LanguageSumo - Japanese Immersion Coaching
I can help your Immersion student.
Learning Japanese takes mental gymnastics, repetition and perseverance. I can help with all three aspects by strengthening students' vocabulary, written alphabets, grammar, spoken accent, vocal rhythm and most importantly - memorization.
Because your child is investing so much time in immersion, it is worth your time and my time also to get some extra help. The help I can offer your child will carry on to future language learning and academic progress.
What is immersion?
In an immersion program, students become proficient in a second language by using it to learn other school subjects (like math and science), instead of just learning the language on its own. Learning a new language through immersion at a young age is actually very similar to how children learn their first language.
Simply said, the earlier, the better. But, Japanese is intense, I’m not going to hide that fact. Luckily, teachers and classmates offer invaluable support, and believe it or not, after a year or two, many students will reach a degree of reading and listening proficiency in the new language that almost parallels native speakers of the same age.
Get help today!
Contact me today to set up an initial meeting and discuss tutoring session scheduling and pricing. I'm available via Skype and Google Hangout as well. Currently, I tutor grades 1 - 6 exclusively and also offer local group tutoring sessions.
Four alphabets and no English spoken in the classroom are just two of the challenges of Japanese Immersion. While every language has its own vocabulary, grammar rules and idiosyncrasies, Japanese in particular has a slew of oddities including punctuation nuances, idioms and unusual tenses. Luckily, teachers utilize visuals, charts, songs and even dances to help children transition into immersive Japanese language learning. Plus, paying close attention when it’s hard to understand the teacher makes children think harder.
I've been there
I stuck with learning Japanese for 16+ years. I know how amazing of an opportunity the Japanese immersion program is. I understand the value of staying motivated and positive. Having the courage to keep going is vital because the experience stays with you forever.
When I went to Japan for the first time, I got many compliments on my native-like pronunciation and intonation. Learning Japanese made learning another language (Spanish) really easy for me. And I also loved writing. So, in college I minored in linguistics. Languages and cultural mannerisms, traditions and quirks fascinate me. Japanese still feels natural to me. And , I'm always excited when I can surprise someone by speaking Japanese.
If your student is struggling with immersion, please stay positive and patient. There are many fun ways to take enthusiastic Japanese language learning outside of the classroom. That's what I'm here for!
(I’m not only here to tutor; I’d be happy to answer any questions and try to get you the answer or resource you’re looking for.)
Overall, learning a second language creates:
- Flexible thinkers
- Discerning listeners
- Talented communicators
- Savvy problem solvers
- Better memorization techniques
- Creative conversationalists
- Learn more about bilingual benefits here.
Intellectual stimulation and cognitive advantages
- Learning a new language early on makes it even easier to learn a third language in the future. (I added Spanish to the mix in 8th grade.)
- Children are inherently curious. This makes language learning really exciting!
Improved English skills
- Learning another language strengthens a student’s understanding of his or her own grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure.
Awareness of a new culture
- Learning a new language helps children understand and appreciate that the world is full of different people from different countries who lead interesting and unique ways of life.
Greater job opportunities and career potential
- Looking for a job abroad? Immersion will definitely help with that! Get a resume boost at an early age.
- Knowing a second language can help in various industries: tourism, public relations, accounting, law, education, marketing, sales, retail, transportation and more!
Setting a student up for academic success
- Learning a language in elementary schools gives students a head start in middle and high school language requirements, as well as college.
- Second language learners often score higher on academic tests (specifically in the verbal section) and academics in general.
- It’s pretty cool to know Japanese. Learning Japanese is a truly unique experience and can really make a child feel special.
When I was 6 years old, my parents enrolled me in the first Japanese immersion program at Great Falls Elementary in Great Falls, Virginia. The program has been opening the minds of elementary school students for almost 25 years. I can proudly say it changed my life, and has also changed the lives of hundreds of eager, creative and accomplished young people.
Every day for six years, I couldn't have been more excited to go to school. I got to see my friends and sing songs and learn three new alphabets. When I came home from school, I could speak a secret language with my younger sister (who also took part in the immersion program).
I continued learning Japanese through middle school and high school and at 16, I finally was able to travel to Japan through the Youth For Understanding program. I lived in Miyako, Okinawa, where I learned a new dialect, ate mounds of maguro (tuna) and mangoes, and made wonderful friends. At 18, I returned to Japan through the High School Diplomats program.
I kept my passion for Japanese alive by attending Connecticut College and majoring in East Asian Studies. I spent my junior year studying abroad at Doshisha University in Kyoto (through the Associated Kyoto Program) and lived with an incredible host family with whom I still keep in touch.
So how did Japanese immersion change my life? It’s not just that I can order sushi in Japanese (as fun as that is!). The Japanese language and culture is what defines me in my personal life, and my career. After college, I went to graduate school at Boston University to get my Master’s in Advertising.
What originally sparked my love for advertising was Japanese commercials of all things. I combined this fascination with my knack and enthusiasm for promotional writing and became a marketing copywriter. (And of course Japanese immersion advocate and tutor... and sushi maniac.)