Heather Mackay 9/12/17
“I was so lucky to find Chika to tutor my son before she even opened SCETA. He was trying to learn Japanese on his own, and he was doing fine, but meeting one on one with Chika helped him improve so much more. She was great with him and always kept in touch with me about how he was doing. Her prices were completely reasonable. After weekly lessons with him during the past two summers and part of his final year of high school, my son was able to test into the second year of Japanese at Columbia University. I was very please, and so was he! I would recommend Chika and SCETA to anyone who wants to learn Japanese, from beginners to more advanced students.”
Lane Jennings, PhD 12/18/14
“Not everyone who starts to study Japanese is young. I was already in my 60s when a lifelong fascination with Japanese literature and movies finally convinced me to try goingstraight to the source and no longer depend on translations, subtitles, ordubbed soundtracks.
The Japan-America Society in Washington recommended Chika Sugiyama as a tutor; and she soon had me able not only to recognize and pronounce Japanese characters, but starting to read well-known poems, and to use Japanese to express myself in original essays.
Since then we have gone on to translate works by traditional and modern Japanese poets, as well as children’s stories and episodes from manga (Japanese graphic novels) for adults.
Chika san has also guided my efforts to compose authentic Japanese haiku following the same strict form and vocabulary rules as the millions of native Japanese speakers who have made writing haiku perhaps the number one hobby in Japan today.
Clearly my motives for wanting to learn Japanese—hoping to understand and appreciate works of Japanese literature and movie dialogue—are very different from those of people who are preparing to visit Japan as a tourist or to live and work there.
But Chika Sugiyama is more than just a language teacher. Born and raised in Tokyo, she knows and understands the culture of modern Japan as well as its traditions. And because she is not limited to one textbook or teaching style, she is able to tailor her courses to fit each student’s individual needs and interests.
So whether you what to read Japanese novels and comics, or follow the lyrics of J-pop songs, or learn how to travel smart and live well on a budget as tight as a student at Tokyo U, Chika Sugiyama can help you –just as she has helped me.”
Lenette D. 1/15/15
“A great language teacher! She will work with you by custom tailoring the lessons to fit your individual learning style! I have been learning Japanese from her for a year and a half now and we are covering conversational Japanese as well as writing and reading.
I began learning Japanese in the hopes of one day getting to travel to the country (aiming for a Spring 2016 trip) as the culture (traditional and pop) has fascinated me for years since I first got into anime and video games as a child.
As an adult, I finally buckled down and sought out proper instruction for learning to read, write and speak the language and was introduced to Chika-sensei via a mutual friend. Since then, it has been a long road of learning, but sensei makes it so much fun and challenges me to become better Every step of the way. I especially love being able to learn more about cultural norms as we progress through the lessons. I import a lot of reading and gaming material now in the hopes of using said material as study aids.
Rosetta Stone and other self-learning tools are good… But when you sit with an instructor that knows the language natively and get one-on-one support, you really can’t go wrong! If you want to learn Japanese, Chika is your best bet!”
Nolan F. 2/20/15
Rory T. 8/6/15
Earlier this year I too was searching for a place to learn Japanese that was not boring and that would be willing to teach me at my own pace. After searching Google links for some time, I came across Learn Japan’s yelp page and read the reviews. I checked out the website and decided to contact owner, Chika Sugiyama. She responded to my email immediately.
After corresponding some and talking on the phone about my schedule and goals of learning Japanese, it was not long before we met for my first lesson. That was only a few months ago, and I have learned so much. I went from not speaking much Japanese at all, to having a strong grasp on general conversation skills and grammar. This was all within a few months of meeting once a week.
Chika is an AMAZING teacher who makes you feel comfortable, is patient and very flexible. I find myself very excited to meet for our weekly lessons, and I have lot of fun learning! So I hope everyone that reads this review will decide to check out Sugiyama-sensei! Thanks for reading, best of luck with your studies.
がんばって ! (: “