The most productive parts for me were the grammar teaching. The way KCP approaches this was very effective.

Martin from Spring 2019

Which events or activities did you find the most satisfying and why?

Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in most events and so do not have an informed opinion here.

What were the most productive and interesting aspects of the program for you? The least interesting and productive?

The most productive parts for me were the grammar teaching. The way KCP approaches this was very effective.

What activities or materials did you find most helpful (e.g., pair work, drill practice, tests, small group sessions, textbooks, games)?

Minno No Nihongo proved to be an excellent resource. Once we finished the books, I found the teaching less structured and much harder to follow. The English medium classes were also critical for me and I wonder if they should be made available beyond Level 3.

Any suggestions for improving class activities or materials?

If possible, more opportunity to talk with volunteer native speakers from outside the school would be fantastic. We did this once, during my three semesters, and it was immensely productive. The building conversations skills classes with the US programme could be an excellent place to do this (as long as there are enough willing volunteers!) I would also suggest KCP review the testing schedule. During each of the three semesters I attended, there was a moment when I consciously switched from focusing on learning the language to instead focusing on just passing tests. This made it much more difficult for me to take responsibility for my own learning. Finally, I would suggest finding a way to reduce the amount of class time dedicated to marking our homework. Some days this took half of our total class time, which seemed a shame.

What did you find most valuable in the Culture Course?

In my first semester last summer, there was a session with a Japanese psychologist that was extremely interesting. It very much helped me understand several norms of behaviour in Japan that were confusing me, and help me better understand what expectations would be place on me while living in Japan.

Any comments or tips for prospective/new KCP students?

As a student, there will absolutely be times when this course will overwhelm you. I suspect this may even be part of the pedagogical design. It is certainly a test of character as well as of language learning ability. If you are willing to mentally commit to this teaching approach, then it is an incredibly rewarding experience, both in terms of language learning and personal growth.

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Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

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I selected this program because it allows me to use my student loans to attend, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to have this experience. I also wanted a challenge and to improve my fluency as fast as possible. The pace at KCP is challenging but helps me focus.

—Brittany Crouch