Niek Span is one of the language teachers of JACCU. Niek has developed a deep interest in languages ever since he was a child. At the end of his normal school career, this interest was further fueled by a strong curiosity of the Japanese language – without understanding anything of it yet – and the culture. He decided to study Japanese Languages & Cultures at Leiden University, starting together with Jim, and obtaining his Bachelor Degree of Arts in 2016.

During his university career, Niek, intrigued by how languages work, further specialised in Linguistics, ranging from general linguistics to Chinese and Japanese linguistics. In the fourth year of his studies, he also obtained a propaedeutic degree in Chinese Studies, making Chinese his L7, or seventh language. His Bachelor Thesis was on second language acquisition (learning Japanese as a second language). He has been involved in many activities around Leiden University and Sieboldhuis Japan Museum including a small contribution to a Japanese research book on Von Siebold.

First visit to Japan

In the summer of 2013, he visited Japan for the first time. It was one of the highlights during those years, and it has left him with many unforgettable memories and impressions, and the realisation that he had found his ‘ikigai’, or reason to live. Having visited Japan for an additional 6 times since then, with the city of Kyoto as a new home, it has played a major role in his life, even on a daily basis. During his stay in Japan, Niek also found out that he has a love for photography. Living a life in Japan is still one of his biggest future dreams.

Over the years, reaching a high level of Japanese and English language has been his main goal. Now, he is very excited to extend his teaching career at JACCU. Niek Span is teaching to Japanese speakers who would like to learn English or Dutch with him, as well as Japanese language to Dutch and English speakers. Through online teaching, Niek’s main goal, beside knowledge, is to connect people, and to connect with them, while making language more accessible for people worldwide. He sincerely hopes that his enthusiasm and linguistic knowledge can contribute in mutual understanding, friendship, and making dreams come true of people of all generations.

Niek Span - Heian Jinguu Kyoto

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