So, you’ve decided to enrol in a Japanese language course. We understand that it might be difficult to decide amongst the many educational options available; many of them may seem to provide essentially the same value.

What follows is our best advice for picking a language institute, based on what we’ve learnt. To begin the application process to study here, this should help you limit your options. Click here for more information. 

What To Look For In A Japanese School?

When looking for a Japanese school, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key aspects to look for:

1. Curriculum And Subjects

When evaluating the curriculum and subjects offered by a Japanese school, consider the following aspects:

Core Subjects: 

Check if the school provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers essential subjects like mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts. These subjects form the foundation of a well-rounded education.

Language Education: 

Japanese language education is crucial if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local culture and integrate into the Japanese education system. Find out how the school approaches Japanese language instruction and if they offer language support for non-native speakers.

Foreign Language Options: 

Some schools offer foreign language programs, such as English, Chinese, or Spanish. If you’re interested in learning a specific foreign language, verify if the school provides opportunities for language study beyond Japanese.

Specialized Programs: 

Determine if the school offers any specialized programs or tracks that align with your interests or career goals. For example, they might have science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, art-focused programs, or vocational training options.

Extracurricular Activities: 

While not directly part of the formal curriculum, extracurricular activities contribute to a well-rounded education. Inquire about the availability of clubs, sports teams, cultural activities, and other extracurricular opportunities that can enhance your learning experience.

Project-Based Learning: 

Investigate if the school incorporates project-based learning or hands-on activities into its curriculum. This approach promotes active learning, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and practical application of knowledge.

Integration of Technology: 

Consider the extent to which the school integrates technology into the learning process. Find out if they have computer labs, access to digital resources, and if technology is used as a tool for instruction and research.

Cultural Education: 

Japan has a rich cultural heritage, and some schools prioritize cultural education by offering subjects like traditional arts, calligraphy, tea ceremony, or Japanese history. If cultural immersion is important to you, check if the school provides such opportunities.

Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs: 

If you’re aiming for higher education outside of Japan, verify if the school offers Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. These internationally recognized programs can provide a competitive advantage when applying to universities worldwide.

Graduation Requirements: 

Understand the graduation requirements of the school, including the number of credits needed, compulsory subjects, and any specific criteria for promotion to the next grade level.

Consider your academic goals, interests, and aspirations when assessing the curriculum and subjects offered by a Japanese school. It’s also helpful to consult with current or former students and their parents to gain insights into the effectiveness and relevance of the curriculum in preparing students for future endeavours.

2. Educational Approach

When evaluating the educational approach of a Japanese school, here are some key aspects to consider:

Traditional vs. Progressive Approach: 

Japanese schools can have a range of educational approaches. Some schools may follow a more traditional approach, emphasizing discipline, rote memorization, and teacher-centred instruction. Others may adopt a more progressive approach, focusing on student engagement, critical thinking, and hands-on learning. Consider which approach aligns with your preferred learning style and educational goals.

Teaching Methods: 

Inquire about the teaching methods employed by the school’s faculty. Look for a balance of instructional techniques such as lectures, discussions, group work, projects, and practical application of knowledge. A variety of teaching methods can cater to different learning styles and promote a deeper understanding of concepts.

Student-Centred Learning: 

Find out if the school emphasizes student-centred learning, where students take an active role in their education. This approach encourages self-directed learning, problem-solving, and independent thinking. Look for opportunities for students to engage in research, projects, and collaborative activities.

Inquiry-Based Learning:

Investigate if the school promotes inquiry-based learning, where students ask questions, investigate topics, and seek solutions. This approach encourages curiosity, critical thinking, and the development of research skills.

Experiential Learning: 

Determine if the school incorporates experiential learning opportunities, such as field trips, internships, or community service projects. These experiences can provide practical, real-world applications of knowledge and enhance students’ understanding of the subject matter.

Individualized Support: 

Inquire about the school’s approach to individualized support for students. Look for initiatives that address the diverse needs and abilities of students, such as differentiated instruction, personalized learning plans, or tutoring programs.

Assessment and Feedback: 

Understand how the school assesses student progress and provides feedback. Look for a balanced assessment approach that includes various methods like exams, projects, presentations, and ongoing formative assessments. Timely and constructive feedback can help students understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

Technology Integration:

Determine the extent to which the school integrates technology into the learning process. Look for access to digital resources, educational software, and tools that enhance teaching and learning experiences. Technology integration can facilitate personalized learning, research, and collaboration.

