Student Voices

We interviewed students studying Japanese at AOJ Language School about their actual school life. We hope you will find their voices helpful in answering your questions such as ”I am worried if I can continue to study Japanese” and ”Will I really improve my Japanese?”

(Click here to see the digest movie)

A.I have always wanted to study Japanese. With the pandemic and all, I wanted to do something useful instead of wasting my time watching TV and such, so I decided to give Japanese a try. Japan is a country I have always wanted to visit again, and I hope it will help me then. Japanese is difficult for English speakers, but I feel that the difficulty is what makes it so appealing.

A.I have been self-taught for 3 or 4 to 6 months and have learned the basics (hiragana and katakana). But I hardly spent any time on it. At that time, I found and used materials from books, Udemy, Youtube, etc. From Udemy, one of the materials I was using, I saw an announcement from AOJ Language School that you can study with a teacher in a live class. I feel that I have learned two or three times more at AOJ than I did on my own for 6 months. I feel that staying motivated is really important, but also very hard.

A.I would like to be able to converse at a high level; I would like to achieve a CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level of B2 to C1. I would like to be able to converse at a level where I can converse with people and get to know them, not on difficult and detailed topics such as science and politics. In addition, I would like to understand Japanese culture and be able to read and write.

A. As mentioned earlier, I received a notice from the online course I was taking. It was obvious that I would be busy given my work and personal time, but I decided to join the course because I thought it would be a good fit for my schedule. There is value in being able to study on an ongoing basis, and I like the sense of responsibility it gives me to make sure I attend the class properly when I think I have class this week.

A. I am busy with work, but it is not a problem because I prioritize and find time to work on it in my busy schedule. I get up early and open my vocabulary book or review my classes after lunch. I am having a lot of fun because I am doing something completely different from my work (and using a different mind).

A.Although there are differences, I think there are significant advantages to being online. The difficulty is that concepts such as right, left, front, back, and rear, for example, have to be understood on a two-dimensional screen, making it difficult to understand the spatial depiction. However, there are many advantages to online classes: I can attend classes and work on pre-assignments even when I am 300 miles away from home or on a business trip. One time I took classes from Boston, another time from Pittsburgh. If the system required me to go to class in person, I would not have signed up. I feel that for me, the ability to take classes from anywhere with internet access has more advantages than disadvantages.

A. I wish I had more opportunities to speak Japanese. As for cultural learning, I feel that it would be more motivating if I could see the relevance of culture as I understand words and sentences. For example, keigo (honorific language) would be highly related to culture. I learned about Hanami before and it was very interesting. I think it is very interesting to learn about cultural things. I like cooking, so a class related to cooking would also be interesting.

A. I try to set aside at least an hour every day and a couple of hours on Saturdays and Sundays. I study about 10 hours a week, but I feel it is not enough. I really want to study more. I feel that studying Kanji is the biggest challenge and battle and I am doing my best. I know that the next semester will be more difficult, so I am preparing for it now.

A.Of course I recommend it. There are two reasons: 1) there are many opportunities to practice conversations and get feedback on how well you are doing, and 2) it is online, so you can learn flexibly in terms of schedule. I also like that it is easy to learn while I am working. I also recommend it to my wife. Also, there is someone at my wife's work who is studying Japanese, so I recommended AOJ to her.

A. Many people want to learn Japanese, but for various reasons have given up and do not take action. I was the same way. But I recommend that you take the plunge and give it a try. Even if you watch a Japanese drama or anime and become interested in Japanese, it is difficult to maintain the motivation to actually try to learn because of the subtitles. If you really want to understand, I recommend that you study Japanese at AOJ Language School instead of relying on subtitles.

