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Learning Japanese in Los Angeles while You’re Still at School
The younger you learn a language, the more you’ll remember and the better you’ll be at it. However,
Japanese isn’t a very popular language in public schools. In fact, it’s only the 10th most popular language in American public schools. The sun might be setting on learning Japanese in middle and high schools. (Source: pixabay.com)
While some children learn languages as early as elementary school,
it’s rare that they’ll be taught Japanese. It’s far more likely that students will be learning Spanish at elementary school. While there are a few Japanese schools in the state, most of them are for Japanese families. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn Japanese, though.
There are two main options:
Learn Japanese outside of school in a language center.
Learn Japanese with the help of a private Japanese tutor.
If you choose the first option, the first thing you should do is
look at some of the available language centers in the area offering Japanese language tuition. While this option is more economical, it isn’t necessarily the best option for those with busy schedules. If your schedule changes from week-to-week, you should consider getting a private tutor (which we’ll talk about later on).
While there are plenty of places to get Japanese lessons in the area, we’ve put together a sample of a few just to give you an idea of your options before you start learning Japanese.
Fuji School Fuji School offers a wide variety of different of classes for different levels and different learning objectives. There are traditional grammar courses, conversation classes, and even preparation classes for students getting ready to take the Japanese-Language proficiency test. The grammar classes cover four different levels: beginner, intermediate, pre-advanced, and advanced. Furthermore, all the teachers are experienced Japanese natives and experts in their mother tongue.
If you pay for one lesson per week, you can get 10 lessons for $350. Two lessons per week cost $650 for 10 weeks of lessons. A weekly semi-private course is $450 for 10 weeks and additional private lessons cost $50 for 70 minutes. If you opt for private lessons outside of the courses offer, they’ll cost $60 for a 70-minute class.
Pasadena Language Center
In addition to Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Cantonese, and German classes (to name a few), you can also get Japanese classes from the
Pasadena Language Center. There are classes for beginners and intermediates as well as intensive classes for beginners.
Depending on the course you choose, you can expect to pay between $250 and $1,000.
Studying Japanese at College in Los Angeles
If you’re really serious about learning Japanese,
perhaps it’s worthwhile choosing to study it at college rather than just at language schools. You don’t need to be rich or famous to learn Japanese in L.A. (Source: pixabay.com)
As there are a number of quality colleges in the area, you should look at some of the undergraduate programs where you can major in Japanese. The University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA)
Department of Asian Language & Cultures offers students the chance to major in Japanese or Asian Languages and Linguistics.
University of Southern California also offers degrees in Japanese. There are 9 different courses offered and there are even study abroad programs for students who’d like to have the opportunity to learn more about the language, culture, and history of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japanese courses are also available at
Loyola Marymount University. In the beginners’ course, students will be introduced to the Japanese writing systems, they’ll learn around 30 kanji, and they’ll practice speaking with native Japanese speakers.
They’ll then learn more kanji and will be introduced to katakana as they build their vocabulary and develop Japanese communication skills. Students will later move on to improving oral proficiency, reading and writing skills using all three Japanese writing systems, and writing short essays.
By the time students take their fourth Japanese class, they should be able to have
intermediate conversations and have a good understanding of advanced Japanese grammar. In their fifth Japanese class at LMU, students will be able to write longer essays, differentiate between formal and informal Japanese, and will have the opportunity to give a presentation in Japanese. Learn Japanese with Cultural Associations in Los Angeles
If you’re just starting to learn Japanese,
you should consider looking for cultural associations, societies, or institutes. There are a number of options for those living in Los Angeles. You can learn Japanese more quickly if you enjoy yourself. (Source: Belle Co) The Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute
For over 70 years, the
Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute has promoted Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage through education, cultural programs, and events. They offer Japanese classes for adults and high school students on Saturday mornings at 8:45-10:30 (intermediate and over) and 10:45-12:15 (beginner). Classes cost $45 per month.
The classes are small and you get the opportunity to
learn more about Japanese culture and history. You’ll also be taught by a native Japanese speaker who’ll be able to share their unique perspective on Japanese culture.
In addition to the Saturday classes, the institute’s language school offers
classes for elementary school children. All the classes are taught by native Japanese speakers and there are discounts available for families.
Tuition is $75 per month and the children’s and teens’ classes are on Saturdays 8:45-12:15.
Learn Japanese with a Private Japanese Tutor
School isn’t for everyone, after all. Some students don’t really respond to traditional language classes.
Does that apply to you?
You should consider calling a private tutor to come to your house and give you private Japanese tutorials. This is a great option for anyone with a job that would otherwise stop them from taking a class at the same time every week.
With a private tutor, you can have your Japanese lessons wherever you like! (Source: Natália Ivanková)
Just like in Japanese language centers,
your tutor will work out the best way to teach you Japanese by working with your strengths and weaknesses, helping you with your pronunciation, reading Japanese writing systems (kanji, hiragana, katakana), the history of Japan, vocabulary, introducing yourself, and counting in Japanese.
While private language tutorials can’t replace language immersion in Japan, they can give you the basics you’ll need to speak, read, and write Japanese once you get there. They can also prepare you for life in Japan or making sure you can get by if you do a language exchange program in Kyoto or Tokyo, for example.
The tutors will probably have the same passions and hobbies as you: Japanese culture and history. This means that you’ll be able to talk to them at length about your favorite things from Japan like manga, video games, anime, cuisine, or music.
Having fun is the best way to study and memorize Japanese vocabulary and all the different characters you’ll need to know. Have you considered looking for native Japanese tutors on Superprof? How do you find the perfect private tutor?
Superprof puts tutors and students in contact with one another. You just have to see which tutors are available near you for at-home private tutorials.
You can choose your tutor based on your level, what you want to learn, and how you want to learn.
Maybe you just need some basic Japanese lessons online. While learning Japanese on your own might seem difficult, if you’re motivated enough, it can be done. This is where a private tutor can come in really useful as
they’ll be able to help you manage your time and push your to learn and keep you motivated when you feel like giving up. Think of them as a living reference to help you with any questions you may have about Japanese.
This alternative to traditional lessons might be one of the best decisions you make when it comes to learning Japanese both in terms of your time and your money. After all,
you can choose how often you meet and you can also choose a tutor with a rate that suits you.
At Superprof, you’re free to browse the profiles of as many tutors as you’d like. Don’t forget that
many of them offer free tutoring for the first hour so you can see if you like them. You should note that rates can vary wildly based on location, too.
Do you like the sound of private tutors but don’t live in Los Angeles? Don’t worry! There are private tutors all over the country for you to get in contact with!
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