Character Education: 

Find out if the school emphasizes character education, which includes fostering values such as integrity, empathy, teamwork, and social responsibility. Look for programs that promote ethical behaviour, cultural understanding, and the development of positive character traits.

Professional Development for Teachers:

Inquire about the school’s commitment to ongoing professional development for teachers. A school that invests in teacher training and development ensures that educators are equipped with the latest pedagogical strategies and can deliver quality instruction.

It’s essential to visit the school, speak with teachers and administrators, and observe classes if possible to gain a deeper understanding of the educational approach and determine if it aligns with your educational preferences and goals.

3. Facilities And Resources

When evaluating the facilities and resources of a Japanese school, consider the following factors:


Assess the condition and layout of the classrooms. Look for clean, well-maintained spaces that provide a comfortable learning environment. Adequate seating, proper lighting, and appropriate classroom equipment (such as whiteboards or projectors) contribute to a conducive atmosphere for learning.


Check the school’s library facilities. Look for a well-stocked library with a diverse collection of books, reference materials, and digital resources. A library that supports various subjects, research needs, and reading interests can greatly enrich the learning experience.

Science and Computer Labs: 

If you are interested in science or computer-related subjects, examine the quality and availability of science laboratories and computer labs. Ensure that they are well-equipped with modern tools, equipment, and technology to facilitate hands-on experimentation, research, and learning.

Sports Facilities: 

If you have an interest in sports or physical activities, evaluate the school’s sports facilities. Look for amenities such as gymnasiums, outdoor fields, tracks, or swimming pools. The availability of well-maintained sports facilities encourages participation in physical education and extracurricular sports activities.

Art and Music Facilities: 

If you are inclined towards the arts or music, consider the school’s facilities in these areas. Look for dedicated art studios, music rooms, practice spaces, or performance venues. Well-equipped facilities can foster creativity and provide opportunities for artistic expression.

Technology Resources: 

Assess the availability of technology resources in the school, such as computer labs, access to the internet, and availability of educational software and digital tools. Having up-to-date technology resources promotes digital literacy and prepares students for the modern world.

Outdoor Spaces: 

Evaluate the outdoor spaces available on the school premises. Look for well-maintained gardens, playgrounds, or recreational areas where students can engage in physical activities, socialize, or relax during breaks.

Cafeteria and Dining Facilities: 

Consider the school’s cafeteria and dining facilities. Look for clean and hygienic spaces where students can have meals. The availability of nutritious food options is also worth considering.

Medical Facilities: 

Inquire about the school’s medical facilities or clinic. Ensure that there are provisions for basic medical care, first aid, and qualified staff to handle emergencies. This is especially important for parents concerned about their child’s well-being.

Accessible Facilities: 

If you have specific accessibility needs, such as ramps, elevators, or accessible restrooms, ensure that the school provides such facilities to accommodate students with disabilities.

It is recommended to visit the school in person, if possible, to observe the facilities firsthand. You can also inquire about the availability of resources, maintenance practices, and the school’s commitment to regularly updating and upgrading its facilities to enhance the learning environment.

4. Teacher Quality

When assessing the quality of teachers at a Japanese school, consider the following factors:

Qualifications and Credentials: 

Inquire about the qualifications and credentials of the teaching staff. Check if the teachers have the necessary educational background and certifications to teach their respective subjects. Look for teachers with degrees or certifications in education or the specific subjects they teach.


Consider the experience level of the teachers. Find out if they have prior experience in teaching, especially in the specific grade level or subject area. Experienced teachers often bring a wealth of knowledge, effective teaching strategies, and the ability to handle diverse student needs.

Professional Development: 

Determine if the school encourages and supports ongoing professional development for teachers. A commitment to professional growth demonstrates that the school values continuous improvement and strives to provide quality education.

Inquire about workshops, training programs, conferences, or other opportunities for teachers to enhance their teaching skills and stay updated with educational advancements.

Teaching Methods and Pedagogy: 

Assess the teaching methods and pedagogical approaches employed by the teachers. Look for a combination of instructional techniques that engage students, promote critical thinking, and cater to diverse learning styles.

