Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jelena Dramlic. I’m from Serbia. I’ve been studying English since I was 5 years old. I am a student of Greek language at the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, and my second language is Japanese. I’m a big fan of Japanese culture and history. My friend told me about Best Teacher so I thought that this would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about Japanese people and their customs.
Can you talk about tips and know-how for learning a language?
My native language is Serbian, but I can speak fluently English and Greek. I’m still a beginner at Japanese, but I think that it’s a wonderful and very interesting language. I hope that one day I will speak Japanese fluently. I went to a private language school called “Lingua” for ten years. In that school, I learned English. I’m still learning Greek and Japanese at the university. I think that the most important thing is that you love the language that you are learning. Because I love Japanese and Greek, I’m really motivated to learn them.
What do you think of English education in Japan?
A lot of students complained to me that all they do in their English classes in junior high school and high school are listening and reading. Perhaps one of the biggest complaints was the amount or lack of English used in the classrooms. The teachers often teach all the grammar in Japanese and check that the students can follow the textbook by translating English into Japanese. The classes should be more interactive. Students should participate more. At my Greek classes, teachers never use Serbian; only Greek language. Although sometimes it can be very difficult to understand them, since Greeks talk very fast, it is definitely better that way.
What makes you special in teaching English at Best Teacher?
I don’t know if this can count as a strong point, but I always try to be friendly. I think that teacher should always wear a smile so that students can relax and be more comfortable with the lessons. Sometimes we have free-conversation, sometimes we practice grammar. Some students send me some articles and we talk about them. I also like to send the pictures to the students so they try to describe them to me.
Do you have any encouraging message for students?
Learning new languages can be hard and maybe scary and it takes time and commitment, but in my opinion, life is richer for those who know more than one language. Like Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”