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

Any good Japanese Language School to recommend?

Chun M.
user 19811581
Kyoto, JP
Post #: 1
Hi (to whoever is still on this page),

I'm looking for a school to study Japanese too and after reading almost the whole thread, I'm undecided between IKOMA and Bunka. >.<

I know Wenyan keeps on saying go to whichever school you think you can stay on longer for.. but.. erm... I have special circumstances here..

I have studied Japanese until level 3 in NUS and I have self-studied almost the whole of level 4(I have 2 more chapters left).
So effectively you can say that I have more or less completed the Minna no Nihongo series (1-1, 1-2, 2-1,2-2)

I cannot take Japanese in NUS next semester due to clashes in timetable and I am going for exchange to Japan in the following semester(starting sometime in April 2012). So, I want to enroll in a school to improve my Japanese before my exchange program.

My dilemma here is that I heard IKOMA teaches at a slower pace than Bunka(I prefer I faster pace lesson as I want to improve my Japanese as fast as possible before my exchange. >.> *I only have 9 months left*) and IKOMA is really expensive. :x
Bunka on the other hand, have a very different syllables so I'm afraid it is quite difficult to pick up from where I left off in NUS. But my Japanese classmate in NUS keep on saying that Bunka is very good. o.O

I would be very grateful if anyone can give me advice on which school to go to.. and fast (I want to start as soon as possible)
Augustine
user 19205171
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
Hi Chun Meng! Nice to meet ya!

If you're really going for a faster pace of learning. I think Bunka would be a better choice?
Like you said, you're pretty much in a rush to improve your Japanese. In terms of different in syllabus, I think that would have to depend on yourself whether you think you are up for Bunka's study materials. =)

For me, I'm a student from IKOMA. Yea, I do agree that the fees are kinda pricy, but for the pace, I think its still ok, cause I wont want to rush learning the language.

Yup, thats my opinion for you, hope it helps in ur consideration on which Language Centre you would want to go to.

Cheers !

Chun M.
user 19811581
Kyoto, JP
Post #: 2
Thanks for the reply! smile

The thing that I'm worried about now though is that I might end up wasting more time at Bunka because when I see their evaluation test for Int 3 and 4. Some of the grammar I already learn already and some have not. So I'm afraid they will make me go for a class where I have already learnt 80% of the grammar. =/ whereas at IKOMA they follow the Minna no nihongo textbook which I have been using. So it is easier to integrate.(and possibly not waste time as I'm already following their syllables)

Also anyone knows how Bunka teaches their PA classes? Is there any structure? Do they just teach random grammar every week then maybe test your speaking a bit. o.O

Also for IKOMA what do they teach after completing Minna no Nihongo L1-50?

Thanks
Augustine
user 19205171
Singapore, SG
Post #: 2
Hello again !

Well, can't really provide much information for you on that, cause I'm still a Beginner and i'm currently at L12 of Minna no Nihongo Basic Textbook.
Chun M.
user 19811581
Kyoto, JP
Post #: 3
Hey,

Thanks anyway! Really appreciate your help. I've decided to sign up with IKOMA as use the same textbook as NUS and they practice speaking more also. Also read at other forums that there are students from Bunka who get stuck at pre advance lessons for a long time =x

See you around at IKOMA haha.
Guus G.
user 22957001
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
Have any of you taken lessons at:

- Aoba
- Inlingua
- Spring College
- Agape?

Yago.sg has a special promotion now, if you post your review, you can win an iPad2 and other prizes.

More details on the Yago Facebook page.
Elaine O.
user 20966361
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
Hey,

Thanks anyway! Really appreciate your help. I've decided to sign up with IKOMA as use the same textbook as NUS and they practice speaking more also. Also read at other forums that there are students from Bunka who get stuck at pre advance lessons for a long time =x

See you around at IKOMA haha.


