Any experience with Japanese teachers?

(Not sure if this was more appropriate here or on the “Resources” section, in case feel free to move it.)

I recently moved to a different workplace in Japan and, since I am working during weekday, I am looking for a private teacher to continue my japanese study. Last year I followed a Japanese course where we finished the two みんなの日本語 books (it was quite good mainly because none of teachers spoke english), so I have a basic understanding of the language.
I live in a low populated area, but not far from Fukuoka (around 30 mins by train), and I was a bit surprised by how difficult it is. I started by asking to a local organization that does some classes for foreigners, but they are very basics and told me they don’t do private lessons. Then I googled for some school, but I was surprised by the prices (20k entrance fee + around 5-7k per hour). I could even afford it, but it seems expensive to me when I can find cheaper teachers in my country.
Lastly, there are many that offers lesson through skype, but I would prefer doing it on person (call me old-fashion xd ).

Has anyone had any experience with a private teacher? How did you find it? Was it helpful?


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Hmm only once? But it was more of a voluntary kind of thing which is a whole lot different from structured stuff. I liked it for as long as it lasted but I personally preferred going to a class with other people. I live in a ‘city’ and there was only 1 structured class (I attended that didn’t require taking anything to another city (according to google and the prefecture foreign language guide)
I also was kinda irritated that all the good schools/ classes required some traveling via train. I signed up for Kumon trial lessons. I’ll keep praying.
I hope you find something beneficial and not too costly.

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I too live in a smaller city and although the city’s international association has a number of volunteer Jp teachers who try to fit various schedules, many of them lack experience in teaching intermediate or higher levels. So to supplement these lessons, I have used online teachers. I was unsure if I’d like online lessons at first but I was happily surprised at the quality of teachers I found. The site I used was italki. This particular site has professional and community teachers and prices vary accordingly. A number offer reduced price trial lessons to see if you like the teacher. There are a number of other online teaching sites. At least give it a try before writing the idea off completely. In the inaka, sometimes you have to make do with what’s available.

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Have you tried looking for online teachers from your area and ask if theyre willing to do in person lessons or a combination of online/in-person? (Likely that they will charge a higher fee for in person)


$45-65 for an hour lesson (with an actual trained teacher) isn’t that expensive IMO.


I take -real life- Japanese classes once a week. It’s a bit slow due to the fact that it’s only an hour and a half per week but definitely helping.
A friend of mine has used italki a lot to get online tuition and it seemed pretty nice too although you really have to pick someone who’s a teacher (or has been) cause some people only offer conversational Japanese and it has its limits.
I’d recommend self teaching too with intermediate/advance material. Can’t (really) hurt if you’re following the books.


I have never had the chance to take in person lessons but I am very happy with my iTalki lessons via Skype. I pay 14€ per hour and my grammar teacher is just amazing. She is well prepared, knows how to explain the grammar, seems to know and have screenshots of all the books. I own 4 different N3 grammar books (because I’m an idiot? :wink: ) and she knows all of them and always tells me where to look for the best explanation for a current grammar point.

I also enjoy not losing any time to commute to wherever I would have to go to take lessons and being able to schedule lessons whenever it works best for me.

I usually take 1-2 lessons per week but for months now I have been in a bit of a JLPT bootcamp mode and it is 4-5 lessons at the moment. These lessons are the most important part of my grammar studies, I can’t imagine doing it on my own.

I hope you find an in person teacher that works for you but all I’m saying is: the Skype fallback solution is not the worst thing in the world :slight_smile:


Seconded. I’m also doing lessons via iTalki, though mine are more aimed towards reading books together and my tutors explaining what’s going on re:grammar, word choice, and idioms. It’s really convenient, especially as there’s no commuting taking place (which saves a lot of time).


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will give a look at the iTalki teacher and keep you updated :crabigator:

Sure, that’s why I asked :slight_smile:

Well, I agree we disagree.


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