This is not a run-of-the-mill Japanese language program in a language school. This is a fun and interactive program tailored to your needs to improve your spoken Japanese most efficiently. Under the tutelage of renowned Taiwanese polyglot Terry Hsieh and his fellow Japanese language experts, you will embark on a 24/7 Japanese immersion trip to Osaka with like-minded people from all over the world. You will use Japanese to explore every corner of Japanese society and leave Japan with friends from all walks of life.
When we talk about going abroad to learn languages, the first thing that comes to mind for most of us is language school. However, based on my research and experiences from learning more than 20 languages in 60 countries, including some in language schools, I have come to the conclusion that language school is not the best setting for learning languages abroad. More than 2000 years before I was born, the disciple of Confucius, Mencius, had already known the secret I discovered. The following is an excerpt from the parable of “一傅眾咻”
Mencius said to Dai Bu Sheng,“Suppose that there is a great officer of Chu here, who wishes his son to learn the speech of Qi. Will he in that case employ a man of Qi as his tutor, or a man of Chu?’
‘He will employ a man of Qi to teach him,’ said Bu Sheng.
Mencius went on, ‘If but one man of Qi be teaching him, and there be a multitude of men of Chu continually shouting out about him, although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Qi, it will be impossible for him to do so.’
This is exactly what happens in a language school – only your teacher speaks authentic Japanese. Your classmates probably speak a little or even none and you likely communicate in English with each other. This is not a good environment for learning Japanese.
The common wisdom of, “The best way to learn a language is to go to that country,” is only a half-truth. Say if we go to Japan but we don’t engage Japanese people in Japanese as much as we can, being in Japan alone can’t really help us improve our Japanese. However, how can we easily acquire an environment in which everyone talks to us in Japanese in a meaningful and interesting way? Based on my research and experiences I have created a unique immersion program for language learners to improve their speaking ability within the shortest delay and engage in real social interaction with local people in a meaningful way. This “total immersion program” so far has been very successful with the students learning Japanese and English.
- Use Japanese intensively to gain the habit of speaking Japanese, establish your confidence in spoken Japanese.
- Make contacts with Japanese and like-minded internationals from all walks of life, get insights into different Japanese societies and cultures.
- Everyday One-on-one tutoring session tailored to your needs by Polyglot Terry Hsieh and professional Japanese Instructors.
- Use Japanese to make Japanese friends that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet.
Who can Enroll & Program Overview
We welcome people who would like to improve their spoken Japanese in a short time regardless their current proficiency. Even total beginners are welcome.
Date：January 20th, 2019 to Jan 27th, 2019 (Program starts on Jan 21. in the morning and ends around noon on the Jan 27. , equivalent of 60 hours of authentic immersion)
Time：Everyday from 09:00 to 21:00
Venue: Osaka Guesthouse SUN
Address：2-1-3 Sawaicho, Naniwa ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
9:00-12:00 Tutoring sessions、today’s mission briefing、daily lecture
12:00-13:00 lunch with our lecturer
13:30-17:00 Japanese Immersion Mission 1
18:00-19:00 Dinner & Break
19:00-21:00 Japanese Immersion Mission 2
21:00- Japanese Immersion Mission 3 (optional)
This is only a general outline. The Schedule is subject to change to accommodate the needs of activities or our lecturers. Please refer to Appendix I for past schedules and activities.
The Fee is 77000 Japanese YEN, including accommodation in a 8-bed or 10-bed dormitory at Osaka Guesthouse Sun from January 20th (check in) to January 27th (check out), tuition, and activities. Food and Transportation are not included.
Estimated cost of living and transportation：
Guesthouse Sun offers free Japanese instant ramen
Dinner & Lunch: A meal of local food costs 3 – 8 USD (300-1000 Yen)
Transportation：Single ride of bus or subway costs 2 USD (200 Yen)
How to apply
- Download the application form
- Fill out the form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once we receive your documents we will schedule an online voice interview with you
- Pay 37000Yen non-refundable deposit to enroll officially, pay the rest at the beginning of the program
- Buy flight tickets and insurance and prepare your trip to Osaka
Total Immersion Extension
This total immersion program is not just a one-time boost to your Japanese proficiency. During the program, we will also teach you how to effectively improve your Japanese by yourself while being in Osaka. If you want to continue the immersion experience after the main program, you can sign up for this extension option. The Fee is 30000 Yen. The Price includes accommodation in a 8-bed dormitory at Guesthouse SUN, activity planning and scheduling, and general support from Terry and our Japanese instructors.
