While we were in Japan I came to the realization that my Japanese comprehension really sucked. So after getting back the search was on for some local Japanese conversation lessons. As it turned out, there was absolutely nothing within a 2 hour radius of where I live. So it was off to the Internet to save the day.
Japanese Lessons using Skype
I had heard that it was possible to take video lessons over Skype. So I did some intense research of what was available. I ended up choosing a service called Verbal Planet.
Verbal Planet allows you to search through their list of available teachers and book them for a lessons at times that are convenient with you. The lesson is held over Skype typically using audio and video. Some teachers will give you a free introductory lesson and you get one free lesson credit when you sign up for an account.
I chose a Japanese teacher who looked like she had a lot of experience and some really good feedback. I also wanted to choose a teacher that was in a time zone that would allow me to have lessons a time that was convenient for both of us. I ended up with a teacher by the name of Rinko Sakuma who lives in England.
The lesson went off without a hitch (surprising considering how unreliable Skype has been with me in the past), and Rinko was a great teacher. Since we weren’t working from any particular textbook we just tried to have as much a conversation as we could using Japanese with the occasional English thrown in when I stumbled (which was plenty). Next time we’ll be working on more conversation topics.
I’ll let you know the lesson go as I have a few more, but currently the system seems to work pretty well.
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