Assistant Language Teacher, Mima City Board of Education, Japan
Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Language
He loves getting children excited to learn English, says AUT alumnus Marcus Johnson who is now an assistant language teacher at the Mima City Board of Education in Japan.
"In this role, I teach English to around 500 kids. This includes elementary school students and junior high school students, as well as teaching adults once a week.
"I really enjoy working with the children. I think the biggest part of my job is to help the students learn about different countries, cultures and myself. It's so rewarding when they remember things about you or your country, and then they go home and share it with their families."
The skills to succeed
The Japanese language skills he developed at AUT have helped him tremendously in his role, Marcus says.
"The Japanese language knowledge I learned at AUT has set a foundation for me, and taught me how to use Japanese in all kinds of different scenarios. It was a great introduction to learning the language. Being able to speak another person's language also helps you learn their culture."
The interactive learning environment was one of the highlights of his studies, says Marcus who has had an interest in Japanese since he was young.
"I had heard that AUT was the best place to study languages because of the small classes. I really enjoyed the classroom atmosphere AUT offered. Having small classes made learning a lot more personal and we often had chances to get one-on-one help from the academic staff."
New people and experiences
One of the things he enjoyed most about his time at AUT was meeting new people, Marcus says.
"While I was at university, I worked for AUT as a tuakana mentor and a liaison for Japanese international students. This experience taught me how to interact and use my Japanese language skills with native speakers; something I'd never done before. I helped them set up bank accounts, phones etc. It definitely helped me think on the spot and use what I'd learnt in the real world."
His advice for other students is simple – try your best.
"Persistence is key! Studying can be difficult at times but it's only a few years compared to your whole life."