Disclaimer: I like Yamasa, and (based on these few days I’ve been here) I will come back if I have the chance. Still, this website wouldn’t be useful if it didn’t talk also about the few bad things I encounter here. Here is one of them, and I’m not writing this post to complain, but because I was looking for posts like this while choosing my electives and couldn’t find anything.
Read books you are interested in at your own pace. Let’s give it a try after listening to the advice of those in class who have already read the book. Students will be reading easy-to-understand books without using the dictionary. After reading the book, you will then give a review to your fellow classmates and exchange opinions. New grammar is not taught in this class.
This is the description of the “Reading and Listening” elective that Yamasa gave me… I interpreted it as something much more fun than it actually was. I thought it was some kind of book club, and that we would have been given books to read from week to week and then made some little presentation of what we read, or told the other students if we enjoyed the book and why.
Reality was quite different: in this elective you just quietly read one of the book Yamasa gives you for about an hour, then write how many pages did you read (and any comment you have) in a table (which I think you just keep as a personal record). Then the book goes back to the library (I suppose, I didn’t check).
I like the fact that Yamasa encourages extensive reading, but I prefer to buy a book and read it at home than reading it at school one hour a week… especially if in that hour I could be doing something that uses more interaction with a teacher.
So, unless you are looking just for some quite time, I think you should be careful while choosing this elective (I’ll give this same feedback to Yamasa once I’m gone, and maybe one day they’ll change how this elective is made… so if you’re really interested just be sure to ask them exactly how this elective works).
I’ve asked to change elective and take “Pronunciation” instead of “Reading and Listening”, and Yamasa was very quick to answer me: I’ll be able to take the Pronunciation elective starting a few weeks from now (max number of students is 10, so I have to wait for one of them to leave). They handled this really well and I haven’t any complaint… I just wish I knew more about this in advance, since I could probably have gotten into the “Pronunciation” class from the beginning.
This September I’ll tell you how the pronunciation class is!