Wakayama: Do you think lesson fees at English conversation schools are overpriced?

High school student, 18

Yes, I think lesson fees at eikaiwa [private English conversation schools] are overpriced. If it weren’t so expensive to take English lessons, then I’d consider taking a class, and would encourage my friends and family to do so, too.

Takeshi Taniguchi
State schoolteacher, 39

I don’t think the cost to go to eikaiwa is high. Of course, it would be good if the cost was lower, but taking eikaiwa classes is necessary if one wants to improve their English. The more classes, the better. My two daughters are taking piano and swimming lessons. Practice makes perfect, and opens doors of opportunity.

Kyoko Akasaka
School administrator, 50s

I think that children should start taking English lessons at a young age if they can, because that’s the optimum age for acquiring good language skills. The amount of money it costs isn’t as important as being well-versed in the English language.

Tomoaki Minami
Garbage collection firm staff, 38

I go to one of the Big Four [eikaiwa chains in Japan]. I think it’s a little overpriced. If there was a smaller eikaiwa that charged less, then I would go there instead. I enjoy studying English — that’s the main reason I’m taking the language classes.

Mizuho Koga
Receptionist, 50s

My daughter used to attend eikaiwa classes, but not anymore. If the lesson fees were cheaper, then I’d go, to improve my English, because that would help me in my job, and I’m sure that my daughter would go again as well.

Kazuhiko Sugimoto
State schoolteacher, 40s

It’s not expensive, but it’s not reasonable either. It’s somewhere in between. If somebody wants to improve their English, though, they should take eikaiwa classes continuously. The nature of learning a language requires this, if the ultimate goal is fluency or near-fluency.

Interviews conducted in Hashimoto city and Katsuragi town, Wakayama Prefecture. Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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