One of the things I decided to do this year was to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
I don’t use Japanese much in my lessons because I’m supposed to have conversations in English with my students and in my personal life because my friends in Japan can speak English, so my Japanese is very poor even though I have lived here for years. (So if you think you need to go to an English-speaking country to be fluent in English, I am proof that that is not true – it’s all about the attitude!)
So last year I decided I would take the JLPT to motivate me to study Japanese. I realized that it was about time I studied the language a little more seriously 😅 and I also realized that being able to speak Japanese would make me a more helpful teacher.
Last year when I was trying to explain the present perfect tense to my new students, I realized that it was hard for my students to understand it not only because I spoke in English but also because the Japanese language doesn’t have a present perfect tense.
At that moment, I thought that if I could speak Japanese I could at least use a language they are familiar with to explain something new and difficult.
It will take time for me to get to that level of Japanese, but I’ve started to pave the road towards that goal with my decision to take the JLPT; and I hope it’ll keep me going (and it probably will 😆).