We Japanese Language School in Shibuya Tokyo Japanese Language School

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Welife Magazine

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welifemagazine

December 2015

Student of Japanese Language School Mr. Andrew Walsh
アンドリュー ウォルシュさん

『「My japanese」 日本でも自分らしくいられるために。』
〜“My japanese” – Being myself.〜

 

Andrewさんの初めてのレッスンを担当した講師は、今でも思い出します。「トライアルレッスンは、内容も時間配分もご自分で決めたいって?(汗)相当ストイックな方かも。」 しかし、送られてきたリクエストの内容(新聞の記事)を見ると…… なんと、クマが捕獲用罠で、後ろ足を仕掛けの外に出しておき、餌だけ持ってまんまと抜け出す様子が、イラストで書かれていたのです。

真剣な中にも笑いが絶えないAndrewさんのWeレッスンは約2年になろうとしています。「Andrewさんにとって、Weとは?」の問いに、「日本語でも自分らしくいられるようになるところ」と答えてくださいました。自分らしくいられる。つまり自分の日本語“Myjapanese”で自分を表現できることです。アメリカからいらっしゃったAndrewさんが極東の地、日本でも自分のまま存在できることは何よりも大切なことなのです。

Weの講師は生徒さんの“My japanese”にとことん寄り添います。 はじめに“言語ありき”ではなく、“生徒さんありき”の視点で、いわゆる“日本語”ではなく、“その生徒さんの日本語”を追求します。Andrewさんのコミュニケーションスタイルは、ユーモアと真剣さの融合。そのような“Andrew japanese”をプロデュースするWeの姿勢が、AndrewさんがWeに通い続けてくださる要因になるのならこんなにうれしいことはありません。どこにいても、どんな言語を使っていても、常に自分らしくいられることの幸福感につながるお手伝いすることがWeの揺らぎのない使命です。

The teacher who taught Andrew Walsh’s first Japanese lesson at We remembers the experience well. “Wow, he is going to decide the details of his trial lesson all by himself, including the allocation of time? Maybe he’s a very strict and serious person…” But in fact, upon looking at the news article that Andrew sent prior to the lesson, the teacher was surprised to see that it was about a bear that slyly escaped a bear trap (taking the bait along with him, of course) by using its hind legs to keep the trap door open. It was even accompanied by an illustration of the escape.

It has been almost two years since Andrew began his lessons that are serious yet full of laughter at We. To the question “What is We to you?,” he replied that it was a “place where I could be myself.” To be able to “be” yourself is also about being able to “express” yourself using your own unique “My japanese.” There is great meaning in Andrew being able to be his natural self, even while living far away from his home (i.e. the United States), in the Far East.

The teachers at We thoroughly stand alongside their students’ “My japanese.” They believe that their lessons are not about the “language” they are teaching, but about the “students”; so, rather than simply teaching the “Japanese language”, they work to pursue each and every student’s unique Japanese style. Andrew’s communication style in particular is a fusion of humor and seriousness.

There is nothing that could make us happier than to realize that this exact mindset we have been applying to create “Andrew japanese” is exactly the reason behind his wanting to stay with us to improve his linguistic skills even further. “We” is dedicated to guide people to feel content about “being themselves,” no matter where they are, or what language they are using.

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