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Posted by Daniel K. (seattle - USA)
on October 2011 - USA
my time in fukuoka
I attended classes as GenkiJACS for 3 week in September of 2010. At the time, I wasn’t too sure what to expect: I had never studied a language before but had learned some Japanese when I was little from my grandmother. Though I could understand some spoken Japanese in context, I had very little experience speaking, and couldn’t read at all.
As I prepared for my trip to Japan, I attempted to ready myself as much as possible by doing as much as possible in Japanese. I stumbled upon GenkiJACS’s website and decided to give it a shot. I saw on their curriculum that I had to be able to read hiragana and katakana, so I taught myself those and figured I was ready for some proper instruction. I can only imagine the difficulty of taking such a varied body of students for such varied lengths of time and attempting to pour as much as possible into them during that time period.
Overall my experience at GenkiJACS was quite positive! I received constant attention, and always had my concerns addressed whenever I spoke with staff. The teachers were willing to explain concepts from multiple angles, and spent time and energy making sure students don’t fall behind. Honestly, I think I probably experienced a little language confusion while I was in Japan, but this seemed little trouble for the staff. In particular, the head teacher was able to rearrange my classes so that I was able to continue at varying levels based off of my ability at different language skills.
I think a school such as GenkiJACS would be able to help anyone in their journey towards language success. Itte kudasai.
Posted by Fabienne H. (Switzerland)
on October 2011 - Switzerland
Would you like to improve your Japanese ?
My name is Fabienne and I’m a graduate student studying Chinese and Japanese language and history at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. A friend of mine told me about Genki JACS back when I was looking for a language school that would help me to improve my Japanese language skills and also pass exams back in Switzerland. Thus, I went to Fukuoka during the summer of 2010 for five weeks, stayed in a great Japanese host family, and enrolled in the Japanese Plus Conversation and cultural classes offered by Genki JACS. This turned out to be the best choice.
These classes offered many benefits that allowed me to better improve my language ability and learn more about Japan as a whole. The classes’ main asset is their small size - up to six students maximum, which allows you to interact a lot! The teachers not only use various teaching materials, like CDs, newspaper articles or comics, but they also always include in their courses cultural elements, such as celebrations. On the 7th of July, for example, you’ll learn all about the festival called “Tanabata”. There are also plenty of cultural activities at the school level : BBQ evenings, movie afternoons, school trips in Kyûshû and more. Last but not least, it’d be a shame to forget to mention the relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by the teachers and of course the Genki JACS’ staff. They will always be glad to provide you assistance. Whether you’re looking for interesting places to visit, wonder how to get to a certain place or are in need of a visa extension, they will always be ready and willing to help. You may even get a free haircut if you kindly ask Yoshinaga-san !
In the end, not only was I able to significantly improve my Japanese in quite a short time and pass my exams successfully, but I also learned a lot about Japanese culture and Japanese people’s way of living. Attending a tea ceremony while wearing a yukata, painting my own Hakata doll and visiting a shintô shrine with a guide are still nowadays among my favourite memories. – This is why I returned to Genki JACS in winter of 2011.
So if you’re looking to improve your Japanese and / or explore Japanese culture, I highly recommend you Genki JACS.
Posted by Dominique U. (Geneva - Switzerland)
on September 2011 - Switzerland
Language Study in Fukuoka City
Finding the right language school is tricky and differences can be important as I experienced it in two Japanese schools in Tokyo.
Now, Fukuoka is a great place to get a rest from the big cities or for an easy start with your Japan adventure. The "Genki" school, where I studied for 10 weeks, is definitely a place where teachers and the director of the school make their utmost efforts to help you with your Japanese language studies. I�d say that I was happy with 6 out of the 7 teachers that I had there.
Although I'm not a big fan of group activities, the school offers interesting excursions to other parts of Kyushu as well as other activities in Fukuoka.
All in all, I can recommend this school, however keep in mind, that learning to understand the Japanese culture has more to do with yourself than with Japan. Be ready to challenge your ideas of the country and its people on a daily basis, ask questions, be curious, dare being critical and last but not least go out and party! My tip: Imaizumi (South of Tenjin Station) offers many fancy bars and restaurants.
