by Niamh Attridge

Student Perspective: Going at my own pace

I am a student at Marlborough Girls' College who is taking L1 Japanese online through NetNZ in 2017

I've always been interested in doing Japanese, but since it's not available at my school at NCEA level someone suggested to me that I inquire about correspondence. My E-Dean was happy to help, but in the interest of my learning suggested NetNZ, instead as she thought it would be a more engaging and straightforward way to learn, especially as I was interested in a subject that requires a lot of speaking practice. 

After doing some research I decided that it would definitely be the better option for me and wondered why I’d never heard about it before. It seemed like a much better alternative to correspondence as it enables you to have more contact with the teacher and other students taking the course. And it definitely turned out to be the best option for me!

I was quite nervous about the first hangouts call, but it went very smoothly and was surprisingly enjoyable! I love learning online as it allows me to go at my own pace, as opposed to trying to keep up or hold back for my peers. 

My favourite lesson of the week is the hangouts call, as I get to put into practice what I have learned and go over any questions or difficulties I have encountered, which helps to keep the information in my head. I’ve found it really beneficial to be able to discuss and collaborate with the other students and to get feedback from the teacher. My teacher is much better than me with computers and is always quick to offer help or a solution whether I get stuck on a task related to Japanese or if I have difficulty accessing something online! It’s also a great feeling to meet other students from around the country who are passionate about the same things as I am. I'm very glad that I have been able to take this course and experience this different way of learning. 

NetNZ has taught me to manage myself more and to plan my own in class and homework. In this way it has taught me to take charge of my own work and to stay motivated, which I think is a really important skill  to learn in preparation for the future. It’s allowed me to take a subject I've always wanted to do and has helped me to excel in it. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn through NetNZ and I’m looking forward to continuing my online learning next year, and am looking at studying Japanese at university. 

I really can’t recommend NetNZ enough to students looking to study subjects that they currently can’t. I think my friends are a little bit sick of me getting excited about the weekly calls, but to be honest I don’t really care. I’m just happy to be studying what I love surrounded by others who feel the same way!