Standard Intensive Japanese Language Course in Hokkaido

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About

Hokkaido Japanese Language School’s Standard Course includes 15 morning Japanese lessons every week focused on speaking and day-to-day Japanese conversation. Classes are conducted entirely in Japanese and are limited to eight people, which allows for plenty of individualized attention and time to ask questions and practice speaking. We also have many Japanese volunteers who work around the school and participate in weekly activities, giving students the opportunity to improve their Japanese in a setting other than the classroom and to make friends and experience Japan from the inside, not just as a tourist.

Students also have the opportunity to attend our 3 weekly optional activities to enjoy all that Hokkaido has to offer, such as rafting in the summer, or our world-famous snow festival in the winter! Join us any time of the year and enjoy learning Japanese in the beautiful city of Sapporo!

Highlights
  • Small Classes.
  • Competitive Prices.
  • Flexibility.
  • Local Japanese Volunteers.
  • Amazing Location.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.83 Rating
based on 41 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.8
  • Value 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 41
Default avatar
Bic
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My 1 week at Hokkaido JaLS

I signed up for only a week because I was unsure what to expect. It was my first time in Hokkaido, and the first time studying at JaLS.
After my one week, I find JaLS--with its teaching method, the Sensei, and the supporting staff--to be excellent, and I plan on coming back again.
Among the JaLS' teachings that I find especially valuable is what they called "shadowing". It involves memorizing and reciting a set of short dialogues--dialogues, in the vernacular/casual form, involving situations that you're likely to encounter often. Now, when I speak to Japanese people, I use (with slight modifications) some of the sentences and phrases from those dialogues.

I studied under three sensei during my week there. All were excellent. All were approachable and receptive to your questions--whether during class time or during break time.

A final point that makes me want to return to JaLS is its support staff--your point persons for everything relating to JaLS. They've among the most friendly and helpful staff I've ever encountered. Sayakaさん, in particular, made my stay in Hokkaido especially enjoyable. She helped me with suggesting what to do in Sapporo, finding a good maid cafe, directing me to the best Hokkaido ramen place, etc.. And she follows up!
Go ahead and give JaLS a try. It's great!

What would you improve about this program?
Teaching Japanese culture alongside Japanese language would be nice. Language and culture often reflect one another, and learning both together can lead to a better understanding.
Default avatar
Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great!

I had a lot of fun with this language school. I made amazing friends, got way better at Japanese, and did stuff that would be unavailable otherwise, such as sushi making, indigo cloth dyeing, and the Yosakoi festival. I highly recommend this program, and I encourage everyone looking for a language school to try the Sapporo or Kyoto Japanese Language School! My fellow students were very kind, and I felt safe in this school. When I had a problem, I felt I could ask the staff for a solution, and they wouldn’t send me away. By the end of my 4 weeks, some of the staff felt like family, and I really enjoyed my time there. Going to JaLS made my Japanese better by a mile, and improved my confidence too. I’d recommend JaLS to anyone that wants to improve their Japanese, or wants to expand their worldview.

What was your funniest moment?
Making unforgettable memories with my new friends.
Default avatar
Tyler
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Greatest place to learn Japanese

On top of this place having great instructors, great learning material for new learner's and a fun atmosphere. This place has coffee that rivals what the gods are drinking.

The classes are small and very well contained. The teacher in each class is very knowledgeable and makes understanding a new language easy. Once class is over there is an optional one on one study session you can have with a teacher.

Once you are done with class there is a main hall where you can study alone or in a big group. Either one is okay depending on your preference and how you like to study. The main hall also doubles as a library and a the coffee house.

So if you're looking to learn Japanese at a steady pace, drink some amazing coffee and socialize with the local people, you've found your home and then some.

Default avatar
Theresa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As usual - excellent

I came for the third time! The balance between studies and fun activities is great. The support of staff and teachers cannot be better and you get to talk a lot in Japanese. Sapporo in Winter and Summer is very pretty and easy to get to know. The food is wonderful, for seafood lovers especially. Skiing and hiking is easily accessible, sometimes it is better to rent a car or go on an organized trip. Look for Travel Hokkaido. Jals will help you if you have special request. The support between student is very high so even when traveling alone you will find an interesting partner to talk to. It is really international at Jals and various age groups are present. Go and enjoy fresh air, good food and the greatest Japanese Language school I know!!!

Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Japanese learning experience in Sapporo.

Jals is awesome. I was very scared to learn a new language, but jals staffs and students helped me to continue to study. I felt amazed how much I was learning everyday during winter in Sapporo. Teacher knows how to be not assertive while not losing authority during the class. I enjoyed following sensei’s instruction and truly moved by consistency of leading students into adopting Japanese language in daily lives. Also, with a private lesson I could shorten time for progression decisively. It was never felt boring during either of classes I was participating. Sometimes, I got lucky to become a single student during morning group lessons. Staff me beers are well equipped to handle very emotional journey which students are partaking from time to time. Sapporo has a lot to offer during winter festival seasons for skiers, etc.

Default avatar
Claire Leiko
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

JALS Hokkaido

JALS Hokkaido is a wonderful study environment to be in if it’s your first time studying Japanese abroad. You are treated very well by the staff and the lounge area is perfect for both socialising and studying.

The teachers were especially patient with everyone and made the students feel at home it felt very comfortable.

It was appreciated that books and vocabulary is provided.

