to learn Japanese. But that all changed when I had one student come into my class. Let’s call her Maki. Maki and her family decided to move from Japan to Boston because of work. They knew very little English. She was very shy and rarely spoke. But she was a sweet and kind child. I remembered whenever I talked to her in English, she was would panic and start to cry. I knew it was difficult for her because she had a hard time understanding me. I didn’t know how to help her. I rarely spoke Japanese in the classroom.  It was then that I began to make the effort to learn a few words in Japanese in hopes to provide some comfort for her.  It was because of her that I applied for the JET Program in hopes to learn and improve my Japanese. One day, I hope to use my new skills to help other children, like Maki.

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