Learning to speak Japanese is a great way to connect to the culture and is especially useful for those planning to visit the country. It’s easy to find resources on-line for self-paced study, but taking an actual class is often best for staying accountable and learning the nuances of the language.
Phoenix does offer a few solid options for Japanese study. We have outlined them here:
Japanese Language and Culture Group
This popular Meetup group gathers for language practice on Tuesday evenings at the 16th St. and Camelback McDonalds. All levels of Japanese learners are welcome, and native speakers attend as volunteers. The group also holds frequent social events related to Japanese culture.
Location: McDonalds 1635 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Hours: Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix offers a monthly language class on First Fridays. Anyone is welcome to attend! The garden aims to bring together “culture enthusiasts, language learners, and native speakers.” Each month the class focuses on a new theme to encourage variety and lively conversation. It’s also a pleasure to enjoy the scenery of the garden.
Location: Japanese Friendship Garden
Hours: First Friday of each Month, 4:30pm
Maricopa Community Colleges
For those looking for a more structured classroom environment, many of MCC’s campuses offer both in person and on-line Japanese courses. Depending on the campus and availability, students can take beginner or intermediate Japanese as part of a major requirement or on a certificate basis. Mesa Community College, for example, offers either a Conversational Japanese track for basic speaking purposes or a Foundation track for university preparation.
Location: Multiple valley locations
Hours: Varies by course
Cost: Varies by course
Le Tutor Language School
This Mesa school offers conversational Japanese lessons and tutoring. Since its opening in 2005, Le Tutor has grown to offer classes in sixteen different foreign languages. The school’s methods “emphasize developing conversational fluency through situational learning, simplified grammar, and interactive speaking and listening practice with fluent teachers.”
Group classes are affordable and occur twice a week. One downside is that as new students join, it can be difficult to accommodate students at varying levels. However, private tutoring is also an option at the school.
Location: 1550 S. Alma School Rd. #101 Mesa, AZ 85202
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 6:15pm- 7:30pm
Cost: $125 Monthly
The Phoenix Public Library website offers free access to on-line language learning programs, including Japanese courses from Rocket Languages. Normally $95+ per course, the Rocket Languages program utilizes seven success strategies to cater to busy students who require flexible classes. In addition to practice, program users can interact with a strong support network of instructors and peers.
Cost: Free with library card
Have we missed any Japanese classes or programs in Phoenix? Feel free to comment below!