Students choose to study in Osaka with CET for different reasons, but one thing that we all share in common is our drive to learn Japanese. This focus on language is the reason why I chose CET, and after my first week of classes here in Osaka, I feel confident that I’m in the right place. I am constantly reminded by the fast-paced classes, homework, projects, relentless classroom discussions, and the language pledge of the commitment I made to myself when I chose to enroll in this program. To put it another way, CET students are interested in Japan for different reasons, but we all earn that weekend trip to Dotonbori, or Kyoto, or that night out at an Izakaya with housemates and friends.
CET Students in Dotonbori
Like most students, my commitment to Japanese consists of two parts: improving my proficiency and expanding my knowledge of the language. The first part is about spoken proficiency: my ability to actually use the language. After this first week, it’s clear that students’ spoken proficiency is the focus of the CET program. In addition to the language pledge, which applies outside the classroom, almost every class is filled with opportunities for small group discussion including role-playing activities, debate, or just sharing opinions on some topic. With that said, I’ve found that these discussions get us to not only use the language, but they also get us to use new grammar, vocab, speech levels and rhetorical strategies we learned. So, in addition to the emphasis on output and spoken proficiency, I’d say we’re also being pushed by a packed syllabus and correspondingly fast-paced classes to expand our knowledge of the Japanese language. As someone who hopes to speak proficiently and to pass a certain JLPT level by the end of the program, I feel like I’m right on track to accomplish my goals.
Okonomiyaki at Umeda
Another reason why I chose CET besides the intensive classes was its location in Osaka. Given the amount of time students commit to class, homework, projects, study, etc., it can be hard at times to explore their wider interests in Japanese culture, but that doesn’t mean students aren’t able to find time in the evening or especially during the weekends to experience Japan, learn from a different culture, and have a fun time with friends who share many of the same interests (but whose differences make the program so interesting).
Street View of Tsutenkaku