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Japanese Distance Learning With a Tutor Via a Webcam

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Japanese > How to Learn Japanese with a Private Tutor

The land of the rising sun can seem like a fascinating and mysterious universe.

But what do you really know about Japan? Modernity mingles with tradition, the shinkansen (high-speed train) rubs shoulders with a past civilization consisting of temples, sanctuaries, and matsuri (traditional folk festivals).

If you want to go to work in Japan or even to travel there, you will have to study the Japanese language sooner than later! It doesn’t matter if you want to learn some Japanese words, how to structure a sentence, or how to introduce yourself to Japanese people, you’ll need some sort of tuition.

So the question arises about how to learn Japanese. The good news is that there are a number of different ways to study Japanese.

The first question that you’ll need to answer relates to your motives. Do you need to study Japanese grammar in order to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)? Or would you rather study basic Japanese in order to learn some greetings and expressions in preparation for your upcoming trip to Tokyo?

Either way, one of the most effective ways of studying Japanese is to do so with a private Japanese teacher, perhaps even via webcam.

By the end of this article, you’ll know where to find the perfect tutor, the cost of a Japanese class, and the benefits of taking classes via webcam!

Ready for an immersion in the country of manga and sake? Let’s take a look..

The Advantages of Japanese Learning Distance Learning Via Webcam

Let us first take a look at why it can be interesting to learn Japanese remotely!

In our modern lives, the notion of time is very important and you may feel as if you have less and less time available to you!

Are you tired of taking Japanese classes online? Or of learning Japanese via videos?

Taking classes via webcam will save you a lot of trouble! You can easily schedule a lesson during your lunch break! You just have to sit in front of your screen and your tutor will magically appear. Speaking Japanese no longer means having to travel to your tutor’s home, or finding a time and place that fits both of your schedules.

Save time by having classes whilst sat at your computer Learn to communicate in Japanese while saving time with distance learning!

You will save time and your tutor will too! The more time saved, the more progress will occur in learning the alphabet, grammar or vocabulary!

With distance learning, there is no longer any geographical constraint! As long as you have an internet connection, anything is possible!

Do you have weird hours at work preventing you from getting lessons in Japanese the way you were hoping for? Webcam language classes are more flexible and your schedule will thank you for it! You can program a lesson to learn the subtleties of hiragana, katakana, kanji, and romaji at 10 PM–as long as your teacher agrees of course!

It is of course always possible to customize your lesson if you want to focus on something in particular, for example the wonderfully diverse Japanese culture.

According to tutors, they include language and culture from the outset, but if this is not the case, do not hesitate to ask them! You will become unbeatable when it comes to geography and the four main islands of Japan (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku), the hanami (feast of cherry blossom), and the functions of the Emperor of Japan or the art of being a geisha.

Videoconferencing courses offer other advantages, particularly in terms of the tools we use:

  • Screen sharing: it is possible for you and your tutor to share your screen if, for example, you want to help your pronunciation by showing you images or Japanese writing.
  • Google Doc: great for sharing exercises and any type of document that will teach you the art of conversation and the necessary forms of politeness. Google Doc allows you to work together on the same document! You can see the tutor’s corrections in real time!
  • Email services and applications like Whatsapp: if it was a question of working on your calligraphy for example, with Whatsapp, it is very easy to photograph your work and send it directly to your teacher. The same thing goes for emails! (Note that it is possible to learn Japanese via specialized apps)

Perhaps the biggest advantage of tailored language learning is that you can go at your own pace. The Japanese writing system is notoriously complicated for English speakers. This is because it is made up of syllabic kana and logographic kanji. If you want to speak Japanese fluently, you will need more than Japanese vocabulary and phrases. You will need to master these writing systems in order to read and write in Japanese.

Japanese lessons at a local language school might have their own benefits, but they can’t offer beginners a tailored approach to learning Japanese script like private lessons can.

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Online: Where to Find your Japanese Tutor

Are you in the middle of preparing for your trip to Japan? Do you not have time to search all over the internet to find your ideal tutor? Fortunately, we are here to help you!!

Of course, we would like to direct you to our Superprof online platform!

Yes, it’s true, our teachers also offer online courses! Once you have entered the desired course and your city of residence, the results will be displayed on your browser. To choose from webcam classes, just check the box on the left side that says “by webcam.”

Tutors can give lessons in person, or via webcam Superprof has a variety of tutors across the world who can help you learn Japanese

Your online tutor can teach you hiragana and katakana, Japanese phrases, and of course Japanese pronunciation. You can learn spoken Japanese in order to have a conversational level, or really kick on to an intermediate level by focusing on reading and writing.

