Japanese Teacher Profiles

Students Happily Learning Japanese with a Teacher.



Kaori teaches several group classes for students from Beginning to Intermediate levels of Japanese, as well as JLPT preparation classes (for levels N5 and N2 in 2011). She also teaches private students at all levels of language ability –from total beginners to JLPT N1 level. She has passed the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test (日本語教育能力検定試験), which is administered by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services. She has received her B.A. in Philosophy from Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan, and an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College – CUNY, New York. Kaori also has experience teaching Hiragana classes to pre-school children, as part of Japanese immersion programs. Aside from teaching Japanese language, Kaori also performs Japanese classical dance (nihon-buyo) and holds workshops to introduce such dance and related traditional culture to college classes and the local community.

“I’m not only about teaching language, but about introducing Japanese culture and history to my students. I want to work with my students to develop the right language curriculum for them.”


Once Sayoko was a writer and editor in Japan for 5 years after she graduated from college. She then acquired a certified license as a Japanese teacher for Japanese people. But unsatisfied, she came to New York City to teach Japanese, and hasn’t looked back.

Sayoko is very dedicated, and has been teaching for more than 10 years. Her students who are learning Japanese range from businessmen to high school students. Her lessons are not only for learning Japanese, but also about knowing various Japanese culture and manners. She was also an experienced teacher for kids in NYC public schools for 5 years, and also has a certificate for teaching Japanese from Japan Society.

“I would really like  my students to understand Japanese the easy and practical way. Learning a new language is like cooking! You can’t make a meal if you just read a cooking book. My lessons are very interactive and use multiple language resources. Leave your books at home and come learn with me!”


Mariko feels that when her students enjoy learning, they learn best. She can both be very pleasant and very strict with her students to make sure they learn the most possible for their time. Her lessons are unique, and she hopes she’ll be able to inspire students to continue their studies of the Japanese language for an extended period of time.

Mariko has multiple students with us for private lessons. Her students are both businessmen, teachers themselves, or college students looking to further enhance their studies for Japanese. She has a nice and pleasant manner, and enjoys working with her students to bring them to the next level for speaking Japanese.

“I’ve been surrounded in international cultures all my life. I grew up in Japan, and my mom is Indonesian. I also have a non-Japanese husband. I draw from those vast experiences of exchanging culture and language in all of my classes.”


Keiko has worked at a variety of schools teaching Japanese, including Lyceum Kennedy, Trilok Preschool, and currently she runs her own school for kids learning Japanese. Keiko also has a varied international background, working for the Japanese and Canadian embassies, along with companies throughout the world.

Keiko is a dedicated teacher who loves working with her students to help them learn Japanese easily. Her teaching manners are both strict and friendly, creating a productive atmosphere in the classroom. She teaches both group classes and private lessons for Hills Learning.


Masako has over 3 years teaching experience to multiple age groups, both adults and children. Her background includes working for multiple Japanese companies and being an administrative assistant in an Educational Services company. She has experienced multiple cultures and work environments living in London, Tokyo, and now New York City. She’s currently getting her Masters at Walden University.

Masako is a very friendly and warm teacher, passionate about discussing her culture as well as the intricacies of the Japanese language. She also has a background in Sociology and Counseling, which adds a special dimension to her private lessons.


Yuka is truly a “Sensei”, with the credentials to prove it. She has a PhD in Sociolinguistics from an American university. She’s one of our more distinguished teachers, with multiple years of Japanese teaching experience to both advanced and beginner levels of students. She also has professional experiences as assistant to the CEO of a Japanese company, and understands well both the academic and professional applications of the Japanese language. Yuka’s in depth knowledge of teaching and curriculums makes her a valuable asset to both Hills Learning and her students.

Yuka is both a professional and friendly teacher. Although her lessons might be challenging for some students, they’re usually very effective. She’s a very outgoing and reliable person, and she currently enjoys cooking when not teaching.

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