I have finished Intermediate 3 level Speaking, Writing, and Reading courses in the past two semesters after entering the University of Tokyo since last October.
During the Speaking class, we were taught basic honorific terms in Japanese that are necessary when talking to teachers and superiors. Simulated natural conversations with our own advisors and professors were also held. Furthermore, to prepare ourselves for expressing our ideas clearly, a debate contest was held, with its topic selected by students voting. In two weeks, we discussed with our teammates, writing speech scripts again and again. Personally, what we learned throughout that preparation, and deepened friendship with classmates are much more precious than the final result.
The writing class assigned essay tasks that require nearly 400 characters almost every week. Though it seems to be time-consuming, it does make me feel concrete elevation in my writing skills. During classes, we were writing materials about our own research projects sentence by sentence. By the end of that semester, we were able to write a full research proposal in Japanese with over 1000 characters.
Reading class allows us to enrich our vocabulary while reading interesting passages. From applications of techniques inside U-Tokyo campus, to disaster prediction and super-sonic planes, everyone in the classroom is free to speak anything about latest technology.
All the teachers I encountered in JLCSE courses are truly warm-hearted, and have strong sense of responsibility. Regardless of it being an online classroom or face-to-face one, teachers always make sure everyone in the class learning the most as he or she can. I am genuinely grateful for these wonderful classes.
Please do not hesitate to plunge yourself into such golden opportunities of learning Japanese!
I am very happy with the courses I have taken within the JLCSE! I started in the Beginner-4 classes last year and this upcoming year I will continue into Intermediate-2. Even though I have only taken classes online, the teachers have all been very engaging and the structure of the lessons is easy to follow. I have also met many classmates from within the School of Engineering that I wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with, so I am grateful for that as well. I highly recommend taking the integral class and the skill classes (I really enjoyed Intermediate-1 Speaking and Technical Reading!). I look forward to continuing with the JLCSE courses for the rest of my degree program, and I hope I can get to an advanced level with my Japanese. Thank you!
Hello everyone, my name is Timothy Joshua Dy Chua. I am a Master’s student who started the program in the Philippines back in April 2021. I had to take all of my classes online, and due to the coronavirus I was deprived of attending these classes physically. Taking my classes online and in another country was quite saddening as someone who really wanted to go to Japan. One silver lining however was the enjoyment I have been experiencing in my Nihongo classes. I want to thank my Japanese teachers very much.
A few months before my Nihongo classes started, I tried learning Japanese all on my own. I practiced my Katakana and Hiragana reading and writing and learned some of the vocabulary. However, I had no confidence when it came to translating my thoughts into Japanese sentences. This is where I found the most benefit from the Nihongo classes, as I could speak to my peers and to the sensei in Japanese. During class exercises, I would try my best to speak as much as I could; because this was the only time I could practice my sentences and receive corrections. I can truly say that I’ve learned much from the Nihongo courses.
During the final presentations, I felt a mixture of happiness and a bit of sadness as the class I really liked was ending. I really enjoyed practicing with my classmates and learning Nihongo from my great senseis. I hope that the lessons and time I’ve spent in these classes will be carried along with me to my future Nihongo classes. And hopefully, I would be prepared enough to take the JLPT exams and eventually achieve an N1 JLPT grading.
こんにちはみなさん。チュア ティモティー ジョシュア ティー です。四月にフィリピンで創造情報学の修士をはじめました。コロナですから、日本へ行くことができないので、全部クラスにオンラインでしゅっせきしました。日本へ行きたかったですが、フィリピンでズームをつかって授業にしゅっせきしました。とてもさびしかったです。日本へ行けませんでしたが、日本語のクラスはとてもたのしかったです。日本語の先生方、日本語をおしえてくれて、ありがとうございました。
最後の発表のとき、幸せにかんじて、でも、ちょっとさびしかったです。大好きなクラスがおわったので。友達と日本語を練習して、先生に日本語をならうことがとてもたのしかったです。私の希望は、ぜんぶならった日本語をわすれないで、次の日本語のクラスに出席することです。将来、JLPTの試験をうけたいと思います。JLPT N1 レベルになるように、一生懸命勉強します!
