Beginner Japanese (Foundation Studies)

Hi all,

We are waiting for more students to join us for our Beginner Japanese (Foundation Studies) course. It’s a very good introduction to help you to understand the basics of Japanese language and we pride ourselves for this course, as no other Japanese schools are offering this course. Following are the course details.

Starting Date: 1st Mar 2022
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Fees: $200 for 8 lessons (subsequent terms: $340 for 10 lessons)
Teacher: Jasper-sensei

To register and to find out more details, please contact us via here.

Beginner Class (Foundation Studies)
This course is specifically aimed at helping you achieve the following:

Core topics:
-What is Japanese all about?
-Why learn Japanese?
-An Introduction to the writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji
-Japanese greetings
-Telling the time
-Everyday expressions : eat, drink, sleep, etc.
-An Introduction to Japanese adjectives

-An Introduction to the Psychology of Japanese people
-Watching Japanese dramas
-An Introduction to Japanese prefectures and what they are famous for
-An Introduction to understanding Japanese songs

Foundation Studies Textbook written by us and reviewed by native Japanese speakers
Duration of program: 8 lessons (2 months)


New testimonial from student

Hi all,

Received a new testimonial from my student.

Hi everyone, my name is Yuan Bin and I have been under Can-sensei for a year. I have been learning Japanese since June 2018. I have studied at both Ikoma and Bunka language school previously, before chancing upon Can-sensei’s lessons through Facebook and word of mouth from other serious learners.

I remembered clearly it was October 2020, I was looking for opportunities to further improve on my Japanese as I felt that I am stagnating in my Japanese studies. I realised that I didn’t have a full understanding of the Japanese grammar basics and I was struggling to keep up with the pace of the pre-advance class. Moreover, I was also finding 会話 opportunities to hone my Japanese language speaking skills. I decided that I needed to take action to improve on my Japanese language skills and so I contacted Can-sensei.

I decided to meet Can-sensei at his physical pre-advance class in October 2020 for a trial lesson. And trust me, that meeting with Can-sensei was a life changing experience. I was amazed by the Japanese language ability of his students. I was amazed to see his students presenting Japanese cultural topics using entirely in Japanese. Finally, what made his lessons special was the usage of Japanese dramas to teach Japanese and Japanese culture. Honestly, I have never seen a sensei who is just so passionate in teaching and going the extra mile for his students.

Without hesitation, I signed up to be privately tutored under him. My one year under Can-sensei was nothing but an amazing journey. Over the past year under him
I have:

  1. Improved my grammar knowledge of N5 and N4 which has helped me a lot when attempting N3.
  2. Significant improvement on my confidence for 会話.
  3. Deeper appreciation for the Japanese culture and values.

Can-sensei is no ordinary sensei. He is a sensei who cares about your progress and will hold you accountable for your Japanese learning journey. He also strives to see every of his students succeed in mastering the Japanese language and also appreciate the Japanese culture. Last but not least, he is one of the best sensei when it comes to grammar explanation as he uses English examples to help relate.

To everyone who is looking for a dedicated sensei who cares on your learning progress, I will without a doubt recommend Can-sensei.

This year’s Kanji

Hi all,

Good day. This year’s Kanji has been decided. It’s 「金」/きん (kin)/gold.

Picture from Yahoo! JP

What does 「金」mean to you?

To me, it is about maintaining good relationships with my students, treating them like gold. With good relationships, gold will naturally come as well.


Pre-Advanced Japanese: New Starting Date

Hi all,
We have a new starting date for our Pre-Advanced class. It has now been shifted to 4th January 2022. This is a course that leads all the way from N4 to N2 in 1.5 years, instead of the usual 2 years.

This course is also online, so you can do it anywhere in the world.
We are the only one who can assure you of a pass in your N2.

For those who are interested to attend, we will be providing 2 free lessons of N4 revision before you move on to do your Pre-Advanced.

Starting Date: 4th Jan 2022 (Tues)
Time: 7:30pm-9:45pm
Fees: $350 for 10 lessons
Textbook: $55
Mode of instruction: online

Contact us here if you are interested.


Beginner Japanese class (Friday night and Sunday night)

Hi all,

Our new Friday Beginner Japanese class has only last 4 slots left.

Starting date: 7th Jan 2021 (Fri)
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Slots: 6 (4 slots left)
Fees: $200/1st 8 lessons, subsequent lessons: $330/10 lessons

Textbook: $70 (from 11th lesson onwards)
Teacher: Teo-sensei

Also, we have another Sunday class that will run on the same week.

Starting date: 9th Jan 2021 (Sun)
Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm
Slots: 6
Fees: $200/1st 8 lessons, subsequent lessons: $330/10 lessons

Textbook: $70 (from 11th lesson onwards)
Teacher: Jasper-sensei

To register or for more information, please drop us a message via the Contact Us form located here.

What’s your motivation to learn Japanese?

“What is your motivation in learning Japanese?”

This is the question that Can-sensei asks whether I got stuck in my Japanese studies. I’m sure you will hear this too when you meet him for the first time. When I agreed to become his student, I know I have walked the road less travelled.

