About Aki M.
I am a Japanese native speaker who has a deep interest in helping students learn Japanese and learn how to be successful in Japanese society. I lived in Japan until this past year and worked as a civil servant for seven years. During that time, I helped JET Program workers from America learn how to talk with their bosses and co-workers. This means I can help you learn smooth business Japanese as well as more casual language. In Japan and in the US, I frequently advise LGBTQ students and students of color about Japanese culture and how to adjust to Japanese society. Both Japanese language and culture can be tough--but I will work with you to help you succeed and achieve your goals!
My favorite aspect of tutoring is tailoring my lessons to YOUR needs and desires. If you would like anime, but need more speaking practice, I can come up with role-play situations that will allow you to talk about your interests. If you like Japanese culture and want to read more high-level texts, we can work together to read simple newspaper articles from NHK or simple books about Japanese history. We can work together to help you work on your weak points while also speaking to your passions!
In 2018, I worked as a Japanese language teaching assistant at Harvard University. While I was not teaching at the head of classrooms, I did helped professors create future Japanese courses. I also was the volunteer instructor for the Japanese Language Soirée at the Japan Society of Boston from 2017 through the spring of 2018. I created interactive lesson plans that taught students about Japanese culture, and worked with beginning to advanced students. I also worked in Japan with a NPO called Seika Global Net to teach Japanese to adults from other countries who were living in Japan.
If you love the language, but worry about how you'll fit into Japanese culture; if you love Japanese culture, but you don't know how to start learning the language--reach out to me! Together we can make sure that you succeed and achieve your goals.
Speaks English, Japanese
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Teaching since 2016
Aki has earned my highest recommendation. She provides weekly Japanese language and culture online tutoring to my 14-year-old son. She engages him fully, providing a rich multi-media experience utilizing video chat and whiteboarding effectively to simultaneously teach the spoken and written language (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji). He is excited at the prospect of each new lesson and is learning quickly.Show More
Aki is the best Japanese teacher that I have ever had! Aki plans lessons that exactly match the things I need to learn, so it is very efficient for me. She is especially good at explaining difficult grammar points in a very clear manner. She has really helped me improve in reading, writing and speaking. I am very grateful to her and strongly recommend her to other students.Show More
I can’t even begin to describe how incredible Aki has been as a tutor ever since our first lesson together. I can tell that my speaking skills have improved tremendously since working with her. Aki is great at providing a variety of different assignments and exercises to ensure no stone is left unturned in the learning process. I appreciate the fact that she customizes the lessons and assignments to focus on my interests as well as the areas of language learning that I could use more practice in. This may sound like an exaggeration, but choosing Aki as a Japanese tutor was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Thank you, Aki!!!Show More
Aki is a wonderful instructor. I have had around 8 lessons with her so far, and it’s always great to learn new things with her. She is highly knowledgeable, and is great at explaining things in a way that makes challenging subjects and concepts easier to understand. Not only that, she is also easy to get along with. I am a naturally anxious person, I was really nervous to start taking Japanese lessons, and make myself actually speak out loud in Japanese, but taking lessons with Aki is always a great time. I have built a lot more confidence in my ability since I started these lessons, and I am so grateful for that! You won’t regret taking lesson with Aki! She’s a wonderful teacher! どうもありがとうございますあきさん！Show More
Wyzant Inc. and Varsity Tutoring
• Create tailored, original lesson plans and activities targeting Japanese speaking, grammar, writing, and listening skills that relate to students’ interests. • Teach students one-on-one in weekly online lessons, give quizzes, and grade homework.
Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
• Translating profiles of faculty into Japanese, including academic jargon, for new website.
Japan Society of Boston, Boston, MA
• Developed original lesson plans and activities about Japanese holidays and traditions. • Taught relevant vocabulary and expressions to roughly twenty students of varying levels. • Engaged in small-group and one-on-one conversational practice with total beginners to advanced-level Japanese language learners.
Japanese Food Education Instructor
• Instructed elementary through high-school-age participants about food and kitchen safety, food preparation, Japanese food culture, and the spirit of mottainai (not wasting food). • Oversaw students during cooking activities, encouraging teamwork and active participation. • Directed teachers from host institutions to aid with tasks and regulate student behavior. • Checked stock of ingredients prior to class, purchasing them if necessary. • Coordinated with co-workers to document taught courses and successful teaching strategies.
East Asian Language Programs, Harvard University
• Collaborated with Japanese language teacher to create new course unit by drafting new character lists, making example sentences, and refining cultural topics introduced in lessons. • Evaluated and graded students’ homework and exams for all second-year courses. • Oversaw the second-year Japanese schedule to confirm classes’ progress in relation to the textbook and last year’s classes.
Seika Town Hall, Seika-chō, Japan
JET Program Liaison for ALTs July 2016– March 2017 • Advocated for non-Japanese-speaking Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and their needs, reporting their problems and concerns to non-English-speaking supervisors. • Counseled both ALTs and Japanese-speaking Coordinator for International Relations (CIRs) outside of the office regarding Japanese language, culture, and work culture. Government “Lifelong Learning” Division, Physical Education Section April 2016–March 2017 • Managed travel and incidental expenses for office of 30 employees • Designated as lead project manager for opening the elementary school pool to public in summer. Responsibilities included coordinating with local school administration and fire department, hiring lifeguards, advertising, composing informational pamphlets, and monitoring area during open hours. Government “Lifelong Learning” Division, Social Education Section April 2012–March 2016 • Took on role as local government representative and supervisor of the Seika Town Girls and Boys Choir (Seika Shōnen Shōjo Gasshōdan) from 2012–2015. Responsibilities included on-site supervision of summer camps, planning monthly choir events and managing children during these meetings, and advertising events. • Directed twelve youth volunteers and facilitated their planning of the Seika Town’s Coming-of-Age Ceremony (Seijinshiki) from 2012–2015. • Planned, organized, and executed town-related events such as Kids’ Congress (Kodomo Gikai), Seika Town Sports Awards Ceremony (Seika Chōmin Bunkashō) and Seika Town Cultural Awards Ceremony (Seika Chōmin Supōtsushō). • Assisted a citizen group of up to 200 people, approved action plans, ran town hall meetings. Government Welfare Division, Insurance for Elderly Care Division April 2010–March 2012 • Nominated sole administrator of government-provided long-term nursing care for the elderly in Seika. This included acting as liaison for medical services, forming and leading patient evaluation committee, managing finances of elderly citizens, and giving final approval for the use of insurance.
Vancouver Island University
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency