My Experience As A Cafetalk Monitor

Phase 3 of the Hacking Japanese Supercourse is all about

-Reviewing the Kanji

-Vocabulary acquisition

-Learning grammar

-Listening Practice

So, how do you get all of those things? Well, you don’t get them all in one place!

Or do you?

Actually, yes.  You can get them all with a tutor on Cafetalk, so I decided to give it a try. It turned out that I came along at the right time, because they were accepting applications for monitors, which meant you would get five free lessons and all you’d have to do is post feedback on them. They were looking for people who were passionate about learning Japanese and could relate their Cafetalk experiences.

Well, I can clearly demonstrate that I’m passionate about learning Japanese, don’t you think? And I’m clearly willing to talk about learning Japanese.

They agreed, and I got the five free lessons.

By the way, there was no stipulation at all about what I should write.  No one ever said that I had to write good things, only that I should give feedback on the lessons.

Step one was to find a tutor. That meant scrolling through all kinds of tutor profiles trying to find some who I thought would suit me. My first idea was to try a different tutor every lesson, and I picked a couple out to begin with based on a bunch of different criteria that I set myself. One of those criteria was price, because different tutors charge different amounts.

You might think that, since the lessons were free, I would just go for the high dollar tutors, but, no. What if I found a tutor that I liked and wanted to take more lessons after the free ones were used up? So I decided to stay within certain limits, price wise. Also, the first tutor I tried, Makisan, suited me so well that I just continued on with her.

For the first lesson (a sort of introduction) and the first complete lesson, I have to admit that I was nervous. I knew my Japanese was extremely limited, and I was worried about how the lesson would go. That worry was probably normal but was a complete waste of time. There was nothing to be nervous about. I was thinking about that this morning as I was waiting for my lesson, because now, instead of being nervous, I’m comfortable and I look forward to the lesson. It is one of the high spots of my week, to be honest, because it’s so much fun and because the lessons are really moving me forward.

Now for the acid test.   The monitor lessons are all done with.  Am I going to continue with the lessons on my own dime?

I am.

As I have said many times before, ただ (free) is my favorite word, but, sometimes, you find a resource that is so good and so helpful, even if it isn’t ただ, that you just have to stick with it. That’s Cafetalk for me.  I almost hate recommending things that cost money, but, if you are willing to spend money to learn Japanese, Cafetalk is absolutely worth it.

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