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Advice for Those Looking for a Private Japanese Tutor

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Japanese > Tips for Selecting your Japanese Teacher

Learning any foreign language is an incredibly useful asset.

Traditionally French, Spanish, German, and Italian, have been the dominant languages taught in schools across the English speaking world. For this reason, studying a language like Japanese has, historically, not been as easy as one of the European ones.

But this is starting to change. Learning Nihongo, as the Japanese call it, is a lot easier than it was. Aside from actually living in Japan, you can study in a language school, or even one of a number of universities worldwide that offer undergraduate courses in the language. It is also possible to learn Japanese on your either, either with online classes or by using textbooks.

But if its not really feasible to move abroad and live in Tokyo or Kyoto for a year, then perhaps the best way to learn Japanese is with a private Japanese teacher. Doing so will allow you to efficiently improve your proficiency because your language instruction will be tailored to you and what you find more challenging.

What’s more, your tutor will more than likely be a native speaker, or someone who speaks Japanese fluently as a second language. This will make them well placed to help you improve your language skills. As a new learner you will naturally have lots of questions about Japan, and probably life in Japan as well. Therefore, you will need a person who is able to answer your questions, and a setting that will allow you to ask follow up questions to ensure you completely understand what is being taught.

A private language teacher perfectly meets this criteria. So if you want to learn Japanese with a Japanese tutor, Superprof is on hand to tell you everything you need to know in order to get the process started.

Ask Yourself What You Need from a Teacher in Japanese

Contrary to popular belief, Japanese isn’t so difficult to master for an English speaker because of the following reasons:

  • 70% of the sounds found in the Japanese language compare to our own phonetics.
  • The masculine or feminine forms of words do not exist.
  • The conjugation is very simple.
  • And finally, each syllable can only be pronounced in one way!

Japanese culture has many important exports Mario! Luigi! Yoschi! All Japanese characters that have greatly influenced cultures worldwide.

Japanese is also supposedly easier to learn than English!

Despite all of this, private lessons of Japanese will be essential to progress quickly, of course.

But before choosing the best Japanese tutor ever: why learn Japanese? Here are 4 reasons that seem obvious to us…

  1. As a fan of Japanese anime and Hayao Miyazaki (famous Japanese animation director), your childhood was rocked by Naruto, Pokemon, or Dragon Ball Z. You want to take Japanese lessons to work on your understanding of the language and your Japanese vocabulary…why? Because you want to watch your favorite animated VO!
  2. As a sales executive in a large international company, you need to know some Japanese in order to interact with your customers. Japan is (for now) the 3rd largest economy in the world and Japan’s relations with the west will continues to strengthen in the future. There is already a lot of collaboration in the fields of politics, economy, culture, and gastronomy.
  3. You want to discover the mysterious culture of Japan, which is somewhere between modernity and traditions. You’re even thinking to organize a stay in Osaka for the occasion of the next Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. Your plan is to study the basics of the Japanese language.
  4. You are lucky enough to go to a school that offers Japanese classes. You may be looking for a Japanese language tutor to prepare an exam.
  5. You want to make the move to work in Japan, perhaps to teach English. You won’t need to speak Japanese in the classroom in order to teach, but you will need it to interact with Japanese people on a daily basis.

Where Can You Find Japanese Teachers?

If you want to study at a language institution, you need to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Private Organizations

After doing some research on the internet, you will have found a lot of information. Many private tutoring organizations are on the market.

The tutors have done at least a BA in the language and have passed several language aptitude tests.

This tutoring might be right for you if you are keen on this type of organization to learn Japanese. Their teachers are known for their serious teaching methods.

In terms of follow-up, and depending on the institution, the pupil will receive a personalized assessment every week in order to observe their progress.

That being said, the rate per class hour are usually relatively expensive because the organization charges a commission for each hour of lessons.

If you want more information, go ahead and visit the website of the Japanese Embassy in your country to see what information they have on where you can learn the Japanese language.

There are loads of private tutors out there. You just need to find the best on for you It’s not always easy to know which private tutor to choose!

Learning Japanese with Superprof

Taking Japanese language courses through private organizations can quickly slow down students who want to choose their own private tutor.

Why not take a look at Superprof, the platform for connecting tutors and students?

Japanese has become one of the most sought after languages.

Did you know that Japan has the 2nd largest economy in the world?

Japan is a prosperous country and has the most diverse economy in Asia. With a GDP of $4.9 trillion, Japan’s economy is the 3rd largest in the world, and its companies are widely praised for being efficiently run. Familiar names like Sony, Toshiba, Sanyo, Casio, Canon, Minolta, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and many others have infiltrated the world market in a variety of sectors.