I am John Andrew Kane Jovellana from the Philippines. I am enrolled as a research student from 2020S1S2 and continue as a nuclear engineering graduate student starting in September 2020. I have taken Beginning 4, Intensive Beginning 2, and Intermediate 1 Reading classes before, and I am currently taking Intermediate 1 Speaking, Integral, and Listening classes this 2021A1A2. I started taking JLCSE classes from April 2020, which is the start of online class setup. At first, I was worried if I could effectively study Nihongo online while outside Japan because I do not have the proper environment and immersion in the language. I did not have the chance to use Japanese everyday last year.
Thankfully, the instructors are extremely accommodating and enthusiastic in teaching and delivering the Japanese classes. The setup, content, and requirements of the classes ensure balanced and organized development of all language skills, which are relevant and useful in my daily life now here in Japan. I realized that the classes are professionally and expertly handled by the faculty, and the level of difficulty and pacing are appropriate for the courses. The teachers are also understanding when the students suddenly become busy with research, and also give tips and advice about living in Japan. I realized that the skills developed in the classes are not only useful for passing the JLPT but also important for daily life situations and conversations.
The classes are also good avenues to learn more about various Japanese situations and cultural notes, especially during conversation and role-playing activities, as well as learn about diverse international cultures during speech activities and presentations. We also have native Japanese student volunteers who participate in our classes to further enhance the learning by improving our pronunciation, intonation, diction, and word choices in conversation activities. JLCSE not only offers Japanese language courses but also visitor sessions where we can have conversations with native speakers to learn more about Japanese culture. I strongly recommend the JLCSE classes to international students for expertly organized and immersive Nihongo classes.
My name is Jeferson Shin-Iti Shigaki. I am a graduate student from Brazil. I came to Japan in April 2019, and since then, I have taken several courses offered by the JLCSE, from Intermediate 3 to Advanced 1. As an international student, JLCSE is a great place to gather with people from all over the world and diverse knowledge fields. The staff are very supportive, and the instructors are incredibly passionate. The content of the classes has been helpful for both study and research activities and everyday life situations. I am now completing the reading course, following the integral, listening, speaking, and writing I took in the previous semesters. Some courses can be demanding but designed to help us improve relevant skills. Besides, I was positively surprised by the effectiveness of online classes since we shifted to remote study. The teachers have been magnificent amidst changes. Still, I am looking forward to resuming the in-person interaction for cultural exchange and deepening friendship.
My name is Meng Xuanlang and I am an international student from China. I got enrolled by U-Tokyo in September 2020, when I was still in China. And in my first semester there was a conflict between my major’s class and Japanese class. Luckily, responsible teacher rearranged me into a new class, Intensive beginning 2. In the second half of 2020, for me, who was unable to go to Japan because of the COVID-19, the teachers and students in my Japanese class were one of my closest ties to the school. My Japanese skill improved and our understanding of each other deepened during the weekly lessons. The classmates were so friendly that we were able to communicate happily even though we came from different cultural backgrounds and spoke a language we were not fluent in. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to do that without the help and encouragement of the teachers.
In this semester, I attend classes in intermediate level. The curriculum arrangement of the Japanese classroom is very reasonable. For beginners, they need a systematic study of basic grammar and vocabulary, and for intermediate or advanced learners, separate courses to improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills allow them to learn in a targeted manner according to their own situation. This year, I took an intermediate conversation course and a reading course, both of which were very rewarding. The course materials were carefully selected. The conversation course let us practice conversations in situations that we would encounter in our daily life, while the reading course came with a wealth of study materials that allowed us to learn about a variety of research topics while studying Japanese.
