Learning Japanese in Taiwan

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Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Katakaio » 05 May 2012, 17:04

Hello Forumosans!

I would like to ask if anyone has any recommendations regarding studying Japanese while in Taiwan- particular schools, tutors, books, proficiency tests, anything.

1. I live in Taipei (Xinzhuang/New Taipei City, specifically).
2. I studied Chinese for about 3 years in the US and went to China for a month... my spoken Chinese isn't bad, considering how my vocabulary has atrophied, but a year of non-use after college really diminished my abilities quite a bit.
3. I'm working as a buxiban laoshi with HESS, and making decent money at it. I work evenings from around 4pm to 9pm on average. I've been in Taiwan for a total of about 3 months now. I don't plan to be here any longer than 2 years.
4. I studied Japanese in the US for about a year, getting through 105 and 106 classes, which are roughly 2/3 of the Genki I book that most American colleges use. So it's not totally alien to me, although admittedly I'm super rusty.

I also have a general question regarding college credits vs proficiency test scores. I don't know what Japanese proficiency tests are out there, but what do you think would look more impressive, a solid test score or the credits of college classes? In other words... to appeal to employers, do I really need to spend money on the college courses or can I learn other ways and still not miss out on job opportunities? Right now, my plan is to continue teaching English as I island hop from here to Japan.

Thanks for reading!

D
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Katakaio » 05 May 2012, 17:05

Also, I apologize in advance for posting this in the Chinese Language section, but it seemed the most pertinent place to post =] .
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Confuzius » 05 May 2012, 17:10

Alot of the adult buxibans that teach English also have Japanese classes and theyre definitely cheaper and more flexible than going to a college.

I would imagine they also have specific classes geared towards proficiency tests, just like they do for ESL.
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Katakaio » 05 May 2012, 18:29

Do you know of any adult buxiban companies that are any good/of note? I know that HESS does adult courses but it isn't as big due to their more "kiddy" branding. They have an adult class, but it's in the evening, which I can't do. My evening work hours make going with a buxiban kind of difficult, I think...also, Japanese doesn't seem very big here, so I might have to travel a bit. I don't mind traveling within Taipei, though. Xinzhuang can get kinda stale after awhile.

I'd prefer a more dynamic teaching style to what's typical in Chinese classrooms, but of course I realize I'm in Taiwan now and I accept that the teaching culture is just different.

Keep it coming!
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Icon » 05 May 2012, 20:40

I think Fu Jen has extension language courses, open to everybody. That should be good.
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Katakaio » 05 May 2012, 21:29

Icon wrote:I think Fu Jen has extension language courses, open to everybody. That should be good.


Noted. Not to be lazy, but do they have staff that can speak English?
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Charlie Phillips » 05 May 2012, 21:45

Katakaio wrote:Do you know of any adult buxiban companies that are any good/of note? I know that HESS does adult courses but it isn't as big due to their more "kiddy" branding. They have an adult class, but it's in the evening, which I can't do. My evening work hours make going with a buxiban kind of difficult, I think...also, Japanese doesn't seem very big here


Japanese is pretty big here and my wife and many of her friends study it. I studied it at uni for a couple of years a long time ago but have forgotten most of it.

I'm using an online system http://iknow.jp/home to study Chinese, and as you can see from the URL, it's actually a Japan based company. They also have Japanese. I did a one month free trial and now I'm happy to pay JPY1000 a month to use it. I highly recommend it.

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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Confuzius » 05 May 2012, 22:14

Katakaio wrote:Do you know of any adult buxiban companies that are any good/of note? I know that HESS does adult courses but it isn't as big due to their more "kiddy" branding. They have an adult class, but it's in the evening, which I can't do. My evening work hours make going with a buxiban kind of difficult, I think...also, Japanese doesn't seem very big here, so I might have to travel a bit. I don't mind traveling within Taipei, though. Xinzhuang can get kinda stale after awhile.

I'd prefer a more dynamic teaching style to what's typical in Chinese classrooms, but of course I realize I'm in Taiwan now and I accept that the teaching culture is just different.

Keep it coming!


Global Village, maybe GJUN too (the first I know has Japanese and are supposed to be perty good)
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby grandfeller » 05 May 2012, 23:02

Katakaio wrote:I don't know what Japanese proficiency tests are out there, but what do you think would look more impressive, a solid test score or the credits of college classes? In other words... to appeal to employers, do I really need to spend money on the college courses or can I learn other ways and still not miss out on job opportunities?


The Japanese government has standardized language tests for foreigners to establish their proficiency level. The tests are administered in various locations globally. Proven proficiency through these tests will be worth more than a college transcript showing you took language courses. In a language course, some students excell, some barely get by. While standardized tests aren't perfect, they're a better measure of your ability than course credits.
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Re: Learning Japanese in Taiwan

Postby Katakaio » 05 May 2012, 23:49

grandfeller wrote:The Japanese government has standardized language tests for foreigners to establish their proficiency level. The tests are administered in various locations globally. Proven proficiency through these tests will be worth more than a college transcript showing you took language courses. In a language course, some students excell, some barely get by. While standardized tests aren't perfect, they're a better measure of your ability than course credits.


This is actually good to hear, as it broadens my options a bit more. I don't have very specific plans yet, but I intend to acquire gainful employment in Japan sometime in the next few years, probably English teaching. Hopefully the couple years of experience I will have (and Japanese proficiency) by the time I decide to "island hop" will be good enough to get a job.

I appreciate the recommendation of the online resource, I will definitely have to check it out. With Chinese, my issues are primarily reading, writing and listening. My pronunciation/tones are fairly solid, at least within the common words and phrases I use.
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