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Japanese language schools in Tokyo - the good and the bad

#26
Diana Wrote:Does anyone know of any that actually exist on the Odakyu/Shinjuku area?
Just try showing up. If it doesn't exist or you can't find it, no big loss.
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#27
I`m only initially concerned with the level of the classes and wanted to talk to a teacher in the courses to get some feedback before coming. I`ve never had any problems with speaking, but rather wanted to learn some grammar or ask them questions about my grammar workbooks.
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#28
Diana Wrote:I`m only initially concerned with the level of the classes and wanted to talk to a teacher in the courses to get some feedback before coming. I`ve never had any problems with speaking, but rather wanted to learn some grammar or ask them questions about my grammar workbooks.
I imagine each school has a different format, but the school I attended has exactly the format you are looking for. You pair up with a teacher (there aren't many students, so it's always one teacher to one student, with a few teachers left over), and then you have the teacher help you with whatever you want. School work, conversation practice, grammar--whatever you want to work on.
Edited: 2011-12-13, 5:22 am
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#29
Thank you again,

I`d try yours, but it`s smack dab in the middle of my workday.
Wish they had more stuff in the evening!
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#30
I actually never got a reply either from the web site. I think the inquiry form is broken.

I just either showed up directly or found the group's main web page by searching in Google.
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#31
Today I went to 早稲田奉仕園日本語ボランティアの会 (Waseda Hoshien Nihongo Volunteer no Kai). It's near 早稲田大学. The closest station is 高田馬場 on the 山手線 (in between 池袋 and 新宿).
http://www.tnvn.jp/guide/tokyo-23-wards/...st-76.html

It seemed to be the same format as the other school I attended. Each student pairs off with one teacher, and the teacher will work with you on whatever you want. Most of the teachers seem to be old, retired people.
Edited: 2011-12-14, 8:25 am
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#32
http://www.naganuma-school.ac.jp/

Does anyone have experience with this school?

Company may pay for me to go here.
Maybe.
But, it`s important I get results after doing this.

I don`t have JLPT 1 yet and can read some things, but not novels or newspapers as well or as quickly as I can read English.

If I can convince them of this place, then I would like to go here, but I want to make sure that the place is worth it.
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#33
I will repeat the advice given to me: Go and sit in on some lessons if you can. It is the easiest way to see if you think the lessons will fit you.
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#34
This is an official school and given that I am interested in classes that are taking place during the weekday, during work hours, work won`t let me.
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#35
Diana Wrote:This is an official school and given that I am interested in classes that are taking place during the weekday, during work hours, work won`t let me.
If they are considering making an investment by sending you to this school, then they might consider the smaller investment of sending you there for one day to try it out. Maybe this is something they would like to do to help make up their mind. Anyway, whichever way it goes good luck with it.
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#36
Perhaps. Who knows? Lets hope? Then again, they are strangely anal about these sort of things.

If anyone has studied there, it would be great to hear some opinions.
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#37
I've been to two different language schools in Japan.

The first one I attended was AILC in Yokohama. (http://gogonihon.com/en/ailc-japanese-la...l-yokohama)

Pros: The best thing about this place was the location and the teachers. The teachers will bend over backwards to help you with anything you need. Even after class, whether it be schoolwork or private matters, they'll help you with anything. I also thought the location was fantastic. Being that it was walking distance to Chinatown/Sakuragicho/Minato Mirai, I thought the location was great. Yokohama also has a lot more space compared to Tokyo. Everything just feels wider.

Cons: Apparently this is the norm, but the majority of the students were Chinese. This means that they're already way ahead of you in kanji. However, when I left, more and more westerners were entering the school.


The currently school I attend is ISI Language School in Takadanobaba. Go! Go! Nihon also helped me with my transfer paperwork when I told them I wanted to switch schools to Tokyo (they help with basically everything, it's amazing).

I've only been at ISI for about 3 weeks. ISI without question is a better school. The teachers are great and force you to engage in the lesson. It's really trial by fire. They purposely call on you when it looks like you have no idea so you have to be prepared at all times. One of the drawbacks is that it is considerably more expensive. You get what you pay for though.

