How did the book come about?
We were initially put in touch via a mutual friend, and then I had the chance to meet Belinda and Yuriko in Tokyo in December 2015 when they were over on a visit from Australia. We talked through the project over a cup of tea in a cafe in the Oazu building near Tokyo Station, and I was really impressed with their creative ideas and energy. I knew immediately that I would love to help them to bring their project to life. Their idea was to inspire learners of Japanese to identify a purpose for learning Japanese - and to keep going. As someone who has worked in self-access and with language learners outside formal classroom learning, I could immediately see the appeal.
What's inside the book?
The book contains 13 unique chapters by diverse contributing authors - all of them learners of Japanese. Their stories cover many aspects of language learning that we all struggle with, for example, motivation. In Chapter 1 (Lockie’s story), we hear about Lockie's missed opportunities to learn Japanese while he was in Japan but how a passion for Kendō gave him a reason to focus. In 'Sensei’s Tips' in the second part of the chapter, we learn about motivation and how powerful it can be to set goals and make a plan to achieve them. The other chapters continue in the same way, covering themes such as using different media, finding suitable reading materials, keeping going and seeing your progress, persistence, changing needs, remembering vocabulary, listening to and connecting with people, studying abroad in Japan, resuming study after a long break, using humour, gendered language, identity, finding social groups online and issues for learners of Japanese or mixed heritage.
Who is the book for?
Originally, we imagined the book would be useful for learners of Japanese in high schools and universities. However, it is also very suitable for lifelong self-directed learners of Japanese of all ages. In addition, many teachers of Japanese have told us that they use it as a classroom resource to help students to find their purpose and to get inspiration from the contributors. Through sharing voices of role models that other learners can identify with, the book provides insights into the learning journey along with practical information and strategy ideas.
- 13 unique chapters by contributing authors detailing fascinating accounts of Japanese learning experiences.
- Sensei's comments and tips related to the content of each chapter.
- Tips for learners and teachers in how to use the book in a variety of ways.
- Points and questions for readers to consider.
Series: Autonomous Language Learning
ISBN: 9781370629985 (ebook) / 7981973329 (print)
Series editor: Jo Mynard
Series advisors: Sally Candlin, Satoko Kato and Hisako Yamashita
Artwork: © Shin Koyama
How to purchase