It is finally spring! To celebrate the beginning of a new season, our L'ESPACE website has been refreshed and updated. A new feature of the site, picks an interesting topic each month and shares related useful information with you via a fun conversation between Dr. Advice and his foreign friends living in Tokyo. For this month, we are going to talk about learning Japanese language. Mr. Kim from Korea was asking questions to Dr. Advice, when they were joined by their friend from China, Meilin.
キム Hello, Dr. I just wanted to tell you that I took my family to the park you mentioned the other day, and we really had a good time. Kids enjoyed playing on a spacious ground, and my wife took lots of pictures of beautiful cherry blossoms.
ドクター That's great! Did you take balls to play with? By the way, how's your wife doing? Has she made any Japanese friends yet?
キム She is trying hard to learn Japanese and seems to enjoy the class she just started taking. The class is held at a community center near our apartment, and teachers are all volunteers.
ドクター Good for her! Community classes are the best if you are looking for classes that are friendly and less costly.
キム She was happy to find that one of the volunteer teachers, who is about the same age as her, lives in the same apartment as ours. Now I am worried more about our kids' language skills.
メイリン Hi guys, may I join you? What is worrying you, Kim-san?
ドクター Hi Meilin. Mr. Kim is worried that his kids are having a hard time learning Japanese. How did you study Japanese?
メイリン I studied really hard in China before I came to Japan. I also went to a language school near Shinjuku Station after I moved here.
ドクター You are always a hard worker, Meilin. Well, Mr. Kim, there are several choices for adults to study Japanese in Japan. Like your wife, taking local community classes is one way to make a small but steady progress. You may also study at language schools like Meilin. They usually offer courses at various skill levels so that you can continue improving your Japanese. Some schools often have intensive courses. The language school can be expensive, though. Another possibility is to check if any colleges near your home or office offer classes for adult students. If you are a good self-learner, you may buy a set of textbooks and workbooks and teach yourself. A variety of materials are available at different levels. For children, however, I think the best way to learn Japanese is to go to local regular schools or community classes where they have lots of opportunities to communicate and interact with Japanese people.
キム My wife's class is offered by a local volunteer group and is very small. It is only for adults too.
ドクター Advice: You should check to see if an international exchange organization of your city may offer Japanese classes for local foreign residents. , from preschool age to junior high school students. The children classes have been very popular especially because they give children a great chance to meet other kids from the same country.
キム I see. I will call a local international committee and ask them if any class like that may be available in our city. I may decide to join a class too to brush up on my Japanese.
メイリン I think your Japanese is quite good, Mr. Kim. Have you ever thought about taking a Japanese Language Proficiency Test?
ドクター The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is an official accreditation system of Japanese language level mainly for non-native Japanese speakers. The test is offered at four different proficiency levels.
キム I didn't know that. I will check the information about the test as well. I just think it is important for all of our family to learn Japanese so that we can make our stay in Japan more fun and fulfilling.
ドクター It is true that the better you speak, the more you get around. Good luck, Mr. Kim!
Local International Associations and Activities
東京都国際交流委員会 BacknumberJapanese ワンポイント