Location – 1-16-23, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka, Japan
Website – genkijacs.com
Contact – +81 92-472-0123
GenkiJACS’ core mission is unwavering: we strive to provide the highest quality Japanese lessons for students from European language backgrounds — to enable them to follow their dreams. We have four schools, located in popular cities across Japan. All are equipped with classrooms, of course, along with helpful facilities like study lounges, coffee stations, and free WiFi. Having these hubs around Japan gives our students a place to feel at home, no matter where they are in the country.
GenkiJACS’ founder Rie Kirby studied English in the United Kingdom and taught Japanese to her friends there, before getting her Japanese teaching certification and starting work as a Japanese language teacher in Japan. She worked at several Japanese language schools around Fukuoka City but found that none of them were the perfect fit for the educational needs of the people she had taught in England. As Rie says, “Most Japanese schools focus on how to help students pass university entrance exams, but so many students want to enjoy their studies. Learning Japanese is hard enough by itself, but even harder when the syllabus isn’t made for you.”
So, in 2004, Rie decided to open her own Japanese language school! This was the birth of GenkiJACS.
Rie chose the name “Genki Japanese and Culture School” to represent how truly learning Japanese means not just learning the language, but also the culture – that is, not just what to say, but why to say it. In her own words, “I chose the Japanese word ‘Genki’ to symbolize the energetic attitude and lively nature of our classes.”
She opened the first GenkiJACS branch in early 2005 in Fukuoka City, where she had lived for most of her life.
Language Learning at Genki
Our schools were some of the first in Japan to start teaching short-term conversational Japanese specifically to those who come from European language backgrounds. Limiting our class sizes to eight students maximum allows us to concentrate on individual students and their personal progress. As we go beyond simply teaching Japanese and strive to introduce our students to Japan itself, we offer culture classes that give them a gateway into Japanese culture and broaden their horizons even further. To offer maximum flexibility, our classes start every single Monday of the year, and the minimum course time is just 2 weeks!
At GenkiJACS, learning does not stop at the classroom door. We have an open-door policy towards our students, meaning that whenever they have any questions about the Japanese language, our teachers and staff are ready and waiting to answer them. Our Language Exchange Partner programs allow our students to match with native Japanese speakers and practice speaking the language, while also helping their Japanese counterparts to practice English. We also organize free weekly activities to offer our students even more opportunities to be exposed to Japanese culture.
Steps for Encouraging Students
Our classes are always based on real situations that students may encounter. Beyond that, our teachers never take a lecture-style approach to teaching. Since the maximum number of students in each class is just eight, our teachers actively participate in class discussions and join in on sharing their interests with students to build rapport. We use our students’ experiences, interests, and passions to drive lessons forward.
We do not normally provide such support, but each year we choose one student studying in the 1-year or 18-month program to receive a 100,000-yen prize for exemplary attendance, attitude, and progress.
GenkiJACS boasts a team of teachers with their own international experience and, in most cases, second-language capabilities; four campuses spread around Japan with the option to study at multiple schools; flexible start dates and course lengths; rich cultural exchange opportunities; and service-recognized within the industry, which I will elaborate on below. Our team of dedicated staff has gained us that recognition by helping students with all aspects of their life in Japan and doing everything we can to ensure our students have the best possible stay. For some, it is their only chance to visit Japan, and we make sure to make it count!
Along the Competition’s Side
Our teachers stay on top of shifting trends in the educational field and apply those that fit in with our teaching philosophy. We also go beyond that to follow trends in information technology as well, which keeps us at the cutting edge of education technology. We find this incredibly important in order to become the world-class school we build our reputation to be.
Acknowledgement and Recognition
We are accredited by the International Association of Language Centres or IALC. This is a network of high-quality independent language schools teaching solely in their native languages to international students. We have also been nominated for the ST Star Awards each year since 2009 and have won four times. The Star Awards are very prestigious — we consider them the language school industry equivalent of the Oscars and are very grateful for this recognition!
Our plan is to continue growing and further improving our services to provide excellent Japanese language lessons to more and more people around the world. Right now, we are focused on utilizing up-and-coming IT developments to help us reach even wider audiences. We hope you’ll follow us to see what we do next! Thank you for your time.