I come across quite many questions from time to time and realize that the average Japanese language student is not able to sufficiently explain them often. That is to say, explain to a depth that answers the question completely. Often what happens is I get what the other person *thinks* is the answer or how he/she undestands it, which is still ok. I was thinking that getting a Japanese language teacher to get some help would be a good idea. This is since I won't be needing that many lessons anyway, I am not a beginner. I have already reached Japanese for Busy people III and finished about 1500 Kanji.
So my quesion is what do you think about taking online lessons on Skype? Does anyone have experience of that? Do you have some other better option for me?
Can you recommend any teacher or site with teachers?
Last edited by matrixofdynamism (2012 March 17, 1:02 pm)
I'd just find a language partner and talk to them, half in English, half in Japanese.
Of course, it depends on what your time is worth. If your time is valuable, pay a teacher to talk to you instead.
I would do with a language partner as well. But the thing is that if a person is an native speaker he may speak very well, its only natural. But it does not mean that they understand the rules of the language in such a detail that they can explain as well. They did not have to learn the language, they aquired it in childhood. Thus, they may not be able to explain all things in detail that we as being nonnative speaker may need.
A teacher on the other hand is by profession doing this task. That is the reason I was thinking about a teacher.
I think what your looking for is something like these.
Japanese Online Institute (JOI)
Japan Online School (J-OS)
I and a fellow university student have used Japanese Online Institute (JOI) with much success. They have classes from beginner to advanced. They also are very affordable because they offer group lessons, but usually there are only 1-4 students in class. I would suggest a mixture of private and group (Flex Lessons). This is probably the most economical.
I have not used Japan Online School (J-OS) so I have no opinion on this school. Both offer free trials so I would suggest giving both a try and to with whichever you prefer.
Language parnters are great, but only if you find one who's English is worse than your Japanese, because you always default (most of the time) to the language you mutually speak the best. Also consistent conversations with your language partners can be difficult. It also lacks guidance and answers to your questions on grammar etc.
Good luck and if anyone else has any other recommendations I would love to hear them!
wow thanks, actually the only thing is that: since the online world can be kind of more deceptive than the real one, I need advice on this issue. I need some real teachers that have experience teaching the language to answer my questions. And I need a trsuted place to get teachers from. I have hereby reached an advacned stage in my studies and it seems that my questions are not easily answered. I get opinions almost all the time (I am talking about grammar here). I am sure that if I read more that will make some things better, but no one can replace the guidancee of a teacher right?
The books that have with me explain the gerund forms and intransitive verbs and much more. I have realized that even though the books are true that Japanese grammar is simpler than English in many ways, but there are some very fine points of grammar which are simply too hard to grasp (as in any other language).
Last edited by matrixofdynamism (2012 March 19, 10:56 pm)
Personally, I think the advanced student who has exhausted what textbooks/tae kim/etc have to offer would, in general, do well to read niwasaburoo-sensei's outline at http://www.geocities.jp/niwasaburoo/shuyoumokuji.html , which is where I'm at now. After that there are books in Japanese about Japanese. On the other hand, having touched on a number of matrixofdynamism's threads... I do get the feeling personal instruction would suit his(/her) learning style, which is not a factor to be underestimated.
Not that I have anything personal against you OP, but students who go to Japan to study Japanese for an year (MEXT) and already have JLPT lvl1, for example, are considered to be intermediate level. So if I have to grade your accomplishments judging by this and the other threads you created, you're still a beginner. I'd suggest you study Japanese more in-depth by yourself until "the average Japanese language student" makes perfect sense, even if you don't get a load of explanation.
I am also a returning Japanese student and this is the method I find has worked best for me as well. I have spent years starting and stopping my studies due to classes, schedule, life, etc. I am also very frustrated with my lack of progress. So I am sharing with you and others what I found to work best for both myself and my fellow students over the years, some which have become very fluent!
Yes these programs have excellent teachers who will help guide you and answer your questions. Again I cannot speak for J-OS but JOI does have certified teachers and they are able to explain grammar sufficiently.
Also if you are like me at all, you will benefit from regular classes/lessons with a teacher which keeps you on track and moving forward with your studies. I find that even though we can learn as a non-traditional students quite easily, we often get side-tracked on different topics, grammar, etc. In the end our movement in studying is more circular and we make little progress to our goals.
Of course when your an advanced student learning independently of a teacher makes good sense. Especially when you can read Japanese and understand explanations in Japanese as well. A fellow language student I was most impressed with was one who never took a language class in college. However; He told me self study was not his method of success either. It was the fact he put all his money and time into private teachers for one year. He had regular meetings multiple times a week, and in one year his level of fluency was incredible! I saw the same advantage when I studied in Japan, the students who took private tutoring lessons two or more times a week were much more advanced (and even appeared to study less) than those who did not.
think most other students would agree that one-on-one or small group learning is a big advantage to University classes or independent studies alone. I would definitely give it a try. I do recommend JOI or try to find others online.
As a note: I learned from a language instructor that a good rule of thumb with tutoring or private lessons is to take at least 1.5-2 or more classes a week on average to see any real progress. Once per week is only good for practice or maintaining what you have learned, and progress is negligible. It's not the cheapest, but its a heck of a lot cheaper than a university course!
Japanese Online Institute (JOI)
Japan Online School (J-OS)
I need some real teachers that have experience teaching the language to answer my questions. And I need a trsuted place to get teachers from. I have hereby reached an advacned stage in my studies and it seems that my questions are not easily answered. I get opinions almost all the time (I am talking about grammar here). I am sure that if I read more that will make some things better, but no one can replace the guidancee of a teacher right?
Can you give any examples of what you're talking about? The so-called advanced, i.e. JLPT1, grammar is far easier to learn than "basics" like particles. I've seen a lot of difficult questions answered well in the "What's this word/phrase?" thread as well.
The explanations in AD[B/I/A]JG serve their purpose for most learners, but you can find much more detail in the kind of reference you'd be paying a teacher to dumb down and present to you. I was reading about のだ in 日本語文法ハンドブック yesterday and it presented a bunch of rules I'd never heard about that make a lot of sense.
A teacher can obviously be helpful in a lot of ways, but I'd be sceptical about online tutors and just how much experience they have. If it's not gonna cost you much, then there's not much harm in trying it out, but why not get an advanced reference as well?