In the City of Brotherly Love, getting in contact and taking lessons with a Japanese language tutor can be quite easy. Several avenues will help you reach a high level of fluency.

Some students in Philadelphia choose to learn Japanese in a group setting through language programs at local universities, language schools, and cultural centers. Each of these options allows students to learn to read and write Japanese alongside students with similar interests.

Students get the chance to not only meet new people but also have others to practice their growing language skills with.

On the other side, there is private learning. Learning Japanese through private tuition means that you will not meet fellow students in a class setting but you will get more attention from the instructor. One of the most beneficial aspects of learning with a private Japanese tutor is individualized attention during each lesson.  Private teachers, whether you are meeting them in person or online, can program a language course to fit your needs and adapt the lessons to your learning abilities.

Adults with a busy schedule might find it easier to work with a private teacher rather than attend a class. With a private tutor you can choose the length of your class, where and when to meet, and the pace at which you decide to go. Teachers in this setting can be a lot more accommodating and can generally help you reach your language goals faster.

private tutors for busy students
Scheduling time for your Japanse lesson is easier with a private tutor. (Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash)

If you are hoping to learn Japanese to reach a specific goal such as expanding your business to the Japanese market, then working with a specialized tutor can be the most efficient way to go. Group lessons will typically only teach general knowledge and not delve too deep into specific factors such as business. Clearly defining your personal goals can make it easier to search and narrow down your choices of Japanese tutor or language schools.

Superprof offers private Japanese tutors in the Philadelphia area as well as hundreds of other instructors available to meet with students virtually. Through Superprof’s platform, you can connect with multiple tutors, direct message them, see their bios, and look through their reviews. On the platform, you can compare all of your choices and hopefully pick a tutor that works for you.

You can also find Japanese language lessons for individuals and groups in other East Coast cities like Boston or NYC.

Japanese Classes Through Universities In Philly

Although immersion courses in Japan can be the most efficient way to learn about the Japanese language and culture, it is typically not the most practical option. A more feasible option is to take Japanese lessons right in Pennsylvania. The state offers a variety of opportunities, especially for those living in its capital city. Philadelphia’s colleges offer language programs and exchange opportunities for the students enrolled in their universities. Students can take one semester-long class or take several credits over the years, adding them together for a major or a minor.

At the University of Pennsylvania, students can not only take language courses but they can also enroll in other Japan-related subjects through the East Asian Studies, Languages, and Civilizations Department.

If you are unsure about which Japanese course to sign up for, the University of Pennsylvania offers a free placement exam to help you determine which class works best for you.

language exchange program in Japan
Some universities offer study abroad options in Japan. (Photo by Hardik Pandya on Unsplash)

Temple University also offers classes for those looking to learn about the Japanese language and culture.

Temple University’s courses aim for full language proficiency if the student enrolls in their 4-year program. Learning a foreign language and obtaining full fluency takes time and dedication on the part of the student and thoughtful and detailed instruction on the part of the Japanese teacher.

If you are already enrolled in a university course but feel like you would benefit from a boost, you should consider hiring a tutor. A tutor can be a great option for helping you prepare for your next test or even just for extra practice. Practicing with a native speaker can help you better your pronunciation.

Universities in other cities across the US also offer Japanese classes for their students. Universities in Chicago and Houston.

Learning Japanese At A Language School

Aside from universities in Philly, there are also Japanese classes available at cultural centers and language schools throughout the city.

At the Japanese Language School in Philadelphia native speakers are teaching classes for adults, university students, and students over the age of 14.

kanji letters
The Japanese language combines multiple writing systems. (Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash)

The classes teach the basics of speaking as well as the Japanese writing systems, which include:

  • Kanji
  • Hiragana
  • Katakana

The goal of the elementary course is to establish basic comprehension of the language, teach sentence structure, and grammar. The school typically uses the Genki textbook for the lower levels.

If you are a student with more years of experience with Japanese, you can ask to be placed in their intermediate level programs.

Classes for the Japanese Language School in Philadelphia book quickly so if you are interested in taking a course here, make sure that you are aware of the registration events.

Taking Lessons At A Cultural Institution

Other Japanese educational programs can be found in the city through the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. 

This organization aims to build a better relationship between Americans and the Japanese people. They focus on teaching Americans about Japanese culture and history alongside basic Japanese lessons for students of all ages.

Japanese traditions
Japanese cultural centers also offer events for students to learn about Japanse traditions. (Photo by Finan Akbar on Unsplash)

This organization might also help you connect with native Japanese speakers, through a language exchange program, making it easier for you to practice what you learn in class.

There are organizations like this one though out the United States in cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta. These non-profit institutions are the perfect option for someone looking for a group language course. You can even find similar organizations that focus on other languages and cultures such as Chinese or Korean.

However, if you are looking for a more personalized approach hiring a private tutor, either in person or online, might work better than a classroom setting. You can have a free trial class with a Superprof tutor in just a couple of clicks.

Tips To Learning Japanese

Like any foreign language, learning Japanese will take a lot of time and dedication. For English speakers, Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn, but that does not mean it is impossible.

travel to japan
Learning Japanese with a tutor can make travel to Japan easier. (Photo by Peter Gabas on Unsplash)

Here are some tips, you can use to make the learning process a little easier.

  1. Choose the right language tutor - choosing a Japanese language teacher with years of experience will exponentially help you reach fluency faster. Quality instruction on the part of the teacher means that they will adapt their teaching style to how you learn best. Make sure that you read through reviews from past students and ask about the teacher’s credentials and educational background.
  2. Learn Kanji - Kanji are the Chinese symbols used in Japanese. If a student can not recognize these symbols during their studies, they will likely be missing out on a lot of information and vocabulary. Once you understand kanji, even other languages become easier to learn. Kanji is used alongside hiragana and katakana, so make sure that you are trying to learn these as well.
  3. Listen to Japanese - listening and reading Japanese as a practice is very important. Most textbooks come with CDs and DVDs that include recorded conversations you can use to practice your Japanese. By listening to others speak Japanese you will eventually pick up more vocabulary and better your pronunciation.

Superprof tutors are available to provide you with more tips on how to learn Japanese in Philadelphia and across the US.

A private tutor can help develop a program specialized for your preferred learning method, schedule, and skill level. Hiring a private teacher tends to be more expensive than joining a group class but the increase in price is made up for the flexibility and attention that your tutor can have with you.

You can also ask for a free trial class to gauge a teacher's teaching style or even ask for a discount if you decide to book multiple classes at once.

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