What are our events about?
Our events are aimed at a mutual exchange between Japanese people who've come to learn English and people residing in Canada who are interested in the Japanese Language/Culture.
What do I need to bring?
There is a $1.00 event fee. Also, we recommend a notebook and pen/pencil.
How can I have the best experience?
- Show up on time
- Bring questions, topics, homework, etc.
- Participate: ask questions, and speak as much as possible
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
- Above all, have fun!
Is this a classroom environment? Do you teach?
This is a social event; an informal exchange of languages.
We do not teach, however several of our organizers and members are advanced in both languages, and may be able to provide advice or answer language-specific questions.
It’s my first time. What can I expect?
During the initial 5 minutes, the organizers will arrange everyone into groups of four based on their overall ability in their language of study. Use this time to introduce yourself, and meet fellow members.
Each session consists of friendly conversation, informal study, and having fun. Please keep your profile up to date so that we can place everyone into proper groups.
Can I bring guests to the event?
We do not allow guests to be added to your RSVP; however, anyone can create an account and RSVP themselves.
I want to join the event but I didn't RSVP. Can I just show up?
Sorry, all participants must RSVP in advance. A lot of preparation goes into creating the groups before the event - we strive to maintain an even number of Japanese and English speakers, as well as provide a balance of language levels per table at our events. It also isn’t fair to the other members.
Can I book in advance? What if my plans change?
Your RSVP is a commitment to attend. Please keep your RSVP up to date, and only RSVP if you are sure that you can come. While we understand that emergencies do arise, should you find yourself unable to attend please change your RSVP as soon as possible.
If you have RSVP’d, we expect that you will show up. The opposite also applies. No-shows and surprise guests make it difficult for us to place everyone into balanced groups.
Following these guidelines will provide others that may be waiting a chance to join, and also allows the organizers time to find a replacement if need be. In this way everyone should have an opportunity to join our events, and hopefully have a better experience overall.
How do I advertise about another (non-TJEX-related) event/activity?
Unfortunately, we do not allow soliciting on our site, but if there's a particular event that's of interest to the group and if there's information about it that you'd like to share, please send us the details of the event and we'll let you know if it can be posted on the site or not.
Since this is a social group, can I use the events as a way to just meet people?
One thing we'd like to emphasize is that our events are not a base for dating. While this is a social group, we aim to offer a comfortable learning experience so that you as a member may benefit from it.
How are the groups formed?
We aim to create groups/tables of four: two individuals studying English (of approximately the same level), and two individuals studying Japanese (again, of the same level). Levels are also aligned to facilitate conversation as follows:
Studying English (beginner) <-> Studying Japanese (advanced)
Studying Japanese (beginner) <-> Studying English (advanced)
Studying English (intermediate) <-> Studying Japanese (intermediate)
Our organizers are familiar with the regular members of our group, and strive to create the best groups possible. If you have any concerns about being paired with anyone, or are studying something specific (kansai-ben for example), please let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate you.
I'm an absolute beginner. Is this group right for me?
We have members of all levels and we divide the group accordingly to ensure the best experience. There are speakers of both languages to help you get started so please feel free to join our meetings!
How does the waiting list feature work?
Once a Meetup is full, members can choose to join the waiting list. Should a spot become available, all waiting-list members will be notified by e-mail (regardless of join order.) Please note however that this spot is available to anyone - whether on the waiting list or not. It may be simpler to think of this more as a notification list, rather than a waiting list.
I am leaving the country and will be unable to join any events. Will I be removed as a member?
You're most welcome to remain as a member as long as you keep active on our site by posting on the message board and keeping in touch with Organizers/Members. You may be removed if you've inactive for 3 months; however, we will notify you before doing so.
What is the average age range of the members?
We have young and old. There is no minimum or maximum, though we do ask that you to let us know if you are underage (<18). On average, most of our members are in their twenties or early thirties.
Why do I need to pay the fee of $1.00 for each event?
The $1.00 that we charge per member for every event isn't collected for our profit. Since we pay to run this site, the money we collect goes towards the facilitation of this site and the group. Anything left over goes back to the group in the form of special events, thank-you parties, and in some rare circumstances ? as a donation, for example to aid Japan during the Touhoku disaster.
What happens if I join the wrong list?
If there is space available, the organizer will move you to the list (JP or EN) relevant to the language that you are studying. If there is no space available however, you will be added to the waiting list instead (please see the section above for more information on the waiting list.)
If you realize the error, you can change your own RSVP to "No" on the one list, and RSVP "Yes" on the other (space providing) or join its waiting list. Alternatively, contact the organizer for the event and they will do what they can to assist.
Do you hold events outside of downtown Toronto? Mississauga? North York?
Our regular events are downtown as that is where the biggest Japanese-speaking community is, as well as where most of our members are in general. We do not have plans to host regular events outside of this area.
We do have some members from the greater Toronto area, so you could connect with them and possibly establish your own study group.
We also have special events which take us outside of the downtown core, and often into rural Ontario.
Why are there so few spots on the event list?
We gradually open up spots as members join each side (JP or EN) over time to keep the ratio between both languages is roughly the same (around 50%). Please join the waiting list or check the site regularly to see if a spot opens up.
We are limited by how many individuals a single organizer can handle, as well as the venue’s capacity.
How can I be sure of my language level?
Any of our organizers can assess your level in the context of the group quite quickly; a 30 second conversation should be ample. Typically this is based on spoken ability (vocabulary, speed, fluency, grammar, listening, pronunciation, etc.) Being a social group, written skill isn’t as important as some of these others.
What’s the difference between the Wednesday and Saturday Meetups?
The Saturday events run regularly every week, whereas the Wednesday events are as often as we can ? ideally weekly. Also, the Wednesday events are longer, and geared more towards serious (but fun) study.