Home > Our Clients > Comments from MACC Trainees
Comments from MACC Trainees
Comments from MACC trainees
No.1 Mr. Gregory Buehler (American)
No.2 Mr. Oliver Gruska  (German)
No.3 Mr. Mike Bryant  (American)
No.4 Mrs. Varsha Deshpande  (Indian)

(No.1)

Comment from Mr. Gregory Buehler

A professional English teacher. Mr. Buehler enrolled in the Preparatory Course for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) (Level 2) and took about 70 hours intensively for 4 months to prepare for the Test.


"I first contacted MACC Kobe in June 2004. I was just about to finish my third year teaching English in Japan, and I was looking for a private language school where I could design my own program of private Japanese lessons.

I loved living in Japan, but I was tired of teaching English. I decided that the first step towards a different career in Japan would be to drastically improve my Japanese language skills.

I had passed the san kyu level of the 2003 Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and I was planning on taking ni kyu in December 2004. But, my level of Japanese was far below where I needed it to be. Specifically, I needed help with my grammar, reading, vocabulary, and kanji recognition.

I contacted a few other schools in the Kobe area, but MACC stood out from the start. All the communication and meetings were very professional and centered towards what I wanted to get out of my course.

Since MACC is often hired to teach company employees, I was confident that they could get results. Their classrooms were located in a nice area near Motomachi Station as well, and that made my decision even easier.

Together with the general manager, we designed a 15-week ni kyu preparatory course, from August to December 2004, leading right up until the Proficiency Test. I had three lessons each week, with a different teacher on each day. On Monday, we worked on kanji and reading. On Wednesday, grammar. On Friday, listening and vocabulary.

Each one was a fully trained and certified Japanese language teacher. Also, they all had enough English language skills to communicate with me when I had a question beyond my Japanese language ability.

My biggest worry in selecting a school had been the teachers, and what kind of people they would be. At MACC Kobe, I had three excellent teachers who were also very interesting, kind, and well-traveled people. Throughout my course, I enjoyed their company as individuals more and more.

Halfway through the course, I was given a progress report documenting my progress and where I needed to improve in order to pass ni kyu. The week before the test, we discussed practical test-taking strategies and I took the exam from the previous year.

Going into the exam, I felt very confident. My Japanese language skills had really come far, especially my reading and vocabulary. I felt that, even if I hadn’t passed, I would have been satisfied with what I had accomplished with my course at MACC.

I found out in February that I did pass ni kyu, with a score that was higher than I could have hoped for back in August. Of course, it had been a lot of work, and countless hours of studying, but opening that score card felt great.

This was especially good news, because I had applied to an advanced 1-year Japanese language program in Yokohama for Fall 2005. If I hadn’t passed ni kyu, I doubt that I would have been accepted.

For my application to that program, MACC helped me by preparing a very detailed Japanese language recommendation that documented my progress throughout the course. They even gave me a recorded oral examination, so that they could comment extensively on my Japanese speaking skills.

This summer, I will be returning to Japan to start school in Yokohama. I am hoping that it will be the next step towards my goal of a long-term career in Japan; a career in which the Japanese language will be an essential tool.

I highly recommend MACC Kobe. Their staff and teachers are trained professionals who can get results."

Gregory Buehler



(No.2)

Comment from Mr. Oliver Gruska

International Manager working for a global German-Japanese company specializing in chemicals. Mr. & Mrs. Gruska took 5 week semi-private intensive program (4 hours daily) on their arrival in Japan, and acquired the survival level of the language skills as well as the information about the everyday life in Japan.


"Watashi wa Gruska desu. Doitsu jin desu. Doitsu kara tsuma to nihon ni kimashita - Es gibt kaum etwas Schwierigeres, als sich in einer Umgebung zurecht zu finden, die man nicht versteht (!)

