Why Learn Japanese at a Japanese Language School?
There are many ways to learn the Japanese language without moving to Japan permanently. Some of the most popular are taking a class in your home country, studying by yourself, seeking out Japanese friends, and studying in Japan at a Japanese language school. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, of course. We"re going to focus on some of the reasons why learning Japanese at a Japanese language school is the best of these options.
First, though, the disadvantages: Studying at a Japanese school in Japan is generally the most expensive of your options, when tuition, airfare and accommodation are included. It also requires you to have a solid chunk of time off either work or school - you can't learn a language in a week! But for the serious student, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, as our thousands of former students can attest.
There are three major reasons why studying at Japanese language schools in Japan is the most effective method of learning: motivation, focus, and support. We'll explain each of these in detail.
It can be very hard to keep up motivation to learn Japanese in one's home country - work and school get in the way, and Japanese study gets pushed back. Knowing that you'll go to Japan in the near future gives you a deadline for your study, and a concrete goal. Former students report that knowing that a teacher will be evaluating them on the first day of classes spurred them to study harder than they had before.
There's also the motivation of studying alongside other students - you know you've got to keep up with the class or you'll be left behind.
Studying by yourself can be very difficult, as you focus on the things you feel most comfortable with. Studying on a formal curriculum with teachers who are devoted to your improvement helps you to achieve the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time, and to achieve a well-rounded ability. For example, we often have students come to us having only studied from anime, who have real problems using any of the polite forms. Studying at a Japanese language school, especially one that focuses on communication ability.
Studying intensively allows you to use your limited time effectively. We recommend people to get out and about in Japan as much as you can during your stay (and we offer a host of activities to help you do that), but if your goal is improving your Japanese language ability, there is no substitute for intensive study.
Studying at a Japanese language school gives you access to a support network to aid your study efforts. This varies from Japanese school to Japanese school, of course, but at Genki Japanese School it includes:
- Your fellow students, a great support group who you can keep contact with even after you finish studying with us, and who can help motivate you in your learning long after you return to your home country.
- Your teachers, friends and accommodation sharemates in Japan - a readymade lifelong link to the country that gives you a reason to keep studying.
- A library of Japanese language textbooks and materials to use freely.
All of these factors add up to big improvements in Japanese language ability improvement for students at a Japanese language school. That's why we have students who use their limited leave each year to come back to study Japanese language with us again and again!