Other learning platforms offer online Japanese classes:

  • japanese-lesson.com: these lessons are free and will cover the basics of Japanese. You will probably need to go in depth with a tutor afterwards however.
  • tofugu.com: this site offers a list of teaching resources that can help you get the basics of Japanese down. Tofugu is a great site if you are unsure about what you need in order to learn the Japanese language because it will guide you in the right direction.
  • easyjapanese.com: the advantage of this platform is that it is fitting for all levels! If you already have a solid foundation in Japanese, you can take an adapted formula.

How to Learn Japanese with a Private Tutor: Things to Remember

The cost of a private Japanese lesson on our Superprof platform depends on the location and qualifications of the tutor.

There are a few differences to keep in mind when you decide to take an online course. The quality of the course is the same, but the tools are different. The effectiveness remains the same as long as the learner is motivated.

The first class is often given for free by our tutors, which allows you to get an idea and see if he or she is a good fit for you.

People often make the mistake of thinking that being in front of a screen allows for more distraction but when you take a lesson by webcam. However, your tutor is there. They can see and observe you, and you are therefore obligated to be attentive and actively participate in his or her class exactly as if he or she were right next to you!

Efficiency is based above all on your motivation!

Most tutors will teach Nihongo, the form of Japanese that is taught to foreigners.

Not having to sign up to a Japanese course of a certain length also gives you flexibility, although most tutors will offer discounts if you commit to a certain amount of language lessons.

How to Choose Your Tutor So You Can Start to Learn Japanese Online

First, are you still wondering why you should learn Japanese? Here are two reasons that may just be enough for you to keep going on your learning adventure…

1. Japanese is a gateway to other Asian languages & cultures.

Throughout its history, Japan has been shaped by the influence of Asia’s great civilizations: India, China, and Korea. While the cultures of these Asian countries do differ, Asian cultures together share many similarities that differentiate them from Western ways and norms. So a study of Japanese can open your perspective on the values that other Asian nations share with Japan, including religious beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. A familiarity with Asian cultures also allows you to step outside the culture you live in and see it from a fresh, new perspective.

2. Japanese-speakers are the Internet’s 3rd largest language group.

The Japanese make up the third largest language community on the Internet, after only English and Chinese speakers. An estimated 88 million Japanese, or 9.6% of the world’s online population, are connected to the Internet. Knowing Japanese can connect you to these people in an instant. They may just be future friends or acquaintances, business associates, or even the market that you or your future employer hopes to target.

The internet is a treasure chest of information for learning Japanese No need for the telephone, you’ll find everything you need on the web.

Before choosing your Japanese tutor, you must ask yourself several questions and be sure about a few things:

  • Are you a beginner or do you already have some basics of this new language?
  • Would you prefer to learn Japanese with a native speaker?
  • What price do you want to pay? Our Superprof tutors set their own hourly rate, so you will find different prices for the same course of Japanese.
  • What is your learning goal? Fluency, Traveling in Japan, working there, reading mangas in their original version, working in the Japanese embassy and being able to translate (discover Japanese-English translation tools), linguistic transcriptions, playing Genki video games…
  • What kind of resume are you looking for your tutor to have? Training, experiences, teaching methods, returning students…

Do not hesitate to contact your potential tutor by email in order to have a first exchange with him or her.

The Importance of Buying Quality Audio and Sound Equipment

Learning Japanese online may help you to learn how to express yourself correctly in order to be able to find your way through the streets of the capital or Kyoto, the main problem you may encounter is…a bad internet connection and communication problems due to bad equipment!

Japanese food makes up a large part of the culture Maybe your native tutor will even teach you how to cook some native Chinese dishes!

It may be wise to invest a little in good quality material in order for your courses to run without the slightest hitch:

  • A good webcam: between €20-60 (£17-50; $25-70 USD; $30-95 AUD; $30-90 CAD)  for the best quality. Otherwise, use a camcorder–if you have one that is good quality of course! It is often possible to connect them to the computer!
  • A headset: to hear and be heard. The microphone is closer to the mouth, your teacher will better understand what you are saying, especially when it comes to improving your pronunciation. If you’d like something that is good quality, choose a headset from €25 (£22; $30 USD; $40 AUD; $38 CAD) onwards–although you can find ones that are a lot more expensive.

In short:

  • Whether you want to go to Japan on vacation, to discover Mount Fuji, its rich history and customs, or work in Japan, it is important to learn to speak the Japanese language.
  • Taking classes online has many economic benefits and ensures flexibility with time. From an organizational point of view, it can be an interesting prospect.
  • Remember to set your learning goals and check your tutor’s credentials before embarking on an understanding of this Asian language.
  • If you would like the course to be the best it can be, invest in quality audio and video material

Finally, discover the benefits of learning Japanese through textbooks in a way that can supplement your classes with your Japanese tutor.

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