Being married to a Japanese man and having in-laws who speak no English is the main reason I wanted to become fluent in Japanese. I had been learning Japanese on and off for several years but was frustrated by my lack of ability to understand and join in general conversation. I enjoyed learning Japanese but found it a bit of a boring hard slog. Also having a young daughter made it quite hard to attend lessons.
Initially I was attracted to JACS because then I could learn Japanese at home so I wouldn't have to worry about hiring a babysitter. It was also great not to have waste time traveling to lessons.
Since starting with JACS six months ago I have noticed a real difference in my ability and am able to understand and participate for more in everyday life. Each time I see my relatives they always comment on how much I improved.
I have found one of the main differences between this method and most others is that it does not require the student to first study kanji to be able to speak the language. Previous methods had encouraged me to learn new vocabulary and new kanji at the same time and I found this held back my pace considerably. When I started at JACS I had more or less decided that I didn't want to study kanji, it just seemed too hard. However since my speaking ability was improving I became curious and thought I would give kanji another try. This time instead of finding kanji boring, I found it fascinating. It was also much easier to remember, probably because I was already familiar with the spoken word. For me learning to speak first and then associate the kanji pictograph later has been far more effective.
A tremendous amount of thought and preparation goes into each lesson ie the teachers use their own original materials which they create for each student's unique needs rather than just following a textbook. The multimedia materials used in the lesson are a very effective tool for reinforcing concepts in different ways. We seem to cover a tremendous amount in one lesson and the Japanese learned is immediately useful and very natural. I find the lessons easy to absorb and am also learning far more quickly.
I also love the fact that because the lessons are one to one they are tailored made. I can tell the teachers that I need to know or revise vocabulary for a particular situation and they will create a special lesson for me.
Teachers are extremely professional, well prepared and engaging teachers with a wonderful ability to impart knowledge. I highly recommend JACS.