Jumping to Japan

It was in 2012 when I came to Japan to work as an ALT. I was excited and apprehensive at the same. It was my first time to work abroad and also my first time to see Japan. The newness excited me. But just like any other new job, the work that awaited me filled me with unease. It wasn't because I doubted my teaching skills. It was because I’ll be working in a different culture with people who barely spoke my language. People who are about to work in Japan as ALT’s may feel the same way I did. Hence, I’m sharing this mini-guide to put those anxieties at rest.

This is an excerpt from the first chapter of my book, Jumping to Japan: 

Chapter 1: On Language

Quick Tip: Learn as many nouns, adjectives and verbs that are useful for daily living. Don’t worry about conjugation, subject-verb agreement, prepositions and syntax. You’ll get the hang of it when you’re more used to the language.

The biggest and most persistent challenge that you would face is language barrier. Japan’s English ability is not ranked lowest in Asia for nothing. Don’t be surprised if accomplishing simple tasks such as buying groceries, riding public transportation and placing your order in a restaurant can be frustrating. You are in Japan so expect everything to be in Japanese.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto
The good news is: Most Japanese would try to understand whatever you’re saying. It’s not rare to find a Japanese who can understand you and who will try to communicate with you in English. You can also use gestures and sounds. There are also translation apps you can download on your phone. The point is: You can survive in Japan with little Japanese but don’t expect to have an easy time.

Want to read more? Just send an email to fayevitz@gmail.com
Copy and paste: "Please send me a copy of Jumping to Japan."
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