Frequently Asked Questions

1. What courses do you offer and what are the fees?

What courses do you offer and what are the fees?
The current published rates are as follows
Elementary 1 (72 hrs) : RM601
Elementary 2 (64 hrs) : RM541 < Completion of this level will approximate JLPT N5 requirements
Intermediate 1 (64 hrs) : RM580
Intermediate 2 (64 hrs) : RM598 < Completion of this level will approximate JLPT N4 requirements
Advanced (32 hrs) : RM297 < Continuing Education to achieve JLPT N3 proficiency and beyond
Conversation (32 hrs) : RM297 < Continuing Education to achieve JLPT N3 proficiency and beyond

The PJLS uses Minna no Nihongo as the main textbook along with some other supplementary material at the individual instructors’ discretion

Note: Elementary 1 = Beginner course – Please sign up for this if you are a complete novice!

Course coverage is as follows:
Elementary 1: Minna no Nihongo (2nd Edition) Chapters 1-12
Elementary 2: Minna no Nihongo (2nd Edition) Chapters 13-25
Intermediate 1: Minna no Nihongo (2nd Edition) Chapters 26-40
Intermediate 2: Minna no Nihongo (2nd Edition) Chapters 41-50

2. The scheduling of the class you just announced does not suit me. Can I change to another day?

We are a voluntary non-profit organization which depends on volunteer teachers. The times and days are fixed by the teachers according to their own schedules, while the Society just allots the classroom space. If you can’t make it for one intake you will just have to wait for a suitable one to open up. In general we don’t have classes on Saturdays (our rest day) or on Sunday afternoons. If you interested in following our classes, please be mentally prepared to commit to twice weekly night lessons, or 1 weekly night class + 1 Sunday morning lessons. If you are unable to commit to that type of scheduling, we suggest you try hiring a personal tutor or look for another language school that meets your schedule or convenience.

3. When is the next class / Please PM next class details to me?

Please like and follow our Facebook page to be kept up to date on the latest class announcements. If we haven’t published any announcements it means there likely isn’t a new class scheduled yet. For the latest info always call the Society during our opening hours and someone will be there to help you with your inquiries. Even if a class is not immediately scheduled, if you leave your name and contact number with our clerk or teaching personnel, we will get back to you once we start another class.

4. Are all your teachers qualified Japanese native speakers?

Not all our teachers are native Japanese speakers, but that doesn’t mean that they are not well equipped to teach! The PJLS is one of the oldest institutions specialized in the teaching of the Japanese language in Penang. Many of our local teachers are not only certified by the Japan Foundation, but have many valuable years of teaching the language and are attuned to the needs of local students. We also have capable native speakers of the language among our teaching staff.

5. Do you teach Japanese for [Business/Science & Technology/Literature etc]?

No, we do not have specialized courses, but our advanced level classes are quite flexible and the teacher may accommodate a special request if considered reasonable.

6. Do you teach Japanese for young children / Is there some age limit?

We cater primarily for working adults, college students and children of sufficient school-going age. Our classes are classroom style instruction so students have to be mature enough to follow instructions and do their homework in a timely manner. There is no upper age limit.

7. I need to master Japanese in a big hurry because I’m (dating a Japanese / going to study in Japan in 2 months’ time / planning to do big business with a Japanese associate next week). Can you teach me?

While we empathize with your sense of urgency we do not provide intensive crash courses.

8. I need to translate a 200-page technical document into Japanese / from Japanese to English in a big hurry. Can you help me?

NO. Please seek a professional translation service.

9. I studied up to xxxx level in another institution. How will I know which class is suitable for me?

Please refer to Question #1. Please take a placement test at https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/forlearners.html if you are not sure of your JLPT level.

10. May I come to observe a class before deciding to join?

Usually, the answer is no, but please contact our clerk at the administrative office if you have a justifiable need.

11. Where is the PJLS and how do I contact the Society?

This information is already published on our Facebook Page and Website (http://www.pjls.org).

12. Could you please send me the fee & course details/schedule of classes?

Please refer to Question #1. We will not entertain individual requests for such information by email or PM due to the overwhelming number of inquiries

13. Could you please register me for xxx course?

The site admin is not in charge of admissions or registrations. As of July 2020, in order to book a seat after a new intake is announced, you must register at our office and pay the fees in full to the clerk in charge. We will not entertain any online requests. We apologize for this inconvenience as new Government regulations post-COVID19 mean that we have to limit our class sizes to a maximum of 20 students per classroom. To be fair to all prospective students, this will be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis. 

