CLIENT CASE STUDIES
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Alex WadeJapanese in Oxford
“"I wanted someone that I could be friends with as I learned the language in my own time, at my own pace. Listen & Learn seemed to offer that kind of person, and I found out very quickly that the tutor provided to me, Chika-san, is exactly who I was looking for"”
Listen & Learn: Good morning, Alex! Thank you for meeting with me today. Could you tell us which language you are studying and why?
Alex: Currently, I’m learning Japanese with Listen & Learn. As someone who has grown up moving around quite frequently, cultures and languages have always been a major part of my understanding of the world. I am fortunate enough to have grown up with more than one language at home, and the light that knowing another language shines on your perception of everything around you is so clear that it made me want to learn more languages - especially ones attached to a culture that resonates with me.
Listen & Learn: And why did you choose Listen & Learn for your Japanese studies?
Alex: Japanese is a difficult language, especially for people with a more Western language background, which is why I wanted to start off with a tutor that wasn't a strict textbook-abiding teacher. Instead, I wanted someone that I could be friends with as I learned the language in my own time, at my own pace. Listen & Learn seemed to offer that kind of person, and I found out very quickly that the tutor provided to me, Chika-san, is exactly who I was looking for.
Listen & Learn: What aspects do you think make your tutor so exceptional?
Alex: Chika-san is not only good at explaining difficult grammatical concepts, but also provides a “beyond-the-classroom” look at culture and everyday life in Japan.
Listen & Learn: Those are definitely great traits in a teacher! What has been your most rewarding outcome from this experience?
Alex: I remember one day I was sitting on a train in Japan, and an elderly lady was standing up near me as all the seats were taken. When the lady didn't alight at the next stop, I stood up and offered her my seat in Japanese. The look of delighted shock on her face, quickly turning very friendly and thankful, made my day.
Listen & Learn: Those situations in which you realise how much progress you have made are some of the best moments in a language learner’s life. How did your journey learning Japanese begin?
Alex: I began my studies by learning Hiragana and Katakana, and buying the Japanese for Busy People textbook. This gave me a good foundation to build upon alongside my lessons. At the start, Chika-san and I went through some vocabulary and grammar lessons to gauge where my ability was, and at my request, we have since moved into pure conversational practice (the stuff you can't learn from a textbook). These lessons have been the highlight of my course, and the relaxed yet focused and extremely enlightening conversational practice has helped me improve my language ability greatly.
Listen & Learn: It’s amazing that you could improve so much thanks to your efforts and the help of your teacher. Why do you think other students should enrol in a language course with Listen & Learn?
Alex: I highly recommend Listen & Learn and Chika-san to anyone looking to develop their Japanese ability. Although the courses are a bit pricey, you get out what you put in so it's worth every penny as long as you make it so.