Hi Chun Meng, may i know how's the class IKOMA so far?
i am actually studying at BUNKA now, going to PA2. was actually thinking to go IKOMA but feedback said that BUNKA is more conversational based while IKOMA is more academically based.
but still, I am keeping the option open. so here i am searching for info.
Chun M.
user 19811581
Kyoto, JP
Post #: 4
Hey,

Thanks anyway! Really appreciate your help. I've decided to sign up with IKOMA as use the same textbook as NUS and they practice speaking more also. Also read at other forums that there are students from Bunka who get stuck at pre advance lessons for a long time =x

See you around at IKOMA haha.


Hi Chun Meng, may i know how's the class IKOMA so far?
i am actually studying at BUNKA now, going to PA2. was actually thinking to go IKOMA but feedback said that BUNKA is more conversational based while IKOMA is more academically based.
but still, I am keeping the option open. so here i am searching for info.

Hi Elaine,
I was put into the intermediate 2 class at IKOMA after the placement test(interview) Our usual lessons usually consist of listening to the vocab, then the teacher will teach grammar structure. Then we practice the grammar structure with the given handouts, sometimes we pair up with someone else to carry out a conversation. Then occasionally we get worksheets to do and it is up to you whether you want to hand in.

But.. I find the pace of IKOMA really really slow. listening to the vocab on the cd is really a waste of class time. Also, I think the teacher should make us speak more. Or maybe do a dialogue with your pair in front of the whole class so that she can correct our mistakes and the whole class benefits instead of practicing 'privately' and not knowing if we constructed our sentence correctly. At least she just drops in on our conversations occasionally to a ask if we have problems.

ok all these complaints might be due to me comparing IKOMA with NUS which is really fast-paced so it might be just right for most people. Also I self-studied the textbook before enrolling in IKOMA so basically what they are teaching is a revision of what I have already learnt.(I'm waiting for the teacher to teach the last 2 chapters of the textbook which I'm really weak at)

My teacher is Ms Onishi, and I think it could be that I got a not so good teacher because I requested for a less crowded class. The teacher who interviewed me speaks really fast unlike Ms Onishi and she gives me an impression that she is more experienced. o.O So I might be a little bias in my views. Also, note that I have not attended for the pre-advance course so I cannot comment on how it is like. I think after you take PA2 at Bunka and change to IKOMA, they will probably put you in the pre-advance class.

Sorry I can't comment much on Bunka being more conversational based or IKOMA being more academically based. I only can say that my friend tells me Bunka is really good as it really builds up your foundation in grammar and encourage you to learn your own vocab by yourself. From this I deduce that Bunka requires you be more independent while the learners at IKOMA are more passive. *I was actually quite shocked when I asked a fellow classmate, 'nihon e itta koto ga arimasuka' she did not understand for a while and took her quite a bit of time to recollect the grammar pattern*

Hope this helps in your decision.
Elaine O.
user 20966361
Singapore, SG
Post #: 2
Hi Chun Meng,

Thanks for your swift reply and info.
It really helps.
I think i will have to gather courage and stay on BUNKA. Is really alot of conversation. The sensei always freak me out because you don't have time to form the sentences beforehand.
I guess it is more effective to make one learn the language. But is really scary when u don't have any friends to take the class with you <-- that's me.

probably u may want to come over to BUNKA. LOLx. Think you will adapt well.
BTW, that qns you asked your classmate, is taught at Bunka at beginner level alreadu. Usually, sensei won't let you forget because they would just popped qns randomly and "remind" you that it has been taught ages ago.

but really thanks for your feedback. At least i am more confident to move forward.
A former member
Post #: 1
I just joined Japanese Meetup last week and happened to come across this topic. Just to share my personal experience.

I studied in JCS some twenty years ago (yes, I am ojisan :)) for 4 years. Beginner - 1 year, Intermediate - 1 year and 2 years for advance. After graduated, I have no problem speaking in Japanese but cannot understand what native was talking about. I then asked my colleagues who was very fluent in Japanese why she has no problem communicating in Japanese and she told me: "you just need more times until you are use to it". Yes, all you guys need is time and you will be fine. However, try to remember as many vocab as possible and it will really help you when using Japanese. The next important thing is to listen how Japanese speak and learn to pronouns like them. It will be good if you have a chance to further your study in Japan. After graduating from JCS, I further my study in Japan for one year and that was a very good experience.

Let me know if you need help and I will see how I can help.
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