I guess my time at genki was a success since I was hired afterwards by Japan�s biggest newspaper company.
Posted by Morgan S. (USA)
on September 2011 - USA
I am currently teaching English in Japan. I found Genki JACS while searching for a way to boost my Japanese during my summer vacation. I spent two weeks at Genki JACS and could not be happier with my experience at the school.
Though my time at the school was relatively short, Genki JACS arranged a speaking partner in addition to a host family. Having a speaking partner was a great way to explore Fukuoka as well as to get in some extra Japanese practice. Having a host family, one of the housing options, was another great way to get to know the area and practice what I learned in class. If you decide to join the school I would highly recommend doing both of the above.
Before I actually started class I was worried that the time spent in class would begin to drag but despite being in the same room for multiple hours the time seemed to fly by. The teacher you have for class changes almost everyday, you will most likely see a couple of the teachers repeatedly, which can be a bit disorienting and made some lessons feel a bit out of place but it did keep each day of classes fresh. The teachers themselves were very supportive and did a great job explaining vocabulary and grammar points in Japanese even when I was struggling. The staff are great and very willing to answer any random Japanese questions you may have as well as help you find things to do in Fukuoka. I also found the other students to be extremely friendly and supportive. After taking the placement test I was unsure if I would be compatible with the class suggested for me but the other students encouraged me to stay. They also supported my language pledge, not required by the school, and made efforts to talk to me even though it was quite difficult for several of them to do so in Japanese! Despite my short time at the school I feel that there was a noticeable improvement in my Japanese and am considering returning to the school next summer.
Posted by Tammiw M. (Farum - Denmark)
on September 2011 - Denmark
I studied a month by Genki Jacs and really loved it.
The atmosphere is very warm and the teachers, staff and students were all very friendly and there were always people there that could help you no matter the problem.
The first thing that happens when you arrive at the school is that you have to take a language test so that they can place you after level. After that you are placed in to the classes and start to learn Japanese. The effectiveness of the test various a bit, but if you feel that you’re either to good are bad according to the class you have been put in don’t be afraid to talk to your teacher about it and they will try to find a solution (other more fitting class) for you.
The classes use a lot of repetition so you are sure that you remember what you have covered in class because it will be repeated several times. Most of the classes I attended were on Japanese which makes it challenging in a good because it makes you focus more on what they are trying to teach you.
There are different types of classes you can take and if you want extra classes speak to the staff and if it’s possible they will make it fit in to your program. In that way the Staff is always very helpful and you can feel they care because they will always do what they can to make your stay more pleasant.
If festivals occur (in areas near Fukuoka) while you’re at the school, they will arrange trips for which you can sign up and together with other students and volunteer Japanese people go see together. This is a nice way to experience Japanese culture (also in different way, then if you were to see by yourself) and maybe make some Japanese friends and practice the Japanese you learned at school.
Posted by David S. (Slippery Rock - USA)
on September 2011 - USA
My time at Genki Japanese and Culture School
みんなさん、こんにちは。My name is Dave Schultze. I am an American male that studied at Genki Japanese and Culture School in January and February of 2011. It was truly an incredible experience, both in what I was able to learn in that short of a period of time, and in how pleasurable an experience they make studying the Japanese language. I had studied Japanese at two American universities for a total of 3 years, so I had a basic knowledge of the language, but very little actual speaking experience. But Genki JACS changed that quickly. Although I was at first a little intimidated by speaking only Japanese in class, I was soon speaking more Japanese in a day than I had in a semester of study at the Universities I attended. Additionaly, what I learned in class was reinforced during my offtime in my daily life in Japan. Additionaly the staff and instructors at GenkiJACS went out of their way to help me, not only in my study of the language in the classroom, but through extra curricular activities, either pre-arranged by the school or tailored to my specific needs and requests. I will return to study at GenkiJACS, and I recommend to anyone looking to study the Japanese language in Japan to consider this school.