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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Select one of the section titles below, or keep scrolling for F.A.Q. list.

WHEN DO GROUP CLASSES START?

Group classes start whenever the minimum number of students required is reached. On average, we offer two to three editions of each course every year. If you are interested in taking a group class, please reach out and we will add your name to our waitlist.

WHEN CAN I TAKE PRIVATE CLASSES?

Private lessons are available Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm Eastern Time according to the instructors' availability. You can take classes at the same time and day at regular intervals, or schedule independent sessions through our booking system. There are no attendance requirements: you can take lessons as often as you wish.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER INSTRUCTORS?

At Luisa Language Teaching, we offer something truly special: direct, everyday access to your instructors. With Luisa and Ayano readily available on WhatsApp, you have the privilege of receiving prompt answers to your questions outside of class hours. This personalized connection not only fosters a more profound engagement with your target language but also creates a comfortable and stress-free learning environment that stands in contrast to traditional classroom settings. We believe in your language journey being a continuous and supportive experience, and this is what sets us apart.

WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE?

Over the past three years, we've transitioned to a fully digital approach. Our materials consist of well-crafted grammar resources and activities extracted from reputable language textbooks. These have been transformed into slide presentations, digital flashcards, and videos.

The best part? All of these resources are included in the lesson price. Delivered straight to your inbox or through accessible apps, they offer the flexibility to either print them out for reference or conveniently access them across your devices. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive and flexible learning journey that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

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;

  • Retired citizens;

  • 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.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ONLINE CLASSES?

Opting for online classes offers several distinct advantages that cater to varying lifestyles:

  • Cost-Effective: Our online format presents an economical option. The course fee covers all materials, and you can bypass commuting expenses.

  • Flexible Schedule: With the flexibility to choose lesson times – be it during lunch breaks or late evenings – learning can seamlessly integrate into your routine.

  • Comfort and Safety: The convenience of learning from your own secure space is invaluable. And yes, attending sessions in your pajamas is entirely encouraged.

 

Our online platform isn't just about convenience; it's about creating an optimal environment that respects your time, resources, and personal comfort.

WHY LEARN JAPANESE FROM A NON-NATIVE?

Learning Japanese involves more than just grammar and words; it's about understanding the culture and society. While native speakers are great for pronunciation and speaking practice, learning from someone who isn't native offers a unique perspective on life in Japan.

 

Luisa Says: "My journey from Italy to Japan at 22 exposed me to Yokohama National University's formal Japanese art, history, religion, philosophy, and literature education - all 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 develop intercultural skills. My knowledge and first-hand experience are at your service."

HOW DO I PAY?

Payment is convenient and flexible. You can use Navy Federal, Zelle, Venmo, or PayPal. Just follow the instructions provided on your invoice. We kindly request that payments are made only after you receive the invoice. For group courses, an advance non-refundable payment is required, while private lesson payments are billed at the end of each month.

WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE IT TO A LESSON? DO I NEED TO PAY?

We understand that sometimes plans change. For private lessons, please notify us of any cancellations or rescheduling at least 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, a fee equivalent to the lesson's cost will be incurred. Your understanding in this matter is greatly appreciated.

DO YOU PROVIDE DISCOUNTS?

Absolutely! We offer three ways to enjoy discounts on our services:

  1. Holiday Specials: Check out our Special Offers page from December 1st to December 25th for exclusive seasonal discounts.

  2. Group Class Advantage: Enroll in a group class and automatically receive a 25% discount on private tutoring sessions.

  3. Refer and Save: Introduce a friend to us, and once they make their initial payment, we'll credit your account with $50. You can use this credit toward private lessons or group classes. This option is available for those who have already made at least one payment.

WHY IS THERE A SIGNIFICANT PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIVATE LESSONS AND GROUP CLASSES?

Luisa answers: I am responsible for the creation and upkeep of all of our teaching materials, so this is a very personal answer. Private lessons entail a significantly larger time investment: according to my records, each private class requires an additional 25 minutes of work – encompassing updates to materials, designing and refining lesson plans, and direct communication with students. While maintaining the same high quality as the contents I create for private lessons, group class materials are more cost-effective to produce. I design the courses, create handouts, and establish schedules well in advance, minimizing ongoing efforts.

AM I TOO OLD TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

Short answer: no. Long answer: You might have heard that age is a critical factor in language learning, to the point that it is not possible to pick up a language past a certain time. This is a myth we absolutely need to debunk. Age is a factor that influences your learning style, this much is true: children learn easily through repetition and rhythm, 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. Do not believe that you "can't teach an old dog new tricks" just because that's how the saying goes: we will adapt our teaching strategies to your needs and learning style.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE?

Most of the contributing factors 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 how you learned them.

  • How often you have been exposed to the target language already.

  • How close your target language is to your mother tongue.

 

During the initial consultation consultation, our instructors will encourage you to define realistic goals for your language journey.

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 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 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 DO I STAY MOTIVATED?

It can be very challenging to focus on your targets as life gets in the way. Below are a few tricks to not let everyday challenges distract you.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 :) 

HOW DO I ESTABLISH A SUCCESSFUL STUDY ROUTINE?

1. 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. Studying for five hours in a row over the weekend is not the same as studying a bit every day.

2. Rather than "making" time for your language studies, pair them up with a well-established habit of yours. Do you drink coffee every morning? Study while you drink it. Do you take an evening walk? Listen to your target language while you stroll. Do you scroll through social media for an embarrassingly long amount of time before going to bed? Follow content creators that talk about your target language and culture.

3. Get to know yourself as a student. What are your strongest suits? What is most challenging? Model your routine around this knowledge - do not spend too much time doing the things you are already good at. 

I FEEL LIKE I AM NOT PROGRESSING. WHAT DO I DO?

1. Reconsider your study routine and adopt new strategies. Are you doing too much and burning yourself out? Are you doing too little, did life get in the way?

2. 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.

3. Consider changing instructors. We might be good, but we cannot be a perfect match for everyone.

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