After many sensei I had and went to schools like Hougang(2005-2007), Ikoma (2016-2017), and online like iTalki (2017), Can is the best sensei I have.

Can is an urban legend to me. I first heard about him online when I was digging for last minute JLPT exam tips back in 2015. His free materials are handy even till now. Moreover, his name keeps popping up again, and again in and Reddit. He caught my attention, but I picked Ikoma at that time. I was sceptical if a non-native can teach the language well, even though he has illustrated his technical prowess on these sites.

Then I met Can on Christmas 2017 for an interview to be his private student. My N4 in July 2017 is 140. The crazy me is asking for N2 160/180 in July 2019. Can immediately point out that my N4 140 is risky as it is an indication of my weak foundation, and I actually wasn’t ready for N3. However, prior to our meeting, I already did my N3 in December 2017. (Naughty me crammed N3 in 2.5 months.) He remarked that I shouldn’t have tried N3. He didn’t allow me to revise anything beyond N4 from January 2018 to May 2018. Anytime I asked a question that is N3-N2 related, Can shoot me down and reminded me to focus on N5-N4. I felt dejected, maybe even a little infuriating. However, I bit my tongue and my ego and went back to basics.

I officially become his student on CNY 2018 and retook N4 in July 2018 to see my improvement. This test was my third attempt in N4; first in 2007 which was still called JLPT 3, and it was a borderline pass. Then I stopped my studies in 2008 when I failed my JLPT 2 (N2) and left a ten years gap. My second attempt in N4 was that July 2017’s 140. Thanks to Can, I pulled up my score to 168 for N4’s July 2018. This is my personal best and never in my dreams would I imagine I can score as I am not naturally language-inclined.

Some of my former classmates were laughing at my absurd reasons to “downgrade”. I was revising N5-N4 when I owned an N3 and going to a non-native sensei when I am already in a reputable school filled with native sensei. What I see is behind Can’s strict exterior is his generous soul. Being his private student, he would be kind to invite me to his group lessons routinely or even to some meet-up so that I can experience others’ motivation towards learning. The free notes on his site, his massive library collection which I would bug him occasionally for book recommendations, going for courses to upgrade his skills, a free first trial for his lessons, him ritually giving out free last-minute JLPT tips; these are all tell-tale signs of Can’s generosity and passion towards Japanese language.

A trend I observe often in learning Japanese is the kiasu behaviour to rush for JLPT certification. Such a grade-driven system exists not merely due to Singapore’s competitive education system, but Japan also plays a part. There are still many employers in Japan assessing a potential employee to possess at least an N2.

However, the more I study for JLPT, the more I observe this trait; Doing well for JLPT has almost no connection to being fluent in Japanese. Possessing an N2 would not magically enable me to watch anime without subtitles or speak like a native. Therefore, do not be disheartened if you are slow. Only be wary if you become lazy or snobbish. Your learning in advanced Japanese will not retain if your foundation (N5-N4) is not stable.

I have heard about Can’s reputation in grammar explanation being his forte. I think his great emphasis and sensibility in understanding Japanese culture and its people makes him exceptional. This is the reason why he will start his beginner class with 2.5 months of foundation studies first before officially using the textbooks. In his classes, your homework will not only be consisted of the materials from the textbook, but you do presentations and projects too. The students are also actively encouraged to use media consumption daily like watching dramas, variety shows, playing games or reading novels, manga and magazines. By immensing in these activities, they enriched for a more well-rounded learning.

Many people have mistaken Can for a native as his Japanese sounds natural. As a result, Can always correct his students’ pronunciation as he wants his students to articulate proper Japanese. This is a feature you won’t get from other schools, yet this is so important. Japanese people are particular about making a good impression, and if you have poor pronunciation with a strong foreign accent, they will straight away brand you as 外人 (gaijin = foreigners). You may think what’s wrong with being labelled as an “outsider”. I think it’s a pity to live in the “gaijin bubble” and lose out an opportunity to connect with a native. Learning with Can don’t just make me fall in love with the language, I become genuinely interested in its people. I have looked at the Japanese with rose-coloured glasses and learning with Can taught me to look beyond the surface. As much as their ambivalence drive me crazy, I wholeheartedly respect Japanese’s sense of humility. Getting better at “reading the air”「空気を読む」 becomes my biggest motivation. This is when I realise my test to true Japanese language’s proficiency is not how well I score in JLPT, but the ability to speak the Japanese language that communicates straight to the Japanese people’s hearts.

Let Can be a part of your learning. His teaching style is not for the faint-hearted. Can’s words can be so brutally honest and his work ethics so strict that he may not the cup of tea for many students. However, if you heed his advice and do the hard work, you can definitely see your progress and will emerge as a more self-motivated and disciplined student. Can holds a belief as an educator, that academic excellence should go together with character development, and I applaud him for his dedication. My eternal gratitude to Can for allowing me to experience his teaching and in the process, making me a better friend to native Japanese

By bananakaya/ former student