A.I wanted to expand my knowledge and cross-cultural understanding. Japanese and Israeli cultures are very different. I have set myself the challenge of learning Japanese, which is very different from the two languages I can already speak, English and Hebrew. I am also interested in translation. I used to want to be able to translate from English to Hebrew and Hebrew to English. I am very interested in being able to translate from/into Japanese. In my country, many people can speak English, so English translators are not in great demand. However, there are very few Japanese translators. I am also interested in working in Japan in the future. And my love of manga and anime is another motivation.

A.Yes, I studied a little, I used Duolingo and an Attain online course I bought on Udemy, and I learned for 5 weeks.

A.I would like to learn as much Japanese as possible. Ideally, I would like to be able to speak it as fluently as a native speaker, just like English. But I know this is very difficult. I feel that if I can reach a level where I can generally understand Japanese sentences and conversations and can think and speak in Japanese, I will be able to practice and improve my Japanese on my own. I am still interested in translation and would like to be able to do it in Japanese as well. I look at both the Japanese translations and my own translations and find differences.

A. I bought Attain's Online Japanese Courses on Udemy and saw the announcement via Udemy. I've been practicing for 5 weeks now, and as I mentioned before, I wasn't happy with the lack of feedback. I was very happy when I found out about AOJ Language School. It was really perfect for me. A native Japanese speaker can correct my mistakes and it is affordable in terms of both time and money.

A. I think it is going very well. Obviously the content gets more complex as the class progresses, but I think I am doing well. I have attended all of my classes, watched all of the lessons, taken all of the tests, and worked on all of the homework. I still have a lot to learn, but I have improved a lot since I first started.

A.Yes, it is different from what you receive in person. But for me it is a good thing. I like being at home and the same things that are important to me in learning are the same. The classroom environment and talking to the teacher is the same as in a face-to-face class. Besides, it is nice to be with people from all over the world.

A. The Kanji lesson at the beginning of the year was very useful. I would like to see more of them. The explanation of writing procedures and meanings were very easy to understand and really helped me to remember the meanings and writing styles of kanji. Kanji is difficult to learn, so it is important. it would be nice to have Japanese music and Japanese food events at the cultural exchange meetings that are held once a month. Also, for a different reason, I am interested in events related to mangA.My father is a manga artist, so I have a lot to talk about.

A.I study Japanese for 3 hours a day. Recently, I have been studying other things at the university, so I don't always have time, but I try to work on it as much as I can.

A.Yes, I recommend it! I think I have grown a lot at AOJ. The schedule is good, everyone is very friendly, and I am learning a lot. I am very happy to have enrolled in this school.

A.I would like to at least tell you that AOJ Language School is one of the opportunities, see if the opportunity to study at AOJ Language School works for you.

A.I wanted to improve my Japanese language skills. My grandmother was a Japanese immigrant, and she and my father spoke half Portuguese and half Japanese, so I have had opportunities to come into contact with Japanese in my daily life since childhood. Therefore, I feel that I have some listening skills, but I need to practice especially reading and writing because I never had a chance to learn them. I would like to improve all my skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

A.I have bought books and studied hiraganA.I have also bought N5 materials from Udemy, but I lost interest and did not continue. My grandmother and father spoke Japanese, so I had opportunities to come into contact with Japanese in my daily life, but the Japanese they used seemed to be an old language. Therefore, I have some listening skills, but I am not good at reading and writing. It was difficult for me to learn on my own.

A.I want to be able to speak Japanese as well as English. I would also like to be able to speak Japanese with my Japanese friends. I have studied many languages and can speak Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Japanese. I have studied many languages and I can speak Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Japanese. Japanese is the most difficult language to learn, but it is also the most fun. Everyone says it is cool when you can speak Japanese. AOJ Language School supports students until they pass N2, so I would like to get N2 myself.

A.I bought an online course on Udemy (N5) to study Japanese, but I found it difficult to stay motivated and lost interest and stopped halfway through. However, Corona led me to search again for an online course to learn Japanese. I found it difficult to continue studying on my own, so I decided to study with a teacher and compared various schools. There were many schools, but I chose AOJ Language School because I thought it would be easier to proceed if there was a framework (homework, pre-tasks). I was also attracted to the fact that not only did I take classes, but homework and pre-tasks were provided, making it easier to engage in learning.

