Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
We usually explain all you need to know about the lessons during a free interview session since this is easier than by e-mail. Before using our enquiry form on the "Contact Us" page, please read all the available information on this website. Please check the "How to Register as a Learner" page and then make an appointment for an interview.
--- When is the most suitable time to start Japanese lessons?
Although learners may start during any of the lesson terms of the year, starting at the beginning of the term is highly recommended. For the lesson schedule and availablity, please check the yearly "Lesson Terms" and the "Weekly Lesson Slots" tables.
--- Is there any age restriction to participate in the lessons?
Yes. Children of 14 years and younger are unfortunately not accepted as learners. Our lessons are designed for learners who are either in secondary school, college, senior high school, tertiary education and for adults.
--- Will a learner be responsible for finding a learning partner for him/her for the classroom lessons?
No. Learners are allocated to a suitable level based on evaluation and depending on their goals.
--- Can learners purchase any study material directly from the school?
No. Although some study books and dictionaries are available for our learners to peruse at our school, they are not for sale and may not be removed from our premises. Learners do not need to purchase any study material for the sessions at the INTRODUCTION, BEGINNER and UPPER BEGINNER LEVELs (LEVELs 1a, 1b and 1c). However, all learners studying via internet will be required to purchase specific study books before commencement. Study books are also needed for courses higher than the PRE-INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (LEVEL 2).
--- How long will it take to be able to communicate in Japanese?
It depends on each learner's dedication, commitment, frequency of lessons per week, speed of progress, and the ability to memorise and master the subject matter. The courses are not fixed to a specific time frame but we focus on quality of learning as being the most important aspect of study. Each learner's pace of progress is individually monitored and respected.
--- Will there be any assignments/examinations throughout the courses?
Yes. The volume of assignments given after each lesson is moderate so that learners will not feel overwhelmed or too pressured. To complete and pass each course, each learner's progress is carefully evaluated by vocabulary tests (writing), vocal tests (reading) and recitation, submitting and marking of homework, and question and answer sessions.
--- Can learners formally take the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) examinations in Cape Town?
No. They are not available in South Africa at present but we are hoping that they will be introduced in the near future.
--- Will there be any special group sessions/social occasions to get to know other students of the school outside the ordinary classroom lessons' environment?
Yes. The school normally plans and organises "Learners' Social" events three times a year (usually "Welcoming Party" to introduce newly registered learners in March, "Speech Day & Learners' Mid-year Party" in June and "Picnic/Year-end Social" at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in November). Special group sessions are also arranged on learners' request subject to sufficient demand. Where possible, we are also willing to facilitate extracurricular study group gatherings and activities as co-ordinators.
--- Are there any other Japanese language tutors operating in the greater Cape Town area?
There may be other tutors in the area but we do not have details of these. The "Cultural Information Centre of Embassy of Japan" in Pretoria (Tel: 012-452-1607) is likely to have contact details of all credible and competent tutors in the country. (http://www.za.emb-japan.go.jp/en/topics/languageSchools.html)
--- Do you teach lessons in learners' own places of residence?
No. We only teach at our venue in Woodbridge Island, Milnerton, Cape Town.
--- Has the school ever taught learners who went on to stay in Japan after the sessions?
Yes. Some of our learners have been selected as JET program candidates to assist teaching English at schools in Japan after taking lessons at our school. Some of these have completed their terms and have already returned to South Africa. A few of them re-joined at our school and are currently learning at our senior level courses. Others are still teaching in various parts of Japan.
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