Everett Community College instructor Masashi Kato in the Tea House room at the Nippon Business Institute in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett Community College instructor Masashi Kato in the Tea House room at the Nippon Business Institute in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

New EvCC class teaches conversational Japanese for business

Everett Community College offers a three-quarter course in language and business skills.

EVERETT — In 2016, a student in Masashi Kato’s class in conversational Japanese had the chance to practice her language skills in a high-stakes setting: a preschool in Japan.

They peppered her with questions.

“As soon as she set foot inside the door, she was on the spot,” Kato said.

“Five-year-old kids have no mercy — they wanted to talk nonstop,” he said.

In January, Kato and Everett Community College will offer a three-quarter course in conversational Japanese that focuses on doing business in Japan.

The program concludes in July with in an optional internship, Kato said.

Students will learn language skills needed to communicate with business contacts, study cultural practices and master business etiquette, said Kato, who taught similar classes to engineering students at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Kato, a native speaker, joined the faculty at EvCC in 2014. He came to the United States in 1991 to study at the University of Washington.

“The classes are at the beginning level of Japanese and designed specifically for communication in workplaces,” he said.

After completing the courses, students should be able to “order at a restaurant, invite someone to an event and be able to discuss feelings and preferences,” Kato said.

Ten students will be selected to visit Japan, Kato said.

There they will have the opportunity to participate in a 10-day internship at a Japanese business through a partnership with Aichi Toho University in Nagoya.

The last time the program was offered, in 2016, students completed internships at a hotel, florist, cafe and pre-school, he said.

The trip includes a home stay with a Japanese family — “another opportunity for students to practice Japanese,” Kato said.

“The best time to make mistakes is during the 10-day internship,” Kato said. “You find out quickly what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.

Writing is not emphasized in the course, but students are encouraged to read Japanese publications.

The two-hour evening course, which is open to everyone, begins Jan. 6. Classes are Mondays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Enrollment is capped at 35 students.

Funding for the class is provided through the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and the Jackson School of International Studies, with support from a U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program grant.

For more information, visit EverettCC.edu/Business190.

To enroll in the class, apply to Everett Community College at EverettCC.edu/Apply.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

‘Better with Boeing’ campaign aims to keep 787 assembly here

A new marketing effort hopes to persuade the company to keep Dreamliner work in Everett.

Port again wins millions in grant money for mill site revamp

The Port of Everett successfully reapplied for federal funding after losing $15.5 million last year.

Marysville offers another round of CARES Act grants

Funds are available for those who need help paying for housing or business expenses amid COVID-19.

Commentary: The 737 Max debacle won’t be the end of Boeing

The plane may actually be the bright spot in Boeing’s airliners business.

Panel blasts Boeing, FAA for ‘horrific culmination’ of failures

Investigators found that the company had a financial incentive to avoid more pilot training.

737 Max engineer didn’t know details of flight control system

The program’s leaders only assumed pilots would react differently to the triggering of the MCAS.

Everett company faces $230,000 fine for safety violations

State inspectors allege that Chilos Builders exposed workers to hazards at area construction sites.

Unemployment system overwhelmed by users and new claims

The state Employment Security Department couldn’t process all the new information, leaving users frustrated.

Boeing 737 Max moves another step closer to returning

Test flights were performed from Vancouver to get around coronavirus-related U.S. travel curbs.

Light rail’s Lynnwood Link inches forward, with massive beams

The massive columns and girders that will hold the track are popping up along I-5.

What slowdown? Amazon seeks to hire 33,000 people

It’s the largest number of job openings Amazon has had at one time.

Boeing finds new problem with 787 that will delay deliveries

The company also released data showing the tally of lost 737 Max orders this year is now approaching 1,000.