Whether you want to expand your employment opportunities in Japan, want to integrate yourself better into society, or just have a passion for the language, learning Japanese can benefit you greatly in drawing a closer connection to the culture and its people. Not only that, as interest in Japanese grows internationally, knowing this language can prove to be a valuable skill even outside Japan’s borders. But where to study?
Finding the right Japanese language school for your needs, budget and schedule is key to your overall, long-term success. If you live in Tokyo, continue reading to learn the ins and outs of Japanese language schools, what each Tokyo school offers, and how they can accommodate your lifestyle. Hopefully, you will be able to identify the place that’s right for you.
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Coto Language Academy
One of the most popular, most trusted Japanese language schools in Tokyo, Coto Language Academy is highly recommended for people who are serious about reaching a fluent level of Japanese. Lessons at Coto Academy are highly customizable, with easy-going plans for beginners, to intensive courses for those desiring to broaden their professional horizons.
If you’re unsure about where you should begin, Coto Academy offers a free interview session that tests your current ability level in an effort to find the right placement and schedule so that you can learn at a rate best tailored to your situation. Coto Language Academy students appreciate its flexible scheduling, personable staff, small class sizes and easy-to-absorb teaching style.
ISI Japanese Language School
If you’re looking to take on your college career at a Japanese university, ISI Japanese Language school caters to those who need help conquering entrance exams with preparatory courses. ISI’s offerings extend beyond just these courses, however. Their range of services includes long-term and short-term courses, as well as lessons for learning practical and standard Japanese. ISI also offers a summer course for intermediate-level students looking to reach JLPT N3 and N2 proficiency.
Their two Tokyo locations can be found in Ikebukuro and Takadanobaba, easily accessible from many train lines. Class sizes at ISI are a bit larger than other schools, with maximum capacity at 20 students, but one advantage of ISI is that they offer assistance with housing for long-term students.
Nichibei Language Institute
Nichibei is a Japanese language school conveniently located in Shinjuku ward’s Yotsuya neighborhood. Having been around for over 50 years, Nichibei is one of the most trusted language schools in Tokyo. They offer 2-year standard courses for intensive training, as well as shorter 3-month courses, both of which meet 5 days a week. Additionally, they offer part-time courses that meet 1 to 2 days a week, as well as private and semi-private lessons for those who require one-on-one attention or a more intimate class size. The maximum class size holds up to 14 students.
Students who have attended Nichibei praise this school for its staff’s wealth of experience and solid lesson plan structure. A big draw for many students is the multicultural learning environment, which some feel helps for a friendly and engaging atmosphere. Others felt thatl their Japanese speaking ability improved at a rather speedy rate thanks to lessons being tailored to their needs and learning style.
One of the coolest offerings from Nichibei is their annual Japanese speech contest, where you can really put everything you’ve learned to the test.
Kai Japanese Language School
Kai Language School, like Nichibei, is located in the Shinjuku area, and has been in business for well over 30 years. This school is a big draw particularly for Western students, as there are certain roadblocks we face in mastering Japanese that students from Asian countries usually do not experience. The staff at Kai is known for specializing in helping students from Western countries overcome these obstacles.
Kai offers 4 courses, and can assign the proper course to you based on a proficiency analysis if you don’t know where to begin. There is a general course that ranges from beginner to advanced, a practical conversation course, a grammar and conversation course, as well as summer courses for teenagers and those looking to prepare for JLPT N2 and N1 testing. Before committing to Kai, they allow you to sit in on a class to see if the environment and teaching style is right for you.
Genki Japanese and Culture School
As the name implies, the unique aspect that sets “GenkiJACS” apart from other language schools is that it not only focuses on teaching Japanese as a language, but also as a culture to help students understand the language in the proper context, which makes learning easier and more enjoyable. GenkiJACS also prides itself on small class sizes and lesson plans that cover all levels from beginner to expert. Their Tokyo campus is located in the Shinjuku district.
The quality of GenkiJACS courses is backed by accreditation from the International Association of Language Centres, along with being the first Japanese school to receive the language school industry’s highest honor, being named a Star World Language School. They offer long-term and short-term language courses, along with culture courses that allow you to participate in specific activities to help you get the most well-rounded Japanese education possible. GenkiJACS claims that 90% of their student base are from Western countries, with teaching styles tailored to their needs.
Learn and Grow
There are plenty of Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo that cater to your specific short-term objective or long-term goal. Most schools can help their students reach fluent levels in 1.5 to 2 years, so if you’re willing to put in the time, studying Japanese at a reputable language school can be more than worth your while.
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