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Pen Spencer

I first got to know Shoko when I was a student in her Japanese language class in Providence. I have known her for many years.  She has given me Japanese cooking lessons and Japanese business lessons.  I learned how to cook sushi, miso soup, tonkatsu, California rolls, onigiri etc.  Because  part of my job is communicating with Japanese customers , Shoko always teaches me the proper business language.  Her teaching is a tremendous help for my work.  I appreciate her a lot.  I plan to continue to learn business Japanese from her.  She is the best Japanese teacher I have ever met.


Tim Hounsell

I've been fascinated with Japanese people and their culture ever since I can remember. I took up private lessons with Mrs. Shoko Gordon when I was in sixth grade, and have been learning with her incredible teaching capabilities ever since.  To present day Ms. Gordon has changed my life completely with her effective instruction methods, helping me to pass both N5 and N4 levels of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). At the age of 18, I traveled to Japan, spending 5 weeks on my own and was able to put my language skills to the test, effectively communicating with native Japanese speakers demonstrating a high level comprehension with such a complex language. Mrs. Gordon's instruction is not that of a typical classroom style; she focuses largely on face-to-face communication, with practical application of Japanese usage rather than solely using textbook-style dialogues for guides. The textbooks that she chooses to use in class are some of the most well-known and practical learning resources available to English speaking Japanese learners, including Genki, Jokyu he no Tobira, etc. Mrs. Gordon is a fantastic teacher who provides a relaxed yet captivating teaching style to her students at a reasonable price. Shoko may be a teacher, but to me, she has been one of my greatest friends, willing to take my hand and guide me for multiple years through the twists and turns of one of the world's hardest languages. Shoko has allowed me to realize my dream, and I am now an entering freshman at UMASS Amherst majoring in Japanese language and literature. I am eternally grateful to Shoko for the global opportunities she has allowed me to experience at such a young age.  



Joshua Freeman

I lived in Japan as part of a study abroad program during my years as an undergraduate student.  I had lots of great experiences there and was able to delve into the Japanese language.  My passion for the language blossomed and upon returning to the States, I made it my mission to keep my language skills sharp.  I spent many years studying on my own, but when I moved to a new state, I was blessed with the opportunity of meeting Ms. Shoko Gordon, my new Japanese-sensei.  She has been a stellar teacher.  She custom tailors each lesson and is immensely flexible in scheduling around my work and school commitments.  We often spend time conversing about the latest news in Japan, reading newspaper excerpts, and of course practicing grammar, kanji, and reading fluency.  Her ability to provide a nuanced, native-speaker understanding of the language has helped me in my efforts to study advanced Japanese.  For anyone considering learning Japanese, I highly recommend Ms. Shoko Gordon.

Bob Thipphavong

It is pretty rough learning a new language on your own. I tried to self teach myself Japanese at one point, but without the interaction and direction it didn't lead me anywhere. I then decided that it would be in my best interest to get lessons and found Shoko. I've never had a better experience with a teacher before. She is willing to work around my busy work schedule and is very patient with me. She is willing to help you out with review as well as going out of the box to teach you content outside of the textbook during lessons. I'm also looking forward to visiting Japan in the future, and my motivation has increased. Shoko has been helping me with recommended conversational etiquette to make sure I don't mess up! For anybody struggling, looking to start, or to further understand, I would definitely recommend taking classes with Shoko.

Sthefany Lamoureux    

Ever since I was young I have always had an admiration for the Japanese language and  culture. It started with anime. The way it sounded and the way the symbols looked absolutely fascinated me. From then on, I started to try to teach myself with no luck, since I was starting with no previous knowledge or anyone to answer my questions. The amount of things that Shoko-sensei has taught me is astounding, and widened not only my knowledge and understanding of the language that I admired so, but it also maximized my love for the language. Having personalized and individual lessons with a native speaker such as Shoko-sensei, gives me the ability to ask as many questions as I would like, as well learn in whatever pace I feel comfortable with depending on the difficulty of the context we are going over. Before I found her, and I was very lucky that I did, learning Japanese was only a mere dream that seemed incredibly impossible to reach. But, Shoko-sensei gave me a key that unlocked the secret to this amazing language, and I trust I will keep studying under her for many years to come. There aren't enough words to describe how much respect and friendship I feel towards Shoko-sensei.


Miriam Wold


  My son and I are very grateful to Shoko for her patience and dedication. She tutored my son for all four years of high school.  Many colleges require a foreign language for admission.  However, my son really did not adapt well to the high school program and the way language was being taught.  Also, Japanese was not one of the choices offered.  He had all but given up.  However, he always had an interest in Japanese art and culture, and I so searched outside of the high school community and found Shoko.  After just two years of working with Shoko, my son was able to travel to Boston and take the National Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (N5.)  He passed the exam easily and was able to include this with his college application to the school of his choice.  The college admissions committee happily accepted the exam certificate in lieu of two years of high school language credit.  This was a very happy moment for us, but it didn’t end there.  My son continued studying with Shoko.  Once in college, he was able to immediately take the upper level Japanese course.  He then fulfilled the one year foreign language requirement in just one semester!  He could not have achieved this without the wonderful foundation which Shoko provided.  We both recommend her confidently and enthusiastically! 


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Greg Rebis


 There is no substitute for a good teacher. Although my growing collection of  books and mobile apps are all useful in their own ways,  Shoko-sensei's experience and knowledge have been so much more instructive. She uses a good, clear series of textbooks, and augments that learning with friendly and patient conversational practice. (When you can make a joke in another language and someone laughs, you really begin to feel like communication is possible.) Language is never fully distinct from culture--Shoko's insights and the context she provides help to make sense of Japanese far beyond grammar and direct translation. I hope to begin taking the JLPT this year with her help, but I also feel that I understand my experiences in Japan more deeply through her teaching. I am grateful to her and would recommend her lessons with no hesitation.


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