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  • Cambridge:Perfect Match with Languages /一期一会~ことばとの出会いで世界が広がる~


Cambridge:Perfect Match with Languages /一期一会~ことばとの出会いで世界が広がる~

Hello there! I’m Juha, an English teacher at Nakamura Gakuen. In this article, I would like to tell you more about my background. I'll tell you about my first encounter with Japanese and how I began my journey towards becoming an English teacher.


While I was writing my master’s thesis about EFL, my university started offering Japanese classes. I had never been particularly interested in the most common Japanese cultural exports like anime and manga, but I decided to jump at the opportunity regardless. I wanted to challenge myself to learn a language that was in many ways completely different from the other languages I knew. I applied right away and got very lucky (or perhaps it was fate?!) – I was chosen as one of the first 15 students to minor in Japanese at my university.


I thought Japanese looked and sounded beautiful, but I found learning it to be quite challenging – much more so than the other languages I’d been studying up to that point: Swedish, English and German. Yes, English! Although I’m working as a “native” English teacher here, my first language is, in fact, Finnish. I started learning English in elementary school. We Finns are very lucky in that from an early age we are exposed to a wide variety of foreign languages through TV, movies, music and the Internet. That makes it easier for us to pick up new languages, even though Finnish, much like Japanese, is actually quite different from most languages of European origin. I really hope all the students learning English here at Nakamura Gakuen enjoy the challenge as much as I did!