Japanese Language Classes

JASO runs a range of Japanese language classes in Portland and Salem. You must be a current member to participate. Portland-based group classes are currently online. All private classes are online. Salem-based group classes are in-person.

Fall Term (Sept-Nov) has started. Winter term starts end of January, and registration will open in mid-December.
Private classes are always open for registration (link below).

Group Classes Basic Information (Portland – all currently on Zoom)

For adults – for work and after-work situations
On Zoom
8-week terms – winter (Jan-Mar), spring (Apr-Jun) and fall (Sept-Nov)
8 weeks, 75-minute classes (10 hours total)
A variety of beginner, improver, intermediate and pre-advanced levels
4 to 10 students per class
No homework, no grades, but 2 hours preparation every week prior to class expected
Highly-qualified, experienced teaching pool
Textbooks or teacher’s own materials

Private Class Basic Information (always on Zoom)

For adults and high-school aged students – general, or specific purposes
On Zoom
8- or 12-class blocks, 60-minute classes
Teachers select texts and workbooks according to individual student needs
One-on-one, or semi-private (2 students, MUST be same level)
Highly-qualified, experienced teaching pool
Complete the survey to contact us: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JASOPrivateJLangClass

Group Class Basic Information (Salem – currently in-person)

For adults and high-school aged students – general purposes
8-week terms – winter (Jan-Mar), spring (Apr-Jun) and fall (Sept-Nov)
8 weeks, 75-minute classes (10 hours total)
Beginner levels
5 to 12 students per class
No homework, no grades, but 2 hours preparation every week prior to class expected
Conversation style, leader is Japanese native, but not a qualified teacher
Must purchase Genki 1, 3rd edition text and workbooks separately
If interested in signing up for a group class, email us HERE.

Group Class Levels

When we say Beginner, Improver, Intermediate or Advanced, what do we mean? Beginner level classes are for students who are new to Japanese, or have only a little self- or class-based study. Improver classes are for those that have studied the basics in some depth and are comfortable using creating simpler sentences. Sometimes Improvers may have studied more advanced Japanese, for a reasonable period of time (often some time ago!). Students have (or quickly re-gain) a comfort with a range of tense use and verb conjugations, but need step-by-step progression to learn, or re-learn these using textbooks. Intermediate classes are for those who understand and are comfortable using a range of conjugations, and are working on longer, more complex explanations and discussion. Might be a high JLPT N4 or N3 level. Pre-Advanced classes are aimed at those around the JLPT N2 level. Advanced classes are for those who are at or close to JLPT N1, and have typically worked/lived in Japan for a significant period of time. Complex, discussion-based.

Group Class Refund Policy

Course will run with minimum 4 (Portland) or 5 (Salem) students signing up. If course does not run, 100% of fees refunded. Cancellation after 7 days prior to start, no refund if your cancellation causes numbers to drop below 4 (Portland) or 5 (Salem) in total. 50% refund otherwise. Refund processed after classes start. We will communicate with you as sign-up windows close regarding number of sign-ups.

We understand business people sometimes have work commitments that cause them to miss class. Many students end up missing 1 or 2 classes because of work commitments. We price these classes affordably in order to take this into consideration. We do not give refunds because “work became busy”.

Group Class Teachers

Natsuko Llewellyn
MA Japanese
Portland State University
Resides: Portland, OR
Kana Ito
MA Japanese
San Francisco State University
Resides: Portland, OR
Shoko Parker
MA Education & Special Ed
Portland State University
Resides: Portland, OR
Kayo Niimi
MA Education: TESOL
The Ohio State University
Resides: Pullman, WA
Ikuyo Suzuki
MS International Studies University of Idaho
Resides: Moscow, ID
Ryoko Yamazaki
MEd Portland State University
MJapanese Applied Linguistics, Waseda Univerity
Resides: Portland, OR
Tetsuko Sugawara
MA Japanese
Portland State University
Resides: Sapporo, Japan
Yoshitaka Inoue
BA English/American Literature
Kansai University Resides: Seattle, WA

What Our Students Say

“I had some very good success with the learning I received here through JASO in Japan, on two recent trips.  It is meeting my objectives.”
“Sensei was an excellent teacher.”
“I really like sensei’s teaching method.  It is superior to the other methods I have had.”
“I’m currently taking lessons at another school and it feels like I’m not learning as much and that the class is half asleep compared to (JASO’s) class.”
“Only speaks in Japanese (except before or after class, or in rare instances). I like this immersion experience because of the business context.”
“Sensei is a great instructor.”
“That was intense!”