School Life Riverside School

School Life

Post Code: 111-0033
2-2-5 Hanakawado,
Taito-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81(3) 3847-4871
Fax: +81(3) 3847-7961
Beijing Office
Tel: +86(10) 6554-6681

Teachers & Staff

Here is an interview with one of our teacher, to share the story about language learning at Tokyo Riverside School

Mayumi Nigo - The teacher of the elementary level course

Q1: How do you feel on the very first day of the beginner course?

A: I get excited every time, to see what kind of students are there. I get nervous, too, but it's more like fun, I feel.

Q2: Your classes always have high reputation among the students. What do you think is the most important thing in the class?

A: The most important thing is to build trust in the relationship between the students and the teacher. Without it, you cannot give the lessons. It's also important to let the students speak, instead of the teacher talking all the time. I always try to design a lesson so that the students can find by themselves how to express what they want to say, not only by the teacher's grammatical explanations. So in the lessons, I hope the students can feel, 'I should say this if this happens'and I hope they can feel it's fun to learn Japanese.
What are people like at Tokyo Riverside School

Q3: Sounds really interesting, but it also seems it takes a lot of time to prepare for one lesson.

A: Yes, indeed. While I prepare for a lesson, I choose questions for each student, having their faces on my mind, and thinking like, 'uh, this question is good for this student, and this one goes to the other student.' And I also try to guess what their answers would be in many ways. The lesson plan is like a scenario. I check it on my way to school, by the time I get off the train at Asakusa.

Q4: Then, what are the enjoyable aspects of being a Japanese teacher?

A: Well, it's really hard and demanding to prepare for the lessons as I mentioned, but once I pop into the classroom, I get a lot of energy from the students. That's really fun. I don't think I could find a job as enjoyable as teaching Japanese.

Q5: I've heard you have lived abroad for a long period. Which countries have you been to?

A: I've lived in Hong Kong, England, France, and the Netherlands. Also, I have studied in China when I was a university student. Actually, it was not so hard to live in Hong Kong and China, because I know Chinese characters. In France, however, it was way harder to live. I really didn't have enough time before I move to France. As for the French, all I knew was such phrases like, 'Je t'aime,' and 'un, deux, trois.' In my neighborhood, my family was the only family from Asia, and everything was difficult, especially when I couldn't make myself understood in French, they would ignore me and it made me really sad. I guess the foreign students in Japan might feel the same way sometimes.

Q6: What would be your message for those who want to study in Japan?

A: To know a different country is to know that there exist many ways of thinking. It surely enriches your life and it's worth trying. I think that the more different their country's culture, the more interesting the experience becomes. You'll become able to observe things differently in many ways.
What are people like at Tokyo Riverside School?
We introduce one of our staff, Ms. Ng Foong Yee
She is fluent in 5 languages; Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Malay, English, and Japanese.
You can count on her during your application process

Q1: What brought you to Japan?

I've studied Japanese for 3 years in Malaysia. And in the second year of my study, I joined a home stay program at Miyazaki prefecture, which was held by the Japanese Language Association of Malaysia. I became more interested in Japan through this experience. Therefore, when I started to think about studying abroad, Japan was the first country that came to mind, and here I am.

Q2: So, first you became a student at a Japanese language school.
What was your future plan at the time?

I was not interested in work but keep studying in Japan. I was not sure if I could stay in Japan for a long period, so I decided to go to a 2-year technical school. I studied Japanese-Chinese interpretation at the school, and I met some teachers who were active interpreters. They were so brilliant and I came to think it would be nice to work as an interpreter in Japan. However, I didn't start to look for a job yet, because I was interested in something and I wanted to study it more at school. I asked permission of my parents to go to another technical school in Japan. After entering the next school, I finally started to think about work more seriously. And it became one of my choices to work at a Japanese school, since there would be a lot of opportunities to meet many people from different countries there.

Q3: What is it like to work at Tokyo Riverside School?

I got accustomed to the work soon, because I've learned how Japanese people work through my past experience of part-time job in Japan. Now all I need is learn contents of work. The hardest thing in using Japanese at work place is the correct usage of polite expressions, or honorific expressions. I've learned them at school so I know the grammar accurately but they don't come out of my mouth very smoothly. I have mastered some expressions I used at part-time jobs, but as to the rest of the polite expressions, it seems it takes some time to be able to use them fluently.

Q4: Can you tell us about your current interest in Japan?

Now I've just begun to work in Japan, so I am going to save up money to visit all of the country. I would like to take the most advantage of my stay in Japan.

Message for people who want to study in Japan

Well, in student visa application process, I often hear people say, 'I like Japanese Animation'or 'I would like to study Manga(comics) in Japan.' It's true that Japanese Animation and Manga are really famous, but there are so many other things that you can learn in Japan. I hope you can find and learn lots of interesting things while you study abroad in Japan.