It was also very fun to be able to talk to so many different races and learn about their language compared to my own and Japanese itself. More than most students were enjoyable to have fun with outside of class, which was shoring within my own counterpart since I do prefer to be alone.

It was a very relaxing experience and I do want to come back in the near or far future.

What was your funniest moment?
Meeting different people and getting to meet so many varieties of personalities
Default avatar
Tess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved it!

On my University break I decided to go to Sapporo for 2 months to work on my language skills and have a bit of a holiday. JaLs was the perfect combination of learning and having fun! I made amazing friends during my stay and the staff were helpful and kind. I experienced a Home Stay and lived on my own in a private apartment, and the organisation and help provided from the school was incredible. Everything went smoothly and I was able to have a stress free experience. All the activities organised by the school were very enjoyable and the schools facilities were clean and modern. I would highly recommend JaLs if you are wanting to learn Japanese in a relaxed environment that focuses on culture as well as language. I would definitely come back to JaLs Sapporo next time I need to brush up on my Japanese!

Default avatar
Maren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Short-term experience, long-term memories

[eng/de]

Hello, I am a Hokkaido Japanese Language School student from Germany coming to Japan with a working holiday visa. I planned to work in Japan and looked for appropriate schools. After evaluating different options, I chose JALS because they offer internship courses to prepare you for working in Japan and put you in classes that suits your skill level. In my case I was not a complete beginner but not yet intermediate.

I studied Japanese at JALS from November to March (14 weeks) with an internship lasting for 6 weeks and staying at a host family.

I had a wonderful and joyful time and made many international and Japanese friends. What I treasured most is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I was really scared at the beginning coming to Japan by myself. But not only the host family but the staff at JALS as well made me feel at home in an instant. Furthermore, I was really amazed how skillfully JALS’ teacher can convey grammar comprehensively without using English or another language beside Japanese. The many activities, the patient and helpful staff members and teachers as well as the flexibility makes JALS perfect for a short time language experience. I was able to improve my Japanese from ”throwing a few words at Japanese” to “having casual conversation with patient Japanese” in 14 weeks.

Even though I recommend anyone, who wants fun language holidays, to go to JALS, it gets really crowded during seasonal courses. With 8 people in one small classroom it can get noisy and the time being able to talk Japanese in class is reduced. With longer stays like mine the teaching methods can also get a bit monotone. I think, with increasing the free talk time during classes the learn experience could be heavily improved and the fear of talking to Japanese taken away.

All in all the Hokkaido Japanese Language School taught me a lot of valuable language skills and helped me start my working holiday trip thoroughly. It’s an experience that will last, especially because of all the great people I met at the school.

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Hallo, ich bin deutsche Schülerin an der Hokkaido Japanese Language School und bin nach Japan mit einem Working Holiday Visa gereist. Vorab habe ich mich über geeignete Schulen informiert, mit der Intention später in Japan zu arbeiten, und entschied mich letztlich für JALS. Grund für diese Entscheidung war der Praktikumskurs und die flexible, individuelle Kursauswahl entsprechend des Sprachlevels. In meinen Fall war ich zwar kein kompletter Anfänger mehr, aber auch noch kein Fortgeschrittener.

Ich schrieb mich für November bis März (14 Wochen) ein und belegte die ersten 6 Wochen den Praktikumskurs. Während dieser Zeit lebte ich bei einer Gastfamilie.

Die Zeit bei JALS war wunderbar und voller freudiger Erinnerungen. Ich konnte viele internationale und japanische Freundschaften schließen und wurde vom ersten Tag an mit offenen Armen in einer herzlichen Athmosphäre empfangen. Vor allem da ich zu Beginn große Sorgen hatte, allein in ein Land am anderen Ende der Welt zu reisen, war ich erleichtert, sofort so warmherzig in die Familie aufgenommen zu werden. Weiterhin war ich erstaunt, mit welcher Leichtigkeit die Lehrer an der Schule auch schwierige Grammatik ohne den Gebrauch von Englisch oder einer anderen Sprache neben Japanisch vermitteln konnten. Die vielen optionalen Aktivitäten, das gedulige und hilfsbereite Personal und die Lehrer, als auch die Flexibilität des Unterrichts machen JALS zu einer idealen Schule für ein Kurzzeitspracherlebnis. In den 14 Wochen war ich in der Lage mein Japanisch von “wir werfen einzelne Wörter in den Raum” nach “wir haben ein Alltagsgespräch mit einem geduldigen Japaner” zu verbessern.

Ich empfehle jedem, der einen Sprachurlaub machen möchte, sich bei JALS einzuschreiben. Während der Saisonkurse sind die Kurse jedoch etwas voll. Auch wenn die Klassen mit 8 Schülern sehr klein sind, kann es gelegentlich sehr unruhig werden und die Zeit, sich während des Unterrichts auf Japanisch zu unterhalten, sinkt. Ideal sind Klassen mit nicht mehr als 6 Schülern.

Der Unterricht bei längeren Aufenthalten wie meiner neigt dazu, auf Dauer monoton zu werden. Ich denke, wenn man die Zeit, in der man freie Unterhaltungen führen kann, erhöht, würde das den Unterricht wesentlich verbessern.
Trotz allem denke ich, dass Hokkaido Japanese Language School eine sehr gute Schule ist, in der man wertvolle Sprachkenntnisse erlangt und ohne Sorgen sein Working Holiday starten kann.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Speaking Japanese to Japanese without realizing that we talked in Japanese