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What Does a Japanese Tutor Do?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A Japanese tutor teaches students how to speak, read or write in Japanese. In many instances, these tutors are employed by educational establishments such as high schools and colleges. Other tutors are self-employed individuals who teach Japanese on a part-time basis to individuals or groups of students.

High schools in some countries offer classes in Japanese. Many educational districts require students to study at least one foreign language, and Japanese classes satisfy this requirement. In some instances, the Japanese tutor is responsible for teaching classes and providing individual students with one-on-one mentoring. Other tutors simply provide individual tutoring to students who attend classes that are presided over by another individual.

Many universities offer degree courses in Japanese. Some of these courses are focused on teaching students practical language skills while in other instances students learn the language to study the literature of the nation. With both types of degree courses, a Japanese tutor regularly meets with small groups of students to discuss in greater depth the information that is shared during lectures and seminars. The tutor may assign homework to individual students that ties in with the degree program; many tutors primarily focus on practicing conversational Japanese with students.

Corporations and government organizations sometimes employ Japanese tutors who are tasked with preparing foreign nationals for living or working in Japan. In some instances, they are full-time employees while in other instances organizations hire tutors on a short-term contractual basis. Generally, a Japanese tutor teaches students the basic conversational Japanese that they will need in order to live in the Asian nation. Additionally, corporations also instruct tutors to teach students about commonly used business terms and expressions so that these individuals can enter into negotiations with their Japanese speaking counterparts.

While some people learn Japanese for career purposes, many individuals take Japanese classes before visiting the nation on vacation. Such individuals often hire a private Japanese tutor and undergo several weeks of one-on-one instruction. Typically, these tutors are Japanese nationals or those who are somewhat familiar with the language, but have not undergone any formal training as teachers. In some instances, Japanese students who are studying overseas raise money to cover their educational costs by working as private tutors.

Educational establishments normally require anyone wishing to become a Japanese tutor to have completed a college degree. Japanese nationals can often find work as tutors after completing degree programs in education or a related topic. People of other nationalities may have to successfully complete an undergraduate or postgraduate Japanese language degree before gaining full-time employment as a Japanese tutor.

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Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On Jan 13, 2015

@Pippinwhite -- That's a great idea! If I ever find enough money to go to Japan, I'd like to be able to do the same thing.

I love to learn about other cultures, and the Japanese culture is fascinating. The Japanese people I've met have been very kind and they really appreciate it when people take the time to learn about their culture and language. I think that's the real passport to friendship: show you care about the other person's country.

Going to a university to find a tutor is a good idea, too. I have a friend who was traveling to Japan and actually made friends with a Japanese girl, and was invited to stay with her family when she visited. It was a very kind offer and my friend said she was able to experience things she would not have been able to, otherwise.

By Pippinwhite — On Jan 12, 2015

I'm planning a trip to Japan sometime next year and I intend to hire a tutor, preferably a Japanese person who is familiar with the customs and culture. I want to learn some conversational Japanese, definitely, but I also want to know how to get along in the country without being the proverbial Ugly American. I want to be able to show my hosts respect for themselves, their country and their culture.

There's a large university nearby and they offer classes in Japanese taught by a native. There are also several Japanese families in my city, as well as a plant headquartered in Japan, so I will contact them to see about hiring a tutor.

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