A.Sometimes I feel that it is easy for me because I was originally exposed to Japanese, but it is good because I often learn something new. Also, there are other people in the class, so I learn a lot from their interactions. Classes are fun and I am stimulated by learning together with my classmates. The teacher's teaching style is also good and easy to understand. I feel that I am having a very good experience.

A.I can ask questions to the teacher online as well, so it is not a problem. I think it is good that I can learn Japanese without going to Japan.

A. I participated in the Origami class and it was fun. I enjoyed learning about Japanese culture itself, but I also enjoyed talking about it with my classmates. I would like to talk more with my classmates, so I would like to try preparing a presentation among classmates and talking to others.

A.In terms of time, I study for about 30 or 40 minutes, within an hour a day. I practice writing katakana, watch NHK news (with subtitles), and download AOJ textbooks onto my iPad to watch when I have time. Many Japanese language learners like manga and anime, but I prefer NHK news because I prefer real things to fiction. When I go for a walk, I try to listen to AOJ course videos for an hour and a half. I am busy with work, so I study in the gap time. AOJ's course materials are great because I can use the gap time.

A.I would recommend it. Because the classes are fun and the framework of homework and prior learning makes it easy to learn. In fact, I have been learning for 4 months now and I feel that my skills have improved.

A.Let's just do it! If you do nothing, nothing will start. If you try, only then will you be able to choose for yourself whether it is a good idea or not.

A.I am interested in Japanese traditions and culture. I have the impression that Japanese people are very polite and perfectionists. I really like this culture.

A.I had been trying to learn for years, buying books and watching Youtube since around 2016-17. But I couldn't continue and had to stop. It was difficult to find a good system to keep learning. Especially since I wanted to be able to speak Japanese, I feel that the fact that it was difficult to practice on my own was a factor that prevented me from continuing. A language cannot be learned without practice, so I felt it was important to have a system that would allow me to practice conversation on an ongoing basis.

A.My first goal is to pass N5 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. I also want to be able to speak enough to communicate when I visit Japan. The teachers encourage us to practice speaking, so I am confident that I will improve and become able to speak.

A.When I was searching for educational materials on the Internet, I came across information about AOJ Language School. As I looked into the content, I felt that it was perfect for me, as I had been feeling limited in my ability to learn on my own. I thought it might be worth a try, so I applied. I think it is great that I can attend classes without having to go to Japan or visit the school in person. The time schedule is flexible, so it is easy and helpful for me to participate. The price was reasonable and just right.

A.Sometimes I feel that I don't have enough time to study, but I have time to practice in class, which helps. I feel that it is important to be able to simply devote time to study because the course materials are excellent. I can also review with recorded classes, which I really appreciate.

A.It is certainly different from face-to-face classes, but it is not a problem because I can communicate with other students and teachers.

A.I would like to practice more conversation if I have a chance. I would be happy to have a chance to talk with Japanese people because the conversation written in textbooks and the conversation actually spoken by Japanese people are different. Also, if there is an "AOJ Language School for kids," my son wants to join. ( lol )

A.I work on it every day when I can. Except for long vacations, I try to study every day. I watch class videos, solve problems, and write Kanji characters.

A.I absolutely recommend it! The best reasons are the opportunities for conversation practice, the extensive material resources, and the lesson videos. All textbooks can be printed out, which is very convenient. Not only are there live classes, but there are also opportunities to learn about the culture and content outside of class.

A. If you are interested, I recommend that you give it a try first. If you find it difficult to continue, you can quit at any time, and even if it is difficult to attend live classes, there are many ways to catch up, such as being able to watch the classes later, so I think it is an environment that is easy to continue. The other students in the class are at a similar level to me and want to improve their speaking skills as well, so it is also very stimulating. Having fellow students helps me a lot in continuing my learning.

