We have written on a number of occasions about the excellent intensive Japanese language program at the Inter-University Center (IUC) in Yokohama. But, not everyone has the time or money for a 10-month intensive program, or even a seven-week summer program.
I don’t know how long the Center has been offering this additional option, but I learned this summer of the IUC Professional Tutorials… They say they’ve been doing it for quite some time, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. And I’m glad I did!
IUC Professional Tutorials, which around the Center they often call “P-Course” or Pコース for short, offers the opportunity to study one-on-one with one of the excellent IUC teachers, in one-hour sessions, twice a week (or four times a week during the summer, if you choose), arranging meeting times to fit your schedule, and the content of the classes to focus on those aspects of Japanese language skills you wish to focus upon. At around 10,000円 per hour (a little more for non-IUC alums, and a little less for IUC alumni or students of IUC member universities), it’s not cheap, but, if you’re working in Tokyo, or if you’re one of those lucky bastards doing research on some wonderfully extensive grant funding, and you can spare the money – but not the time to be at IUC more than a couple hours a week – it seems like it might be a great way to go.
I’m certainly thinking of investigating the possibility of doing this program myself, if and when I find myself in Japan for a lengthy period, doing my dissertation research. Having already done the IUC 10-month program, I can’t really do it all over again, but I could certainly use a refresher on keigo, and on all sorts of aspects of business Japanese, including writing formal letters and speaking formally over the phone. I once applied for a job that, alongside other responsibilities, would have involved being in charge of all Japanese-language communications for the department (and thus, for the entire institution, to some extent), including receiving and entertaining official guests visiting the institution, from Japan. I don’t know that any classroom course, even one-on-one tutorials, could really make me quite that proficient, but, at the very least, as a student, scholar, and researcher, I would very much like to be more proficient, more professional, and less awkward in my formal interactions with Japanese museums, archives, professors, etc. And, given my experience with the high quality of instruction in the regular IUC program, this looks like it could be a way to achieve that.
For more information, see the IUC website