Im Land der aufgehenden Sonne angekommen, stellt sich zum Sprung in eine andere Kultur gleichzeitig die Frage, wie findet man so schnell und so effizient wie moeglich den Einstieg in dieses neue Leben. Haeufig fehlt die Zeit sich ausschliesslich dem Erlernen der japanischen Sprache zu widmen oder es steht nur ein begrenzter Anlaufzeitraum zur Verfuegung.

Genau in dieser Situation befanden meine Frau und ich uns, als wir im vergangenen Jahr in Osaka angekommen sind. Natuerlich hatte wir einen dieser beruehmten Japanisch-Chrashkurse in Deutschland gemacht, aber mehr als an vereinzelte Vokabeln konnten wir uns nicht erinnern, womit wir nicht die Spur einer Chance auf ein wirklichkeitsnahes Gespraech mit einem japanischen Gespraechspartner hatten. "Wie sollten wir unter diesen Umstaenden den Alltag meistern?"

"Was tun? Wen fragen? Und vor allem wie organisiert man einen Sprachkurs, wenn man vor lauter japanischen Schriftzeichen nicht einmal den Weg durchs Internet findet?" Das waren die Raetsel der Stunde. Dabei lag die Loesung zum Greifen nahe (!)

Ein Intensiv-Einstieg in die japanische Sprache komplett auf unsere Beduerfnisse abgestimmt (!)

MACC - eine internationale Organisation mit Schulen in vielen Staedten Japans, so auch in Osaka und Kobe erstellt bereits beim ersten Kontakt ein persoenliches Profil, welches die Basis eines ausgewogenen Programms bildet.

Unter dem Aspekt der Anwenderfreundlichkeit werden Sie gerade als Nicht-Asiate dem "das-kann-ich-mir-nie-merken" Mythos beraubt und nicht mit Unmengen komplizierter Grammatik oder komplizierter Satzstrukturen ueberfordert, sondern durch die praxisnahe Auswahl von Unterrichtsinhalten gepaart mit umfangreichen Alltagsuebungen und deutschsprachigen Unterrichstmaterialien auf die wirklichkeitsnahe Kommunikation in Ihrem neuen japanischen Umfeld vorbereitet.

Mit einem Intensivkurs von 2, 3 oder 4 Stunden pro Tag, je nach Ihrer Wahl koennen Sie bereits nach kurzer Zeit einfache Gespraeche auf Japanisch fuehren. Sie muessen nicht wie in anderen Institutionen zunaechst die beiden Silbensprachen Hiragana und Katagana beherrschen, ehe es zur Sache geht, sondern Sie eignen sich - Ihrem Lerntempo entsprechend mit kompetenter Unterstuetzung Ihrer "MACC-Sensei's" Schritt fuer Schritt das wesentliche Ruestzeug fuer den japanischen Alltag an (!)

Wir konnten bereits nach einigen Stunden selbstaendig im Restaurant bestellen, Einkaufen, dem Taxifahrer den Weg nach Hause beschreiben oder nach der richtigen Bahn fragen und auch der Besuch beim Friseur war nach einigen weiteren Stunden kein unberechenbares Abenteuer mehr (!)

Aus welchen Beweggruenden auch immer Sie sich entscheiden sollten die japanische Sprache erlernen zu wollen, sollten Sie sich fuer den Weg mit MACC entscheiden, seien Sie versichert, dass Sie schon sehr bald Japanisch sprechen, lesen und auch schreiben koennen.

In diesem Sinne wuenschen wir Ihnen viel Vergnuegen und gutes Gelingen (!)"

Oliver Gruska und Familie



(No.3)

Comment from Mr. Mike Bryant

An International Manager working for a leading American tire and rubber company. Mr. Bryant completed a two-year regular private program (3.5 hrs weekly) and remarkably improved his communication skills at the intermediate level.


"To me, the most advantageous features of private Japanese classes at MACC are flexibility and customized lessons. I do not learn foreign languages very easily, so private lessons allowed me to progress at my own speed.

