We Japanese Language School in Shibuya Tokyo Japanese Language School


Welife Magazine

Our mission is to provide useful and interesting information about Japanese news, customs and culture and more.


May 2016

Student of Japanese Language School Mr. Steffen Eckart
ステファン エカートさん


This month’s We face features Mr. Steffen Eckart from California. Steffen is living in Japan with his Japanese wife and his elementary school student son, and works at a major pharmaceutical company. While he is a loving father at home, Steffen is also a human resources professional who is responsible for coaching his employees.

今月のWe face は、日本人の奥様、日本の公立小学校に通う息子さんと日本に暮らし、日本の大手製薬会社に勤務されているアメリカ・カリフォルニアご出身のステファンさんです。家庭では子煩悩な良きパパでいらっしゃり、会社では人事のプロフェッショナルとして社員のコーチングをなさっています。

Interview インタビュー

  • Q. How did you come across We Japanese Language School?

    A. I’ve taught English myself before, and among the different Japanese schools I’ve looked around in, We’s system, environment, and philosophy stood out the most.

  • Q. We Japanese Language Schoolとの出会いは?

    A. 自分自身、英語を教えていたこともあり、色々な日本語学校を見て回りましたが、Weはシステム、環境、考え方において飛び抜けて(stand out)いました。

  • Q. Why thank you very much! So, it’s been about 2 years since you began studying at We. How has your Japanese changed since then?

    A. My original intention was to study business Japanese, but now I’m able to have daily conversations with my coworkers with little difficulty. Also, it’s been easier to communicate at the bank, hospital, and my son’s school.

  • Q. ありがとうございます!Weに入学されて2年余り。どのような変化がありましたか?

    A. ビジネス日本語が当初の目的でしたが、社内での日常的な日本語にはあまり困らなくなりました。また、銀行や病院、子供の学校での日本語に役に立ちました。

  • Q. Is that so! It’s often said that those are the most challenging places to communicate in, but I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well. I’ve heard that you also passed the N2 level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test last month. Congratulations!

    A. Thank you. Well, I just barely passed, so I’d like to pass more easily next time, and move on to the N1 level.

  • Q. そうですか!そこがかなり大変だいう話をよく聞きますが、何よりです。先月は日本語能力試験N2にも合格されたそうですね。おめでとうございます。

    A. ありがとう。まあ、合格したといってもギリギリでしたので、次回はもう少し余裕を持って合格し、さらにはN1にもチャレンジしてみたいです。

  • Q. That sounds wonderful. By the way, while you’re using mostly Japanese at your work, is there anything that especially poses a challenge?

    A. The most challenging thing is not actually the Japanese language itself, but “communication.”

  • Q. すばらしいですね。ところで、会社ではいつもほとんど日本語を話されるそうですが、一番大変なことって何ですか?

    A. 大変なのは、日本語自体というよりも、むしろコミュニケーションですね。

  • Q. Communication.

    A. Yes, to coach the employees, communication is the most important.

  • Q. コミュニケーション。

    A. はい、社員のコーチングにはコミュニケーションは大切なことです。

  • Q. I see. So what is needed for effective communication?

    A. First of all, you need to have the desire to communicate. Secondly, you need to understand the differences between people. Not just cultural differences, but personal differences as well.

  • Q. そうですね。では、コミュニケーションには何が必要でしょうか。

    A. 一つにはコミュニケーションしたい!と思うこと、二つには違いを理解することだと思います。国と国の文化の違いに限らず、個人のレベルでも。

  • Q. I agree, communication is an ability beyond just having language skills. Do you have any personal goals in learning the Japanese language?

    A. I would like to be able to understand about 70% of newspapers and magazines.

  • Q. 確かに、コミュニケーションは言語のスキルを超えた能力ですね。今後の日本語の目標は?

    A. 新聞雑誌などが70パーセントぐらいわかるようになりたいです。

  • Q. Yes, there are many kanji used in those. Well then, lastly, any feedback for We?

    A. Since there is the wonderful system of “student partners” assigned for every student, I’m sure the school would become even more special if they became involved with the students more proactively.

  • Q. 漢字が多いですからね。では、最後にWeへのご要望を。

    A. せっかく生徒一人一人にスチューデントパートナーがつくというすばらしいシステムがあるのだから、もっとプロアクティブに関わってくれたらさらに特別な学校になると思います。

Interview Wrap Up

As a professional in human resources, Steffen’s words all revolved around the key concept of “communication.”

By conversing with Steffen, we became aware that the essence of communication is interaction, or 交流 (kouryuu). That is, people must first interact (交) to generate a new current (流) amongst them.
Let’s try looking at this “current” as an electric current.
What triggers this electric current is the natural desire of people to understand each other – in other words, this “desire” is the power source of the current.
From the inspiration we gained from Steffen from this interview, “We” hopes to become a powerful power plant generated by many people’s interaction.
Let’s maximize our energy output!



Counselling and Free Trial Lesson
Inquery Form
  • We News
  • We News
  • We Blog
  • Welife Magazine
  • Fee Structure
  • for Company
  • Special Course Early Morning Japanese
  • 英会話スクール
  • Career
  • Official Twitter
  • Official facebook
  • Instagram