Japanese Language School in Tokyo

Has anyone been to a Japanese language school in Tokyo that they would recommend? Specifically, I’d like to improve my business Japanese and Keigo.

I’m going to one in April, unless immigration tells me to sod off in February :frowning: . You can check out gaijinpot or gogonihon, they are affiliated with a bunch of schools and the one I chose seems to have plenty of good reviews.

If you aren’t Chinese, avoid ARC Academy / ARC 東京日本語学校. Source: I’ve been going there for almost 2 years.

If you are Chinese, I highly suggest it. Their curriculum above JLPT N4 level is made for you.

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This begs some explanation…

Chinese people have a huge advantage in learning Japanese because they learn some 12,000 kanji in school. Japanese kanji comes from Chinese kanji, and while there are differences, after a year or so of study the differences are mostly overcome. Many words, especially “old” words (school-, government-, science-, law-related, etc), have identical kanji spellings so no learning is needed aside from how they sound. Also a lifetime of using kanji allows them to understand kanji-based words they may never have seen.

For this reason, this particular school, after advancing above N4 level (that is, after completing Minna No Nihongo 1 and 2), begins assuming students understand kanji words that have not been taught. For example, I lost 30% on a final exam because I didn’t understand one word, and a whole section was based on knowing it. It was a word that was never encountered in class, and I haven’t seen it in the wild either. This kind of thing happens every day at this school.

The Chinese students generally seem to enjoy life there, while everyone else either works ridiculously hard to keep up or falls hopelessly behind.

If I had gone in knowing what I know now, I’d have chosen one of the schools that specializes in teaching westerners. The people I know attending these schools seem to learn more effectively and are enjoying their time in school a lot more than I am. :laughing:


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