Hi New Yorkers! It’s almost time for another sweltering famous New York summer, and what better time to find an excuse to go inside in air conditioning and learn Japanese?
If you’re interested in learning Japanese, you probably have your reasons. Maybe you’re looking to travel to Japan either this summer or sometime in the near future. Maybe there’s a part of Japanese culture you like, whether it’s anime or manga or maybe even shodo. Maybe you have a business reason to learn Japanese.
Whatever your reasons are, please think about it while you’re considering which course to take this summer. There are numerous courses being offered out there in New York from a variety of institutions, but you want to make sure that both your interests and goals are being met when deciding on a course.
First of all, we would recommend researching your institution of learning. The atmosphere or friendliness of the person on the other line should all play into whether you’d like to take lessons there or not. Is this a place I want to spend the next 6 to 8 weeks to 1 to 5 years learning at? Always ask that question with every interaction.
Next, is your reason for learning language. If it’s a business reason, you might want to consider taking private lessons. Yes private lessons are more expensive, but they are also more bang for your buck. You’ll get personal attention for a Japanese teacher who will fix all the little nuances you’re getting wrong in the language, and they’ll do it right away, in the comfort of your own time. They’ll also teach to your strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly though, private lessons are customized, so you can make the right impression when going into that Japanese trading company or hedge fund.
However, if you fall into the casual cultural interest category for learning Japanese, it really depends your learning style. If you feel that you’ll get the most from private lessons (for example you’re very self driven, or don’t like group learning environments) then please consider the private lessons. Also learning long term is usually more effective with private lessons, although that’s not to say students don’t stay in group classes for a long time if they do find the right learning environment.
Which brings us to our last category, group classes. Group classes are great for a variety of reasons, namely you’re not alone in your language learning process. You get to learn with other students, see how they learn and what tools they’ve uncovered outside of class, but you also get potential study buddies and friends who can encourage and challenge you to learn.
For group classes, also consider the age. For example, Hills Learning has a Japanese through Manga Class for highschoolers looking to learn Japanese. So if you’re a teenager and you learn Japanese Manga or Anime, this is really a win-win class and opportunity. Language House and other schools in NYC also offer high school courses.
If you’re an adult, please consider the class size and quality of the curriculum before choosing. Always ask the schools what’s the maximum amount of students they allow into their classes, if it’s 15 to 20 please keep in mind you won’t get the attention as a 4 to 8 person class provides.
Also, and why we’re writing this for the upcoming summer, is that summer classes (for those of us that aren’t working) means more time to learn. Inquire about intensive courses at the institutions you’re looking into, most will either have a group intensive course or possibly discounts if you decide to take private courses for Japanese intensively.
Ultimately, Japanese is a great language to learn and there are many options in New York. Please consider the atmosphere and culture of the institution, class size, course goals, and your goals. You’ll then come up with the best place for you to learn Japanese in New York! Please feel free to ask any questions onto this post, and happy learning!