Also I could obtain lessons focusing on any specific topic that I needed for business or that was of personal interest to me.

I arranged my schedule to take two lessons per week (one each with two different instructors). It was helpful to have both a man and woman instructor to practice listening to two different voices.

My lessons were at the MACC classrooms near Motomachi train station. I found it very beneficial to have lessons away from my office so I could concentrate on Japanese without any unexpected interruptions.

MACC instructors were also very helpful in preparing me to pass the beginning level of the Japanese Language Proficiency test.

For someone who begins studying Japanese after moving to Japan, I would recommend a one or two week intensive class to learn basic introductions, simple "survival" kanji reading skills, numbers, and some basic questions. Then take weekly lessons to learn the Japanese phonetic alphabets (hiragana and katakana), sentence patterns, grammar, and start building your vocabulary. For me, it was easier to learn Japanese written in hiragana rather than Japanese written in roman characters; but it takes some time to learn hiragana.

Later, when you think you have enough vocabulary and grammar, take another one-week intensive class in which you try to only speak Japanese for 6 hours per day. It can make a big boost in your Japanese ability and you might actually start thinking in Japanese a little bit! Be sure to include some things you enjoy in this intensive study week. I learned two Japanese karaoke songs and it really impressed my Japanese colleagues the next time we went to a karaoke bar."

Mike Bryant



(No.4)

Comment from Mrs. Varsha Deshpande

Having studied Japanese with MACC since 1996. Mrs. Deshpande started the language from zero and achieved the Intermediate Level. She had a 1 hour private lesson weekly while attending the company-sponsored Japanese Conversation Class, for group activities such as role playing, topic discussion, simulation games, etc.


"My name is Varsha Deshpande. My husband, Nitin, works in a leading American consumer products company. Our son Siddharth is in Grade 6. We came to Japan in 1995. We lived in Kobe for two years and then, were transferred to Seoul, South Korea. We lived in Korea for two years and moved back to Japan in 1999. This is our 7th year in Japan.

After coming to Japan, I realized that I had to learn the language to make our stay more enjoyable. My husband's company had a contract with MACC and my Japanese Language study started in January 1996. A teacher from MACC would come home four days a week to teach me. The content of the lesson and the teaching style of the teacher, both, were excellent. The teacher made the lessons so interesting that soon I got interested in the language. The same year I appeared for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Level 4 and got through with flying colors. The teacher made me practice a lot for the test while continuing with her regular lessons. With her, I completed 150 hours of lessons allotted by the company. During the same time, my husband got transferred to Seoul and I had to take a break as we moved to South Korea.

Fortunately, for me, as luck would have it, we moved back to Japan in August 1999. I was still interested in the language. In the year 2000, I appeared for JLPT Level 3 exam and successfully passed it. For this test, I had studied without any help/lessons. However, I realized that if I had to continue with the language studies, I needed a good teacher who would help me and guide me in a proper way. In the meantime, I was introduced into the Japanese Conversation Class conducted by MACC. This was an interesting concept, where we were made to express our ideas on a specified topic, in a small group of 4-5 students in the presence of a teacher from MACC. I got an opportunity to learn a lot through this. I am still continuing with this Japanese Conversation Class.

This year I intend to appear for JLPT Level 2 exam which seems to be pretty difficult with remembering the 1000 Kanji that are required to be crammed for the test. The Grammar too, looked pretty difficult and I was convinced that I could not do this without any help. Finally, I decided to take Private Lessons from MACC. It was a difficult decision for me as all the expenses were to be borne by us. However, today, I am very happy about the decision we made and these lessons are surely helping me a lot. The teacher comes to teach me only once a week and gets all my difficulties solved, explaining thoroughly the intricacies of the language, bringing appropriate, detailed handouts explaining the various concepts in Grammar and most importantly, giving me the confidence all the time that I can do it!

I am indebted and grateful to MACC and its excellent teachers for what they have done for me."

Varsha Deshpande