Shanna Savoie-Aspirot

Teach Enrich Empower

I 'Canuck' Believe I'm a Teacher in Japan!

My name is Shanna. I am 27 years old and I have been working as an English teacher in Japan for the last 2 years. This is my TEFL story.

Freshly graduated from University, I decided to leave on a one-year working holiday visa to Japan. Not really knowing what job I wanted to do while being in Japan, I signed up for a TEFL course thinking it might be useful when applying for jobs. When I arrived in Japan, I quickly got a few interviews and was able to get a job within barely two weeks upon arrival.

I started teaching adults for about a year. My school had a very fun curriculum. We had a free-talk lesson where we could talk with a group of students about a given topic. I’ve learned a lot about the cultural differences between Japan and Canada during these sessions. Japan can seem similar to Canada in many ways but the more I got to know about them, their mindset and their culture, I’ve realized how different we actually were. We had regular students so as time went by, it almost started to feel like we were slowly becoming friends. We also had a lesson called ‘English cafe’ where we would play games with students. I have nothing but good memories.

Even though I enjoyed teaching adults, I wanted to experience teaching children as well. That’s when I decided to enrol into the TEFL for young learners certification, knowing how the TEFL have had helped me already, not only in finding a job but also in strengthening my confidence level and in acquiring relevant teaching skills.

This certification broadened my horizons and I soon started working at a nursery school as well as a small language school for kids. As an English teacher, my goal is to spark their interest in foreign countries and arouse their curiosity. I always love when my students get excited about learning new vocabulary items, when trying to sing along to a song or when they are trying their best to communicate with me using what they’ve learned so far.

Working abroad changed my life in many ways that I couldn’t thought would’ve been possible!

Thanks to my experience working as an English teacher in Japan, I’ve had the chance to meet lovely coworkers, students and parents, as well as find a job that I deeply enjoy doing every day. I’m also glad I can experience a different side of Japan that I probably couldn’t know of if I would’ve come here as a tourist.

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