Q & A
1. Who is Terry Hsieh? Who are our instructors?
Program Leader Terry Hsieh
M.A. in linguistics, University of Kansas
B.A. in Horticulture, B.S. in biology and minor in foreign literature and languages, National Taiwan University
Versed in Mandarin, English, Japanese and French…etc
Founder of polyglot.tw (多國語言習得活動網)
Founder of Polyglot Cafe
Japanese Instructor Fukami Koh
B.A. in Spanish language and literature, University of Foreign Languages of Kansai
Koh is a Osaka local keen to languages and music. He taught himself English and studied Spanish in college. With his talent in music, he will be the best teacher to help you grasp the melody of spoken Japanese
2. I am a total beginner/my Japanese is poor can I join? Will there be communication problems?
Anyone, even those have never been exposed to Japanese, is welcome to join us. We will teach you how to communicate with little Japanese or no Japanese. As long as you are willing to communicate, you will improve fast.
In our program, we always have 1-2 total beginners or people without any previous knowledge of Japanese. They all managed to communicate with Japanese monolinguals and had a lot of fun in Japan. Besides, Terry and Koh are all versed in English and Japanese. Last but not least,the Japanese people you are going to meet are all reputed for their friendliness and hospitality. You probably do not need to use words to win many friends in Japan!
3. Can I look for other accommodation options near Guesthouse Sun? Do I have to stay in Osaka Guesthouse Sun?
We strongly recommend you stay with us at Osaka Guesthouse Sun. Osaka Guesthouse Sun is not just a hostel. It is also a culture center and language exchange venue. Terry has been working with Osaka Guesthouse Sun for many years and we both know how to create a friendly environment to facilitate learners to pick up Japanese fast. During our Japanese immersion program, Osaka Guesthouse Sun will provide extra support and other perks to facilitate your stay and learning. For example. we will have each participant stay in a different room to maximize their chances to interact with Japanese speaking travelers. It would be a great loss for you if you decide to stay somewhere else. If you need a single room, Osaka Guesthouse Sun has a few single rooms. Since single rooms are usually sold far in advance, if you intend to stay in a single room, please sign up early. Osaka Guesthouse Sun will charge additional fees for single rooms.
Appendix I — Schedule Example and Past activities
Japanese Language Total Immersion Program, January 2018
|Jan 22.||Jan 23.||Jan 24.||Jan 25.||Jan 26.||Jan 27.||Jan 28.|
Meeting new friends 9:00~
One on one9:30-9:45
|One on One9:30-9:45
Morning Mission9:00 ~
|One on one9:30-9:45
Morning Mission9:00 ~
|Morning Mission9:00 ~
|One on one9:30-9:45
Morning Mission9:00 ~
|Japanese Homestay||Morning Mission9:00 ~
|Afternoon13:00~||Meeting Japanese Language Volunteers14:00~||Making Okonomiyaki at Guesthouse 14:00~||Guest Speaker14:00-16:00||Visit Osaka Asia Library14:00||Kareoke with Japanese||Hirakata Japanese Family Language Activity|
|Evening19:00~||KobeLanguageParty||Making Japanese Dinner||MoriguchiJapanese Family Language Activity||Talk about travel with Japanese people||Japanse Homestay||Drinking with Japanese @ Izakaya|
Activities at a glance
Meeting Japanese Language Volunteers
Enjoy free tutoring from Japanese language volunteers and learn why they love to teach Japanese for free
Kobe Language Party
Meet Japanese people who love to learn foreign languages and make international friends.
Love your neighbors (talk to guesthouse staff).
Japanese Guest Speakers with special talents or interesting stories give us a talk. Terry and Koh will help you understand what they say.
Furether integrate into Guesthouse Sun community.
Japanese Family Language Activity
Practice Japanese with Japanese families. Kids are always your best Japanese teacher !
Asia Library Tour
Visit Asia Library in Osaka. The curator will welcome us with some best Japanese tea and snacks.
Appendix II — Testimonials and Reviews