Our Language Instructors
Yuki Gokita was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. After graduating from the conservatory in Tokyo with a major in Music Education, she came to Boston to study music. Since then, she has been a teacher at the Japanese Language School of Greater Boston in Medford for more than 30 years. Currently, she is the Elementary Department Chair at the Japanese Language School of Greater Boston. She has also been working in the public school in Brookline since 2007 as a paraprofessional for the English Learners program. She likes music and sports, and she's a big Celtics fan!
Yoko Hotta started her teaching career in Japan as an English teacher at both the high school and university level. She got her MA in TESOL at the University of San Francisco and her MA in Education in Melbourne, Australia. A current resident of Boston, Hotta-sensei is interested in language acquisition and passionate about global competence through language teaching.
Kaoru Minagawa was born and raised in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. After graduating from Sophia University, she worked for the Japanese Airline Company ANA until she went to Moscow to study Russian at Moscow State University. She has lived in Russia, UK, New Zealand, and now America for 7 years. She taught Japanese at Towson University and currently teaches at the Washington Japanese Language School in DC.
Fumi Cook was born in Akashi, Japan, but moved to Sendai during middle school due to her father’s work. She has a BA in English Literature from Tsuda University in Tokyo, and a Diploma in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from the Institute of International Education in London. Before moving to the US, she taught Japanese Language for three years to international students who wanted to enter the higher educational institute at Kyoto Japanese Language Training Center within Kyoto Computer Gakuin. She speaks both Kansai-ben (western dialect) and Kanto dialect (Standard Japanese), and she loves ramen!
Sanae Nagai graduated from the University of Tsukuba with a BA in Japanese Language and Culture. She received her MA from the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has taught Japanese at all levels from K-12 to graduate school in the US (CT, HI, AZ, and CA,) China, and Japan. She believes that motivation, exposure, and practice are the keys to success in language learning and she promotes them through her lessons.
Emiko Takai was born in Hokkaido and raised in Kanagawa, Japan. After graduating from Keio University, she worked for a local newspaper in Japan for a few years. She then attended the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY and obtained an MA in Political Science. She taught Japanese at several universities in the Rochester, NY area. Nowadays, she teaches Japanese classes for adults in New Jersey. She also has experience working as a translator/interpreter.
Chika Shinozaki was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She has lived in South Africa and Boston for a total of 12 years and is currently back in Boston. After graduating from Sacred Heart University with a major in American Literature, she worked in a Trading Company. As a second career, she completed the requirements of the Japanese Language Teacher Training Courses to become a Japanese teacher.
She has several years of teaching experience with students attending the Japanese Language School of Greater Boston. It is also her 7th year teaching Japanese to foreign workers and their family members at the Japanese Language School in Tokyo.
After graduating from college in Tokyo, Akiko taught Japanese at a language school in Tokyo. She came to the US in 2000 as a Japanese assistant teacher at a high school. She obtained a Master's degree in Japanese pedagogy at Columbia University and has taught Japanese in US universities.
Akiko believes the key to success in acquiring languages is to try to keep communicating with different people with a positive attitude.
In her free time, Akiko enjoys skiing, SUPing with her family and friends, and exercising at the gym.
Nikki is from Kagoshima, Southwest Japan and earned her English teacher certification in
Yokohama. After graduating from Sophia University, she taught English to Japanese people of a
wide range of ages, from preschoolers to adults, in Japan.
Now she has been teaching
Japanese at the Japanese Language School of Greater Boston.
Her teaching motto is “楽習”
which means “fun learning.” She believes that learning should be fun and exciting, not boring or
a pain. So have fun with her and you’ll learn a lot without realizing it!
Keiko Arakawa is originally from Japan, where she earned her MA and completed a doctoral program of psychology without a degree at Nagoya University. She has worked as a lecturer at various Japanese colleges. After moving to the US, she worked in the neuroscience field as a teaching assistant, lab assistant, and a specialist in universities including Binghamton University, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Maryland Baltimore.