News / 2020.04.27

YOLO JAPAN questionnaire finds that around 90% of foreigners "would like to use a Japanese learning service, even if it costs money"

YOLO JAPAN questionnaire finds that around 90% of foreigners "would like to use a Japanese learning service, even if it costs money"
Over half of respondents said they would pay up to 3000 yen per month, would like to learn conversational Japanese


YOLO JAPAN Co., Ltd. (CEO: Taisuke Kaji, Tokyo headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter "YOLO JAPAN"), Japan's largest media for foreigners living in Japan, with over 150,000 users from 226 different countries, has found through conducting a questionnaire that 87% of its foreign members living in Japan would like to use a Japanese learning service, even if it costs money, as it would be useful for their work and everyday lives. Out of those members, over half said that they would spend up to 3000 yen a month on the service. 

※Questionnaire period: July 18, 2019 - August 15, 2019, Respondents: 431 YOLO JAPAN members from 63 different countries



Upon inquiring how much foreigners in Japan would be willing to spend monthly on Japanese lessons, we found that 55% of respondents would spend up to 3,000 yen. More specifically, the most popular answer was 1,001 yen - 3,000 yen (24%), followed by 501 yen - 1000 yen (20%), and 3,001 yen to 5,000 yen (14%). Moreover, around half of respondents said that conversational level Japanese was difficult for them to read and write, while listening and speaking in conversational Japanese was not a problem for them, so we were able to get a sense for their needs.



Out of all questionnaire respondents, 99% said that they wanted to improve their Japanese. The most common reasons were, "wanting to interact more with Japanese people" (59%), "wanting to work in Japan" (57%), and "wanting to get rid of inconveniences in daily life" (54%), showing their eagerness to improve their communication skills.

As for the teaching style, over half of respondents said they wanted face-to-face lessons where they could speak directly to the instructor (52%), and many would also like to attend lectures held by volunteers at a Japanese school (50%). Moreover, for online courses through smartphone or PC, many would like lessons that prepare them for the JLPT※ (47%), or video-based lessons where they can ask the instructor questions once a week (42%). 

We also found that around 70% of respondents would prefer a long-term course. More specifically, most respondents said that they would like to study at their own pace without sticking to a set time frame (26%), followed by those who would like to move up one level on the JLPT within 6 months (23%), and those who would like to move up one level on the JLPT within one year (21%). 

※JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test): An examination held in 86 countries/regions, and taken by over 3.65 million people. It is used in the Japanese language test for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa Type 1, with N4 as the minimum passing grade. The five levels, from highest to lowest, are N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. N4 is the level for basic understanding of the Japanese language.   



Although they are motivated to learn Japanese, half of respondents said that they have not reached conversational level in Japanese. We found that the reasons for this discrepancy are that they don't have time to study (53%), or they don't have the finances to do so (49%). 

Although national and local governments are supporting Japanese learning, for instance by holding Japanese lectures taught by dispatched volunteers, only 40% of foreigners answered that national and local goverment support is sufficient. In addition, we found that there are issues with getting information about this support to foreigners, with only 27% answering that the information they receive is sufficient.  

As for how this information should be spread to foreigners, respondents suggested social media (65%), online newsletters (47%), and posting on websites (46%). 

In order to help resolve this issue, YOLO JAPAN holds Japanese lectures at the inbound work training facility "YOLO BASE," and offers an online Japanese course to help foreigners obtain the Specified Skilled Worker visa.  

Details about YOLO BASE::https://yolo-base.com/ja/


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