Should I go tutorless?

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time on this blog, you may be aware that I was studying with a Japanese tutor for some time. I haven’t actually seen her now for maybe 2 months due to a packed school/work schedule and a bit of laziness as a result of that schedule. I’ve also been saving some money (although she did give me a fairly good price). As I sit and reflect on the year I spent seeing my tutor, I am reviewing the pros and cons and trying to figure out if I should look for a new tutor, or simply not see one at all.

Pros: My tutor was a native Japanese speaker. She also charged a very reasonable hourly rate, almost half of what most Japanese tutors charge in the area. She worked fast and encouraged me to practice my Japanese and integrate it into my daily routine. She also became a good acquaintance I could comfortably chat with about Japanese culture.

Cons: I felt that she was impatient. When we were already way past a certain grammar point and I would forget it, she made me feel kind of dumb in her own way. She has laughed when I have forgotten certain hiragana characters… the easiest thing to learn, I know. She would try to challenge me with things that were beyond my comprehension, but I would just be completely lost learning JLPT 3 grammar, when I was really more like a 5. At times, she could not explain certain grammar points since she was a native and it simply came natural to her.

Conclusion? I just don’t know at this point. I’d like some opinions as to how I should go about this. Is every tutor this way? Am I just being too sensitive? I am already trying to study grammar on my own after purchasing Genki II, and it is not easy. However, it is not impossible to do. I feel more comfortable learning the grammar at my own pace. The flip side of this is not knowing whether I have grasped a concept correctly. It’d be nice to have someone to check my workbook activities and Lang-8 entries, someone that could thoroughly explain my mistakes in English. But I would want to see this person on my own time without feeling obligated to pay for their services week after week.

So, have any Japanese language learners had similar experiences? What do you recommend?



About L

Interested in Japanese language and culture, J-Pop, K-Pop and Asian Dramas.
This entry was posted in Japanese Study and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Should I go tutorless?

  1. Sabrina says:

    I’m glad to hear that you are still keeping this up! I don’t think your being too sensitive. I think that if you do continue to see her you should let her know that laughing at you and the other negative ways of teaching you don’t work well with you. After all, she is working for you. Yes, you both have the option but both people need to give and receive respect. You know me, I’m blunt, but do it in a way that works for you. I do think if you can solve this problem in a way that works for you that you should hit her up and continue lessons with her because after all you are not getting the feedback that you need. And, well let’s face it; you can’t beat that price. Maybe you can meet up with longer periods of time in between so that your not paying as much. The way I see it is by paying for her it’s an investment. You want to visit the country and have the best experience possible. Plus, learning another language is a great asset to have. A position in a job can open up and knowing 3 languages can help you to win a job. Not just that but you have opened up yourself to new experiences and new friendships that wouldn’t have been possible without your interest in the language. And to hopefully solve your problem about your tutor lacking the ability to explain certain things just do research. I hope that helps just a tad but I think a tutor is better than not having one at all. Hope I helped you. I miss you.

    ❤ Sabrina

  2. NyNy says:

    Hello follower ^^

    I guess what I would say is go at your own pace but I myself regret that. In my free time I wish I did more Japanese because I know I would be much better at speaking now. I believe you should carry on with your tutor but only when you have more time on your hands. You have to think of if you REALLY want to learn Japanese and how quickly because (and this I find quite true) it is best to learn languages when you are younger before it’s too late but it also depends on your memory.

    In the UK, when I was 16-17 I did Japanese and Korean Saturday classes for a year each at the SOAS University which is the best University for languages in London. Not only was it convenient on a Saturday but the books and classes I paid for would help save money for what I needed to start with in University (I am doing a degree in Japanese & Journalism now). It was nice to start where I left off from as well.

    Hope my comment helps you 🙂

  3. Pingback: Searching for the Perfect Japanese Tutor! | nihonamor

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