A.When I was doing my master's degree at the university, there was a language course and the options were Spanish and other European languages, but I had already mastered them. I had already mastered them, so Japanese was the only option. It was a chance encounter, but it made me want to learn more. When I was a university student, I studied finance-related matters and came across Musashi Miyamoto's "The Book of Five Rings" (which mentions how to predict the price movements of the stock market using Japanese candlesticks). I remember learning about Japanese culture and philosophy, which was very interesting. In Greece, there is a lot of momentum to learn other languages at a wide range of ages. The number of people learning Japanese is not large, but the community is thriving.

A.I took a 6-week course at a university, where I learned basic content such as self-introductions. I have also studied for a year in a private school in Greece and reached the N5 level.

A.I would like to learn Japanese and work on projects related to trade with Japan. I believe that learning a language outside of Europe is very valuable and offers opportunities for advancement. That is why I am willing to spend time to learn. This is my viewpoint, but it is certainly difficult to relate to Japan, and everything is a challenge. But the way you think depends on your point of view. Japan is a technologically and culturally rich country, and I believe that if you want to challenge or achieve anything, you must take on this challenge. Of course, whether or not you can take on the challenge depends on the people and environment around you. I know that many people are having a hard time living in Japan, especially now with the pandemic, but there is no doubt that the Internet provides a great opportunity for those of us living in Europe and Greece to learn about Japanese culture.

A.A year ago, I purchased materials on Udemy to study Kanji characters. This led me to receive information about AOJ Language School. I attended the information session and thought it was a great way to improve my Japanese language skills, so I decided to sign up. The deciding factor was that the course structure was very good. There is no wasted time in learning, there are classes every week, and there is a mid-term exam. It was easy to find and correct my weak points, so I was able to study at home at the very high level of Japanese that I was aiming for.

A.It is not easy, but it is not difficult either. AOJ's courses are very efficiently structured, and the key to improving your skills is to learn new things, review them, and keep working on them. The key to improving your skills is to learn new things, review, and keep trying, and AOJ has everything you need in the way of opportunities to improve your skills: conversation exercises, practice questions, grammar explanations, and more. Two weeks ago, I contracted corona, which made me realize how difficult it is to continue learning, but also reaffirmed that I still need to devote time and effort to achieve my goals. As with exercise and mountain climbing, if you don't practice, you will not improve and you will not achieve. I think it is the same with language learning.

A.I don't feel there is much difference because of the quality of the teachers and materials.

A.I would like to visit Japan someday if I have the chance and take a class directly. AOJ also had a class on Japanese culture, which I was unable to attend due to a coronary infection, but I believe that learning about the culture is a great motivation.

A.I study every day after 9:00 pm when I get home from work. I make use of the study materials and class videos that I can access if I have an internet connection. I also like the fact that I can use it on my smartphone.

A. I highly recommend it. There are many reasons.
・Friendly environment
・Students from all over the world
・The quality of the teaching materials is high.
・Students can learn about Japanese culture.
・It is also a place where you can get motivation to study more.
Even if it is difficult to attend a class, I don't feel it is a problem because I can adjust my schedule. Again, if you don't spend time and challenge yourself, you will not improve, so I think this is necessary to achieve my goals.

A.We believe that if you study Japanese at AOJ, you will not waste any time in learning it. The classes, the teachers, the high quality of the materials and recorded videos, the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture, and the interaction with other students are all very helpful experiences in learning Japanese. I am taking the classes with the expectation of actually using Japanese in a business situation, and I think it is also a very useful experience for me when I actually go and live in Japan. I think that having the opportunity to study at AOJ was a very good decision and I feel lucky to have been able to participate. Living in Europe, I don't have many opportunities to come into contact with the Japanese language, so in that sense, I think it was a very worthwhile use of my money.