Japanese language education:
Completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2010, at Auckland University of Technology, majoring in Japanese.
Time spent in Japan
Chris was fortunate to have visited Japan twice in his early days of learning Japanese at high school, firstly on a two-week school trip with fellow students and teachers and secondly, on a one-year exchange program to a Japanese high school at the end of his schooling. While on the exchange, homestaying with a family who ran a temple was very helpful for Chris’s Japanese language as he was exposed to a range of activities such as calligraphy, judo, traditional music classes as well as Buddhist events.
Upon returning to New Zealand after his year as an exchange student, Chris began his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Auckland University of Technology where he was able to gain real-life translation skills through the work experience paper taken in his final year of a Japanese major.
Chris says that learning a language like Japanese, especially for people in an isolated country like New Zealand, helps people to understand why people from other countries do things differently.
Chris is employed as an English instructor at a university in Japan, however because of his Japanese ability, he is also teaching classes focused on communication and the differences between countries in the world. He is also frequently asked to translate and/check papers and books professors have written.
At some point, Chris would like to take a teacher education course so that he could teach Japanese to high school students but is concerned that with the current education cuts this would be very difficult to achieve in New Zealand.He also sees translation work as a possibility in the future.
Motivation to begin Japanese studies
As a 12-year old, when Chris visited his new high school on the information night, the classroom which stood out from the rest was the Japanese classroom. He remembers this vividly:
Everything inside was so strange and different, I had no idea what and where they were from. It was at that time I decided to learn more about them. This was how my studies began. As time when by I found myself more and more interested in the language and the culture.
Chris lives with his Japanse wife in Aomori, Japan and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.