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Thoughts on a platform for trying/joining Japanese classes from language schools?

karasunofight

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Hi everyone,

I'm new here so please excuse me if I'm posting this in the wrong section of the forum.

I've recently been through testing out a couple of Japanese language schools locally (I'm in Aus) and I've found it quite a painful process with lots of emailing, doing every school's own version of level checkers/consultation calls and getting my head around all the different course structures and timings, etc.

It seems that most of the people running these places are mom and pop set-ups who aren't tech-savvy (nothing wrong with that though, just an observation).

I keep thinking there should be a better way to discover and try out classes from language schools through - some sort of centralised platform where you find schools with good track records, do your proficiency test once and book into the class but I'd really love to chat with others who have been through this.

My ask:

1. What is your experience of this problem?

2. If you're down to use an early version for feedback and validation, can you please let me know? I'd really love to see if this concept can help make things a lot smoother (and help schools find more students too!). Can just DM me here and I'll be in touch.

Thank you :)
 

mdchachi

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I'm surprised you have so many choices there. The only place I would think to go for Japanese language training around me would be a community college or to try to find a private tutor.
 

karasunofight

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I'm surprised you have so many choices there. The only place I would think to go for Japanese language training around me would be a community college or to try to find a private tutor.
Oh really? I just searched up something like "japanese language school (city)" and 4-5 instantly came up.

Not the same where you're from?
 

mdchachi

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Oh really? I just searched up something like "japanese language school (city)" and 4-5 instantly came up.

Not the same where you're from?
Not much comes up for Detroit. So I would end up having to choose based on location and price and word of mouth more than anything else.
 

karasunofight

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Not much comes up for Detroit. So I would end up having to choose based on location and price and word of mouth more than anything else.
May I ask if that's what you ended up doing? Are you currently doing classes at a Detroit-based language school?
 

mdchachi

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May I ask if that's what you ended up doing? Are you currently doing classes at a Detroit-based language school?
Actually I gave up learning Japanese about 20 years ago. But what I did do was take six semesters in college here in Detroit area. After that I lived in Japan for 6 years. And have been using it every day for last 25 years (at home and in workplace). I do wish I was more proficient in reading but I get by.
If any of the schools have some sort of free trial period or money back guarantee, I would suggest trying those first. It would be best if you can avoid getting locked in and losing money before you find the place that works best for you.
 

Buntaro

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Karasu,

I want to give you a piece of advice: The Japanese writing system contains two ways to write Japanese called hiragana and katakana. It is absolutely necessary for you to master reading and writing these two writing systems before you go any further in your study of Japanese. I am going to go so far as to say do not start studying Japanese at a school until you have mastered reading and writing hiragana and katakana. I have several ideas on how to learn and master hiragana and katakana, so please do not hesitate to ask. Find a 'study-buddy' and start learning them together.

I recommend you read my comments in this thread on how to practice kana (hiragana and katakana). Please read my posts, #3 and #5:


Below is a YouTube video on hiragana (the same video as in the above-mentioned thread). Take a look and tell us what you think.

 

karasunofight

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Actually I gave up learning Japanese about 20 years ago. But what I did do was take six semesters in college here in Detroit area. After that I lived in Japan for 6 years. And have been using it every day for last 25 years (at home and in workplace). I do wish I was more proficient in reading but I get by.
If any of the schools have some sort of free trial period or money back guarantee, I would suggest trying those first. It would be best if you can avoid getting locked in and losing money before you find the place that works best for you.
Ah wow! What a journey, living in Japan must've been magical.
You're touching on a really interesting point about not getting locked in, which I was thinking about re: this platform idea.
Are you familiar with anyone on this forum or personally that might be early in their Japanese journey and looking to start with a school? I'd love to grab some time on call and get their feedback on this idea to see if this could be a better way than testing random language schools until one fits.
 

Jezinn

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In my humble opinion, a viable alternative is self-study or a mixture of self-study and tutors. You could go the technology route, like using language software (a new one is Japanese Language Decoded) or others, then also schedule in Japanese Language tutors (if the person feels the need). Keep in mind there are online tutors... Probably among the most important things is being consistent, and what is inexpensive and/or convenient to use/do will help.

Unless the person is planning to be a linguist or professional translator, there is little to no concern as to how a person learned or what school they went to for language. If using Japanese in a professional/work setting or for more points when acquiring certain Japanese visas, the emphasis is often on the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), and there is a lot of software and tutoring geared for that specifically.
 

mdchachi

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Are you familiar with anyone on this forum or personally that might be early in their Japanese journey and looking to start with a school? I'd love to grab some time on call and get their feedback on this idea to see if this could be a better way than testing random language schools until one fits.
Sorry, no, I don't know anybody. You might be able to find people on reddit. My gut feeling is that it wouldn't be successful as a business. As a hobby/labour of love, maybe. Seems like demand would be low if you limit it to Japanese. I hear there is a big jump in people wanting to learn Korean now due to the massive success of Squid Game.
 
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