Japanese Language Volunteers

At the SenTIA, Japanese volunteers support foreigners with their Japanese language study. Foreign nationals that would like to learn Japanese fill out an application form, and will then be introduced to a Japanese volunteer that matches their study time and place requirements. Japanese is mainly used during the lesson and the learner and volunteer study one on one.

Contents of Activities

  1. Japanese study support (encouraging the learner to do it by themselves with confidence)
  2. Submitting a report (after the lessons are finished volunteers will be required to submit a report)
  3. Participating in training workshops etc. (at SenTIA we hold workshops several times a year for volunteers)


  • Those who have completed more than 7 Japanese volunteer training courses that we host
  • Those who have completed at least 50 hours or more of the Japanese volunteer training course implemented at local international organizations throughout the country. *Local international organizations refer to international associations in each prefecture and town in Japan
  • Those who have taken at least 50 hours of training courses at a private Japanese teacher training institute (or people who are currently in the middle of a 420 hour course and have completed approximately 100 hours of it so far)
  • Those who have completed a correspondence Japanese teacher training course implemented by the Ministry of Labor
  • Those who have passed the Japanese language teaching competency test (JEES)
  • People who have gained credits for Japanese education at University or Graduate School, or people who are in the middle of this study and have gained more than half of their credits

*This is limited to those that take place within Sendai City

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do lessons begin?


  • Once Japanese learners have completed an application, SenTIA will look for a volunteer that matches your request and will contact the learner(Several times a year the registered volunteers are sent a list of people that wish to learn Japanese, and the volunteers find learners who match them)
  • Decide on a date and meet up with the learner
  • If there are no problems the lessons can then begin

Q2. Where do the lessons usually take place?

A2. Many people have their lessons at Sendai International Center, or at public facilities, or cafes etc.

Q3. What type of people usually take the lessons?

A3. Most are international exchange students or their family members, and English language teachers etc. The majority of the students are from China and Korea

Q4. Who pays for lesson expenses?

A4. Generally, the learner pays for the expenses incurred through lessons. The cost of the volunteer’s transport and basic textbooks etc. will be decided upon when the learner is matched up with the volunteer. If there is going to be expenses for things like copies, please let the learner know in advance, e.g. the cost of transport for the volunteer, textbooks, copies etc.

Number of Registered Volunteers:

197 (as of October 2010)

Voice of current volunteer…

Although I had taken a course beforehand, I was unsure whether I would be able to give a Japanese lesson to someone who I couldn’t communicate with well in the language. Then SenTIA contacted me and found someone who matched me well. At the beginning we decided on the place and the content of the lesson so I felt a little more relaxed and we got off to a good start. During the lessons, I not only helped with Japanese study, but I also taught them a lot about Japanese culture. The learner also taught me a lot about their own culture and I am much more knowledgeable about various countries now. I think of teaching Japanese as a multicultural exchange and so the lessons continue to be enjoyable for me.