I started my new Japanese evening class tonight. It was difficult to go back to school, especially after such a busy day at work, but I was looking forward to getting back into studying Japanese.
I have to be honest though – my overall impression of my first class wasn’t great. I think the level was about right for me (although there will be a lot of review), but what I didn’t like was the Japanese to English ratio. I found that the other students used a lot of English to ask simple questions or speak to one another, and the teacher also used English at times when she really could have used Japanese (for example, saying “any questions?” instead of “shitsumon ga arimasu ka?”). My class is “lower intermediate” level, so I was assuming that classroom phrases would at least be in Japanese.
When I study, I like to totally immerse myself in the language. Switching between English and Japanese is difficult, so I would rather just switch on my Japanese and switch off my English for the full two hours. I also found it strange that the teacher didn’t make any small talk as people started to arrive, and then dashed out of the classroom as soon as the class was over.
My final comment is that, when I enrolled at this particular university, one of the reasons I chose it was because of the good reputation and nice campus. It was expensive, but I figured it would be worth it. Unfortunately, my class has been stuck out in the King’s Cross building, which is nowhere near the rest of the campus. It’s also a pretty dodgy area!
Anyway, I have lots of homework to do, and I’ll persist in the hope that I can at least learn something, even if the class isn’t quite what I wanted.