Michael Chernenko

How long have you lived here? What did you do before joining METS?

I've been living in Japan since 2004. During my first year in Japan, I taught English in Chiba and Tokyo. I taught in many different schools along the Joban Line (JR) but my main school was in Kashiwa. While it was fun living close to Tokyo, the sweaty hot summers ultimately forced me to request a transfer to Hokkaido. When I first arrived in Asahikawa, I taught at a branch in Nishi AEON and then downtown in Okuno. I came aboard METS in 2013.

Kashiwa Takashimaya, Asahikawa Nishi AEON, Asahikawa OKUNO

The biggest difference teaching at METS from my previous workplace is the 80 minute adult lessons. After teaching 40 minute lessons for 9 years it was a huge task to re-learn my timing. Another difference is the freedom I have to integrate games and learning for our kids classes. I think that it provides a level of fun that keeps our younger students interested in English.


Please describe your position at METS.

My official title is "Head Instructor", however my duties encompass much more than just instructing heads. Beyond teaching classes to students of all ages, I'm also responsible for training new instructors on how to teach our classes.

I am partly responsible for the development of the METS curriculum and teaching style. I help create and setup our different events throughout the year. I have an integral role in the hiring and firing of instructors. Oh, and I also make our webpage.


また、METSのカリキュラムや授業スタイルを作成、改良を担当していますし、スクールのいろいろなイベントの準備や企画も手伝っています。 それから、新しい講師の採用や人事など重要な業務も担当しています。
You said that you make the webpage for METS.
Where did you learn how to code?

I've been a "computer guy" since childhood. My first introduction to webpage design and HTML coding was in my high school computer class. I produced many personal webpages (what people now call a "blog") which allowed me to continue coding as a hobby. Everything I know is self-taught. After starting at METS I noticed that their website needed a facelift and offered to update it for them. Since then, I've been responsible for its upkeep.

私は子供の頃から「コンピューターオタク」だったんです。 そしてウエブデザインやHTMLコードには高校のコンピューター授業で初めて触れました。 たくさん自分のウエブページ(この頃、いわゆるブログ)を趣味で作っていて、ずっとコーディングを使っていました。全部自分で学んだものです。 METSに入ってから、ホームページが改良の余地があると思ってリニューアルを提案しました。それ以来、更新とアップデートを担当しています。
You have lived in Japan for over 15 years,
is there anything that you just can’t get used to?

Yuck!  Natto is gross. Yes, many things, actually. The most obvious one being natto. I've tried eating it many different times in many different ways. Standard natto with and without mustard. Natto rolls, natto rice balls, natto spaghetti, dry natto. Big natto, little natto. It doesn't matter how many times or what style. I just can't get used to it. I'm sorry. I really really really don't like natto.

How did you study Japanese (at first/now)?

I actually studied Japanese on my own before coming to Japan. In the beginning, I used websites to learn pronunciation and rote memorization of katakana and hiragana. During my homestay in February of 2004, I bought kanji drill books for kids to learn how to write basic kanji. I studied daily for about 3 years but since then my studies have waned and I now learn by osmosis. Unfortunately, it’s not very effective.

Where are you from in Canada? What's it famous for?

View of St. John's bay in Newfoundland I'm originally from St. John's, Newfoundland. It's the easternmost island off the Atlantic coast of Canada. It's an incredibly rocky, harsh land with unpredictable weather. However, it's also one of the most scenic places in Canada. Newfoundland is probably most famous for its people, language and scenery. Newfoundlanders, or "Newfies", are warm, friendly and hilarious. Our language is a crazy mix of English, Irish, French and Indigenous; we even have our own dictionary!

Newfoundland has many natural heritage sites including L'Anse aux Meadows; where Vikings first landed on North American soil! To discover more about Newfoundland, check out the official website: https://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/

View of St. John's city in Newfoundland カナダで最も東にある島、大西洋沖のニューファンドランド島(州)のセントジョーンズ市です。天候が厳しく不順な所で、ものすごく岩ばっかりで過酷な土地ですが、カナダで最もすばらしい景勝地のひとつです。ニューファンドランドは住んでいる人やことば、風景で有名だと思います。ニューファンドランド住民、いわゆる「ニューフィー人」は人情味があって親しみやすくて面白いんですよ。私たちのことばは英語とフランス語とアイルランド語と先住民語がクレイジーにミックスしていて、その辞典まであるんです!

You have also lived all over Canada,
where do you recommend visiting?

I've spent most of my time in Canada outside of my hometown in Vancouver and Calgary. While I have fond memories from all the places I've lived, I really think the best part of Canada has to be home; Newfoundland.

I attended college in Vancouver and had an absolute blast there. I was young and impressionable and was able to reinvent myself. I learned quite a lot of things both in and out of school. Vancouver has that big city vibe, but it’s close enough to the mountains and ocean that you can quite easily escape into nature if you felt the need.

Vancouver, BC

Calgary, while quite large and sprawling, felt like a much slower pace. People took their time and didn't seem bothered by much. I started my first career in Calgary and met some of my most long-time friends there; people I still keep in touch with today.

I was born and raised in Newfoundland. While I was there, I hated it. It was boring and all I wanted to do was leave. I didn't think there was anything special about the place. Now, after more than 20 years away, I can finally appreciate what makes it special. If you want to experience a truly unique trip to Canada, spend some of that time in Newfoundland. You won't regret it.



Calgary, AB


I heard you like to play video games. What kind of games do you like?

While I like almost all genres I tend to gravitate towards fighting, action and rpgs the most. As the video game industry evolves and grows along with its' fans, it's actually really difficult to pigeonhole titles into standard genres.

The games I'm currently playing are World of Warcraft, which is an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that I've been playing since 2004. Destiny 2, a FPS (First Person Shooter) which is also known as a looter-shooter that I play with my wife. While both of these games have a persistent world in which there is something constantly happening, I also play single-player titles that can be completed.

World of Warcraft gameplayWorld of Warcraft gameplay

This month (July 2020), I'm playing through an indie title called "The Messenger". It pays homage to one of my favourite NES titles called "Ninja Gaiden".


Destiny 2: Warlock and Burning Maul Titan 今やっているゲームは「ワールドオブワークラフト」で、私が2004年からやっているMMORPG(大規模多人数同時参加型オンラインRPG:興味があったらググってください-訳者)です。



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