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University Language Centre

Japanese (Beginners): Emily Dobson

Emily, a non-credited student at The University of Manchester, studied Beginners' Japanese at the University Language Centre (ULC).

Why did you choose to study a language at The University of Manchester?

Emily Dobson

Choosing a language course was difficult as there were many factors to consider, such as length, cost, distance from home and the amount of assessment.

Exploring online I found that the course at Manchester would offer me a good grounding. It was also slightly longer than other courses, at three hours teaching per week. Given I would be studying such a different language, I felt that this would be the best option for me. The cost was also perfect for my budget.

All in all, Manchester’s course ticked all the boxes.

Apart from class time, how much time did you spend a week on your studies?

The three hours per week in class were comprehensive, but you focused on grammar, writing and talking.

This meant that outside of the classroom I spent around the same amount of time playing a memory game and ensuring that I learned the vocabulary.

How did you find your course in terms of level?

Sometimes when I take a beginners' course I find that it is too basic and I get bored easily.

However, this course was well pitched and gave us enough time to get to grips with the information before moving on, while not taking so long that I felt bored.

What did you most enjoy about your course?

The teaching staff were great, they made it easy to understand and they made you feel at ease when you didn’t get certain things straight away.

The people on the course were also great, and I made friends during my time on the course.

Have you been able to put your newly acquired language skills to use outside the classroom? If so, please tell us how.

I am fortunate as my reason for learning Japanese is that some of my family live there and I wanted to be able to better communicate with them.

Our weekly conversations are now a mix of English and Japanese.

What advice would you give to someone intending to study a language at the University Language Centre?

Remember that learning a language requires effort,  but that you can do it little by little - just take each lesson at a time.