The following is a list of some of the recommended programs and methods in Japan. These schools have been extensively researched and have found to be suitable for inclusion.
1) Academy of Language Arts (Iidabashi, Tokyo)
The Academy of Language Arts (ALA) is a friendly school that is located in Iidabashi. It is a successor school to the original Aoyama Language Academy that was established in 1981. ALA programs really excel in getting students to speak well. ALA features small classes, cultural study options and a supportive infrastructure. ALA provides solid corporate and institutional language courses both at the Iidabashi location and at client offices and also does high quality Japanese language teacher training programs.
2) Association for Japanese-Language Teaching (AJALT) (Toranomon, Tokyo)
AJALT has produced and published the very popular and practical "Japanese for Busy People" series of texts and tapes. It also provides high-level training for Japanese language teachers. "Jissen Nihongo" was published in different languages such as Mandarin, English, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portugal, Bahasa Indonesia and Mon-Khmer (Cambodia) in order to meet the needs of the students. The small classes are divided into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. Specialties include youth classes, newspaper reading classes, academic preparation courses and Corporate training. AJALT is able to dispatch teachers anywhere in Japan and throughout the world for both short term and long term assignments. The very convenient office is a one-minute walk from Kamiyacho Station.
3) Alpha Japanese School (Tokyo, Osaka and London)
The Alpha Japanese Language School was established in Tokyo in 1988 in its current main convenient location in Toranomon. The Osaka School is also conveniently located in Umeda. Alpha specializes in teaching business professionals to learn functional Japanese that will assist them in the workplace and in business situations. Currently there are about 400 students registered at the Tokyo School and they either study at the school or have Alpha teachers come to their offices. The Alpha London School is located at Birbeck College at the University of London and has proven to be popular. A Bangkok location will open in May and the Alpha Gallery and Culture Center will open in Kioicho in Tokyo in April.
4) Asia Bunka Kaikan (AB K) (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)
ABK is a unique non-profit school that mainly serves students from Asia, although students from all countries are welcome. The majority of the students are from Malaysia, China, Korea, , Thailand and Viet Nam. ABK specializes in Preparatory courses for undergraduate academic programs, graduate programs, and work assignments. There are currently 300 students enrolled and ABK is able to offer housing onsite at a reasonable price. ABK also offers scholarships and has an ABK friendship group that organizes outings and events with the local neighborhood people.
5) East West Japanese Language Institute (Nakano-ku)
East West Language Institute was originally established to promote international interaction in 1960 and is located in Nakano. It is affiliated with the Futaba College of Foreign Languages (please see below) in Chiba City. The environment is friendly and the emphasis is on small classes and having students focus on Japanese language and cultural learning as well as business orientated. Interesting field trips such as hiking, bus trip, Kabuki Play are organized by the school staff for the students and Japanese teachers and volunteers to participate in. Student dormitory accommodation is available for both males and females providing support for those that are new and East West has a high proportion of students who succeed in obtaining their goals: entering Japanese universities, colleges and technical schools and passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
6) Enfour Group
The Enfour Group specializes in unique cellular phone and PDA solutions. Its popular Tango Town solution allows users to work on vocabulary at their own speed and convenience.
7) Futaba College of Foreign Languages (Chiba City)
The Futaba College of Foreign Languages is affiliated with the East West Language Institute and is conveniently located in Chiba City. It features a very friendly environment, similar method of instruction and curriculum to East West and is also very successful in helping students to achieve their goals.
8) MIROKU no SATO Japanese Language School (Hiroshima)
The Miroku no Sato Japanese Language School was established in April of 1992 and currently has 82 students, mainly from China, Mongolia and other Asian countries. Miroku no Sato specializes in preparing students for going on to higher education and enjoys a 100% success rate in having its students move on to their levels of choice. Hiroshima, with its unique location in the Chugoku region of Japan, offers students with a more relaxed environment than most Japanese cities and affords them the opportunity to travel to nearby Miyajima, Shikoku and Kyushu quickly and easily. Miroku no Sato helps students to access inexpensive accommodation and creates cultural activities and group outings that allow students to become more familiar with Japan.
9) Human Academy (Shinjuku, Tokyo/Osaka)
The Japanese Language School at Human Academy was established in 1991 and is part of the large At Human Group. There are currently two locations: Shinjuku (Tokyo) and Osaka and they have a combined total of 500 students. About 80% of these students have come directly from overseas, while 20% are company employees who are currently working in Japan. Human Academy has a maximum of twenty students in its academic preparations and smaller numbers in its conversation-focused classes. Students are able to mix with Japanese students who participate in a wide range of professional development courses that Human Academy offers and are able to join these classes when they achieve sufficient language levels. Human Academy is also able to help its program graduates find work as one of its services specializes in work placements.
10) Kanrin Japanese School (Aoba-ku, Yokohama)
"Together with Students" is the phrase that the school most values. The principal, teachers, and staff work closely with students providing full support from studies to life in general. For this reason, the school prides itself in being very open and warm. The Kanrin Japanese School is located in the Aoba area of Yokohama and provides high-level instruction in a green and relaxed environment. It is close to central Yokohama yet within a Japanese neighborhood that has embraced the school so it is able to gain the cooperation of local residents in hosting students and in participating in school-related activities. The classes are small and very interactive and the school is flexible in meeting the needs of its students. Courses are taught by using the "direct method" with an emphasis on daily conversation to intensive academic preparation and business-related contents. Opportunities to take on challenges such as the "Kanto Koushinetsu-chiku Speech Contest", the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and school examinations allow students to test their mettle.
