Makiko Kubota

EDUCATION:      B.A. (Anthropology)

University of Victoria (British Columbia, CANADA)

NATIONALITY:    Japanese

LANGUAGE:      Japanese, English

ADDRESS:       Hokkaido, JAPAN

I was born as a second child among three of my siblings in a rural town of Hokkaido, Japan in 1974. Since my childhood, I have always been interested in foreign countries. When I studied alphabet at elementary school, I was fascinated by it and that resulted in my curiosity towards foreign languages and cultures. Luckily, my parents were so progressive and supportive that I could study what I had wanted. 

After graduated from Sapporo Higashi High School in 1993, I went to Canada for study abroad. At Okanagan University (current British Columbia University Okanagan Campus, BC, Canada), I completed English as a Second Language course and along with it, acquired some primary credits for working towards undergraduate degree.

In 1996, I transferred to University of Victoria where I finish B.A. in anthropology in 1998. In my undergraduate study, I focused on cultural anthropology and linguistics because as an international student, my interest was towards cultural differences and acquisition of languages. In my college days, I experienced working as a tutor which led my interest on education as well.

After the graduation, I came back to Japan and ran my family business with my brother for several years. During those years, I learned retail business management. However, I always wanted to involve educational activities and to teach English. As I brought up my own children, I always looked for the unique ways to make them learn various things especially English. I believe that each of the individual child is different and has unique characters, and there should be the ways to teach them accordingly to their characteristics and the phases of development. In addition, when it comes to the language learning, the early age exposure is critical. For those reasons, I saught an appropriate means of educational system, and found the Japanese company called ECC junior English Institute.

In 2009, I signed up the contract and start taking training seminars. Their principal teaching style matched what I expected and I started my own school where I teach local children including my own ones. In order for teachers to be appealing to students, they should learn the psychological development of children. Also, the learning processes have to match their developmental stages. In my training seminars, I learned what it’s called “the spiral learning”. In that learning strategy, the new concept is not only introduced to the learners once but also explained several times in different styles progressively, so that they can comprehend fully and deeply. They can also have multiple opportunities to practice the newly learnt ideas which encourage their further understanding.

My students vary in ages – from 2 years old to senior adults. I teach them in small groups according to ages. The youngest class students come to class with their mothers. They experience first formal learning and there, they can do a lot of educational activities and encounter various concepts such as numbers, letters, drawings, social rules and discipline. School students, for example, they get assisted on their school performances as well as communicative training by interacting with their instructor. For adult students, the approach is different. They need to be encouraged to continue studying and need to be entertained and stimulated academically.

Those are just some brief summaries of my current teaching styles and experiences. I am also making effort to update the social trends and learning/teaching skills. There are workshops for instructors provided regularly by the ECC. At the same time, I am always trying to understand what is needed for the students whom I am interacting daily.

As a collaborator of “Biodiversity, Sustainability and Innovation Studies”, I am ready to share my experiences and ideas. Teachers and instructors who are in need of advice for teaching technique, I will probably be able to offer some advice based on my own learning and teaching experiences.  Also, I can show you some of the teaching materials which were handmade by myself with simple crafts. For those who with the interests in anthropological studies can consult with me since my primary interest is on that subject as well.