A Look Back At 2017

2017 is coming to an end in a couple of days. Let’s take a look back on what Bunka has done this year.

Friends of Bunka Night (FOBN)
FOBN is a social event where we connect Bunka students to our Japanese friends. Usually, it takes place twice a year. This year, however, we held it three times instead. When you learn a language, it is important that you make friends with native speakers so that you have more opportunities to practise the language.

The first event was in collaboration with Solo Group LLC from Japan. Bunka students had dinner with a group of Japanese university students who were on a study trip to both Singapore and Malaysia. We arranged some time to eat and interact with them.

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The second event was in collaboration with Single Point Pte Ltd, a Japanese company which places Japanese interns in Singapore-based companies. We held the event at Bari-Uma Ramen restaurant. It is located at Tanglin Shopping Centre, a mere 5-minute walk from Delfi Orchard. For your information, Bari-Uma gives Bunka students up to 30% discount a couple of times in a year. Check the noticeboard in your classroom for updates on their promotions.

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The third event was in collaboration with Intelligence, one the the biggest recruitment companies in Singapore. We were fortunate to have a team of seven recruitment consultants and two of their Japanese friends to join us for the event.

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Intelligence 1

Career Seminar
Local Japanese speakers are in hot demand now! Also, they can typically earn between $500 to $1000 more depending on their language proficiency. Thus, Bunka collaborated with Intelligence and held two career seminars to let Bunka students know about the job market and hiring trends, dispel some myths about working in Japanese companies and learn how to write proper resumes (both Japanese and English).

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Online Payment Method
Previously, only Elementary 1 students could pay via PayPal or credit card. Since April 2017, this initiative has been extended to all levels. Simply register and pay online so that you do not need to carry too much cash, or make an additional trip to pay over the counter.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Since January 2017, Bunka has been providing free Japanese lessons twice a week to Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped. This is part of Bunka’s CSR to give back to the society. We would like to thank Kato-sensei and Toguchi-sensei who are part of the team to support this effort.





Cultural Events: Behind The Scenes
Bunka is probably the only Japanese language school in Singapore which holds cultural events once every seven weeks. Our teachers worked very hard in ensuring the success of each cultural event. Take a look at how they have prepared for the event.





SkillsFuture Credit (SFC)
Since 2016, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above are given an opening credit of $500 from the Singapore government to learn new skills. All of Bunka’s courses are eligible for SFC.

These are two very important points to take note of:
1. SkillsFuture changed the claim process in May 2017. Funds can only be disbursed to Bunka instead of the individual.
2. Individuals who use SFC should ensure that they attain at least 75% attendance. If not, the credit may be recovered by SkillsFuture.

Do take note of these points if you are using your SkillsFuture credit to pay for classes.

Final Note
Bunka could not have done all these without the support of our students.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to our students, past and present, for choosing Bunka. Most importantly, we could not have done it without the hard work and effort put in by our teachers and staff. We would also like to thank all our vendors, partners and friends for their invaluable support.

We hope that more will continue to enjoy learning the Japanese language in 2018. Happy New Year!

The Bunka Team
29th December 2017

What you can do daily to improve your Japanese language skills

If you have read our post “10 reasons why you should study Japanese” (http://www.bunkalang.com/blog/10-reasons-why-you-should-study-japanese/),  you would know that we shared reasons why one should learn the Japanese language. The “Why” question is important because that is the factor that  drives you; motivates you; and inspires you to carry on, no matter how hard it is, how tired you are or just that, you have simply lost that interest.

We always emphasize that learning the Japanese language is a journey. It is never a 10-week thing. It is a skill. And like all other skills, it needs time – time to build vocabulary, master the grammar, hone listening skills and speak fluently.

There is an old adage: Every journey begins with a single step. The steps we take everyday are important.There are no short-cuts, just plain hard work, determination and consistency. So  the question is : What can you do on a daily basis to improve your Japanese language skills?