All in all, I would like to recommend all the international students who feel it necessary to learn Japanese with professional support to attend Japanese class. Also, I wish we can attend classes and activities offline so that I can meet my teachers and classmates!
My name is Jorge Alberto García Pérez, a graduate student who came from Colombia. Being honest, before coming to Japan, I had almost no knowledge about the language, besides a few words and barely how to write some hiragana and katakana. As such, I decided to remedy the situation by taking Intensive Beginning I in the first semester, and that was probably the best choice during the first months of living here. In the class you have the opportunity to make friends, to interact a lot with the teacher and other classmates in similar situations regarding sorting their lives through a new language and a new culture. The classes were amazing, very focused on getting a quick grasp on the language and the vocabulary, something which allowed me within a few months to start solving daily issues in Japanese.
By now I have been taking continuous classes for two years, and all the different classes have given me strength in different areas of the language, have given me the opportunity to learn grammar fast, to have reinforcement in vocabulary, and have given me plenty of opportunities to practice speaking and writing.
I highly recommend the classes at JLCSE, as in each class the program is well organized, the different classes are well connected and they complement well to give you a solid foundation of the language. Moreover, the professors are amazingly kind, supportive and even understanding of the different backgrounds that each international student may have.
Besides all of this, JLCSE hosts different amenities and activities that will not give you time to feel demotivated about the language. There are opportunities to talk to native people, to watch films in Japanese, to borrow books, and even events for experiencing Japanese culture are organized, so, enjoy!
My name is Marzia Ali and I am a MEXT Scholarship Student from India. I came to Japan for the first time in April 2019 without any previous knowledge of Japanese. I enrolled in the JLCSE Intensive Beginning 1 AM course and started attending the classes. The classes were very thorough and precise and I learned quite a lot within the span of 4 months. The teachers always provided handouts and other materials necessary for the class, not only that we had activities and games in every class which made Japanese even more interesting and fun to learn. The teachers were very supportive and helped me at every step of the way. By the end of the semester, I could understand and make simple conversations in Japanese. The Kanji characters which didn’t make sense to me earlier are more understandable to me now and I would like to continue next semester as well.
JLCSE also organizes cultural events like Ikebana, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Yukata wearing session etc so that you can experience Japanese Culture and learn new things which you might not know about Japan. There are also visitor sessions, one-on-one practice sessions and Japanese volunteers as well who will help you in improving your day to day Japanese conversations. There are a lot of activities planned throughout the semester and your duration of study at JLCSE will never be boring. You will get to meet a lot of people from foreign countries and make new friends in class and the teachers will help you whenever in need. All of this will slowly help you ease into your life in Japan.
The only advice which I would like to give to prospective students is “Don’t hesitate, go for the JLCSE classes if you want to improve your Japanese or even start from scratch and once you start, don’t rush through, just study at a normal pace and slowly you will get the hang of things.”
“Do your best and good luck!” 😊
I took the Japan Business Information and Advanced Japanese (Integral) classes this semester. I would highly recommend the former class for students planning to look for a job in Japan after graduation. The experienced teachers are kind and encouraging, and care to help students understand the methods to overcome the challenges to job hunting for non-Japanese students. The information gained about characteristics of companies in Japan, as well as the usual job-hunting process in Japan are particularly useful. In particular, how to conduct analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses, and how to tailor that as well as your life experiences and career motivation to the candidate profile that companies are looking out for are very useful. Furthermore, there are classes where successful students from previous semesters come by and discuss about their own experiences and offer advice, which is useful given that it would largely be the same experience (with of course some personal differences) that you will go through.
The second class is highly recommended for students who would like to improve their skills in thinking about a particularly matter in Japanese, and then expressing him/herself logically and clearly through speaking or writing. As the students in the class are foreign students, it is a great learning environment where there is no shame in committing mistakes (no judging eyes staring at you), which through correction from the teacher will help students to improve quickly. It helps that the teacher is encouraging and cares for the students’ learning. The interesting point about the class is that you are able to discuss about all sorts of political, economic and social issues of the day with your classmates in Japanese. Think about it, there aren’t that many such opportunities to do so in your life. What’s more, it’s the fastest way to improve your Japanese rather than simple daily idle talk.
