Hiatus 2017-2019

For the short version:

I am currently studying abroad learning Japanese in Tokyo, Japan. So, for those of you who would like to see my various experiences, you can follow my picture blog at Google Photos.

For the long version:

For the school year 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, I have decided to take a sabbatical.  For those of you who have never heard the word before, it means to take a leave from work and is often used by academics to either update themselves in their profession or to do time-intensive research.  For me it’s a break from my ten years as a teacher and a chance to look back as well as forward. Simply put, I am getting my teaching mojo back!

Toyo Language School

This time around my chosen area of study is to look more closely at the Japan’s educational system while at the same time challenging myself by learning Japanese.  However, instead of just reading second hand information or studying on my own, I’ve decided that I want to experience it all first hand.  BUT to really understand Japan, I need to be able to speak Japanese.  To expect others to speak English is unrealistic and hubristic if not a hinderance to truly seeing and experiencing teaching styles and work methods.  As a result, I have enrolled  full time at the Toyo Language School in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan to learn Japanese.


Alongside my studies, I am also working part time as a translator at the website MathLeaks and am greatly indebted to them for being able to work from ”home”.  This has really enabled me to be able to afford my studies abroad since my normal teaching job does not offer paid leave.

Being Social

I also have my ”language partner” and friend Yuki to thank for helping me make the transition to Tokyo.  She and I met via the website italki.com and have been ”Skype”ing with her for the past year as well as her visiting me in Stockholm. Without her, I don’t think I would be as ”brave” as I am.  I’ve also been trying to meet native Japanese speakers by attending various events that I have found through the site Meetup.com which is another site I can highly recommend when visiting Tokyo or any world capital for that matter.

Google Photos

So, for those of you who would like to see my various experiences, you can follow my photo blog at Google Photos.  Please feel free to leave comments.  (I think the general public should be able to do see them.  Contact me if you can’t.)

/Jill Rhoads

Japanese Language Student and Part-Time Translator

PS.  For those of you who know me more personally, I can also recommend my husband’s photo collection at Google Photos.  Björn’s collection is of the various events and ”boring” life moments that are going on back home in Stockholm. For me it’s a way of seeing what is going on in his life as well.