Attending lessons once a week for 3 hours is not enough. You need to work on it everyday. You can give yourself some cheat days, but not more than 3 days in a row. For a start, set aside 5 to 30 minutes a day as part of your daily routine called “My Me Time with Japanese”. And these are the things you can do to improve your Japanese language skills :

  1.  Listen to Japanese songs. Try to catch the lyrics. That is a relaxing way to hone your listening skill.
  2.  Learn to sing a Japanese song!
  3.  Watch an episode of anime (if you are an otaku). Start with subtitles first. And when you think you  are ready, turn off the subtitles.
  4.  Memorise 5 words a day. 5 x 365 days = 1825 words. That is a lot!!!!
  5.  Think in Japanese. Learn to construct sentences in your mind.
  6.  Learn 1 sentence structure per day. Read out loud.
  7.  Be like a Japanese. Use sounds or words like : sou desu ka, honto desu ka…,  eto desu ne…. , sou  sou sou…., hai, iie iie..
  8.  Read a chapter of manga (again if you are an otaku). For those who are not, fall back on  Doraemon, it is a good start! (And we have some interesting titles in our book library that you can  borrow)

All the things that we suggested do not take up a lot of your time. But these small efforts build up your ability to speak the Japanese language in the long run.

Let us know if you have more interesting ideas!

The Bunka Team
6th April 2016

Nihongo with Bunka

Textbook Covers

In conjunction with Bunka’s 30th Anniversary, we are pleased to introduce our new textbooks “Nihongo with Bunka”.

These books would have been impossible without the hard work and effort put in by our Academic Director, Ms Mizusaki Machiko, and her team comprising Mr Takatsuka Toshiro, Ms Shida Yuriko, Ms Namba Miho, Mr Kobayashi Tsutomu and Ms Nakaya Hitomi. The content is complemented by the cover design, layout and artwork contributed by Ms Billie Kan.

SN 03What is special about these books is that they incorporate practical application of the language in a day-to-day context. Students will get to learn a wide range of vocabulary that they can use immediately after each lesson.

Practice makesperfect and this is especially true for language learning. Students need to practise, practise, practise and do it so often that it becomes a natural part of them. Also, you will have fun practising with your friends in class!

We hope that you will like these books and enjoy the process of learning the language.
The Bunka Team
20 January 2016

10 Reasons Why You Should Study Japanese

2015 is wrapping up in a few days’ time. We hope that you have enjoyed your lessons in Bunka so far. Language learning is a lifelong journey and interest plays a very important part in sustaining one’s motivation. There is a saying that if you understand your “whys”, the “hows” and “whats” will somehow fill the gap. Here is a list of 10 reasons why you should study Japanese :

1. Enter the world of JapXcitement
Knowing the language will help you access Japanese popular culture and traditions in their original form. Anime, Bunka, Cha-do, Drama, Zen… the list is non-exhaustive. You will be able to immerse yourself in the beauty and colour of all things Japanese.

2. Bilingual or Tri-lingual = an EDGE over others
Learning languages boosts your employability and is beneficial salary-wise. In the highly competitive job market, your additional skill of knowing Japanese sets you apart from other applicants.

3. Break the “hard to reach” Japanese market
Learning the Japanese language will allow you to delve deeper into understanding socio-cultural trends and business etiquette. This will help you greatly in your business dealings with the Japanese.

4. Experience Japan like a local
If you know the language and explore Japan own your own, your travel experience will be much more enjoyable and satisfying as you can communicate with the locals.

5. More than a Facebook friend
You study and interact with like-minded people in your class. Your social circle gets wider.

6. I’m not a frog in a well
Knowing other languages and cultures gives you the unique opportunity to broaden your mindset and perspective on life.

7. Go beyond language ability
Knowing one more language enhances your cognitive development in terms of mental flexibility, creativity and higher-order thinking skills to help you cope better in a fast-changing world.

8. It may benefit my parents / grandparents too
Learning Japanese language pushes your mental capacities to the limit. The constant brain stimulation helps to keep away degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. You may want to encourage your parents / grandparents to learn Japanese too.

9. It’s not as hard as you think
The Japanese language has adopted Chinese ideographs in its kanji writing system. People who already know Chinese will find that learning Japanese can be much faster and simpler than they think.

10. Yatta! I did it!
Your hard work and discipline will pay off when you are able to understand and use Japanese as a communication tool. Give yourself a pat on the back and shout “やったぁ~!”.

Joe Tan
The Bunka Team
26th Dec 2015

はちがつに オーストラリアへ いきました。
わたしは 20ねんぐらいまえ、 シドニーSydneyに すんでいました。いっしょに すんでいた ホストファミリーに あいました。みんな げんきだったから、うれしかったです。
オーストラリアが すきだから、また すぐに いこうと おもっています。

こばやし つとむ