Hello, I am Yuko-sensei, the owner of this website, SmileNihongo.com. Great to have you here!
I am a native Japanese, born and raised in the southern part of Kyushu, Kagoshima prefecture. I have M.A. in Japanese pedagogy (teaching Japanese as a foreign language) and been teaching Japanese in the United States for 17 years.
Teaching Japanese is my passion.
I’ve mainly taught at universities and colleges. I’ve also done teaching senior citizens at community centers, for short summer programs, and private tutors.
Students usually describe my teaching styles fun and easy to understand.
Learning Must Be Fun
I do focus on making the learning experience fun.
You know how nervous you can get when you try speaking a foreign language. Believe me, I’ve been there. I was once an English language learner. At an early stage of my learning, it was so intimidating and scary to have to speak English with my limited ability! I struggled so much to master this language and after all these years, I am still learning! (Maybe I’ll share my journey of learning English in a separate blog)
When we are nervous, our minds are closed. We are in no condition to absorb new information. To learn, we must be relaxed and open. This is why I strive to make the learning environment for my students fun and comfortable.
During my teaching experience of 17 years, I’ve mastered various teaching approaches to best serve different types of learners.
Japanese Language Teacher Online
Now I wish to use my skills to assist learners on a broader scale. Technology made it possible for me to reach out Japanese learners all over the world who are willing to learn but unfortunately do not have an opportunity to do so in their local areas.
For such enthusiastic learners, I have created online courses (both free and paid courses) where you can learn Japanese in the comfort of your own house at your own pace.
Check all the courses at my online Japanese School: Smile Nihongo Academy
As for my personal life, I live with my husband and two cats in the beautiful pacific northwest. My husband is American and is in the process of learning Japanese. (Just like you!) He speaks only a little Japanese at the moment, but our cats are bilingual. lol He talks to them in English and I talk to them in Japanese, so they now understand both English and Japanese! 😉
I welcome any suggestions or input to better my courses or this website. Feel free to write to me at SENSEI@SmileNihongo.com!
Also connect with me at:
I look forward to interacting and learning together with you!
どうぞよろしくお願いします。(Doozo yoroshiku onegai shimasu)