Study Japanese in Japan #4 Erika
Erika came to Japan from Peru in 2003 and has since been studying Japanese while working and trying to advance her career. We asked her how her Japanese has developed since she started lessons with Coto (formerly ILS).
Arriving in Japan in 2003, Erika secured a job working at a factory in Chiba prefecture through a contact of her mother. In the three years Erika worked at the factory, she had little opportunity to use Japanese. However, when Erika began looking to change jobs, she started to study Japanese and achieved a JLPT Level 2, before returning to full time work.
It wasn’t until 2010 that Erika had the opportunity to change career. Her new job, in a large restaurant in Shinagawa, saw her immersed in an all-Japanese work environment. Although Erika could manage simple communication in Japanese, she remembers how stressful it was not being able to communicate everything that she wanted to.
Studying Japanese in Tokyo
And so on in 2012, she got a job requiring more Japanese so she decided to study Japanese at Coto Japanese Academy (formaly ILS), since it is closed to her new work location.
“Before, I often used to make mistakes with particles and my speech had developed many bad habits. My colleagues had even had to mention it to me. My teacher patiently identified these for me and, as I became more aware of the errors in my speech, I felt myself slowly but surely improving.”
Progress in Japanese and Career Developments
As the lessons went on, even her teacher was shocked by how natural and fluent Erika’s conversation became. Before long Erika became determined that she would take her JLPT 2 examination. For six months prior to the exam, Erika studied hard in an intensive series of ‘Nihongo Plus’ classes and private lessons, diligently finding time for homework and essay assignments between her work commitments. In December 2012, she passed her JLPT 2.
Erika now works at a hotel reception where she serves guests and carries out general administration as the hotel’s only foreign member of staff. Every day Erika puts her Japanese skills into practice; communicating with her colleagues, superiors and guests. What’s more, she now finds pleasure in being able to develop her Japanese on a daily basis.
Erika now wants to develop a career in tourism that will allow her to help foreigners who come to Japan.
“In Japan, the service industry requires a very high level of polite Japanese. I want to continue to study hard so that I can work as a professional in this Industry.”
Click this link to read about Sven’s experience at Coto Japanese Academy!