11) Kichijoji Language School (Kichijoji, Musahino City, Tokyo)
Students refer to the Kichijoji Language School as their "second home." The school policy is to make the students feel as at home as possible, as they have all made the effort to come all the way to Japan to study. . Class numbers never exceed fifteen students per class and the student make up is multinational. The teachers are all made very aware of the personal goals of each student and work hard to help the students achieve their goals. Kichijoji Language School enjoys good relations with multinational businesses with operations in Japan and with various Embassies in Tokyo and is able to provide high quality courses for these client groups either at the school or in their offices. With a wide selection of interesting restaurants and nightlife options, Kichijoji is a unique location within Tokyo and has good access to Shibuya and Shinjuku.
12) Kyoto Center for Japanese Linguistic Studies, Kyoto Japanese Language School (Kyoto)
This school was established in Kyoto in 1950, and acquired its foundation status in 1986. The Japanese School within the Kyoto Center for Japanese Linguistic Studies has the second longest history of Japanese Schools after Naganuma in Tokyo and it is, in fact, closely affiliated with Naganuma. Classes do not exceed ten students and the school currently has 140 students enrolled in a range of programs. It is estimated that the school has graduated over 25,000 students over the past 52 years. The school's unique location allows students easy aspects to all of the key areas of Japanese culture so visits to historic temples and cultural courses are easily arranged. Over 60% of the students go on to Japanese university, college and technical school programs. The Kyoto Japanese School also handles training for Coop programs, the JET program, Embassies and corporations on contract.
13) Kyoto International Center of Languages
The Kyoto International Center of Languages was established in 1969 and currently has 120 students. It features superior academic preparation courses and nearly all of its graduates go on to higher education. The student mix is varied: about 15 nations are represented, with the greatest numbers coming from China, Korea and Taiwan. This school also offers good short-term intensive programs in cooperation with universities in the U.S. and EU. It is located within the Kyoto University of Art and Design. Nice location!
14) Sendagaya Japanese Institute (Takadanobaba/Nakaochiai, Tokyo)
Sendagaya Institute is conveniently located near Takadanobaba. It is well known for its Japanese language teacher training and runs small classes at the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. Sendagaya Institute also sends teachers to corporate and institutional clients and to overseas schools.
15) Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (Takadanobaba, Tokyo)
The Shinjuku Language School is very conveniently located in the student enclave of Takadanobaba in Tokyo. The very friendly and outgoing environment attracts mainly younger students from all over the world, although at the moment about 80% are from Asia. The classes are small (10 students max.) and most graduates go on to technical school, college and university programs in Japan. Shinjuku Language School has also developed a very progressive and fun CD-ROM based program for Kanji learning.
16) Toa Gakuin (Kasumigaseki, Tokyo)
Located in the heart of Kasumigaseki (and a one minute walk from Kasumigaseki Station), Toa Gakuin was established in 1967 as a Chinese Language (mainly Mandarin) School. It is the smallest Japanese language school in Tokyo that began to teach Japanese to Japanese returnees from China in the 1980's. Its focus is on students from China and of Chinese descent. It currently has 68 students and is able to provide instruction on Japanese culture, instructions on writing application forms, accompanying students to a university interview, and societal orientation in Mandarin for new students. Toa Gakuin is very strong in IT Japanese and Business Training and is also able to assist graduates in finding employment in Japan. It also provides outsourced learning for Chinese companies with operations in Japan.
17) Tokyo School of the Japanese Language: Naganuma School (Shibuya, Tokyo)
Conveniently located in Nampedai in Shibuya, the Naganuma School is the elder statesman of Japanese language schools in Japan. It was established in 1948 and has a rock solid reputation for handling a variety of needs including short-term visiting scholars, business people preparing for work assignments, diplomats, students preparing for undergraduate or ?graduate programs and participants in the EU Coop programs. The Naganuma School places an emphasis on having its students learn proper Japanese, along with appropriate cultural interpretations, in a business context. A class is carried out by having 2?3 teachers using the "Revised direct method" where students can learn the different types of Japanese voice tone, pronunciation, and speaking skills.
18) Trident College of Languages (Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture)
Trident College of Languages is affiliated with Kawai Juku and was established in Nagoya in 1973. Trident currently has 130 students, mainly from Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, with sixteen nationalities represented. Most of the students go on to technical schools, colleges and universities and Trident has an in-school scholarship system that students can apply for. Trident offers student and academic counseling in Mandarin, Korean and English and students can stay at Trident or partner organization dormitories near the school. There are ample opportunities for interaction with Japanese students and participation in local events and sporting activities.
19) YAMASA Institute (Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture)
The Yamasa Institute offers progressive online and on campus programs for Japanese language learners. Located north of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, it is an ideal location for study for those who wish to escape urban distractions. Declan Murphy, the program director, noted that Yamasa is striving to achieve a balance between various nationalities and is working hard on the technology and campus in order to deliver leading edge programs.
20) Yoshida School (Waseda, Tokyo)
The Yoshida School has two locations, both close to Waseda University. Yoshida specializes in handling both students who plan to go on to technical school, college and university courses as well as working professionals in individual, group and outsourced situations. Yoshida provides its students with a strong, supportive environment and is ideally located for residents of and companies that are located in and around the Shinjuku-Waseda area.
This article was written by James Yellowlees, President of Global Daigaku.
For information about any of the schools mentioned, please visit http://www.globaldaigaku.com