ALT Feature: Yanneh in Tokyo
Why did you decide to move to Japan and become an ALT?
After getting married, I moved with my husband who is currently working in Japan. I was encouraged by my friends and colleagues who are residing here to become an ALT since prior to coming here, I had already taught English to foreign nationals visiting Cebu during my single years.
What do you like about being an ALT?
The opportunity to be able to influence younger generations to show confidence and boldness when using English to interact and express themselves.
Tell us one of your highlight moments as an ALT.
There was one day that I crossed paths with one of my student’s mother and she commended me for a job well done because not only did her child enjoy English but she is now more confident to speak the language. Because of this newly found enthusiasm and curiosity towards English, she asked her mother to enrol her at an English “Juku” class to further enhance her skills.
What was difficult when you first came to Japan and started your job?
The most difficult was adjusting to the culture and expressing oneself when communicating with the school staff who rarely use English to communicate.
What do you like about Japan or living in Japan?
The fact that everything is systematic and convenient. Japan is truly a country of convenience at its finest.
Did anything about Japan catch you by surprise?
Yes. There are still a lot of places to go and explore. In my two years of stay in Japan, I’ve grown accustomed to the lifestyle and way of living that I never felt like I wanted to go back to my country.
What would you say is an absolute must-do or visit in Japan?
Try all the bestselling ramens — you will discover how each of them taste so different and unique. Explore the outskirts of Tokyo especially in autumn and spring. Nikko is one place that’s so close to my heart. Onsen is a must try.
Tell us about the city and region you are placed in.
Tokyo has always been a busy place but people are always polite and accommodating. There’s never a day when your presence is not recognized by a simple greeting as courtesy is of utmost importance to the Japanese.