Update: I graduated from KICL yesterday! Not exactly graduated, but I finished my year of Japanese language studies yesterday! It was a long and short experience, and will be remembered forever; only the experiences, the language on the other hand… who knows, I’m not the brightest after all!
Anyways, down to business. But if you didn’t catch the 3 pros post yet, click here.
As I’ve obtained from my business experience, the following are 3 “opportunities” that KICL needs to focus on.
- Target Audience
- Common Sense
The school is known not to give a heads up regarding events, deadlines, and information in general; whether it pertains to classes, the school, exams, etc.
There have been too many times when I or other students had to move our own schedules around simply to accommodate the school.
For example, my friend had appointments and meetings for the next following few days when the school suddenly announced that in 2 days they will be holding a mandatory health examination. Another example is when I had to inform my part-time job a month in advance that I may have to miss a day of work because the school doesn’t know when the graduation ceremony will be held. Shouldn’t the school know when and where the graduation ceremony is taking place months in advance? Well, I think they should! At least the date, then the time, and then the location. Anyways, I know that I’m not alone in this as many other students have complained about it in the past.
Moving on to the target audience. Now if you’ve ever been in Japan for more than a couple of days, I’m sure you realized that there are a lot of Chinese speaking tourists, visitors, and/or students in Japan. And that is because there are! This also applies to KICL. The majority of students are without a doubt, Taiwanese. There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s the school! The school is so geared towards this target audience, that it simply leaves the others in the dark. Now, the school and their teachers are improving but I still say that there is a need for more progress. So what am I really getting at? Kanji, Chinese characters. The school briefly touches upon them in their lessons, and it’s 99% self-study. Now what does that mean for someone from the west? It means a shitload of confusion! I’m Asian American, however I do not know an ounce of Chinese. So how did I start studying Kanji? I did what many do; repetition and memory. Is that the best way? Absolutely not. Is that how Japanese students learn Kanji as they grow up? Apparently so. What I’m saying is that they do not teach you how to study Kanji, you have to learn it on your own. In addition to that, the teachers often write new vocabulary on the white boards with the Kanji. That’s nice, but what about the reading of the Kanji? Do you expect us to look up the Kanji in our dictionaries while you continue on with the lesson and then wonder if we’re paying attention? We not only have to look up the Kanji in the dictionary but have to waste time trying to write the Kanji in order to find it in the dictionary! Why not save us all the trouble and write it on the board as well! This of course differs from teacher to teacher. I told my teacher and she was much more conscious about it from that day forward. Thank you S!
But yes, the school is growing larger, becoming more popular, more western students are going to study there, so why not start changing your management, teaching, and lesson strategies to accommodate your new and growing target market?
I ranted quite a lot in the previous so I’m going to try to keep this clean and cut.
- The school moved locations and now it takes longer to get to the classrooms; it’s also a bit of a hike for some of you who aren’t quite fit. That means that you have to wake up earlier, leave earlier, and arrive earlier. What it also means is that your lunch break is actually shorter than it is because of the “commute.” I mentioned this to my teacher a few months ago, but I highly doubt the school will do anything about it. It’s a shame too since it also effects the teachers.
- Once a semester there is an event where all students and faculty participate in. The school always travels to the destination together. That may seem very obvious and evident, but I beg to differ. Maybe it is because I grew up in NYC and we always found our way to the destination on our own and met there, or because I’m just unique. However I do not think it to be necessary for me to travel all the way to the school, just to come back to an area close to where I live. Now, it would not be a problem if I was talking 10 minutes or so, but I was talking about an hour. Why can’t they allow it? Rules. They love their rules and regulations. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Should you study at KICL? If you are serious about learning Japanese, I think it’s a great language school to do it at!