Yookoso!  Welcome!  I am truly fortunate to be teaching what I love to students all across Washington County, ranging from middle school through college.  I was drawn to the occupation because of some outstanding teachers I had in high school who showed me that teachers can really make a difference in people's lives.  Teaching also gives me the chance to continue learning and trying new things.

Whether you are taking an English or a Japanese class from me (or both), I would like to emphasize the importance of reading:  "Young people who read for pleasure are able to make connections with the world around them and eventually grow to understand themselves on levels they never thought possible.  They make associations between characters and situations that can shape their own decisions" (Rafe Esquith, Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire 42).

In addition to knowing my stuff and challenging my students, I seek to be positive, patient, dependable and fair.  If you ever have questions or concerns, please let me know!  My goal is to help as many students succeed as possible, not only with the subject matter, but with personal responsibility, integrity, and kindness.

Assignment Calendar

Helpful日本語 Stuff!

Fast Facts About Japan

Awesome Quick Tour of Japan

National Geographic's Japan Site:

Genki Self-Study Room

  Ten Reasons for Studying Nihongo

The ability to communicate in another language has long been regarded as an essential element of a well-rounded education in the U.S.A.

Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad.

Currently, two-thirds of the translating jobs at the U.S. Department of State are filled by foreigners because properly trained Americans not available. In addition, the language of business is no longer exclusively in English; rather, it is the language of the customer.

Learning Japanese provides numerous benefits to students in the U.S.A.

1. Japan has the 3rd largest economy in the world.

Japan is a prosperous country with the most diverse economy in Asia. Coming in 3rd after the U.S. and China is a spectacular achievement given that Japan’s population is less than half that of the U.S. and only about a tenth the size of China’s. The leading Japanese companies are among the largest and most well-known firms in the world, including Canon, Casio, Honda, JVC, Minolta, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Panasonic, Sanyo, Seiko, Sony, Subaru, Toshiba, Toyota, and Yamaha.

2. Knowing Japanese brings business opportunities.

Japanese consumers spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on consumer goods and services. The typical household has over $100,000 in savings and a disposable monthly income of $3,800. With all of that cash to spend, it is no surprise that U.S. exports more goods and services to Japan than to any other overseas destination. Many U.S. companies have successful branches in Japan.

Being able to communicate with potential customers in their own language is key to winning their business. In addition, when you learn Japanese, you become not only proficient in the language but also gain an insider view of the culture. Understanding the Japanese work ethic, their business etiquette, and knowing which cultural faux pas to avoid can often make or break an important business deal.

3. Japanese is a gateway to other Asian languages & cultures.

Throughout its history, Japan has been shaped by the influence of Asia's great civilizations: India, China, and Korea. While the cultures of these Asian countries do differ, Asian cultures together share many similarities that differentiate them from Western ways and norms. So a study of Japanese can open your perspective on the values that other Asian nations share with Japan, including religious beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. A familiarity with Asian cultures also allows you to step outside the culture you live in and see it from a fresh, new perspective.

4. Japanese speakers are the Internet's 3rd largest language group.

The Japanese make up the third largest language community on the Internet, after only English and Chinese speakers. An estimated 88 million Japanese, or 9.6% of the world's online population, are connected to the Internet. Knowing Japanese can connect you to these people in an instant. They may just be future friends or acquaintances, business associates, or even the market that you or your future employer hopes to target.

5. The Japanese are innovators.

Considering that Japan is a geographically isolated island nation that is densely populated and poor in natural resources makes the strength of the Japanese economy seem even more impressive. The Japanese have relied on their creativity and scientific know-how to succeed not only economically but also in ecology- and efficiency-oriented ways. The Japanese are known as high-tech leaders in fields such as cameras, semiconductor manufacturing, robotics, and fermentation processes. Their drive for innovation has made the Japanese the world leaders in patent filings at 420,000 applications annually. The features available on the fanciest cell phones available in the U.S. today were likely available in Japan years ago.

6. Japanese cultural exports are exploding.

From anime to sushi bars, karaoke to manga, bonsai to origami, Japanese culture has become part of international culture. A knowledge of the language will give you direct access to Japanese film, animations, and comic books; give you insight into the special terminology used in your favorite martial art; help you understand the cultural basis for kamikaze training and the origin of the samurai warrior; and develop your ability to order sashimi like a native at your favorite Japanese restaurant!

7. Knowing Japanese will set you apart from the crowd.

The majority of people who learn a foreign language choose a European language like Spanish, French, German, or Italian. Choosing a less commonly learned language will pop out on your resume and differentiate you from the crowd. Also, studying Japanese helps study other academic subjects. Students acquire basic language learning strategies, higher thinking skills, and broader perspectives from their Japanese studies (Japanese National Standards Task Force 1998).

8. Students of Japanese can learn about Japan’s very different and unique culture.

Japanese is spoken within a society whose rules of social conduct are very different from those in the West. The deep cultural mindset of the Japanese determines the way that they behave, interact, and react in their daily lives, and this has a direct influence on the way they talk and hear and read and write.

9. It's not as hard as you think!

It's true that Japanese has a much different system of writing than English or any other European language. However, foreigners can get by with learning the 46 hiragana/katakana characters that represent sounds in much the same way as the English alphabet.

In addition, the grammar of Japanese is in many ways simpler than that of European languages. Japanese nouns have no genders, plural forms, or accompanying articles to learn. The language also has only two verb tenses, present and past, and includes very few irregular verbs. Spoken Japanese has only 5 vowel sounds (English has over 20), and words are spelled the way they sound, making the language relatively easy to pronounce.

10. Students can go to Japan to teach English.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program seeks to help enhance internationalization in Japan, by promoting mutual understanding between Japan and other nations. The program aims to enhance foreign language education in Japan and to promote international exchange at the local level through fostering ties between Japanese youth and foreign youth. The objectives of the program are achieved by offering college graduates the opportunity to serve in local government organizations as well as junior and senior high schools (JET program official website).

Japanese National Anthem:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYLzyRl0hUw&feature=related

Helpful English Stuff!

"Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man."

--Francis Bacon Of Studies  1625

ACT Prep

Vocabulary Development

(This is the site we're using in class)

Click the pic for "A Word A Day"
Another excellent vocabulary builder

Writing Help

Dixie State Library

Radio Podcasts for Current Events


Radio Podcasts for the Spirit 
(fun, entertainment, etc.)