Friday, 25 May 2007

How am I studying Japanese in Tokyo?

I am totally amazed by how I am taught Japanese here. Teachers are really very good and know what to do due to a prior plan.

About 10 teachers teach me Japanese in my intensive course. Each day is about 3 to 5 hours of Japanese grammar, conversation and exercises. Each teacher has an hour and a half of class everyday, then teachers change to complete what has been done.

I study Structure, the Japanese grammar. This is the main focus in my course and they are totally doing it in a correct way. Because everyday we are learning 2 or 3 sets of grammar and new sentences that each open a whole new door of conversations for us.

In conversation classes, which we take almost everyday, is the most interesting part. We apply what we did learn in the grammar through out conversations, and ofcourse imagining a situation where we need to talk with Japanese only people. Conversation lessons are on three levels:
1. The students talk in pairs which each other to practice the pronunciation.
2. Then each student performs the required conversation with the teacher. By this all students watch and learn from other's mistakes.
3. Conversation Challenge: on which we have to go to the teachers room down the hall and apply the conversation with a random teacher from there.

The third part, the challenge, is the most interesting part. Because at the teachers room there is a video camera ready and they record all conversation. After we finish and return to class the teacher runs the video and starts saying notes on each of us. The notes include everything: grammar, pronunciation, reactions, how to start, how to end, body movements and even where to look while talking. This is totally helpful and makes us learn pretty fast.

Ofcourse, dont forget the laughing part!!! when we watch the video we laugh like crazy on our mistakes and pronunciations!!! it is very very funny and enjoyable which also makes Japanese language more fun.

We also have vocab lessons, Kanji, reading and further practices on grammar. With a test every week to sum everything we took.

I really like it and I am learning very fast. Japanese language is totally fun and I find it pretty easy..


Kanji_chan said...

:D cool! i wish i can be enrolled in such a full-of-energy nihongo class!!..maybe soon,only God knows wut's hidden for me ;)

aya said...

Wow, so many teachers with you.
I am sure you do not have problems in daily conversation now.


Kanji_chan said...


saqf said...

It sure is a lot of fun to study Japanese in Japan, and the intensive course -as Sanadoo san mentioned- is really helpful.

On the other hand, unlike Sanadoo san, I find it getting more difficult each day, the more we learn, the more complex the structure becomes, and the amount of new vocabulary gets larger and larger.

Every week we get to learn around 20 to 30 new kanji's. In my class, we have covered over 120 ones.

Now we can also use e-learning material from any computer and do many exercises from home.

A few previous students talked about a "silent" period in Japan, which may end within a month and talking will no longer be frustrating.

I personally can get my message through, but not eloquently.

This should get better with time.

Samer said...

Sanad and Ocha no Ahmad,
I started studying Japanese 4 years ago since summer 2003 , and I'm still only mid-way intermediate level now. My current sensei will leave in august, and afterwards I'll be sensei-less and struggling to find someone to teach me and support me for taking 2kyuu JLPT.

This is in contrast to your awesome situation. I hope that you guys make the best of it and return with excellent Japanese unlike many Jordanians who returned with less-than-functional Japanese or no japanese at all.

So, you passed the first two screening steps! Great! I'm confident you will do super in the interview! and I hope you find a suitable program/university (that's the difficult part).


Kanji_chan said...

Saqf san,Sanado san,
sugoi! 1 month? thats great.For me,my weakest part of the language is the conversations part.As pronounciation,i believe its good somehow, but i cant handle long conversations..i talk talk then i find myself at last trapped n have to speak in english.It really makes me feel bad :(
I believe having japanese people around you all the time can be SUPER helpful!(^_^) I hope that you two take advantage of this chance and experience it to the limits!

Sameru san,
sou desu ne. But i believe the hard part is yet to come! Its the acceptance from a Japanese Uni.(@_@) i hope i can really make it,otherwise ill have a broken heart for ever!lol :D thanks for your encouraging word! :)
Who is your sensei by the way? a JICA sensei?

aya said...

Although I do not recommend this method to everybody, I will tell you easiest & secret way to master Japanese very quickly.

The shortest way to learn Japanese super-quickly is,,to have a Japanese girlfriend/boyfriend!

Any foreigners who are studying Japanese and have Japanese lovers master Japanese so quickly in Japan. They become able to speak fluent Japanese, especially daily conversation.

Maybe this applies not only to Japanese language, but also to any foreign language...

