Joan: From Newbie in Japan to Working Professional
Coto Student Joan arrived in Japan from Spain with no Japanese knowledge but learned quickly as he started working at a Japanese company.
How long have you been in Japan?
I move to Japan three years ago to take on a position as researcher for a Japanese company. It was not my first option because I was little worried about the language but I do not regret it as it has been one of the most exciting experiences in my life.
What was your level of Japanese when you arrived compared to now?
Well, this one is easy, zero! I did not know a single word of Japanese but after three years I am now an intermediate level (around JLPT N3), and studying for the JLPT N2. I am able to communicate in many situations of my daily life, like shopping, going to the doctor, at pharmacy, dealing with my landlord etc.
I have come a long way thanks to Coto!
How have you been able to use the Japanese you learn in school in your daily life?
It is thanks to the school that I feel more comfortable every day. Most of the lessons we learn can be applied to real life situations, specially the lessons in the beginner classes, where the fundamentals to navigate life in Japan are taught.
What course are you taking and how is your experience at Coto ?
I am taking the Natural and Fluent 2 (N2 Expression) twice a week and the Explanation Training, where we learn key vocabulary about a very specific topic and the patterns on how to write about it.
In addition, I am talking the preparation classes to pass the JLPT N2. This is a specific course where we review grammar and techniques to be able to successfully complete and pass the N2.
I know, it seems (and it is) a lot of work, especially when you are working full time, but Coto is a really fun place to study.
The staff and teachers are helpful and compassionate and it’s a great place to meet like-minded students and for professional networking. There is also free coffee and tea!
What’s your best tip for anyone studying Japanese?
In my opinion there is three important tips
1. Perseverance: It is not easy to learn a new language, specially when we are busy with work and, therefore, it is also easy to get frustrated. Attending class on a regular basis helps to keep focus and motivation. Self-study is also very important to make sure you can internalize everything you learned in class. Coto offers resources for self-studying like borrowing books.
2. Patience: Results do not come right away, it takes some time to fully understand and use Japanese, but when you do it you feel great!
3. Use: It is important to try to use the language every day in different situations. It is hard in the beginning but when you do it and you see what happen…magic!