14. I called the Society but no one picks up and it goes to voicemail.

That’s because our opening hours are Mondays-Fridays 7pm to 930pm and Sundays 9am to 12pm. If you call at any other time, it will divert into voicemail because there’s no one around. Rest assured that we do retrieve our voicemail every day. Please do not hesitate to leave a voicemail clearly stating your name, inquiry and contact number.

15. Can I pay by credit card or installment?

No. We only accept cash. Also, we do not provide for installment-based payments.

16. How do I contact the site admin?

For miscellaneous inquiries related to classes or fees please contact casee343ster@gmail.com or call +6010-3991903

17. I have a business proposition for you! Can we discuss terms?

We are a non-profit organization and generally are wary about profit-oriented joint-ventures. If you are convinced that you have a compelling reason to reach out to us, please write an email to our president so that your proposal can be discussed in our committee meetings.

18. Why aren’t you taking class registration bookings via email or the internet? I’m afraid I won’t get a seat!

Please refer to #13. Also, because 95% of the time, our calls or follow-up correspondence to confirm interest result in a no-show anyway. We figured if you really are interested, you’d make the effort to show up to register and pay the fees upfront. 🙂 

19. Your classes seem expensive! There are some people out there teaching at cheaper prices!

No, we’re not expensive, especially when you factor in the number of hours per semester and the syllabus coverage. We offer value-for-money lessons taught by experienced teaching staff, and there are no hidden costs involved.

20. I speak Japanese and am interested to teach at your Society. Do you offer salaried positions?

We are a non-profit organization and the classes in our Society are taught by part-time volunteers who receive an allowance based on the active class enrollment. We do not offer salaried positions. If you are still interested, please write an email to our president so that your application can be discussed in our committee meetings.

21. What happens if the class I registered for has many days that falls on a public holiday when the centre is closed?

 

If your concern is whether we will shortchange you on lesson hours, we won’t. If for any reason particular lesson days were cancelled (e.g. public holidays or teacher on sick leave) it will be replaced. The classes will run for as long as needed to complete the required lesson hours.

22. I just missed seeing the announcement for the latest class and missed the registration! Can I still join?

 

If you missed the registration for the latest intake by a couple of lessons, you can contact our office directly to inquire if there are still seats available. At our discretion we may allow you to join. Otherwise, please wait for the next one. Typically we have new intakes for Elementary I classes every 2 months.

23. Your centre in Gottlieb Road is too far away for me! Do you have a branch in XXX?

 

No. We do not have any branches anywhere else in Penang or in any other state, for that matter. Please google for a service provider nearer to you if commuting distance is a major deciding factor for you. Otherwise, spare a thought for our dedicated and passionate volunteer teachers who have to commute after work from as far as Bayan Lepas everyday to teach you 🙂

24. What is your medium of instruction?

Primarily English, but you may ask questions in Malay or Chinese, as long as our teachers understand you. 🙂

25. Can you register me for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)?

Please go to http://www.jlsm.org/japanese-language-proficiency-test.html to learn more and to register yourself. The test is conducted twice a year in July and Dec, and is administered by the Japan Foundation. Registration for the first test (July): Around March-April of the same year; Second test (December): Around August-September of the same year.If you are still not very sure or need step by step guidance, you can also visit us during our office during opening hours and our office staff would be happy to assist you.

26. Do you conduct your own certification test at the end of the semester? Can I get some certificate to prove I went for the course?

Most of our students study with taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in mind, because that is the most widely recognized certification for Japanese Proficiency. However the fees and registration for that is separate from our course fees. We do not bundle them together at registration. If you just want some proof of attendance and some idea of your proficiency level for personal satisfaction, you can speak to your instructor on how to arrange for such an internal test. Usually such tests are conducted at the end of Elementary 2 or Intermediate 2 at the discretion of the instructor.

27. I have job openings for Japanese Speaking candidates. Can I advertise on your website?

We are not a job site. If you would like to reach out to our students you can visit our office to discuss and we may allow you to put a poster up on our notice board for their information.

28. Do you have online classes, or have any plans to conduct online courses on a regular basis?

No, and No.