I was referred to IPE by a coworker who spoke highly of the teachers here in September 2017. I am working full-time so it was difficult to find a school that had evening classes and could work around your schedule. The flexibility, friendliness and language expertise make IPE one of the best places to learn Japanese in my experience!

Samar Kassim

IPE is great! My teachers are fun, encouraging and professional. As a result, I want to do well for them. I’m pushed, but not too much. It’s hard work with a good mix of activities and it pays off.

Stephen Gosden

I have been extremely satisfied with my experience at IPE.

The teachers know the grammar, and can explain it simply; they listen attentively, and are patient; they smile a lot, and give encouragement. There is pronunciation, practice-time, and repetition. If you want excellent teachers with a friendly systematic approach, I highly recommend it.

Olwen Gosden

きょう は とても いい です! わたし は ごがつ に にほんご の べんきょう を します!

Today is good! In May, I will study Japanese!

I went for an interview at IPE Academy in Imaike today. It was pouring down with rain and, of course, I got there early. So I decided to be brave and go to the little coffee shop below the school. I usually stick to big chains, like Starbucks, because it’s easier to make myself understood. But how difficult can it be to get a coffee? Hmm… Well I did manage to get what I wanted in the end, but the lady in the coffee shop asked me a whole bunch of questions I didn’t understand, and so in the end I had to do the typical foreigner thing of repeating myself until I just got a coffee. Well, if I needed any more motivation to learn Japanese, that was it! I finished my coffee, and went up to meet my potential new teacher.

After 30 mins or so I knew I had come to the right place, and I signed up for some lessons.

It was a rocky beginning. I walked in, and immediately stepped into a “no shoes” area without realising! Oops! I apologised a lot, and she didn’t seem to mind, but i felt terrible! I felt worse, actually, not for the shoe faux pas, but for forgetting “ごめないさい” and just saying “すみません” over and over. Anyway, clad in my rainbow slippers from the entrance hall, I entered the interview room. Only slightly terrified, and slightly embarrassed. But I had no reason to be scared! The teacher was lovely, and I immediately felt very comfortable! We chatted, mostly in Japanese (amazingly) but also at times in English. She helped me when I got stuck on a word (I really need to brush up on my numbers and dates!) and let me explain my reasons for wanting to study Japanese in English. After 30 mins or so I knew I had come to the right place, and I signed up for some lessons. My teacher also teaches in Kurokawa, right near to where I live and work, so I will be taking private lessons there, once a week. I’m really excited, and can’t wait to go out and buy the text books! I will be working with Genki 1: She said we will skip the first bit and just do a review, and then I can start properly with verb conjugations and basically pick up where I left off from my old classes. I explained that I wanted lots of conversational Japanese, and things that will help me when living here, so hopefully she will tailor the lessons to that. I’m really excited to be signed up to a course, and can’t wait to begin! It’s great to feel like I’m doing something for myself too, and not just working. Talking of work, I’d better get some lessons planned!

See the original blog post on Haikugirl’s Japan.

Ali Muskett