If you want to learn Japanese, are you wondering what kind of learning method is best for you? In this article, we will introduce you to various means of learning Japanese in a way that suits you best. Read to the end and you will find an effective way to learn Japanese that is perfect for you! Take advantage of local classes, language exchange events, and online tutoring to find the learning method that works best for you.
Join local Japanese classes
First, here is a summary of how to join a local Japanese class.
The two main points are as follows.
・How to find a class
・Types of classes and how to choose one
The following is a step-by-step guide to these points. Let’s join a Japanese language class near your home and make effective progress in your Japanese language study.
How to find a class
In this section, we will show you how to find a Japanese language class and the key points to consider when choosing one. There are the following types of Japanese language classes.
・Local community centers
The main difference between the two is the purpose of the class. Local community centers often have the purpose of deepening the knowledge of Japanese language, a part of Japanese culture, or international exchange through Japanese language. For this reason, activities are offered on a volunteer basis, and classes are offered in a wide variety of genres, including Japanese culture of food, clothing, and shelter. If tuition is paid, it is very inexpensive.
Language schools, on the other hand, operate as a corporation, so you will have to pay somewhat higher tuition fees. By learning Japanese, students aim to work in Japanese or enter a Japanese university after graduation. Therefore, the instruction is often more authentic and systematic than the classes offered at local community centers. Thus, you need to pay attention to the purpose of study, budget, and schedule when choosing the right one.
Types of classes and how to choose
Once you have decided whether to study at a local community center or at a language school, let’s look at the types of classes and how to choose one. First, here are some pointers on choosing classes at different levels, such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. No matter how much you read the class descriptions, you may feel uneasy if you are not sure which class you fit into. If you are a complete beginner, you will start from the introductory class, but the intermediate and advanced levels often vary greatly from school to school and class to class. If you find a class that interests you, you may feel more comfortable if you inquire about it and observe a class.
Furthermore, class types are also divided into group classes and individual tutoring. The advantages and disadvantages are as follows.
- Relatively inexpensive
- You can learn from what your classmates say
- Students can make friends to learn with.
- Students can encourage and compete with each other
- Can be difficult for those who are not good at speaking up in front of others
- You may not always get along with your classmates
- The class atmosphere depends on the motivation of classmates.
- Relatively expensive
- Students can speak up and ask questions at their own timing
- You can study at your own pace
- You can focus on yourself without comparing yourself with others
- Can be difficult for those who have difficulty staying motivated when working alone
- May not be suitable for those who want to have friends and rivals
Which one seems better suited for you? Please consider the advantages and disadvantages and your budget while choosing the class.
Participate in Japanese language exchange events (Japanese language meetups)
Next, we will introduce you to language exchange events where you can not only learn Japanese, but also meet new people.
Here are two key points.
・How to find an event
・How to find an event
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of language exchange events.
How to find an event
First, here are some tips on how to find a Japanese language exchange event and what to expect when attending. Here are two ways to find a language exchange event.
Meetup is a platform service that allows you to make connections through hobbies and learning. It is a great way to meet neighbors who are learning Japanese, which may motivate you to learn more. You can also find language exchange events in Facebook groups as well. Once you get used to it, you can be on the side of creating your own group, which is a great way for those who like community. When participating in these events, you should be careful to make sure that the event operator is clearly stated, that the participation fee is not unreasonable, that the event has a good word-of-mouth and reputation, and that the event rules are clear. To avoid trouble, check carefully in advance.
Tips at the event
Now, let’s look at some tips for actually learning Japanese effectively at language exchange events and how to build good relationships. The following two are probably the most important ones that many of you focus on in situations other than learning Japanese.
Traditionally, speaking and writing are considered outputs, while listening and reading are considered inputs, but in recent years active listening has been gaining attention.This is achieved when the listener proactively tries to grasp what the speaker is trying to say. Especially in Japanese language study, it is important to try to understand the essence of what the speaker is trying to say, rather than just letting the conversation flow from right to left. One effective way to achieve this is to take notes. Of course, it would be nice if you could come back with notes on words and grammar that you are exposed to for the first time.
Use online Japanese tutors
Finally, we will show you how to find online Japanese tutors and learn Japanese effectively through tutoring.
The two main points are as follows.
・How to find an online tutor
・How to choose an online tutor
Please refer to the following page for a summary of what online language learning services are like.
How to find an online tutor
First, we introduce the platforms and methods for finding Japanese language tutors online. Here are two of the recommended methods.
Italki is an online language learning service for more than 100 languages, and since the system is to pay for each 60-minute lesson, it is recommended for those who are not sure if they can find time to study with a monthly subscription. It is also a safe place to start for those who want to try it out for the first time. The system is divided into professional instructors and tutors, so you can choose the tutor that best suits your needs.
Preply is another online language learning service. Preply is another online language learning service that offers a trial lesson to see if the tutor is a good fit for you, and after your trial lesson, you can purchase a course that includes multiple lessons, which is suitable for those who want to continue having lessons with the same tutor.
Did get an idea of which one might be right for you? Let’s learn about the characteristics of each and choose the method that best fits your study plan.
How to choose a tutor
In addition, here are some points to consider when choosing the right online Japanese language tutor for you. The two points are as follows.
First, regarding teaching experience, check what kind of educational institution they have been teaching at and for how many years. If they also include their educational background and qualifications in Japanese language education, it shows that they have specialized in Japanese language education. The profile often includes information about the type of classes they aim to teach, so please check to see if it matches what you are aiming for.
And if you can see reviews by students, please refer to them as well. Even if there is no information on educational background or qualifications, if the school has a very good reputation, you can expect to find it. If you can confirm what kind of teaching style is used and what parts of the course made a good impression, you can apply for the course with confidence.
In this way, you can learn Japanese in a way that suits you best, whether it is through local Japanese language classes, Japanese language exchange events, or online tutoring. By trying different means and finding the best learning method, you will be able to learn Japanese effectively.
If you are interested in language exchange events, among others, we recommend Ohanasi Kagawa, which holds free online language exchange events on weekends. English and Japanese learners are paired one-on-one and change the language they speak every 15 minutes, so they can focus on their output without hesitation. Even though it is a free event, the rules have been established to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, so don’t worry if this is your first time participating in an online event. Please check out the details of this event.