This advice may not be helpful, but just as information :)

aya said...

This advice is only if you need motivation & teacher at the same time!
And only if you love Japan and want to continue to live in Japan in the future.

If you already have motivation and teachers around you, please ignore this advice. (^_^;)

Samer said...

Nakahara-sensei. She's the wife of a JICA volunteer and she's a really great teacher. Although she's not a full-time teacher and doesn't get anything in return, she really gives us her all. She gives me and hussam two lessons a week. Though it's difficult to catch up with hussam-senpai. Two things of note in this lesson: languages other than japanese not allowed; no dictionary allowed.

S and O sensei are too busy with the university and JICA courses and give lessons to students who want to take 3kyuu, but we meet occasionally.

Also Amani-san, I also have similar problems in conversation.. I have to think a lot before I talk and I get very disappointed and tense if I make mistakes, so I have to build confidence in my ability.

Another problem is that sometimes I want to say something that seems difficult and I stumble, but it turns out that I can say it in very simple terms.. for example many sentences and questions can be reduced to just --ga arimasu(ka) and be perfectly understandable.

You're going to Japan for two weeks in shaa' Allah. So, you'll have two weeks to talk Japanese as much as you can, right? Those two weeks will make a world of difference!

Kanji_chan said...

LOL i totally understand wut u mean by sentences that are reduced to (ga arimasu)..i use it when i cant express myself well LOL =D nakahara sensei desu ne! i ddnt get to meet her yet! ^^ u guys r having fun in jica! urayamashii~!(T_T)
and i believe its still not official, the 2 weeks in japan. i hope it will become so soon!

aya san,
LOL very effective! but thats ONLY if u have that jap bf/gf! :D

Samer said...

"i believe its still not official, the 2 weeks in japan. i hope it will become so soon!"

Amani-san, in simple words, think about it like this: you will go to Japan on this trip, unless something very unexpected and bad happens.

and when the japanese g/b/f asks what is the best thing about him/her.. what are we supposed to say? "Your language"?

Interestingly, K-s once said this if I remember correctly: you need shokyuu level japanese to love a japanese woman/man, chuukyuu level to marry, and joukyuu to divorce.

By my level, I guess I can be engaged now.. :p

Anonymous said...


naam! ana hakiitu zei heik, naam.

and, yes, you are ready to marry now.

thanks for keeping learning Japanese. I'm happy that you found good teacher.
your motivation encourage teachers a lot. you encourage me still now, even we have 10000km distance.
2kyuu shiken, ganbare.


Samer said...

naam, ana mitzaker! hakeiti heik bi maser!

Arigatou K-s,

chikai uchi ni aimashou!

Sami said...

They are really smart , no way their language is easy

but using the ways you mentioned you'll learn it , love it and never forget

I started to wonder how they teach children from the beginning

And I am happy you are enjoying it

Kanji_chan said...

sameru san,
:D :D i try 2 be always ready for the worst ^^
"joukyuu to divorce" ! LOL, this is the first time i hear this! :D
(^_^)arabia-go jouzu desu ne!! too bad i didnt have the chance to know the arabia-go skills you have more and more :)

aya said...


Don't worry!!
Jordanian people are very popular in Japan!! and many people will approach to go out with you..
(you can decline of course)

I went to World Expo 2005 in Nagoya before, and visited Jordanian building(they had exhibition and dead-sea pool).
There was a Jordanian guy with glasses(he spoke Japanese) who was guiding the way, and many Japanese girls were chatting and exchanging mobile phone numbers with him! He had average face as a Jordanian, but for Japanese girls I guess he looked very attractive and gentleman. Japanese people always like something foreign and exotic.

So, if you are a girl, you might be even more popular.
Please be careful not to be stalked by Akihabara otakus!

Anonymous said...


>"joukyuu to divorce"

it means, "if you will divorce, you need joukyuu level Japanese, becouse you have to discuss & negotiate things"



narutaki amaam "hachiko" fi shibuya?


Kanji_chan said...

waaa k-sensei!! HONTOU NI JOUZU! was that all because of your stay in Jordan? sugo~~i!! yappari super sensei da! ;)

Aya san,
LOL! Is that all to quickly learn Japanese?:D my jishuu way seems more easy and effective to me!;)

aya said...


Samer said...

dokodemo kwayes, sensei.

Kanji_chan said...

(^_^) ありがとう!☆ まだまだです^^

subzero said...

i will come back to reply on each of u guys just give me some time..