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Introducing JaLS GROUP! World-Renowned Short-Term Language Programs for All to Enjoy

Introducing JaLS GROUP! World-Renowned Short-Term Language Programs for All to Enjoy

An Interview with JaLS GROUP – Consecutively Named World’s Best Japanese Language School

MJ: To begin, congratulations on your ST Award nomination in 2018. Study Travel’s study tourism and language study abroad magazine is probably the most famous in the world so it is very impressive that you were named one of the top 5 in the world.


JaLS: Thank you! Since our foundation in 2012, JaLS GROUP has operated as a Japanese language school specializing in short-term language programs and has cared for each and every one of our students. We work with wonderful partner agencies all around the world who have a great understanding of our schools’ cultures and features. We are all very grateful for their support.


MJ: Congratulations, again! Aside from Study Travel, you have also consecutively received recognition and awards from other organizations since 2015. These include awards from American study abroad review site GoAbroad and recognition from iStudy Global Awards for your excellence and contributions in the realm of education.


JaLS: Thank you. Outside of the awards we also managed to satisfy the strict guidelines The European Association of Quality Language Services (EAQUALS) and become the first – and currently the only – EAQUALS accredited school in Japan. This speaks to the quality of our programs and the environment that we offer to everyone to learn in and allows them to do so with peace of mind.


JaLS GROUP Features

MJ: What would you say is the most characteristic aspect of the JaLS GROUP curriculum?


JaLS: As I mentioned before, we are a Japanese language school that focuses on short-term language programs. Our curriculum is created with a particular concept in mind. That is, don’t just learn Japanese. Use Japanese, place in Japanese, and make friends in Japan. In other words, the best features of our schools are that they offer opportunities to enjoy the different types of entertainment available in each region while also experiencing Japanese culture and creating memories that will last a lifetime.


MJ: So, you want students to not simply enjoy Japanese, but also to have fun in local activities. That’s great! You mentioned short-term programs, what is the minimum length of time required for a student to enroll?


JaLS: Students may study with us for as little as 1 week. On average, student study with us for about 4 to 6 weeks but there are also students who study with us for as long as half a year. With access to cafes and bookstores in our spacious lounges, our students feel at home and are able to get along with each other regardless of their age.


MJ: What would you say the school staff tries to pay special attention to?


JaLS: We as a staff all do our best to make sure that everyone who comes to our school can, if nothing else, walk away from their time in Japan and think, “that was fun!” If people are going out of their way to come to the country, we want to help them make the most of their experience, have fun, and be happy. This is our goal. That’s why students, staff, and teachers at JaLS GROUP schools can feel at home, relax, and be very close.


MJ: It’s wonderful to hear that students are able to find a second home in the warm and welcoming environment that you provide.


JaLS: It is even possible to see the inside of our facilities online! If you have the chance, take a look. This would probably make it easier to imagine what each space is like and relieve any concerns. Our Kyoto location is located in the center of the city and is only a 1-minute walk from Shijo Station and Karasuma Station. The Hokkaido location is about a 3-minute walk from Sapporo station.

Kyoto JaLS:

Hokkaido JaLS:


MJ: These are very nice and fashionable schools! I’d like to go see them both in person. What’s different about each location?


JaLS: Hokkaido JaLS was founded in 2012 and welcomes about 400 students from 45 countries each year. Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan which is rich with great nature and all 4 seasons are very distinct. The school is located in prefecture’s central city of Sapporo which his visited by tourists from all over Japan and from abroad year-round. Regardless of when you visit, it is possible to enjoy an array of outdoor sports and local events. Kyoto just started operations in June of last year. It is filled with locations and scenery where one can experience the Japanese concept of wa (harmony). Even people staying for only a short time can experience and enjoy the traditional Japanese lifestyle, culture, and history.


A Regular Day at JaLS

MJ: What is the regular daily schedule for a student at your school?


JaLS: Classes start at 9:30, Monday through Friday and there are three 50-minute classes per day so students finish at 12:20. Many students stay in the lounge to study afterward. There are also those who interact with local Japanese people and practice their spoken Japanese with them. In the afternoon we host daily activities and cultural experiences. Through these events, students are presented with many opportunities to learn about Japanese culture and lifestyle and experience it for themselves. These are also opportunities for students to make friends and enjoy their day-to-day life in Japan.


MJ: These real-world opportunities to practice communicating in Japanese must be a great way to motivate students in their studies. What is the average number of students in a class?


JaLS: The maximum capacity for our largest classrooms is only 8 people. Teachers use the small space to increase the chances a student can speak in class. Active learning is very important at our school. Teachers don’t simply teach but create opportunities for each student to participate, apply what they have learned, and deepen their understanding of what is being studied.



MJ: How far in advance should students submit their applications?


JaLS: I usually recommend that students apply at least 2 months in advance. However, our summer course is very popular and can fill up about half a year before so students who want to study during this time should contact us as soon as possible. Classes can be taken in 1-week increments so it is possible to start on just about any Monday. Similarly, we hold graduation students for students completing their programs every Friday and the entire school celebrates together.


MJ: So, students thinking about the summer course should apply right away, it seems. What about students who have never studied Japanese before? Can they enroll as well?


JaLS: Of course! Group classes for beginners are offered starting on the first Monday of every month. These classes start at the basics including how to read and write in hiragana and katakana so no need to worry if you have no prior knowledge of the language. All other students with prior experience are asked to take an online placement test and are placed in a class based on those results.


MJ: Do you have any special words for future applicants?


JaLS: Come to Japan, make many friends from Japan and around the world, and use a lot of Japanese! We’ll be waiting for you!



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