Aug 18, 2011

Back to Night Classes

After a hiatus, I am back at school again. This time, I'm attending the preparation course for JLPT N1 examination. Yup, I have finally decided to finish the JLPT challenge, and try the highest level, N1.

But then, the course at Ikoma Language School had already started since April, so I am joining halfway. Gotta work hard, else I think it will be very difficult for me to pass. :(

Hoping that my one-year stay in Japan will at least help in my listening test :P

Are you looking for Japanese classes to attend in Singapore? Here are my experiences with 3 schools:

Ikoma Language School

What I like:
  • Very structured JLPT preparation courses. Highly recommended.
  • JLPT preparation classes start from April, much earlier than other schools.
  • Materials for JLPT preparation class is also very comprehensive.
  • Efficient use of OSAs, and comprehensive answer sheets.
  • Central location- Orchard (convenient for after-work classes).

What I dislike:
  • Most expensive out of the 3 I attended.
  • Their normal classes are too slow.
  • To signup for classes, we need to go through an interview session with the teacher, (not sure if it applies for preparation courses only though) so it's a bit bothersome to make repeated trips if the teacher is away. To avoid that, call before heading down to the school.
If you are joining the prep class halfway, it is compulsory to buy all the previous notes at 10% of the course fee.

Aoba Language Centre

What I like:
  • Their normal classes. Pace is just right.
  • Included essays as homework, which helps.
  • Provides a library of Japanese magazines, DVDs, etc for students to borrow.
  • Central location- Bugis (convenient for after-work classes)

What I dislike:
  • JLPT preparation classes are a bit rush, as teachers try to cover a lot of material within the 3-4 months leading up to the exams.

Hougang Japanese Language School

What I like:
  • Cheap! I think this is the school which offers the cheapest course.
  • Teacher is fluent in English, so it's very helpful for elementary classes.

What I dislike:
  • Requires quite a lot of self-discipline and self-study to be able to pass the JLPTs.
  • Not really a dislike (for me) but the location might be out-of-the-way for some as the branches are located in Hougang and Queenstown.

My recommendations... if you:
  • just want to try out learning Japanese, then go for Hougang Japanese Language School, since it's cheap!
  • want to take normal lessons, go for Aoba's classes.
  • are preparing for JLPT exams, go for Ikoma's classes.

Have fun learning Japanese!

*Hope I can pass my JLPT this December!*

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