I write these lines about to board at Narita airport back home. Fifth Trip to Japan. This has been different from the previous ones. All have been special in some way, but for the first time I traveled alone to Japan, and I've done it to make a intensive japanese course. If you have ever considered study japanese in Tokyo or in Japan Here I tell you my experience.
Once I decided that I wanted to make a two-week intensive Japanese course I started looking for schools. Luckily, I received free counseling from the Japanese academy, where I am currently studying Japanese. They themselves searched the schools and helped me with the tuition.
My first option was to study in Kyoto, but the minimum that schools offer there are courses from three weeks. If you only want to study one or two weeks, the truth is that there is not much offer. In the Kansai area, my first option, you could take short courses at an academy on the outskirts of Osaka and another in Kobe. Neither option convinced me, so we looked at options in Tokyo. The offer was also not much better, since they offered me only two more academies. Finally, I decided on him Intercultural Institute of Japan (I'll tell you the rest of the options later).
Intercultural Institute of Japan is in the neighborhood of Akihabara, a short distance from Tsukuba Shin-Okachimachi train station, JR Akihabara, JR Okachimachi and JR Ueno. I opted for this school because the classes are usually small, maximum ten people, and especially because the conversation works.
The methodology is very good and is very well thought out for short courses. The material used is a self-created book that is purchased at the same school. The B1 level book costs 2,200 yen. In each class a specific topic is discussed and an aspect of the grammar, he vocabulary related to that topic and, above all, a lot of practice is done chatting. Teachers are always attentive and correct mistakes and doubts.
In addition, the part auditory with listenings and pronunciation with a system called shadowing. This system consists of listening to a series of brief conversations that must then be repeated remembering the content and intonation.
They also work a little Kanji, although much more importance is given to knowing how to read them than to write them. As I have said, it is a very intensive course because in addition to the speed in the teaching of the contents we must add the duties. There are homework every day and teachers are attentive to those present. Between homework, they asked us to do a daily drafting on the subject studied. The use of kanji, grammar and vocabulary learned is valued in the newsrooms. Homework is returned the next day corrected with teacher annotations.
Prior to travel to Japan I did one online level test and the first day of class I arrived half an hour earlier to do a personal interview. I wanted to be cautious in the level test and that's why they put me in level A2. But that was a very low level and the next day I asked if they could change me. After consulting with the teaching staff, they agreed to move me to level B1 and that was a great improvement both in the level of the classes and the level of knowledge of the classmates, in addition to that it was a great motivation when studying.
Classes run from 10 am to 1:10 pm and consist of four 40-minute classes, with 10-minute breaks. Every day there is a different teacher, which makes learning more diverse.
To sign up you have to pay a enrollment of 20,000 yen and then 25,000 yen a week. Tuition is only paid the first time it is studied. For example, if I went back to study at that school I would only have to pay 25,000 yen a week. It is also possible to hire private lessons in the afternoon. This is very good if you want to delve into a specific aspect, for example wanting to know more about the keigo (the honorary treatment). And obviously they also offer long-term courses.
I leave you the detail of the schools where to do an intensive short-term Japanese course in Japan:
Kyoto: Arc Academy Courses from 20 days.
Kobe: Lexis I was assessing this school very seriously. In the same school there are classes for Japanese for foreigners and English for Japanese, so finding a language exchange can be easy. The 15h weekly course (from 9 to 12: 15h) costs 28,500 yen per week. The 25-hour course per week costs 32,000 yen
Osaka: OJA Osaka Japanese Language Academy. It is on the outskirts of Osaka and is a small academy. They do Japanese courses from two weeks. The 20-hour course per week costs 30,000 yen per week.
Tokyo: Intercultural Institute of Japan. Akihabara area. Courses from one week. The tuition costs 20,000 and the classes are 25,000 yen per week. The textbook is not included and costs about 2,000-3,000 yen (depending on the level). Classes from 10 to 13: 10h (4 classes of 40 min each day).
Tokyo: Kudan Institute of Japanese Language and Culture. Tokyo Dome area
The price of two weeks is 59,000 yen (textbook included). Classes are from 9:10 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Classes are usually 15 people and the course is also focused on conversation. You can start any Monday (except beginners who want to start from scratch).