After many years of working in language-related industries, such as translation, interpreting, technical writing and others, I have found that teaching provides the greatest reward for me. When I am able to explain a principle to someone, and see the light of understanding turn on inside his/her mind, it truly brings me great joy. Whether I am teaching a language or life improvement, I find a lot of joy in helping people to improve themselves and live happier lives. My hope and my dream is to build Fona School together with the wonderful people who work together with me. I want to incorporate all of the good things I have learned in my life into the curriculum and all aspects of what we offer to give as many people as possible the opportunity to learn and grow together with us. To fulfill that objective, we are constantly striving to improve everything we do, and to ensure the best possible quality and results to everyone we meet. In the end, the real point of life is the joy and happiness you can achieve and share.
The students and we are all part of the Fona family. At Fona School, we cherish the bond we have with the students. Being able to see and talk with the students every day when they come to lessons is what I enjoy the most. I take lessons at Fona too, and see firsthand that the teachers genuinely focus on each individual student's progress. Why don't you become part of the Fona family and have fun with us, too?
Fona School presented me the opportunity to expand my teaching experience as well as to meet very interesting people. Teaching at Fona has not only made improvements in my professional life, but also in myself. One of the things that makes Fona a special place is that it doesn't only aim at teaching English, but it also provides human warmth and values. Teaching a second language to people can't only consist in teaching the language structure, words, expressions, etc. because it will only present one part of a culture and language. Jim aims at the highest level of teaching the English language to Japanese people. His experience and dedication to developing an English teaching program is resulting in many very positive results and many, many very enjoyable lessons. I am looking forward to teaching again at Fona in the near future, and wish all Fona students and friends a nice Spring and Summer.
I have been working with Fona for quite a while and there are some things which I think make Fona special. For example the fact that our main focus is not just on teaching a language but more on helping you learn and, even more importantly, to understand the language and everything that comes with it. In order to understand a language it takes more than just studying grammar and memorizing vocabulary. At Fona you will not only hear and learn the language but you will hear and learn about the language, you will learn about the origin of the language, you will learn about the connections between languages. In other words you will get what we at Fona call, a feeling for the language. And it is exactly that feeling that is a very important aspect of learning the language and gaining confidence to use it. In order for you to gain that feeling we strive to provide the best possible environment. We really like to get away from the usual classroom, teacher-student atmosphere and provide a much more relaxing and casual atmosphere. We also want to give people an opportunity to have fun and use the language they are learning outside the classroom, in real life. So I hope you will join us and I am looking forward to seeing you.
Japanese Polite Forms Get in the Way of Learning English?! Japanese has polite forms, honorific forms, humble forms, and you have to think about those and choose the right forms depending on the situation. Many people studying English get stuck trying to think of different ways to say the same thing, just because of the different levels of politeness in Japanese. For example, if you want to say, "明日９時にいらしてください。" in English, you might immediately think of saying, "Come here at 9:00 tomorrow." However, you might then become concerned, because that phrasing doesn't sound polite enough to you. You may want to come up with some strange way of saying the same thing, to make it sound politer. Unable to do that, you may even decide that English is too difficult for you and that you cannot possibly understand how to use it. In English, "おいでよ。", "来て。", "来てください。", "いらして下さい。", or "おいで下さい。" are all just "Come here." There is a cultural issue involved here as well, which I will not explain in detail in this text. However, the point is that in English the focus is on the content of what you say. On top of that, the English that you normally learn, including what we teach you (including command forms), and including what you typically learn anywhere, is all polite English. What I mean to say is that you need to stop thinking about how to say things politely, and focus on saying what you want to communicate. Then, say it. Just say it. Repeating for emphasis, all of the English you have learned is polite English. Just relax and use it. Stop trying to think about politer forms, and just talk. That's the key to improving your English skill.
There are connotations in English that you never know until you use it! In Japanese too, "会いたい" and "逢いたい" have different connotations, right? You can learn those kinds of details. Isn't that exciting? The idea of fashion has penetrated so many areas of life today. Let's try linguistic fashion, too!