Country in which you work as a Language Assistant/Teacher (Please note city as well): Country- Japan; City- Yokohama
How The Program Helped Your Language Development: I applied to the program with very little to no knowledge of Japanese. I came to Japan only knowing how to say "Konnichiwa". Upon being here and interacting with teachers and students alike, I have picked up on certain words and their meanings. Though I'm not versed in the language and still struggle to put a sentence together, I am able to understand what they ask me (for the most part) and I am able to either answer in English or some broken variations of Japanese.
The program gave me the opportunity to be placed in an environment without prior experience or knowledge (of the culture) and to utilize that to my full capacity. Languages have always been a bit difficult for me to learn but aside from the writing and reading, Japanese is fairly easy to speak.
Any other comments?: It's definitely easier to learn a language when you're fully immersed in the culture but it also requires practice and dedication on your part as well. I'm not gonna lie, I could have been further along in my language development, but it is a bit harder being in the city where English is used all the time and even the locals want to talk with you in English to practice. But it does go both ways, as you can also talk with them in Japanese to practice.
Just try your best and even if you don't get it in the time frame you want to, just enjoy the country and what you are able to do while there.
Current Country of Residence: Japan
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