Annual Schedule

We will offer regular courses during the winter, spring and fall terms.

The level used for JF Nihongo

JF Nihongo courses are designed in accordance with the Japan Foundation's JF Standard.  It utilizes a framework of levels of Japanese language proficiency divided into six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2) as detailed below.  Click to view enlarged diagram. To learn more about JF Standard, see the link: JF Standard.


Regular Courses

Our regular courses (Everyday Japanese 1, 2 and 3) are all entry-level and are designed to help learners to develop a strong foundation in the language.  This series focuses on learning useful Japanese for communication in Japanese within daily life situations.

For detailed information about each course, see Course Listing.

course flow


For absolute beginners:

Start with Everyday Japanese 1 followed by Everyday Japanese 2 and 3 (Example 1).

Students are encouraged to go at their own pace and retake courses to reinforce and master concepts (Example 2).

For those who have learned Japanese before:

Start with the course matching to your proficiency. (Example 3)
Please choose your course by reading the course descriptions and taking the self-assessment test, which is downloadable from the website.  Try the self-assessment tests and self-check lists for several different levels if you are not sure.

For detailed information about each course, see Course Listing.


We offer one day workshops throughout the year where you can learn Japanese by experiencing cultural activities, or focusing on a special topic related to Japanese language, such as Japanese for Travel, or Exploring Kanji & Calligraphy.


We offer events related to Japanese language as well.  As a fun and informative conversation cafe, JF Nihongo Tea Time is where you can experience the Japanese language with native Japanese speakers.   You will enjoy Japanese tea, soft drinks, and snacks while you chat with some new friends.  It is a good opportunity for both beginners and advanced learners.


About Our Instructors


JF Nihongo instructors are professional, native speakers of Japanese, very active and friendly.

Yuka Kitazono

“Hi Mina san (Everyone), I am very lucky to be a Japanese teacher at JFLA.  Our students come from a variety of different backgrounds and range in age between 20 to 70 . Most importantly, they are all fun people and love learning Japanese.  We are looking forward to seeing you soon!!”

Kitazono was born in Tokyo, Japan and holds a degree in Linguistics and East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s Degree in Japanese Pedagogy from Columbia University. She has more than 20 years’ experience in teaching Japanese to various age groups and Japanese language levels at high schools and colleges in Los Angeles.  She also had a business career in Japan so she knows the customs and culture of Japanese companies that helps her in teaching business Japanese.

Yumi Masui Reker

"Minasan, konnichiwa! (Hi, everyone!) I'm excited to share with you Japanese language and culture and to learn from you about yours. Through our exchange, I hope we can broaden our view of the world. Let's enjoy the journey of learning Japanese together!"

Yumi Masui Reker was born in Kanagawa, Japan and earned her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America. She completed her master's degree in Japanese Linguistics and Pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Before joining JFLA, she has taught Japanese courses including elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels as well as topical reading and discussion courses at universities including New York University, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Beloit College.

Mamiko Konno

Hajimemashite (Nice to meet you)! I am very happy and excited to join the JFLA team.  My main teaching concept is “learning with fun”.  I hope you will have fun while learning Japanese in my class. Let’s practice and learn Japanese together!

Mamiko Konno was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Linguistics from University of Hawaii.
She lived in Hawaii for over 25 years and recently moved to Los Angeles. Before joining JFLA, she taught Japanese courses at various community colleges as well as at a private language institution for adults.

Ryoko Nishijima

Hello! Konnichiwa everyone! I am very excited to teach our Japanese course at JFLA. I hope that each one of you can have fun studying Japanese at your own pace while getting to know more about the language and culture. I look forward to seeing you in class!”

Ryoko Nishijima was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan – a city in Western Japan where you can find (what she believes to be) the best ramen in the country. She earned her PhD (’17) in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she studied the concept of “hospitality” in the Japanese tourism industry. As part of her research, she spent a year working at a tourist information center in Tokyo. She has taught elementary, intermediate, and advanced Japanese courses during her time at UCLA.