Intensive Japanese language immersion is the focus of the KCP Tokyo program.
japanese by the direct method
KCP realizes that students enter with varying Japanese language backgrounds that may have stressed different aspects of learning. Special emphasis is placed on holistic language education, stressing all four communication skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—to help students master general knowledge of the Japanese language, usable fluency, and vital Japanese context. In classes, language instruction takes place entirely in Japanese: the direct method, or full Japanese language immersion.
Japanese placement for your most effective learning
On arrival at KCP, students take a placement exam to determine their appropriate class level. You learn from 150 to 250 kanji each term, depending on the Japanese proficiency level. Each semester term consists of over 200 classroom hours of instruction. This is a rigorous program: students spend three to five hours studying each day. Each student gets plenty of support, with several instructors for each course as well as an assigned language advisor and a student coordinator.
And students get results. Students in our top language level are routinely able to pass the Nihongo Noryoku Shiken (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), roughly correlating their Japanese language skills to those of a native speaker at college level.
KCP International is an inspired choice for you to learn Japanese in Tokyo. It’s one of the most effective Japanese language schools in Japan.
We employ the Direct Method in our Japanese language immersion: classes are taught in Japanese without a vehicular language such as English. Since KCP teaches students from all over the world, Japanese is truly the only common language. But more important, we want to help students think in Japanese by communicating in Japanese.
Continually translating Japanese to students’ native languages (often with totally different grammar structures) would take a significant cognitive effort for students. The task of constantly converting between Japanese and English is counter-productive to learning to think in Japanese.
Japanese Level 1
Introduces basic Japanese grammar and sentence structures. Establishes the foundation for more advanced Japanese. Introduces hiragana, katakana, and about 150 kanji.
- Begin to communicate in daily life situations.
- Learn basic Japanese writing systems and write short paragraphs using kanji learned in class.
- Become accustomed to Japanese sounds, accents, and intonations through listening drills, classroom exercises, and audio and video tapes.
Japanese Level 2
Introduces a more difficult level of basic Japanese grammar and sentence structures.
- Develop more complex communication skills and communicate in daily life situations.
- Begin to read and comprehend short stories.
- Write short paragraphs and letters using kanji learned in class.
- Carry on short conversations through repeated practice and role-playing.
- Through pronunciation correction, begin to speak Japanese with more certainty.
- Learn to recognize your own mistakes.
Japanese Level 3
Introduces more complex, advanced Japanese grammar and sentence structures.
- Develop advanced conversation skills as your Japanese proficiency grows.
- Be able to read general articles and essays.
- Practice speaking in a variety of social situations.
- Express your ideas and opinions in Japanese and analyze tapes, current news, and academic essays.
- Special emphasis includes writing short essays and journals and delivering effective speeches in Japanese.
- Use frequent pair work and role playing.
- You are drilled on sentence structures, and you get plenty of practice in extended conversations and short speeches.
Japanese Level 4
Introduces less common advanced Japanese grammar and sentence structures. Special emphasis on appropriate Keigo (polite Japanese).
- Begin reading newspapers and academic textbooks.
- Write well-developed essays.
- Converse and create short sentences.
- Read and listen to Japanese essays describing several different aspects of modern Japan.
- Experience steady improvement in your conversation ability through class discussions and speeches.
Japanese Level 5
Introduces more sophisticated Japanese.
- Express ideas successfully through your speeches and essays.
- Interpret and logically express what you read in daily Japanese newspapers.
- Write content-oriented compositions and practice conversations through pair work and role playing.
- Japanese used in class is increasingly more advanced and difficult.
Japanese Level 6
For advanced students who want to acquire fluent communication abilities and recognize / use appropriate Japanese depending on social situations. After completing this level, and outside test preparation, many students are able to pass level one (most difficult) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken, attaining a command of Japanese sufficient to gain admission to a Japanese college or university as a regular full-time student.
- Classroom activities are supplemented with newspaper readings, television, textbook readings, and discussion of current issues in Japan.
- Your Japanese language proficiency is enhanced through speeches, discussions, debates, role playing, task listening, and mock interviews.
For guidance on determining your home university equivalents to KCP course levels, see For Advisors.
For recommended course equivalency and to preview sample compositions composed by students towards the end of each level, please download Language Course Equivalencies.
The three instructors I had, Tozawa-sensei, Suzuki-sensei, and Sugimoto-sensei, were all excellent. They were able to engage the whole class in each session, creative in explaining material, and patient when we needed time to fully understand.