There are many teachers operating private language schools in Japan, but you’d be fortunate to encounter someone with the passion and experience of Goto Masumu. Goto, a Yokohama native, has been running his Japanese school “Kiwi” in Honmoku for the past three years. He chose the name Kiwi due to his deep connection with New Zealand.
In his youth he was curious about life abroad and traveled to New Zealand during his time at Hosei University. After graduation he obtained certification as a social studies teacher, but had such fond memories of New Zealand that he decided to return to the country to pursue a career in teaching Japanese. He spent thirteen of his years there working in a rather challenging public high school in Auckland. Although the job was difficult at times, he picked up priceless experience managing the classroom and fostering students that came from diverse ethnic backgrounds, many with limited English ability.
Goto tells us that returning to Japan after sixteen years abroad was “mentally much harder than running marathons,” one of his other passions. He often felt like an outsider and had difficulty adjusting to the craziness of rush hour.
Fittingly, Kiwi’s students draw from a wide range of ages and hail from all over the world. Knowing personally the challenges his students face, he is able to tailor his lessons to the individual needs and desires of each student with the vast majority opting for one-on-one lessons. Obviously, in Japan it’s easy to find a Japanese teacher, but finding one that can easily relate to you, like Goto, is a rarity.
For more information about Goto’s school, please visit http://www.kiwi-education.jp/