- Basic & Contemporary Japanese language
- Reflects current Japanese culture & trends
- Informal class setting
- Friday evenings, Room 3, 7 – 8:30 p.m. (two month summer break)
- Ongoing enrollment
- No homework or tests
- Small class with individual attention
- Visitations welcome
- Enthusiastic & patient bi-lingual instructor with a great sense of humor
- $5 per class
Japanese as a Second Language
Today’s youth are becoming less and less enriched by their Japanese heritage. The Japanese language and culture seem to be diminishing. The Japanese Conversation Class helps you learn Japanese language and teaches you about the culture.
Kay Garvin, the teacher for the Japanese Conversation Class held on Friday nights, is originally from Niigata, Japan. She graduated from Tsurumi University, studying Japanese literature. Kay was very interested in dance as she had taken various dance classes, including ballet and ballroom dancing, and even competed. Her interests then turned to exercise and aerobics. Kay heard that Los Angeles was really into health and fitness, so she began to visit Los Angeles to learn the American aspect of fitness. During one of her visits to Los Angeles, she met her husband, Errol, and permanently moved to America. In 2000, Kay started taking computer classes in order to get a job. Through the classes, she met many people from the VJCC. Among them was Tad Suzuki, who asked her if she would be interested in teaching a beginners Japanese conversation class… just a low key, non-intimidating class with no homework. The Japanese Conversation Class started April 7, 2000.
Kay makes learning Japanese fun. She has interesting stories related to things you are learning. She relates what you are learning with the culture of Japan, discussing the many differences between Japanese and American customs. She teaches you the polite way to say things. Kay tells stories about her life and family growing up in Niigata, located in the northern part of Japan. When doing so, she talks about the many differences between living in the country and living in a big city like Tokyo.The best way to learn any language is to hear it. In class Kay speaks in Japanese, asking questions or reading from the textbook. There is no pressure to speak in class. You can answer questions in English or Japanese…it’s all up to the student and how comfortable the student feels. You learn to write hiragana and a little kanji. You learn how to construct sentences using all the little words that connect everything together. Remember, there is no pressure and no homework. Kay always says, “ if you only retain 2% of that night’s lesson,” she will be happy.”
About half-way through the class there is a snack break. Japanese green tea is offered as well as a variety of Japanese goodies, senbei, cookies and candies. The break provides an opportunity to get up and walk around, and socialize with your fellow students.
Do you want to learn a little more Japanese? Do you understand a little Japanese but feel uncomfortable speaking it? Are you taking a trip and want to brush up on the Japanese language? I know the perfect class for you…