While it is natural to say that people will improve their Japanese while living in Japan, JLCSE provided me and those interested in learning Japanese an opportunity to improve skills in a short amount of time. Every lecture, the materials and handouts are carefully constructed not only to instill knowledge but also expand your wealth of knowledge with realistic applications of Japanese. Each instructor shows passion in their class beyond the 105 minutes of lecture each week.
Aside from the staff and materials provided by JLCSE, it also attracts people of varying cultural backgrounds and experiences. While being surrounded by other passionate, advanced learners that motivate me to improve my Japanese, I also learn more about a variety of cultures along the way.
As a student with almost a year of experience studying Japanese courses at JLCSE I can say, you get what you put into these courses. Challenge yourself and the results will follow suit.
Having studied Chinese before, I had the (perhaps foolish) resolution to be mistaken for a native Japanese speaker by the end of my single year here. Although I am a GraSPP student, I chose to take the JLCSE Intensive Beginning II course to challenge myself to improve quickly.
Practicing for 8 hours a week really sped up my progression; my Japanese friends remarked that I was improving by the week.
Despite having taken the class with the main intention of building language skills, I find myself also engaging with questions of culture and symbolism. Though embedded in the nuances of the language, these topics extend well beyond the textbook. I also cherish the breaks my classmates and I spent in the JLCSE lounge discussing the many eccentricities of life in Tokyo.
Best of all, JLCSE organises free events where we can engage in traditional Japanese cultural activities in an intimidation-free environment (non-trivial in the context of Japan!).
The Intensive Beginning class is what it says on the tin and more—with every word you memorise comes many more wonderful memories.
I haven’t quite reached the standard of a native speaker yet, but on this Nihongo Shinkansen it shouldn’t me take long to get there.”
東京大学工学系研究科の日本語教室では、色々な授業があります。例えば、初級、中級 そして 上級。それで、自分が取りたい授業を自由に決める事が出来ます。
As I am writing this, my first semester at UTokyo is drawing to a close. Ever since my plane touched down at Narita last September, my time in Japan has been punctuated by daily discoveries, rich learning, and fascinating experiences. By far one of the highlights of my opening chapter in Japan has been taking part in the Intensive Beginning I Japanese language course offered by JLCSE.
Every week, our classes shed a little more light on Japanese culture, and equip us with a rapidly expanding toolkit of grammar, vocabulary and intercultural insight to fully take advantage of life in Japan. The pace of learning is steady and strong, perfect for those eager to rapidly improve their Japanese (progress was the only option in my case, and many of my classmates’, starting from scratch!).
The verdict is that after each lesson we have become more confident, and able to decipher increasingly longer snippets of Japanese conversations on campus, announcements on the underground, and signage in the streets of Tokyo. Our JLCSE teachers are attentive and supportive, eager to ensure each class member gets the most they can out of our contact hours. Emphasis is on developing a well-rounded grasp of the Japanese language, with a focus on practical daily conversation. Four months on, I can have a basic conversation with my Japanese friends, express myself in most day-to-day situations, and share jokes with my lab mates during our regular get-togethers.
If I had to give advice to newcomers to UTokyo, it would be this: don’t miss the chance to join Japanese language classes at JLCSE. Invest in learning Japanese, and the possibilities that will open up to you will reward you many times over. Be proactive, and seize opportunities to interact with Japanese students on campus and beyond. Make the most of the facilities and activities offered by JLCSE’s kind and caring staff, such as its DVD library, flower arranging and tea ceremony classes, cultural visits, and other seasonal events.
I look forward to hopefully seeing you around the JLCSE.