Finding the perfect tutor can make a huge difference when learning a foreign language. Learning to read, write, and speak a new language can be challenging for anyone. This is why it is so important for every student to have the right instruction when it comes to learning a new language.

For English speakers, Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn because it incorporates three different writing systems and has very different sounds from the English language. However, with the right teacher, you can become fluent in Japanese. A great instructor can tailor the lessons to fit how you learn and will be able to adapt the pace of the classes to the timing that works best for you.

Japanese lessons and private instructors can be found throughout Boston. You can find Japanese lessons in Boston’s cultural institutions, universities, and even take classes from your own home.

If you are looking for a private tutor Superprof can help you connect with an experienced and knowledgable teacher.

Keep reading to find out the best places for you to learn about the Japanese language, culture, and history in the city of Boston and beyond.

If you happen to live outside of Boston, in another East Coast city like New York or Philly, you can also use Superprof to help connect with tutors in those areas. Connecting to teachers from across the globe can make it easier and cheaper to book lessons. You can choose to work with a native speaker in Japan or even learn another language like French or Chinese.

Japanese Culture Institutions In Boston

The city of Boston is home to a couple of Japanese cultural centers and hosts multiple yearly events celebrating Japanese culture and heritage.

Japanese food
You can learn about Japanese food at the Japanse Festival in Boston. (Photo by Kae Ng on Unsplash)

The Japan Society of Boston founded in 1904 hopes to...

“promote cultural and economic ties and active interchange between Japanese and Americans for mutual understanding, benefit, and enjoyment.”

This not-for-profit organization offers individual and family memberships to the organization's events and activities. The organization hopes to connect Japan enthusiasts in Boston. The Japan Society of Boston also offers language courses and continuous programs. They offer both in-person and online group lessons. They offer classes to a variety of skill levels including beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Japanese courses throughout the year.

The classes cover:

  • Speaking
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Hiragana/ katakana.

If you are a member of the organization, language study students receive a $50 discount for each course they sign up for. The Japan Society of Boston even offers fun themed based classes to connect language and culture.

Showa Boston is another Japanese language and culture institute located in Boston. The institution was originally a satellite campus for the Showa Women’s University in Tokyo for their English majors but later evolved to include a cultural institution and language school. The organization serves...

“as a bridge between America and Japan, promoting global awareness, international understanding, and intercultural dialogue within and beyond the Boston community.”

Showa Boston offers a college connection program as well as Japanese language classes. The language program limits 20 students per class so that each student can actively participate and receive attention from the teachers. The program’s teachers are all native Japanese speakers, so students are sure that they are receiving instruction from experienced professionals.

Learning Japanese Through Universities In Boston

If you happen to be a college student in Boston, there is a big chance that you can sign up for Japanese lessons right on campus. Boston colleges offer a variety of courses to there students, all included in their tuition. You can sign up for a foreign language course as an elective or add the credit towards one of your majors or minors.

Harvard Japanese Program
Students at Harvard can take Japanese classes. (Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash)

Students who are not so serious about the Japanese do not need to commit to taking multiple classes, but can simply take advantage of the instruction and learn some of the basics.

Here are some of the universities in Boston that offer Japanese programs to their students:

  • Boston College - this university offers not only the option to study Japanese on their Boston campus but also the opportunity to study abroad in Japan at universities like Waseda University and Sophia University both located in Tokyo.
  • Northeastern University - This college encourages students to study Japanese if they are hoping to fulfill their language requirement with the language of “manga, anime, Zen, and a literary tradition that includes The Tale of Genji”. Northeastern’s Japanese classes include hybrid classes at the elementary level. Their language programs teach students using material relevant to various aspects of Japan’s historical and cultural heritage. If the student demonstrates the attainment of intermediate to advanced proficiency in the language, they will be eligible to receive a minor degree in Japanese. By reaching these levels of proficiency the students will have opened opportunities for travel and living and working abroad in Japan.
  • Harvard University - The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University offers 4 levels of Japanese language classes including Elementary Japanese; Intermediate Japanese I; Intermediate Japanese II; and Advanced Modern Japanese. If you have not yet studied Japanese, it is recommended that you sign up for the lowest level class, the Elementary Japanese, that the school has to offer. Students with more years of experience can take a placement exam to assess what level they should sign up for. Harvard also offers courses that focus on the literature of various historical periods from Heian to modern times. Harvard even offers a “reading course for graduate students specializing in Chinese and Korean studies to develop skills in reading and translating academic genres of Japanese.”

The grades you receive during your Japanese courses will count towards your overall GPA, so a lot of students choose to work with an outside tutor to make sure that they are adequately prepared for any in-class exams or assignments. A tutor can work to complement the education you receive in a class and be there to aid with extra practice and additional review.

Many students also choose to participate in language exchange programs that allow them to practice their Japanese with a native speaker. Additionally, some of the above universities, also offer study abroad programs where the student gets to study and visit Japan for a whole semester. This is typically an option for students at more advanced fluency levels and with a deep affinity for Japan’s culture and language.

Study abroad programs can greatly increase your Japanese language skills as you will be immersed in the language 24/7. By living in Japan you can learn new vocab words daily and get to know the people and the culture. Immersion learning is the fastest way to reach fluency in any language.

If you are looking for Japanese lessons through your university but don’t attend college in Boston, check out our guides in other cities like Los Angeles or Houston.

Learn Japanese Online

Learning Japanese online can take a variety of forms. You can learn from a teacher through virtual tutoring sessions or you can learn with free online resources.

Free online resources can be found on Youtube, language podcasts, and apps like Duolingo.

Japanese language applications
You can use apps to learn Japanese. (Photo by William Hook on Unsplash)

Online resources are great for those students who have a lot of self-determination and discipline. It takes a language student a lot of dedication to practice every day and continuously find new lessons. These resources are great for those looking to understand the basics of the Japanese language, but reaching more advanced levels takes training with other native speakers and the right instruction.

Another alternative to online learning is hiring a tutor willing to teach virtual classes. Virtual lessons allow students to work with a qualified instructor within a budget price since neither party has to consider transportations costs.

There are hundreds of Superprof tutors available for online lessons. These are typically less expensive than in-person classes while still providing a personalized lesson plan. Superprof also offers a free trial class so that you can get to know a tutor before you book multiple classes.

Since you will be connecting with a Japanese teacher through a web call, you are not limited to tutors in the Boston area. You will be able to choose from our vast network of tutors from around the world. You could even work with a tutor currently living in Japan.

Working with a tutor helps students improve pronunciation, as there is someone there to correct them along the way.

Whichever way you choose to learn Japanese, make sure that you have the right instruction. You are going to get a lot further in your fluency goals with the right language teacher!

If you are looking for a Japanse tutor in a city like Chicago or anywhere else in the United States, Superprof can also help you find teachers there as well.

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