I have been teaching Japanese for three years and have successfully taught dozens of students of all ages. Being a native English speaker fluent in Japanese enables me to anticipate the needs of an English-speaking student and intuitively recognize their particular misunderstandings better than most native Japanese speakers. In my opinion, this understanding is essential for beginner and intermediate students of Japanese.
I obtained a B.A. in International Relations and Japanese Studies from DePaul University in Chicago. During my final year of college I lived with a Japanese family in Chiba, Japan and was employed at Tomioka Hachiman Shinto Shrine. There I studied Japanese religion, calligraphy, and obtained an understanding of the Japanese work environment. I also attended Kanda University of International Studies, where I studied Japanese and economics. After graduating, I spent one year living in Tokyo attending Kai Japanese Language School where I furthered my language skills and studied translation with a private tutor.
I first began assisting language students in 2013 while I lived in Japan. The challenging nature excited me and since moving back to the states, I have made teaching Japanese my full-time career. I have also translated over 10,000 words as a freelance translator and worked part-time at a Japanese ramen shop. I intend to enter a Master's program in Japanese Linguistics and Pedagogy in 2019 after which I hope to teach Japanese in a high school or college.
My fascination with Japan goes far beyond language-learning. I have spent time studying Japanese film and religion in an academic setting. I also have deep interests in Japanese architecture, cuisine, and music, and I often incorporate these and other elements of Japanese culture into my students' lessons. Past lessons have included origami, calligraphy, and cooking instruction. I look forward to getting to know you and assisting you in your journey of language acquisition.
"He took the time to get to know us, and designed his curriculum and lessons around our particular needs as a family...Jeffrey is an outstanding, competent, caring, professional instructor whom we cannot recommend highly enough."
"Jeff Salazar has been my language teacher for several months. I am now traveling in Japan and realize how much I have learned from him in terms of language skills as well as culture. It has been the perfect preparation! Jeff's style of teaching is friendly, efficient and useful. As someone who studies other languages, I know an excellent teacher and he is one."
- Lucinda P.
"Jeff has been tutoring my son in Japanese for several months. My son enjoys the lessons very much and is making very good progress."
- Lanta B.
"I have been with Jeff for the past few months now and it has been great. I enjoy how he explains and teaches the language in a way that isn't dry. There are many supplements to the textbook that help me understand the language and the culture such as videos, articles, tv shows, and even games. I highly recommend him as a Japanese teacher."