Live Online Classes Recommendations? (Living in Japan)

Hello!
I’m currently living in Japan and wondering if anyone has a recommendation for an online N4~N3 course. I would especially love a live class (from a Japanese university etc.).
I study Japanese best when I’m a classroom environment, but my area really only offers 1-on-1 tutoring. I’ve seen a few people reccomend online classes, but there’s so many that it’s kind of daunting.

Live classes would be preferred, but I’d be interested in other online courses people recommend as well!
Thanks! ^^

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Also in Japan and looking for the same - what region are you in?

I’m gonna assume you’re in Tokyo since you said you want live classes but didn’t put a location (which is a very Tokyo thing to do lol).

Unfortunately, there a major issues there not being enough Japanese classes for foreigners who want to learn Japanese. On top of there just not being enough classes to meet demand, teachers are often retired volunteers who only want to teach on weekday mornings, which makes classes inaccessible to people who work full time. Basically there’s been a demographic shift in foreigners in the last 20 years. Previously most foreign folks in Japan were housewives married to Japanese men, so classes at 10am on a Wednesday worked great. Now many foreigners work 9-5 and classes largely have not adjusted to this change. It’s by no means hopeless though, so I recommend looking at whatever resources your local cultural exchange association has. There’s a good chance they might offer a class. At least in my area, classes never really go past the N4 level, but hopefully you have better luck.

For university classes, just do some Googling and check what local universities have to offer. They’re likely to be full time courses though rather than night classes aimed at working people though. I think I have seen a part time course though, so it’s not impossible.

I almost never see stuff for online classes, unless it’s 1-1 private tutoring. I think Japan is generally pretty behind the curve on online learning, and since (outside of universities) most Japanese teachers are retired volunteers, I could see the technology barrier being pretty high. When Corona caused my Japanese classes to be cancelled, they were just straight up cancelled rather than being moved online. Now that (I think) universities are all back in person, I’m not sure if any of them would offer online classes either. I’m sure there are language schools capitalizing on the pandemic boom in online classes, but I don’t know anything about them tbh.

A bit niche, but I constantly see people posting ads for online classes/ classes in Tokyo in the Indians in Japan Facebook group. They tend to skew lower level, but I’ve definitely seen N4 level stuff. I think it’s mostly freelance teachers doing group classes, rather than people associated with an accredited school. The teachers also seem to be mainly non-Native speakers, if that important to you.

I‘m attending online classes at JOI (www.japonin.com). These are live online classes, and each lesson stands on its own, so you’re not tied to a schedule but can mix and match teachers and lesson times to your weekly needs.

If you are looking for 1:1 tutoring, there are lots of teachers on www.italki.com as well.

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