Frequently Asked Questions
► HOW DO I GET STARTED?
► PRIVATE LESSONS OR STANDARDIZED COURSE?
Private classes offer high flexibility, both when it comes to scheduling lessons and when compiling the lesson plan. Students who take one-on-one classes receive continuous feedback, and have the chance to focus on conversation and speaking skills. Standardized courses, on the other hand, consist of high intensity lectures that aim to assist independent learners at an affordable price. They come with perks such as discounted access to private tutoring.
The instructor will recommend which option is best for you based on your personal needs.
► WHY TAKE CLASSES ONLINE?
No need to commute. All you need to do is start the video call on your device.
Overall lower cost. All materials are accessible online and included in the price.
Flexible schedule. You can take lessons during lunch break or late in the evening.
You can literally be in your pajamas. There, I said it.
► WHY CHOOSE US?
Luisa Language Teaching gives you a direct line to your instructors: Luisa and Ayano are available on Whatsapp every day to answer your questions inbetween classes. This personal approach will enable you to immerse yourself into the target language.
Luisa Says: I want to build a personal connection with my students and keep in contact for life.
(We are also super good at what we do, if that helps.)
► WHAT KIND OF STUDENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?
Luisa Language Teaching students are typically aged between 17 and 75. Among them, you can find:
Professionals of various industries;
Language enthusiasts and globetrotters;
People with Italian heritage who want to reconnect with their family and culture;
American military service members and military spouses;
University and high school students.
Thanks to the experience accumulated with such a diverse clientele, we value the importance of adapting courses to the single learner. Read our reviews on Google, Thumbtack, and Facebook to see what our students have to say.
► WHY LEARN JAPANESE FROM A NON-NATIVE?
When learning Japanese, it is of course important to acquire the grammar and vocabulary knowledge. The real key to fluency, thought, lies in your understanding of culture and societal norms.
While a native instructor can be the ideal partner during pronunciation and conversation sessions, a foreigner can provide something unique: the international perspective on living in Japan.
Luisa Says: when I was 22, I moved from Italy to Japan, where I attended Yokohama National University. I received a formal education in Japanese art, history, religion, philosophy, and literature while learning how to navigate the subtleties of Japanese society and interpersonal relationships. After graduating, I worked at Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute in Tokyo, where I discovered my passion for helping international students developing intercultural skills. My knowledge and first-hand experience are at your service.
► WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE?
All learning materials are included in the price of the lessons. You will be able to download them directly from this website.
Among our digital resources you will find slide presentations, letter format handouts, interactive flashcards, and audio video recordings.
Our favorite Italian textbook is the "1, 2, 3... Italiano!" series by Alessandra Latino and Marida Muscolino, while for Japanese we prefer the "Genki" textbook series published by The Japan Times.
As far as free online resources go, we recommend WordReference and ReversoContext for Italian translation, Jisho.org for Japanese translation, Wanikani.com for kanji proficiency, and Tofugu.com for grammar explanations.
► WHEN DO I PAY FOR MY LESSONS?
Standardized courses such as Japanese 101 require non-refundable advance payment. Private lessons, on the other hand, are billed at the end of each month.
► I CAN'T ATTEND MY LESSON. DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY?
24-hour cancellation/rescheduling notice is required. A fee equal to the price of the lesson will be otherwise applied. If you are not able to attend your lesson, let us know the day before and we will remove it from the calendar.
► HOW DO I PAY FOR MY LESSONS?
You can pay through Navy Federal, Zelle, Venmo, and PayPal. Please follow the instructions found at the bottom of your invoice. We kindly ask you that you do NOT send payments before receiving your invoice. Payment is due 5 days from the invoice date.
If you are experiencing any difficulties due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a long website maintenance period on your preferred payment platform, please let us know.
► I FEEL LIKE I AM NOT PROGRESSING. WHAT DO I DO?
Reconsider your study routine. Are you doing too much and burning yourself out? Are you doing too little, did life get in the way?
