On this page you'll find the answer to frequently asked questions about courses at Step Up Japanese.
For full course information, please click here to go to my Courses page.
If you can't find the answer to your question on this page, please get in touch and I'll be happy to help.
When do courses start?
My 30-week courses are split into three 10-week terms and courses run from October to June. The best time to join any course is at the start of the course in October, but you can join at a later point if you're keen and the level is right.
If you are an absolute beginner, I recommend joining the STEP 1 course from the start of the course in October.
Who can take classes at Step Up Japanese?
My courses are designed for adult learners - anyone who is over 18 can join.
Which level should I take?
I hope the course descriptions, with explanations of which textbooks we use and what we study, will help you decide which course is right for you.
If you aren't sure which level to take, please get in touch for a chat about your level and needs - I'll be happy to help.
How do I pay for lessons?
Please enrol online and make payment through this site.
Payment is required in advance to reserve your space.
What's your cancellation policy?
My cancellation policy is designed to be fair and reasonable:
Course fees are fully refundable until 14 days before the start of your booked course. If you cancel your booking less than 14 days before the start of the course, fees are refundable minus a £10 admin fee. Once the course has begun, fees are non-refundable.
Do you have testimonials from students who have taken your courses?
Yep! You can find them on my testimonials page.
Who will my teacher be?
Hi! I'm Fran. I've been teaching Japanese since 2012, and I started Step Up Japanese here in sunny Brighton in 2014. I love the Japanese language, and sharing that with my students is a privilege I don't take for granted.
You can read my full teacher profile here and find out what I'm all about.
How did you learn Japanese?
I learned Japanese as a foreign language, as an adult - just like you. As a non-native speaker, I understand the difficulties and the joys of learning Japanese, and I can guide you through it.
I wrote more about how I learned Japanese here on my blog - check it out and let me know what you think.
What qualifications do you have?
I graduated from Sussex University with a BA in English with proficiency in Japanese, and a Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Cert TESOL). I then taught English as a foreign language in Japan and the UK, mostly to adults and teenagers, before moving into translation work and Japanese teaching.
In 2012 I passed N1, the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), and I passed it again in 2016.
Do you use a textbook?
Yes, we use a textbook in all classes (except Summer courses). We don't use it all the time in class - my goal is to get you speaking as much as possible - it's mostly used for reference and self-study.
How can I get the most out of my Japanese course?
I'm glad you asked that! Students who get the most out of class are those who:
- Come to all the classes
- Make time each week to practice outside of class
- Ask when they have questions (in class, or you can always email or tweet me @stepupjapanese)
If you do have to miss a class, you can use the Course Outline I'll provide you with to catch up at home. This shows you what we study and when, with page numbers and homework.
Do you teach private lessons?
Yes, but my schedule is full at the moment. Contact me and I'll let you know if a spot becomes available - or join one of my group classes!