Clare Kappenman

Clare K.

Granby, MA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

After two years working as a translator/interpreter for a local government office in Kochi, Japan, I moved back to the US last year. Since then, I have been a private teacher of Japanese for all ages, currently from age 7 to mid-40s. I love to be a witness when my students suddenly "get" something new we've been working on for a while. Japanese is a fascinating, beautiful, and complicated language, and it's exciting to be a partner in my students' achievements and success!

I am highly experienced in teaching middle school and high school age students--including my own kids, whom I homeschool. My first visit to Japan was a semester study abroad in my senior year of high school, so I can give ample advice to students who are preparing to go to Japan. Along with my on-the-ground experience living and working in Japan in a fast-paced and high-stakes environment, I hold an M.A. in Japanese and N1 (highest level) certification on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Native Japanese speakers have complimented me on my native-like pronunciation and syntax.

Contact me any time for more information or to set up your first lessons!

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  • Background Checked
  • Speaks English, Japanese
  • Teaching since 2009

Reviews (26)

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Alida W. Nov 11, 2019
Japanese · Online

John W. Jul 11, 2019
Japanese · Online

As a non-traditional aged student, I was very intimidated by the Japanese language at the start of my lessons. Clare's patient and understanding instruction has been of immense help in my otherwise self-directed studies, and I'd highly recommend other adult learners take classes with her!

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Jamie Jun 25, 2019
Japanese · Online

Diana M. Jun 13, 2019
Japanese · Online

Really helpful to gauge skill level at the first lesson and provide guidance from there. Very accommodating and patient! Excited to learn more from her.

Raul R. Apr 9, 2019
Japanese · Online

Overall awesome experience I did not feel over whelmed at all. Overall very polite and noticeable amazing teaching experience.

Desmond B. Apr 9, 2019
Japanese · Online

Madi Apr 1, 2019
Japanese · Online

Clare is awesome. I am taking Japanese casually simply because I enjoy the culture. Knowing that Clare not only teaches me the language but also, what it's like in day to day life or how their society compares to ours.
Clare never makes me feel like our lessons are rushed and if I'm not understanding I am 100% comfortable asking her to go over it with me again.
She is a very encouraging and kind person highly recommend taking lessons with Clare.

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Curi Mar 16, 2019
Japanese · Online

Claire is such an excellent teacher! I am glad to call her my Sensei. I signed up for Advanced language courses, and immediately she knew exactly what she was doing. I recommend her to students of any level.

Kyle Jan 9, 2019
Japanese · Online

Great instructor, very passionate about teaching and language in general!

Jamie Dec 19, 2018
Japanese · Online

Isaiah I. Oct 19, 2018
Japanese · Online

Very friendly, knowledgeable and engaging. My son really loved his 1st lesson and looking forward to more lessons.

Cheri T. Oct 19, 2018
Japanese · Online

Very friendly, knowledgeable and engaging

Desmond B. Oct 2, 2018
Japanese · Online

My son has just started taking classes with Clare. Since he began, she has gone above and beyond our expectations. She consistently give us updates on his progress and has been very helpful with organizing his work and sending us information to assist with his studying. He is really enjoying the class.

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Robert Aug 31, 2018
Japanese · Online

Kevin Aug 15, 2018
Japanese · Online

Joe Aug 7, 2018
Japanese · Online

Sofie Jun 13, 2018
Japanese · Online

Checked in with my daughter after her first lesson with Clare. Her succinct, yet on point response..."It went well!!!" I'll take that as a strong like for Clare. Looking forward to see what these two do over the summer.

Jamie Jun 13, 2018
Japanese · Online

John W. Apr 14, 2018
Japanese · In studio

Starting a new language can be intimidating, but this first lesson was great. Clare is friendly, welcoming, and patient; I’m looking forward to the next one!

Reed Mar 1, 2018
Japanese · In studio

When I was looking for a Japanese tutor, I wanted somebody who could help guide my studies and help me understand the subtle nuances that can't be gleaned from the dry instruction of a textbook. Clare really fit the bill, as she has deep knowledge of both Japanese and linguistics in general. We've been meeting for almost a year now, and my Japanese has improved tremendously (and at a great pace). She puts a lot of effort into the curriculum, and employs a variety of different teaching methods/exercises. I look forward to our every class.

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George K. Feb 15, 2018
Japanese · Online

Kuber Dec 15, 2017
Japanese · Online

she does a great job structuring the foundation of learning Japanese.

Anne Oct 1, 2017
Japanese · In studio

Our son has always been interested in foreign languages. He began teaching him self Japanese in early 2014. He asked us to help him locate a tutor so he could accelerate his learning. We started working with Claire in late 2016 at the age of 14. It has worked out great! She is patient, professional and organized. She keeps us appraised of his progress. We would highly recommend her for anyone interested in learning how to read write and speak Japanese! Ron and Anne L . , Belchertown , MA

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Myanna Sep 30, 2017
· In studio

Clare has a perfect balance for a homeschool instructor. Half "strict" teacher and half fun innovator we have found her balance of worksheets/homework along with Youtube videos to watch and Japanese games to play to be just what we need. My boys are 8 and 10. The 10 yr old actually has a learning disability and he does better in Japanese than with some structures in English!!

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Lexi Sep 30, 2017
Japanese · In studio

My experience with Clare has been great! Clare is extremely comfortable with Japanese and is just all around excellent at guiding me through lessons. She is extremely patient and absolutely willing to take it slow and focus on my own personal language goals with me. She's able to adapt and help me regardless of my progress moving faster or slower any given lesson. I don't feel any pressure, she is friendly and approachable, and her understanding of Japanese is thorough. She's an excellent teacher. If you plan to learn just how to speak, read, or write, or if you need a tutor to help with the studies you've already begun, Clare has you covered. Highly recommended.

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Arcadio Sep 30, 2017
Japanese · In home

Clare is a wonderful teacher. She's very flexible with scheduling, very knowledgeable with the language. She makes it easy to understand and makes the Japanese learning experience fun and engaging.


Coordinator for International Relations
Aug 2014 - Jun 2016

Kochi Prefecture, Japan

In my work as a CIR at the Kochi Prefectural Government, I translated official documents and tourism materials, interpreted for official functions, and organized events to increase local awareness of cultural diversity. My favorite part of the job, however, was when I got to visit elementary schools and play with the children while familiarizing them with English. When I came back to the States, I knew that I wanted my future career to be in teaching rather than translation!


M.A., Japanese
Sep 2012 - Sep 2014

University of Massachusetts Amherst

B.A., Japanese
Sep 2008 - Jun 2012

University of Massachusetts Amherst



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


Dec 2011

Japanese Language Proficiency Test

I've heard it takes seven years to master any subject. I don't know if it's true in every case, but it was for me with Japanese! Receiving my N1 certificate in the mail, seven years after my very first Japanese lesson, was one of the proudest moments in my life. It will be for you, too.

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