Whether you’re in the field of business, engineering, manufacturing, research, economics, or politics, chances are you will be competing with, if not working for, a Japanese entity.

If you’d like to master Japanese, visit our website and in just a few clicks, you will be able to browse many profiles of Japanese language tutors near you.

What to Look For When Searching Through Japanese Tutors

Why not choose your own in-home tutor?

Here are 3 criteria that will help you choose the tutor best suited to your needs …

1. What rate will you have to pay to hire a private tutor in Japanese?

It’s true…the rates for a Japanese tutor is obviously an important factor in your search for the perfect instructor.

We advise you to set your budget in advance: “Am I willing to spend x or y per session?

On the internet, you’ll find Japanese lessons at all prices. So have a look in advance!

To reduce the rate, you might want to think of group classes: the rates usually decrease when there are several people in the class. And then, in most cases, taking more classes will mean a discount of some kind over time.

Taking private lessons often requires a budget of some kind. On Superprof, many Japanese teachers give you the first hour for free! This is a great way to test the relationship with your future tutor.

The Tutor’s Experience

As the student or the student’s parent, you will also be swayed by the tutor’s experience.

It is more reassuring to have a tutor who has several years of learning the Japanese language on his or her resume.

Years of experience provide greater expertise and critical thinking to quickly identify the weaknesses and expectations of your students.

He or she will also be able to give you all of his or her methodology to prepare you well before a lesson of Japanese! You can also prepare for a Japanese test with a tutor if you wish.

What Diplomas Can Serve You As a Japanese Tutor

Next to experience, the teacher’s school curriculum is an important element in selecting the best profile!

In the end it all depends on the tutor’s level: if you are a beginner and want to learn Japanese basics (calligraphy, vocabulary, alphabet, etc.), you would do well with someone who has studied Japanese as your tutor!

If, on the contrary, you are already at a certain level and you are able to travel to Japan and understand its people, you will need a tutor who is more experienced and has a degree from university.

Japanese tutors have a range of experience and qualifications Choose a graduate of a Japanese program if that is most suited to your needs!

But be careful, it will always be more expensive to work with such a tutor.

Choosing a Bilingual or Native Japanese Speaker as a Tutor

Which teacher would you like to study the Japanese language with? A graduate teacher? A native Japanese person?

First of all, the vast majority of language tutors are bilingual.

The latter have solid knowledge in their field and teach in “academic” form. Their pedagogy and supervision are in line with the standards of national education.

This means they are the perfect people to start learning Japanese with!

Nevertheless, professors aren’t the only ones who teach the language well. You could have great classes with natives of the country of manga! In our opinion, this is the best way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture by exercising your pronunciation and the oral comprehension of the language.

The Japanese archipelago’s culture is fascinating and extremely rich. A Japanese native will surely answer all your questions.

This may be the opportunity, for example, to learn a little more about the mythical tea ceremony, Cha No Yu, whose every action must be carefully executed.

5 Qualities A Good Japanese Tutor Should Have

An excellent Japanese tutor must have many qualities, but here are the 5 main ones:

  1. Pedagogy: Pedagogy is at the heart of the teaching profession. The gift of knowing how to transmit your knowledge to the greatest number of students. As a pedagogue, a good teacher knows how to use simple words and vary media in order to give Japanese language courses that are accessible to beginners and the most experienced.
  2. Patience: It’s fine to want to see your students progressing quickly, but a tutor must know how to be patient. Not all students have the same learning skills, so adapting to the rhythm of each student is a golden rule!
  3. Originality: To make your Japanese language courses interesting and original, a tutor must know how to adapt his or her program and make it modern and captivating.

The digital age has revolutionized the world of learning.

Some teachers will hold on to antiquated materials. But here are some tools already making waves for years now:

  • tablets,
  • language apps (to learn kanji, hiragana, katakana or romaji, Japanese graphics system),
  • online videos/tutorials to learn the language,
  • educational quizzes on specialized sites…

Modern Japanese learning involves a variety of technology A private tutor must make sure to be modern like his or her students.

A private tutor must also distance him or herself from the academic school system. He must give way to his or her creativity.

It is possible to study Japanese words through manga or understand Japanese grammar via short Japanese poems (haiku), etc.

  1. Empathy: Empathy is very much needed with an in-home student-tutor relationship. The tutor must be attentive in order to quickly progress with his or her student. Empathy is essential in order to establish a trustful relationship with the student. In-home tutoring is close to what we call “school coaching.” School coaching implies a psychological and “tailor-made” aspect–this is very important!
  1. Pleasant: This may seem obvious, but your Japanese tutor must be nice!

Of course, learning is essential, but progress will be made quickly if you work together in a relaxing and trustful environment.

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