Houston has recently been named the City With No Limits, alluding to its vast diversity in the population. It is an even more diverse city than New York or Los Angeles. 

The 3 million residents speak up to 140 languages and come from a mosaic of backgrounds and cultures. Spanish and Vieatemes being some of the most popular languages spoken throughout the city. 

Houston’s diversity expands to different categories including household diversity, socioeconomic diversity, and economic diversity. It also includes cultural and language diversity. 

This diversity means that Houston’s residents are typically more willing to put in the effort to learn a second or third language to communicate with other people in their communities and around the world. If you are one of these Houstonians and are looking for someone to help you learn a foreign language, you have come to the right place. 

Superprof can help you find a tutor for the world’s most popular languages, Japanese being one of them. 

Using Superprof’s platform you can connect with fellow Houston residents that ready to help you reach your Japanese language goals. You can meet with tutors in person and online in both group and personal lessons. If you choose to go with virtual classes, you could also look into booking a tutor outside of the Houston area. 

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas is a melting pot for languages and cultures. (Photo by Melvin Thambi on Unsplash)

Japanese tutors can be found in major cities across the US and other diverse megacities like New York

Japanese is a great language to learn if you have ever had interests in Japanese culture, cuisine, or traditional Japanse arts. Japanese has also become quite popular through anime and manga. If you learn Japanese you can enjoy the world of manga in its original language. 

Additionally, learning even very basic Japanese can make travel in Japan a lot easier. The Japanese are very welcoming, especially if you attempt to speak their language. Learning Japanese to help expand business ventures, has also become very popular as the Japanese market is one of the fastest-growing in the world. 

If you are a Houston resident hoping to learn Japanese, we have come up with a whole list of the best places to do so, through both group and individual lessons. 

Keep reading to find out how and where you can sign up for Japanese lessons and even free trial classes.

Japanese Language And Culture Classes At A Houston Institute

Foreign culture associations are created in cities across the US to forge better relationships and connections between the two countries. 

These associations offer language and culture programs to residents of the city they serve. Residents can enroll in language courses or attend cultural education events throughout the year. 

These organizations offer residents the opportunity to learn from native speakers and practice Japanese alongside other people with an affinity for Japan. It helps grow an interest in the study of the Japanese language and culture within the residents of Houston. 

Japanese exchange programs
Houston language institutions allow students to learn about the Land of the Rising Sun. (Photo by Adrian on Unsplash)

One of the oldest cultural organizations in Houston is the Japan America Society of Houston (JASH). The JASH is located in West Houston. Classes range from beginner to advanced and start at around $175 for each program. JASH offers language education programs during weekdays and weekends. 

JASH can help students prepare for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test. A passing score on this exam is typically needed if you are hoping to work or study in Japan. 

The Japan America Society of Houston encourages that language students don't just focus on the writing and speaking the language, but also on the history and culture that accompanies the Japanese language. This is why they promote exchange opportunities and visits to Japan. They also host a variety of cultural events throughout the year. 

If you are interested in going to similar societies but don’t live in Houston, there is no need to worry, your city probably offers similar opportunities. Superprof can help you learn about Japanese culture and language centers in cities like Philadelphia and Boston

The city of Houston also holds a Japanese festival each year. The Japan Festival Houston includes Japanese products, cuisine, and even performances. It allows the people of Houston to get to know the Japanese culture through fun activities and food. It is also a great opportunity for language students to practice their Japanese skills with native speakers, such as the vendors at the festival. 

Other events in the city of Houston are organized by the Houston Japanese Language Meetup. This a group of people that have an affinity for the Japanese language and hope to build connections between one another, all while growing their skills and fluency in Japanese. 

Japanese Classes At Houston’s University 

Some universities, especially liberal arts colleges, require that their student take at least one course of a foreign language. Most students opt for Spanish or French. However, for those that have an interest in Japanese culture, this might be the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in learning the language. 

Multiple universities in Houston offer Japanese classes, as either electives or core classes for those who hope to major in Japanese.

The courses at universities usually include lessons on kanji, hiragana, katakana, and general Japanese culture and history. 

Japanese letters
Japanese students can learn to write and read the three Japanese writing systems. (Photo by Damon Lam on Unsplash)

Universities that offer a major or minor degree in Japanese offer both language and culture classes. By deeply understanding the history and common practices, students receive a more well-rounded education. 

Here are some of the universities in Houston where you can take Japanese lessons: 

  • Rice University - this university offers a variety of beginner and intermediate classes for their students. Although they do not offer a major in the language, they do offer students the opportunity to learn the basics about the language and culture. 
  • The University of Saint Thomas -  unlike at Rice, Saint Thomas does offer a major and minor in Japanese. This is run through the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. 
  • University of Houston - this university does not offer a major but similarly to Rice University, it does offer beginner and intermediate level classes to its student population. By taking all levels of these classes through multiple semesters, a student can reach conversation levels and will be able to read and write Japanese. 

Taking Japanese lessons during college can open a lot of doors for your post-graduation job. Employers are more likely to hire people that speak multiple languages, and if a business is trying to expand into the growing Japanese market, a Japanese and English speaker will be a great asset to the company.

If you are enrolled in a Japanese class at your university but feel like you need a bit of help from an outside source, make sure to check out the private Japanese tutors available on Superprof. Tutors can help you practice at home and even prepare with you for the next exam. 

Houston’s universities aren’t the only ones that offer Japanese courses to their students. You can major in Japanese or at least take a couple of courses at universities across the US in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago

Preparing For The Japanese Proficiency Test

Like for many other languages, the Japanese have a proficiency test that is globally accepted. This standardized certifies that a non-native speaker has a certain degree of proficiency. For English, the proficiency exam is called the TELF, and for Chinese, it is the HSK Test. These exams can typically be taken abroad and are sometimes required for schooling or work permits.

Japanese Language Proficiency Exam
A Superprof tutor can help you review before your JLPT exam. (Photo by Alissa De Leva on Unsplash)

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) covers the following: 

  • Language knowledge
  • Reading ability
  • Listening ability

You can take the exam from almost any major city in the US. The exam can only be presented during certain months of the year so check out the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test webpage to find out more about when and where you can take the exam. 

Although you can find plenty of free review resources for the JLPT, some students find it very helpful to also receive practice and review lessons from a personal tutor. 

Through Superprof, you can find a personal tutor specialized in helping English speakers pass the JLPT. Even those students with years of experience seeking Japanese would benefit from a couple of review sessions before their exam. Working with an instructor, who has previously taken the exam or knows how it functions, can give you the best tips and trick on acing the exam. It can help make the difference between a failing and passing exam.

A tutor can help you review sample questions and provide additional practice material. 

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