Welcome to Japanese Class

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Photo by McCall Voigt

Photo by McCall Voigt

Snow College Japanese class is taught every weekday. About 30 students study Japanese hard there. The professor, Jeff Lamb, and some Japanese tutors teach the principles of “correct and useful Japanese.”

Japanese class is started at 9:30 in the Lucy Philips Building. The students, who are from America, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Burma, take their seats at the beginning of the class. The professor, Jeff Lamb, greets them in Japanese, and the class begins.

Basically the students learn grammar by studying Japanese original letters Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and study how to count, read, or speak including greeting phrases. The figures of Hiragana and Katakana are so random that many students break their legs to memorize all of them. Kanji is also used in Chinese―It is much easier to understand for some Asian students. They sometimes practice in a game competing with others during the class.

A student named Aria Wong, who is from China and taking the Japanese class said “The Japanese class is so much fun. We can not only learn Japanese language but also know some culture about Japan. It is so interesting to be a Chinese speaker in the class in America. I really enjoy that, and I like it!”

Jeff Lamb and an American tutor, Emmalee, mainly teach the students, but sometimes Japanese native tutors make it correct or give some more effective examples to support the explanation. The Japanese tutors also pronounce words and phrases correctly and it helps the students to improve not only speaking skills, but listening skills. Every Friday, the students watch a Japanese anime during the class. The anime has many modern words such as slang, which is more useful for the students and makes them more familiar with Japanese society.

Chihiro Yamamoto, a tutor on Monday and Wednesday, said, “I try hard to explain, especially when we learn some old words which are on an old tale because sometimes I don’t know the exact meaning and we rarely use it now. And the dialog is also hard for me to explain. I realized that teaching Japanese is difficult, even if Japanese is my mother tongue that I know well. But, it is so interesting to me. I like it! ”

Japanese class is exciting class for some Snow College students. They learn Japanese from primary level to difficult modern useful words. The professor and tutors teach them cooperating with each other, and it helps the students acquire and improve their correct and useful Japanese skills.


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