What is “Kotoba Miners”

A real class in an unreal world.

With a plethora of textbooks, grammar guides, vocabulary books, and even books trying to explain “the mystery of Japanese,” wouldn’t it be nice to just sit back, relax and learn in an environment led by a professional teacher living in Japan with not only knowledge about the language but also the culture?

And all that while having fun!?

And access from anywhere in the world?

Even while you sit in your underwear sipping gin ‘n’ juice?!*

If so, welcome to Kotoba Miners: Practical, activity-driven, structured Japanese language education for the 21st Century.

“Textbook content without the textbook”

Sure, self-studying is a good way to go about learning a language, but where do you get the chance to practice the instant you learn something new? With us, you have the opportunity to use what you learn 24/7 with our committed community and staff members.

Five things virtual worlds offer that textbooks don’t

  1. An immersive learning environment
  2. Speaking practice
  3. Social learning
  4. Instant feedback
  5. A creative arena

Learning in a virtual world is much like learning in the real-world. Unlike a textbook, it is possible to interact with the environment and players which give instant feedback. Experiential learning is ‘learning by doing’. A textbook can teach you about how to order an egg bagel, coffee with soy-milk, and blueberry muffin, but it cannot give you the experience of actually doing it. And it is this “experience” that your brain needs to retain the knowledge.

A class in progress

All of our classes are based on practical, real-world activities that build on one another from week to week. Start by describing the colour of other students clothes, talk about your family and friends, progress onto group role-plays, and end in a 100% Japanese only environment speaking with Japanese natives.

“Don’t understand something? Ask us in class. A textbook certainly can’t do that!”

Constantly updated

The virtual world that we use is called Minecraft. Yeah, you know, that silly, blocky, yet crazily addictive game, right? Minecraft is constantly updated with new, interesting content, which is apt, because so is our course and server! If I have an idea for a new learning activity, you’ll be the first to know about it!! Additionally, with a community of eager learners, community based activities pop up from time to time, too.

Screenshot 2014-10-05 00.28.26

Not just a Minecraft server

Although we use Minecraft predominantly as the stage to teach lessons, the community certainly goes beyond that. Some of the things we do outside of class:

  • Get interactive grammar examples with real life relevance including:
    • Quests to practice your Japanese knowledge
    • Role plays
    • Mini games
    • Amazon Mall
    • Japanese Adventures
    • Group builds
  • Supportive 24/7 community driven IRC (internet relay chat) channel
    • Get in touch with teacher any time of the day (Cannot guarantee a reply 100% of the time..! Teachers need sleep, too!)
  • Supportive 24/7 TeamSpeak server to practice your Japanese speaking with community members outside of class!
    • discuss your favorite anime
    • play your favorite games besides Minecraft (LoL, Dota, MTGO, etc.)
    • speak with Japanese natives
  • Forum for additional support & studying
    • Journals
    • Homework
    • Feedback
  • Engaging curriculum that promotes studying outside of lessons
    • Weekly homework, written, speaking, partner/group homework
    • Monthly tests to gauge your comprehension and provide insight to your strengths and opportunities.
James York (cheapsh0t)

I have been working tirelessly on the Kotoba Miners project for the last two years and am immensely proud at what we have achieved. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the community.

Tero Korpela (Thasan)

I was one of the first people to join Kotoba Miners way back when it was still called ``Mining English.`` It has been my pleasure to help this server and community grow from strength to strength.

    Sander Homan (Zerot)

    James may be the owner, but the real brains behind the teaching outfit is me(!)

      Ryan Clarke (xemnes)

      I hand-crafted all of the major buildings in Kotoba Miners and the proud creator of the the custom texture pack (which you should definitely download btw!). I am also in charge of making the website and forums look pretty.

        Roy Marcelino (Yukinose)

        Where James (cheapshot) may have more knowledge of the Japanese language than me, when it comes to popular (geek?) culture, I'm the boss! Ask me anything about manga and anime!

          Dillan Pruett (AnticDope)

          Hi everyone! I'm Dillan a.k.a. AnticDope. I have dabbled in many Kotoba Miners projects, most notably, the RPG server. I am also a community liaison and love meeting new people, so drop by our TeamSpeak server and introduce yourself!

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