Japanese helps students master communication


Chart of the 2,230 most common Kanji used in modern Japanese, organized by Halpern KLD index number. Date 26. Wiki Commons.

Ka Leo Staff, Student Life

Kayttie Nakamura and Mimi Ito are juniors in their third year of Japanese at Kalani High School. In the class, they learn to speak and write Japanese in different styles.

One of the reasons why they like the class is because their teacher, Mrs. Klein, works hard to make it enjoyable.

“She always tries to make things fun,” Nakamura said. “She always tries her best to keep the class excited about the lessons. It looks like she puts all her heart into her job.”

Nakamura and Ito explain they start off the class with bell work and a greeting.

“Miss Klein chooses one person each week and has them go up in the front and greet,” Nakamura said. “Then we do bell work.”

One of the skills emphasized in Japanese is communication.  

“We collaborate a lot,” Nakamura said. “She makes us talk to other people so we can practice.”

Quizzes and tests are also heavily weighted and have a substantial impact on your grade. But students are quick to say that anyone can be successful if they put in the effort.

“It’s not hard if you study,” Nakamura stated.

Many of the students taking Japanese have parents who speak the language and they want to improve their knowledge and skills.

“I understand Japanese,” Ito said. “My parents both speak it. But I’m not good at talking, reading or writing.

Ito said she decided to take Japanese to learn more Kanji.

That doesn’t mean, however, that a student with no prior knowledge of the language shouldn’t take the class. Although many students already know Japanese, neither Ito nor Nakamura believes that gives them an unfair advantage. Nakamura says she went into Japanese 1 as a novice.

“I think if you came here with no knowledge of Japanese you can still catch on if you try,” Nakamura said.