I know some students that go to Naganuma. Apparently the Naganuma method (their own teaching method) works, but it's incredibly intense there. You gotta do a lot of outside self study in order to keep up with the pace of the class. The school itself is very selective and expensive. The school seems like it's for people that are 100% dedicated to learning high level Japanese and forgoing free-time and money to achieve that goal. It's not for the faint of heart.

Hope this helps!
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#38
I just wanted to chime in as I went to ISI in Takadanobaba for 1 year. I didn't really do it for school as much as I just wanted a 1 year visa, without having to get a job, so that I could take a long "holiday" in Tokyo to figure out if I wanted to live there long term or not.

For starters let me say this: If you are a devoted self studier, as I was, do NOT waste your money on any of these schools if you are trying to get a big boost in your Japanese ability. If anything going to language school was one of the worst things I did for my language abilities as it simply burned me out from studying on my own. I definitely progressed, but no where near the progression I had on my own with the same hours invested.

That said for a school ISI was great. The facilities are top notch and actually makes you feel like you are in a real school. I've seen some of the other language schools and it is like you are studying in a dungeon, aka old rented run down office space converted into classrooms. Almost all of my teachers were very good, very motivated, and just all around fun. Even some of the "bitchier" teachers are actually cool as well once you figure out their little "game". I've been out of school for several months now and I still go drinking with some of my old teachers.

But I again strongly recommend you consider other cheaper options for studying in Japan if you are a motivated individual. There are a variety of free community lessons where you'll be getting near 1 on 1 instruction and most of them are free or nearly free. I quickly realized all I really needed was basically a few hours a week access to a Japanese person who was willing to spend the entire hour devoted to answering my questions. 4hrs per day 5 days per week is just a ton of wasted time. Everything you do in language school is something you can do on your own even better than the school does it with the exception of simply having an instructor available to ask questions, which is what the few hours a week of community offered classes would cover.
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#39
Hi,

Hope i'm not posting to the wrong thread. If yes, please let me know.
I want to take short term courses (about 1 month) in Osaka (or Kansai area).

Is there any good recommendation?
There is one which posted in 1st post, called Human Academy Japanese Language School, but this is too expensive if compare to ISI Language School in Tokyo.

Thanks in advance.
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#40
Stay away from Human Academy, it's a bad school, especially if you can only study for one month. You won't learn anything.
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#41
If you're flexible, and don't mind going to the Nagoya area (not quite Kansai, but close-ish by shinkansen), then I highly recommend the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki City. Okazaki isn't exciting, but if you want to max out for 1 month in Japanese, that's a good place to do it. As a non-profit, they won't gouge you--generally, you get your money's worth, unlike the for-profit schools. If you need to flee Okazaki, you're only 29 minutes (and 600 yen each way) from Nagoya by train.

yamasa.org
Click on the Aichi Center for Japanese studies link.

I spent 3 months at Yamasa, and learned a ton... but really, if I had 6-9 more months, that would've been ideal. (But reality is harsh and the dollar is weak.)
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#42
oXiaoFango Wrote:Is there any good recommendation?
If you don't end up getting any good suggestions, one thing you could consider is finding a school after you get to Kansai. Just go and visit the school, tell them you're interested in taking class, and they'll most likely let you sit in on a class. Just keep repeating this until you find a school you like.
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#43
totsubo Wrote:Stay away from Human Academy, it's a bad school, especially if you can only study for one month. You won't learn anything.
Thank you very much for your advice. Any reason for this?
I think i need to consider drop Human Academy from my list.
Just want to experience living there and know more friends..

I wish to stay longer.. but my leave doesn't allow me to do so =(
Edited: 2012-04-27, 8:24 am
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#44
rich_f Wrote:yamasa.org
Click on the Aichi Center for Japanese studies link.