Reconsider your study method and adopt new strategies. Here are some suggestions:
Record yourself while you read, and listen to your old recordings frequently. This will give you concrete proof of your improvements over time and it will allow you to notice the difference without the help of an instructor.
Do not underestimate the power of a good old colorful layout. Markers, crayons and drawings are not just for children - they actually help many people memorize concepts and vocabulary, especially those students who have a strong visual memory and muscle memory.
Ask your teacher to change approach or materials. If something is not working for you, if you need more support in a certain area, or if you just need validation, we need to know so we can do our best to support you. What works for others doesn't necessarily have to work for you.
...And finally... Consider changing instructors. We might be good, but we cannot be a perfect match for everyone.
► HOW DO I ESTABLISH A SUCCESSFUL STUDY ROUTINE?
Study every day for about ten minutes. When you are trying to pick up a new skill, the trick is to be consistent and not overdo things - languages are no exception. We know what you are thinking: no, studying for five hours in a row over the weekend is not the same as studying a bit every day.
Get to know yourself as a student. What are your strongest suits? What is most challenging? Model your routine over this knowledge - do not spend too much time doing the things you are already good at.
► HOW DO I STAY MOTIVATED?
It can be very challenging to focus on your targets as life gets in the way. Below, a few tricks to not let everyday challenges distract you.
Create a vision board with all your short-term and long-term goals, and place it where you can see it every day. Don't like to call it a vision board? Let's say battle plan :)
Link your target language to your other passions. Music, cinema, video games, sports, gardening, cooking... You name it. It could be a direct link, like watching content related to your passion in your target language, or a cultural connection, such as learning about the art and the cuisine of your target country.
Surround yourself with your target language. You can set your devices or your GPS to the new language, listen to podcasts and free radio channels, and use apps and websites to find language partners.
► HOW DO I SET MY OWN TARGETS?
Establishing your priorities and expectations at the beginning of a language course is very important. It helps you feel motivated and it prevents you from hitting a plateau and getting a culture shock. When listing your priorities, you might want to ask yourself:
For how long do I want to study? Is this a lifetime commitment, a one-semester class, or a crash course?
What is the most important skill that I want to acquire? Do I want to be able to communicate with people in a professional setting, or do I want to relax and enjoy everyday conversations with the locals during my trip?
Do I want to become fluent in my target language, or do I want to grasp the basics?
Do I want to learn modern expressions and slang, or do I prefer to focus on the formal aspects of the language so I can enjoy literature and other more classical means of communication?
It is important for your teacher to know about your targets in order to choose the right materials and methods for you.
► HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE?
Before talking about the factors involved in the time needed to learn a language, we need to debunk a common myth. Many people have heard, at some point in their lives, that age is a critical factor and it is not possible to learn a language past a certain point in life. We can assure you that this is absolutely not true.
Age is a factor that influences your learning style, this much is true. Most children learn easily through repetition and rythm, while most adults want to know all the "hows" and the "whys" involved in grammar rules and language systems. This is not an obstacle, but rather a difference in thought process that your instructor is well aware of. Luisa will implement teaching strategies that are suited for your needs and learning style.
Some of the factors that actually contribute to the time required to learn a language are very personal. For example:
How much free time you can dedicate to your target language outside of the classroom;
How motivated you are;
How well the learning materials and the teaching methods suit your needs and learning style;
How many languages you know already and at what age you learned them;
How often you have been exposed to the target language already;
How close your target language is to your mother tongue.
► WHY SHOULD I LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE?
There are many practical reasons for wanting to learn a new language. Being multilingual can lead to considerable advantages in your career, it helps you communicate effectively when you go abroad, and it keeps your brain active.
The European Council official website states that one of the ultimate targets in language education in the European continent is allowing students to develop empathy and multicultural skills. In other words, languages teach us how to coexist peacefully and widen our perspective; they help us understand others.