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Spring 2021 Japanese Language for Business Purposes

  • 19 Apr 2021
  • 18 Jun 2021
  • Zoom


  • You studied Winter Term
  • You studied Winter Term. Late sign up 4/14-19.
  • You studied before, but not the most recent term.
  • You studied before, but not last term, 4/14-19 only.
  • You MUST be a JASO member. If not, sign up at jaso.org.
  • You must be a JASO member. Sign up at jaso.org. From 4-14/16 only.

If you are connected to Japanese colleagues locally, or planning a future trip to Japan for business, JASO’s Japanese Language Classes may be right for you. We cover business situations even at the beginner levels, but also conversation for after work and getting to know each other. At the intermediate level we study articles on hot topics in Japan.

Our Philosophy: Our classes are intense! We’re busy working professionals and come to class to study. We use the immersion method – don’t expect to hear much English once class has started. We’re not a school or college, where the student expectation is to show up, then start learning. We demand that you learn by preparing for class beforehand, then we practice and expand in the classroom setting. Then review again at home. Expect up to 2 hours preparation each week! Also, most levels include a presentation element.

You or your company must be a current JASO member to participate. All membership details at www.jaso.org.

Group Class Information

Small group classes run 8 weeks total.

Maximum 8 students. Minimum 4 needed for class to run.

Classes held online through Zoom or Google Meet (Teacher’s choice).

Week 1 starts from Monday April 19, Week 8 through Friday June 11, with following week in case emergency make-up needed due to unavoidable teacher cancellation. Classes held on Mondays will run one more week, skipping the Memorial Day holiday.

It is the student’s responsibility to use an up-to-date operating system, camera, headphones and microphone to ensure you can engage effectively and responsibly in the classroom.

Quality connectivity is also the student’s responsibility, not the instructor’s. The instructor will try to make a reasonable effort in case of a student’s connectivity trouble. However, the instructor will not pause, halt or interrupt class in a way that overly impacts other students.


Sign-up online. Select your class. Pay the fee.

New students only will receive a survey that ensures we place you correctly. We CANNOT move students this term if the actual correct class is full. Complete the survey and return.

You’ll receive notification that you are added to your class Dropbox folder. Inside this folder is course text (if used), welcome letter, and class preparation. For some courses, you may be required to purchase a textbook separately.

Your teacher will inform you each week of any meeting codes or passwords to enter the classroom. Please do your best to find a quiet space for class, so as not to disrupt others.

You are always expected to prepare for class in advance. Instructors use Dropbox to place class preparation notes several days prior to class. You should receive notification from Dropbox when materials are placed there, but check anyway.


Beginner 1

Instructor: Natsuko Llewellyn

Day: Wednesday
Start Time: 6:00-7:15pm

Description: Students will be introduced to concepts around working at a Japanese company – including introductions, a variety of basic situational cultural expressions and language, pronunciation, and the building blocks of starting to speak. Students are expected to have very little knowledge of the language. All materials provided.

Beginner 2

Instructor: Nanami Riedel

Day: Monday
Start Time: 7 - 8:15pm

Description: For students that have completed Beginner 1. Students will continue to learn Japanese in professional contexts such as working at a Japanese company – including exposure to a variety of basic situational and cultural expressions forming the building blocks of speaking business Japanese. Students use Beginning Japanese for Professionals Book 1. All materials are provided.

Beginner 3

Instructor: Shoko Parker

Day: Wednesday
Time: 7-8:15pm

Description: For students that have completed Beginner 1 and 2. Students will continue to study concepts around working at a Japanese company – including a variety of situational cultural expressions and language, and the building blocks of starting to speak. Students will use both Beginning Japanese for Professionals Books 1 and 2. All materials provided.

Improver 2

Instructor: Shoko Parker

Day: Thursday
Time:  7-8:15pm

Description: This class follows from last term’s Improver 1. Students who attend can recognize and use basic verb forms - past, present continuous, present perfect,  –te form, and modals ( can, should, must, don’t have to, and so on). This term will be a review term of these previously-studied concepts. Class will use the textbook Beginning Japanese for Professionals Book 3 and supplementary materials. Materials will be provided.

Improver 6

Instructor: Natsuko Llewellyn

Day: Monday
Time: 6-7:15pm

Description: This class follows from last term’s Improver 5. Students who attend can recognize and use basic verb forms - past, present continuous, –te form, potential form, passive form, and modals (can, should, must, don’t have to, and so on) as well as polite expressions. This class will use the textbook Basic Japanese for Expats Book 2 (Lesson 17-18 after reviewing 15-16) plus supplementary review, expansion, and short reading materials provided by the teacher. Materials will be provided. Students should purchase the course text in advance.


Instructor: Ryoko Yamazaki

Day: Thursday
Time: 5:30-6:45pm

Description: This class uses an article on news/culture plus audio material each term. Students are expected to be able to verbally express ideas in a variety of tenses, strive for more complex sentence structures, and know a minimum of 500+ kanji. The class aims to enhance your understanding of more complex grammar and vocabulary, while also working on accuracy in an encouraging environment. All materials provided.


Nanami Riedel has taught Japanese culture and language courses for several years at Concordia University after receiving an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language.  After working as a translator and interpreter in Okinawa, she developed a passion for teaching to all ages and loves introducing students to cultural aspects of Japan. Riedel-sensei teaches Beginner 2.

Shoko Parker has taught Japanese language and culture at a public middle and high schools since 2003. She grew up in southern Kumamoto prefecture and went to a sister college of Portland Community College in Nagasaki. She earned a Master of Education and Special Education at Portland State University, and is certified as a reading specialist for various learners. Parker-sensei teaches Beginner 3 and Improver 2.

Natsuko Llewellyn has taught the Japanese language for more than 10 years in both Japan and the US including business Japanese at the Yamasa Institute; and has worked in business in both Kobe and Nagoya. Natsuko is currently completing her MA in Japanese at PSU. She holds certificates in teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, English as a Foreign Language, and a BA in European and American Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Llewellyn-sensei teaches Beginner 1 and Improver 6.

Ryoko Yamazaki holds a Master of Japanese Applied Linguistics from Waseda University, an MEd from PSU, and a BA in Literature also from Waseda. She has taught Japanese language at Waseda and Sumida International Learning Center in Tokyo, and Portland Japanese School and Lakeridge High School in Oregon. Yamazaki-sensei teaches the Intermediate level.

Refund Policy
Course will run with minimum 4 students signing up. If course does not run, 100% of fees refunded. Cancellation after April 13, no refund if your cancellation causes numbers to drop below 4 in total. 50% refund otherwise. Refund processed after classes start. We will communicate with you as sign-up windows close regarding number of sign-ups.

We understand business people sometimes have work commitments that cause them to miss class. Many students end up missing 1 or 2 classes because of work commitments. We price these classes affordably in order to take this into consideration. We do not give refunds because “work became busy”.

Japan-America Society of Oregon is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 221 NW 2nd Ave #202, Portland, OR 97209

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