Back to school…

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.


My textbooks

6 thoughts on “Back to school…

  1. I took an evening class at SOAS and from a discussion with a friend (who had done a degree there) it is different. Shall I say that students are sometimes less motivated and teachers less strict? I found those classes frustrating as we didn’t seem to move very quickly e.g. Several students claimed they were there to learn the writing system but never bothered and the teaching wasn’t very interested in teaching. Now I’m learning Japanese at a local adult education centre and I was a bit better prepared for people to not do their homework, or not attend all the classes, or prefer to speak English. I try not to get frustrated and enjoy it. Don’t give up – I expect you will be a good influence on everyone else and there will be other students like you.


  2. That’s a pity. It’s useful to have a set class although I think with motivation it’s possible to progress on your own after you learn the basics. I know my study has gotten more haphazard after my classes ended though.
    Unfortunately it’s up to the teacher to set an all-Japanese environment but you can do your best not to use English yourself, maybe your example will encourage others to do the same.
    The most intense, and useful, lessons I’ve had were one to one with a Japanese teacher who wouldn’t speak English. The best speaking practice has been with Japanese who can’t speak English.



  3. Interesting. I think I am a similar level to you but I am going for self-study/occasional private classes this year due to cost. (And quite glad having read this!) It seems not many London outlets offer a level beyond Minna no Nihongo1, and they’re all hugely overpriced!

    I hope you end up enjoying this class/ it gets more rigorous though. Perhaps the teacher was just guaging the group ability in class one?


    • Thanks for your comment. I think I might end up trying to do self-study too after this term finishes. I’m two classes in and not thinking that it’s worth the money at all. I’m terrible at staying motivated without a teacher though. (>_<)


  4. I had a very frustrating lesson last night – people wandering in late, not having done any homework all week, talking in English, and the room was really hot so I think that put me in a worse mood too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s