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Your take on or experience with online Japanese lessons w/ a live tutor

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  • Your take on or experience with online Japanese lessons w/ a live tutor

    I've been looking into a few online services such as VerbalPlanet, Japonin, Nihongo-Pro, J-OS etc. They are online based Japanese lessons with tutors. I heard Kumon has an online track however it is designed for those in Japan (which I am not). I want to hear other people's experience using these services or their ideas of online instruction, materials, cost, etc.

    I've used Japonin's service of several students in an online classroom but was not satisfied (basic fill in the blank prompts). I also tried Japanese Online Talk (JOT) but they have disappeared. Not a shocker, one of the teachers ate dinner throughout one Skype lesson, while another never showed up (not very professional). All of these experiences were several years back. Rethinking the online options...again.

    Lessons would be great! I'm just not in the right location physically so I'm looking at online program options. Thoughts? Suggestions?

  • #2
    Sorry I don't have a suggestion, but just wanted to that add my experience with learning Japanese on Skype didn't go too well either.
    I'm still looking for a good online solution.


    • #3
      I have had mixed experiences with online tutoring. I first tried one of the larger online services (one you listed :S), but I was pretty disappointed. I tried a few different tutors there, but it was never great. I don't know, maybe the group lesson format just doesn't suit me, but the lesson plans were pretty lazy. Like you said, fill in the blank stuff. Individual lessons weren't focused on where I was at either.

      After that I tried finding some people on Skype to exchange learning skills with. I found a few different Japanese people who were looking to improve their English skills, but we were never really matched up well (in terms of being at the same language level). And it is hard to really learn when both of you don't have a common language to fall back on.

      After my failed Skype attempt, I went forum searching for ways to teach myself, and someone there recommended a private tutor they had been going to. She teaches online through Skype, and is pretty good. She has a website ( where you can contact her. She is patient, cares a lot about each session, and is fun to talk to. I would recommend her strongly. There are probably other great tutors out there somewhere, I just don't know where to find them. Good luck, sir.


      • #4
        I went to her website, she sounds pretty cool!
        @eskesundy: What can you tell us about the lesson structures? Does she follow some sort of lesson plan like lesson 1 is for greetings, lesson 2 is so on...


        • #5
          With me she asked me if there were any textbooks or programs I wanted to use. I had already been using Genki so we continued with that and she planned lessons accordingly. She also made some recommendations to help me learn Kanji because I was pretty lost at the time.