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Japanese Meetup @Singapore Message Board › Any good Japanese Language School to recommend?

Any good Japanese Language School to recommend?

A former member
Post #: 3
Minasan, Konnichiwa

I am planning to take JLPT 3 this year and I am considering of changing school. I'm currently studying in a Jap school in Hougang. However, my previous teacher (because of personal reasons) has stopped teaching my class. With the change of teacher, I am not absorbing the lessons as well as before. Hence, I am thinking of switching to another school once my current module finish next month.

Anyone has any good Jap school to recommend? I would like to attend one which allows both writting and speaking opportunities (& not too expensive, I hope). Preferably, less than $10 per hr.

I only know JCS and Bunka...are they good?

Hope someone can share with me your learning experience in your Jap school.

Domou arigatou gozaimasu
Singapore, SG
Post #: 23
I also looking for school :P
If got good recommendation pls jio me also? :P
A former member
Post #: 2

I'm currently studying at bunka elementary 2.
Teachers so far has been great especially Gima sensei, he is very funny.
Currently taught by Aya sensei, she is great too very patient in explaining to us.

Lesson wise is great with their patented teaching method.

Cheers :)
user 3468566
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
IKOMA. pricey but worth the investment
Sharon Isabella L.
Singapore, SG
Post #: 11
I also support Ikoma!
I only took their JLPT prep. course for 1 year, and I find their materials are very comprehensive and detailed.
user 3167087
Singapore, SG
Post #: 9
It was a close call between Bunka and Ikoma here- Ikoma won cause the time table at the time was better for me tongue Still at Ikoma now and enjoying it. Have a friend who is a satisfied Bunka student too though.
A former member
Post #: 1
From what I heard, Hougang Japanese School is good too

It is cheaper than Schools in City area.
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
I've studied at JCS Japanese Language School, Hougang Language School, Yano Language School and currently Ikoma Language School so have some experience in this field.

For JCS its relatively cheap but then the classes I feel are too big. Just look at the enrollment queues for elementary classes here. I was once in this queue so I know how it felt. Not sure if they have changed class sizes recently but I have a feeling not. Large class sizes are detrimental since they reduce interaction time and each student would have limited time for questions. But I dropped out halfway not due to this but because I felt the classes were dry and boring. I guess even a very attractive teacher couldn't keep up my interest for long. Yes, at that point of time, JCS had (has?) the reputation of having some of the most drop dead gorgeous Senseis around. 3 in fact while I was there.

Hougang Language School has the honour of being the oldest (literally as well as technically) Japanese school in Singapore. Its prices are even cheaper than JCS. The class sizes are decent and definitely smaller than JCS. I studied there for 2 years so it can't be that bad. The quality of the Senseis would vary as experienced by the topic starter. My Sensei at that time was Sai sensei. She is no longer there now I know for sure.

Yano was okay, so I heard, while the founder Yano Sensei was still around. But when I joined it had already been sold to another organisation which I didn't know till much later. Don't trust their website its quite outdated. I heard it all from another long time student while I was there since I hadn't seen Yano Sensei at all. Was there for 1 year and found the teaching not very good. This was probably because the Senseis there were fresh from Japan and didn't have much experience teaching in Singapore. Also the quality of the students left much to be desired. I was studying advanced course but some of my classmates didn't manage to pass JLPT 3 and frequently had to stop the Sensei to ask for a translation since they didn't understand what he was saying. And look at their exams, they basically provided you all the answers 2 weeks before and if you memorised everything you would basically pass or even score full marks. This was when I knew the school was more interested in money than making all its student truely Japanese proficient, so I had to leave. I felt bad leaving since I made a few friends there. But I told everyone I was leaving because I had job committments and was stopping my Japanese studies (うそつき). In fact I managed to convince 2 others to leave with me to another school which I would mention shortly. Yano's current management must hate me now! biggrin

Ikoma was first mentioned by my Sensei at Hougang Japanese School. In fact she secretly used their notes to distribute to us for our JLPT3 prep course. I had another friend studying there and he also recommended me the school. So basically I went down to have a look sometime last year. I was immediately impressed by the quality of their notes as well as the professionalism of the Sensei I spoke to. I knew I had to come to this school so I did at the end of last year. I mentioned it to 2 of my friends who were previously studying at Yano and they too switched with me. Too bad Ikoma didn't have a recommendation fee like Yano otherwise I would be rich, not.wink The thing that would put most people off about Ikoma is the fees. Most of their courses cost about $1000 and above per level. But as the saying goes, "if you pay peanuts you get monkeys". But the level of teaching is quite different and quite good I would say. The notes are really good and there should be no reason to fail any level of JLPT if you studied all of them religiously. But the students they intake also seem to be of a certain level. I think no one would pay $1000+ to fool around so those who enroll are basically people serious in passing JLPT or mastering Japanese. The test that they give are also quite difficult but that the point isn't it? If you can pass without studying then you're wasting your time there (Yano I'm looking at you). In fact there is nothing more I can say to convince you that Ikoma is a good school so go down to have a look yourself to judge. But you know you can't go wrong when the school has native Japanese studying there as well.

Bunka is another Japanese school I've heard brought up several times by people studying Japanese. This is another school located in Orchard so expect the fees to be quite steep as well. The have their own patented system of teaching Japanese which would more or less ensure you pass your JLPT (or you get your money back?tongue). But the reason I didn't join them is because I heard that recently there was an exodus of Senseis so they were relatively understaffed.

In conclusion, I have some basic advise to add. For levels JLPT3 and below any school you feel comfortable with and can afford is good enough. In fact JLPT4 is so easy most people frequently skip that level. JLPT3 is also relatively easy and you should be able to pass without studying much. However for JLPT2 and above you need a quality school and this is when you must decide where to spend your hard earned money. Ikoma is a good bet, Bunka is okay too. Avoid Yano and JCS however. Hougang Language School is a mixed bet. While I was there they frequently had trouble filling classes for the advanced level so the class was constantly in danger of closing down or merging with another one. But I don't think their notes will match the quality of those from the Orchard schools. So choose wisely and have fun studying Japanese.
Singapore, SG
Post #: 7
I'm looking for a school as well. A friend of mind recommended Goro Language School (somewhere in town). The classes are generally small and they have a flexible schedule. The senseis instruct at an individual students' pace so there's plenty of individual attention. But that was a number of years ago and I have no idea what their instruction is like.

Perhaps I should pay these schools a visit and see how it goes.

I really have no idea which school I should opt for. I've got a fairly tight schedule so flexible classes would be excellent and to be able to progress at my own pace would be great as well. I'm currently doing self-study and am progressing relatively well.
Singapore, SG
Post #: 3
Ikoma classes are quite flexible. Basically there are classes almost everyday of the week depending on intake. So if you can't make it on the chosen day that you signed up for, you can always call in to reserve a seat in a class on another day. Usually the weekend classes are mostly full but weekday classes should be able to handle a few people who want to reshedule.

And I don't really get how a school is able to teach each student at their individual pace. Shouldn't the weaker students be in another class of a lower level if they can't keep up? Unless there is personal tuition I don't see how its possible. And if it really is personal tuition than I don't see how a school can provide such a service while charging a competitive pricing.
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