I spent 3 months at Yamasa, and learned a ton... but really, if I had 6-9 more months, that would've been ideal. (But reality is harsh and the dollar is weak.)
Totally agree with you... $$, time and reality always stopper.
Thank you very much for your recommendation!!
I will google it later.

Nagoya is a good place.
Been Tokyo before, that's why i want to stay in Kansai area.
Beside that i love Osaka-ben!! ^^
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#45
partner55083777 Wrote:If you don't end up getting any good suggestions, one thing you could consider is finding a school after you get to Kansai. Just go and visit the school, tell them you're interested in taking class, and they'll most likely let you sit in on a class. Just keep repeating this until you find a school you like.
I hope too, but my leave doesn't allow me to take so long.
I'm not going for long term, that's why a bit difficult for me!
But thanks anyway!
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#46
Hi,

I have done some research, here is the listing

- ARC Academy Osaka
- YMCA Japanese Language School
- MERIC Japanese Language School

Has anyone been there? Would like to know some feedback.

Thanks in advance!
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#47
Hello everyone,

I'm not sure if you still need this information but maybe my experience will help someone.
I am currently studying in a Japananese language school in Tokyo, Shinjuku and I'm very happy with it.
Next month I will have 1 year studying in this school. It's a very nice school, the design of the premises is similar with the one of the Google offices and the school is very close to the metro station Okubo and 10 minutes on foot from the big Shinjuku station.
The classes are 3h20' per day 5 days per week in 2 shifts (morning and afternoon) and they are held in Japanese language. At the beginning I was afraid that I couldn't be able to keep up with my colleagues and I wouldn't be able to understand anything but I was wrong. Everything is clear and every teacher has his/her own way of teaching, very interactive and clear. I started from zero and I was surprised that after 3 months of studying with them I could pass the JLPT N5 exam. Besides the fact that they have the lowest course prices, all the materials are included in the course price. The school has a lot of free activities for example this month we will go to Disneyland on the school account.
The stuff is very nice and always pleased to help with everything including job interview preparation and finding a job.
The school provides help also with the visa, accommodation and airport pick up.
You can have a look and more details at JCLI Japanese Language School:
http://es.jclischool.com/
Have a nice staying in Japan!
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#48
Likurichi Wrote:Hello everyone,

I'm not sure if you still need this information but maybe my experience will help someone.
I am currently studying in a Japananese language school in Tokyo, Shinjuku and I'm very happy with it.
Next month I will have 1 year studying in this school. It's a very nice school, the design of the premises is similar with the one of the Google offices and the school is very close to the metro station Okubo and 10 minutes on foot from the big Shinjuku station.
The classes are 3h20' per day 5 days per week in 2 shifts (morning and afternoon) and they are held in Japanese language. At the beginning I was afraid that I couldn't be able to keep up with my colleagues and I wouldn't be able to understand anything but I was wrong. Everything is clear and every teacher has his/her own way of teaching, very interactive and clear. I started from zero and I was surprised that after 3 months of studying with them I could pass the JLPT N5 exam. Besides the fact that they have the lowest course prices, all the materials are included in the course price. The school has a lot of free activities for example this month we will go to Disneyland on the school account.
The stuff is very nice and always pleased to help with everything including job interview preparation and finding a job.
The school provides help also with the visa, accommodation and airport pick up.
You can have a look and more details at JCLI Japanese Language School:
http://es.jclischool.com/
Have a nice staying in Japan!
Like... this has to be a robot, right? Or a bad advertisement?
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#49
The user's other post suggest s/he is human. Clearly not a native speaker of English, however. The user's grammatical errors (and, yes, I realize the irony in that my previous sentence is a run-on) and habit of starting a new line after every sentence indicates s/he is a native Japanese speaker.

On a separate note, the user gets points in my book for choosing a hilarious username (I'm reading it as how someone would pronounce "like rich" with a "katakana accent".
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#50
Licurici means lightning bug in Romanian
Well, it's not exactly Spam, though it's quite obviously an advert; i'll just leave it here for now!
Likurichi-san, please behave like a good user and charm the community into joining your school thanks to your informative and dedicated posts from now on!
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