Effective teachers should be able to explain complex concepts, facilitate discussions, encourage student participation, and adapt their teaching strategies to meet individual student needs.

Communication and Rapport: 

Consider the communication skills and rapport-building abilities of the teachers. Effective teachers establish positive relationships with their students, creating a supportive and inclusive classroom environment. They should be approachable, respectful, and able to communicate clearly and effectively with students, parents, and colleagues.

Student Engagement: 

Observe how teachers foster student engagement in the classroom. Look for teachers who encourage active participation, provide opportunities for student input, and promote a love for learning. Engaging teachers can inspire students and create a stimulating learning environment.

Differentiated Instruction: 

Inquire about the teachers’ ability to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of students. Effective teachers should be able to adapt their teaching methods, materials, and assessments to accommodate varying learning styles, abilities, and interests.

Feedback and Assessment: 

Consider how teachers provide feedback and assess student progress. Effective teachers provide timely and constructive feedback to help students understand their strengths and areas for improvement. They should use a variety of assessment methods to gauge student understanding and adjust their instruction accordingly.

Classroom Management: 

Observe how teachers manage their classrooms and maintain a positive learning environment. Effective teachers establish clear expectations, maintain discipline, and create a safe and inclusive space for students to learn and interact.

Peer and Parent Feedback: 

Seek feedback from current or former students and their parents regarding their experiences with the teachers at the school. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on the effectiveness and impact of the teachers.

It’s worth noting that while evaluating teacher quality is important, individual teaching styles and approaches may vary. What works best for one student may not necessarily work for another. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider your learning style and preferences when assessing the quality of teachers at a Japanese school.

5. Class Size and Student-Teacher Ratio

When considering the class size and the student-teacher ratio at a Japanese school, here are some important factors to take into account:

Individual Attention: 

Smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios allow for more individualized attention from teachers. With fewer students in a class, teachers can better address the specific needs and learning styles of each student, provide personalized support, and offer more opportunities for one-on-one interaction.

Classroom Management: 

Smaller class sizes often lead to better classroom management and discipline. Teachers can establish a more focused and productive learning environment, ensuring that students receive the necessary guidance and support while minimizing disruptions.

Increased Participation and Engagement: 

In classes with fewer students, it is generally easier for students to actively participate in discussions, ask questions, and engage in collaborative activities. This fosters a more interactive and engaging learning experience, promoting deeper understanding and critical thinking.

Timely Feedback and Assessment: 

With a lower student-teacher ratio, teachers have more time to provide timely feedback on assignments, exams, and classwork. They can dedicate sufficient attention to assessing student progress and providing constructive feedback, which is essential for student growth and improvement.

Differentiated Instruction: 

A smaller class size allows teachers to differentiate instruction more effectively. They can tailor teaching methods, materials, and assignments to meet the diverse learning needs and abilities of individual students, providing a more customized educational experience.

Classroom Dynamics and Relationships: 

Smaller classes often foster stronger relationships and a sense of community among students and between students and teachers. Teachers can better understand each student’s strengths, challenges, and interests, leading to more meaningful and supportive interactions.

Student Collaboration: 

In smaller classes, students have increased opportunities for collaboration and group work. They can work closely with their peers, exchange ideas, and learn from each other’s perspectives, enhancing their social and communication skills.

Subject-Specific Considerations: 

Consider the subject areas and activities in which class size may be particularly relevant. For example, in laboratory-based science classes or practical art classes, a smaller class size allows for better access to equipment, materials, and hands-on learning experiences.

While smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios generally offer advantages, it’s important to note that larger classes can still provide quality education if the teachers are skilled in managing and engaging a larger number of students effectively.

Additionally, other factors, such as teaching methods, classroom management skills, and teacher quality, also play significant roles in determining the overall educational experience.

When exploring Japanese schools, inquire about the average class size and student-teacher ratio to understand the level of individual attention and engagement you can expect. Visiting the school and observing classes, if possible, can also provide valuable insights into classroom dynamics and teacher-student interactions.


In conclusion, when evaluating a Japanese school, it is essential to consider various factors to ensure a quality education experience. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about a Japanese school that best suits your educational goals, learning style, and preferences.

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