By private education, I mean tutoring, such as that which I do through Learn Out Live.
By purpose, I mean: why are we doing this? What is the point?
The point is certainly not money. This isn’t making anyone rich. Certainly not yet. This is not a diploma factory; it is also not designed to make you have to come back for more because you’re not learning anything. That’s not how we work. It’s not how I work.
So, we come to a larger point and a broader idea.
Take, for example, trivia.
Most people, when learning a foreign language, want to know a few things well, first. They want to know particular things that they can reliably remember to impress themselves and their friends. They want to recall things that have meaning and importance to them, even if this means simply being funny, or ironic, or very niche.
These represent dots on a graph.
The purpose of a tutor is to examine the trivia known by a single individual and draw lines between the dots. The tutor adds more dots – more information – and adds to the data stored inside a person’s head, making things relevant and interconnected.
Soon, the dots on a graph become a spider web – an interconnected series of strands that become systematic knowledge.
This is one purpose of private education.
While few of us are ever destined to become serious authors, many of us aspire to write in an engaging, entertaining manner. We want to be able to tell stories. We want to be able to function fluidly, and fluently, in whatever language we have chosen to master. This is difficult to achieve in a foreign language. Turning a foreign language into a “second language” is difficult. It takes help.
The purpose of tutoring is to provide the assistance required to do this.
In private education, the tutor must talk to you, not at you. You are not a wall. You are not a faceless audience receiving a YouTube video broadcast. You are a human being. You have particular needs. You are giving feedback with your words and actions. You want help. You need help.
The tutor gives you that help.
The tutor is learning even as he or she is teaching. The tutor treats you as his お客様 (o-kyaku-sama), his precious and valued customer; you are the client, and he or she is a private professional serving your individual needs.
Knowing your strengths, the tutor seeks to make them stronger. Knowing your weaknesses, the tutor helps you overcome them. Knowing how far you can be pushed, the tutor pushes just the right amount.
No one starts knowing how to master something. That’s why the good tutors, the real tutors, exist. They have been through fire and ice, water and earth, to arrive at their knowledge. They know what is important, and what is a waste of your time.
Certainly, this is the approach I take. I seek mastery in English and Japanese, and without hesitation, I will lead others towards the same goal.
The first freedom, is the freedom to understand the language that you have chosen. In our modern world, these languages are not confined to English or Japanese. Instead, they include computing languages, blogging formats such as WordPress, knowing what RSS stands for (or more importantly, what it means for you), and so forth. Freedom to understand means freedom to listen to music, freedom to read and understand; freedom to enjoy.
When I learned enough Japanese to watch Japanese anime broadcasts without any translation support whatsoever, I felt this freedom.
The second freedom, is the freedom to speak and write in the language that you have chosen. This freedom allows you to communicate with others: not only native speakers, but non-natives like yourself to help both themselves and you on the road to even greater mastery.
The third freedom, is the freedom to think. When you have reached a level of mastery enabling you to think in another language, and to fully understand and appreciate the thought process in this language, it is foreign to you no longer. There is no ‘first’ and ‘second’ language; there is only a new song added to your album, full and complete and different in its own special ways.
The final freedom is the freedom to use knowledge and mastery however you wish. At this point, the tutor bids you a fond farewell, for no longer are you tutor and student, but two human beings taking satisfaction for work well done.
And well done, it is.
Edit: By the way, you can go straight to the English Department and the Japanese Department using these links. Remember, we can customize lessons for your individual needs and dearly want to do so in order to receive your business. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks.