top of page

​American English Academy


Eric and Satoko Swanson, originally from Grants Pass, Oregon, U.S.A., and Kurume City, started Best English Academy in April 2000, and since that time have taught over 1,000 students ranging  in age from 4 to 82. In January 2014, the name of the school was changed to American English Academy.

Eric grew up in Karatsu (Saga Prefecture) and has lived in Japan for about 40 years. After graduating from the University of Oregon, he returned to Japan and has been teaching English in Fukuoka and Saga Prefectures for over 30 years. Eric and Satoko have two sons, Joshua and Jeremy.

* FAMILY DISCOUNT  (¥2,000 off each additional family member)  
* DISCOUNT ON SECOND WEEKLY LESSON (¥2,000 discount for kindergarten to university students, ¥4,000 discount for adult students)
* FREE LIBRARY available with over 1,000 English books (all levels)
* SMALL CLASS SIZES (average 5 students per class)
* LESSONS FOR ALL LEVELS: beginner to advanced
* MISSED LESSONS can be MADE-UP on another day
* FREE HOT OR COLD DRINKS offered in every adult class
* WAITING ROOM available (free hot or cold drinks for waiting parents)
* Only a one-minute walk from Itoshima High School Station
* MORNING, AFTERNOON, and EVENING classes available, Tues.-Sat.
* Textbook Fee:  about ¥5,000/year (includes all classroom materials)
* Kindergarten through High School classes are typically 55 minutes
* University and Adult classes are normally 75 minutes
* Over 1000 students since April 2000 (students come from as far as 
  Karatsu (to the west) and Sawara-Ku (to the east)
Kindergarten to University: ¥6,000/month  (once a week)
                                       ¥10,000/month   (twice a week)
Adult :  ¥10,000/month  (once a week)   ¥16,000/month  (twice a week)
Private Lessons: ¥16,000/month (60 minutes, once a week)
Recommended for busy adults: 
* Flexible hours (you can choose several time slots: come when you can!)
* Customized/specialized curriculum (beginner to advanced)
* Short-term "polish-up" course offered (12 lessons, can be taken over 6 months)
   This course costs only ¥50,000 (one-time fee), including all copied course-       work; textbooks are optional and can be purchased (if desired)  
* Free first lesson and consultation
* During the past 20 years, we have helped over 300 professionals attain
   their English-related goals and to improve their English-speaking skills.
  Medical Profession: doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics...
  Legal Profession: lawyers, court officers...
  Teaching Profession: kindergarten to high school teachers, professors...
  Government: public servants (City Hall staff, etc.), police officers,  
   Japan Coast Guard officers, Self-Defense Force officers...
  Business: businesspersons, secretaries, receptionists, clerks, accountants,  
   bank tellers, managers, post office clerks...
  Travel & Tour Industry: tour guides, hotel staff, bus or taxi drivers, 
   train or bus station officials, travel agents, airport staff, flight attendants ...,
  Other: athletes, entertainers (dancers, actors, actresses, singers, etc.), caddies...  

         Our PURPOSE at American English Academy

Our goal at AMERICAN ENGLISH ACADEMY is to make every lesson interactive, interesting, meaningful, comprehensive, and useful for each English student. We use only English in the classroom and discourage the usage of Japanese during the lesson. Class sizes are kept small to give each student sufficient opportunities to communicate in a more personal and effective learning environment. We strive to help each student achieve their English-related dreams and goals, and to personally assist each one in mastering the international language, to become confident in speaking in various situations, and to achieve true fluency in English.







Classes (various levels) are available for children and students of all ages between Tuesdays

and Saturdays. Please ask about specific times.


 Adult morning and evening classes are available.

To find the right class for you or your child, we invite you to visit any class free of charge.


Please call 092-324-8081 for more information.



T. T. attended weekly lessons for 11 years, won in the Itoshima area Junior High School English speech contest (free division) in 2006, scored 750 points on the TOEIC test while he was in the first year of high school at Shuyukan, and passed the entrance exam for Tokyo University in 2011, where he majored in engineering. 

Here is what he wrote in the spring of 2011:

  "Last month I passed the exam of the University of Tokyo. I can never thank you enough. I learned not only English but also about the great culture of the U.S. in your lessons. I enjoyed your class very much and couldn't wait to go to the class and talk with you and my classmates."


K. Y.  attended A.E.A. for 12 years, also winning the Itoshima area speech contest in his second year of junior high school, and getting top grades in English in junior high and high school (Jonan H.S.). He was accepted into the highly acclaimed All-English program at Fukuoka's Seinan University in 2012. He now owns his own I.T. company in Tokyo and often conducts business in English.

R. Y.  has come twice a week to A.E.A. since first grade, and was the grand champion of the 2013 Itoshima area English speech contest as a first-year junior high student. She passed the Pre-2nd grade of the Eiken when she was in the sixth grade and the 2nd grade of the Eiken as a second year junior high student (spring 2015). After graduating from Seinan High School in 2019, she enrolled at 

Fukuoka Women's University and is majoring in Environmental Science. She hopes to study abroad in the near future.

M. T.  attended weekly lessons at A.E.A. for 12 years, excelled in her English classes at school and in the Eiken, won the Kyushu High School English Debate Competition as a second year student at Shuyukan High School, and then came in second place in Japan among all high school students. She received an invitation to attend Waseda University in 2014 (without taking the entrance exam). 

Y. T.  attended lessons twice a week at A.E.A. for 9 years (over 800 lessons), until she graduated from Waseda-Saga High School (in Karatsu) in 2018. She also received an invitation to attend Waseda University. She hopes to become an announcer in the future.

I. T.  has been our longest and most faithful student, having attended over 1,000 lessons since he was 5 years old. He now attends Shuyukan High School and hopes to become a doctor in the future. He has been attending advanced adult classes at A.E.A. 2 or 3 times a week since 8th grade (2nd year of junior high), has passed the Pre-1st Eiken, and speaks English like a native speaker!

M. K.  studied privately at A.E.A. for about 8 years from 5th grade until  graduating from Futaba High School in 2019. She is one of only two high school students to pass the 1st grade of the Eiken while studying at A.E.A. She also scored over 90 in the TOEFL and was able to enroll in the nationally-acclaimed all-English course at Kyushu University in the spring of 2019.

W. S.  attended weekly lessons at A.E.A. for 10 years until graduating from Shuyukan High School in 2019. He always excelled in English throughout junior high and high school, and is now studying engineering at  Kyoto University.




Since 2000, at least forty of our students, many of whom have come to two lessons a week, have won prizes (about ten have been grand champion) in the annual Itoshima area Junior High speech contest. More than fifty junior high students have passed Pre-2nd grade or 2nd grade of the "Eiken" test, and four have passed Pre-1st before entering high school. Two of our high school students have passed grade 1 of the Eiken. Over 100 of our elementary school students have passed the lower levels (grades 4 or 5) of the Eiken, while about thirty 5th or 6th grade elementary school students have passed the 3rd grade, seven have passed Pre-2nd, and four have passed 2nd grade. 


Most of our junior high and high school students, who have come for 8 years or longer, consistently receive the highest marks in English at school, and over 90% have been able to enter the university of their (first) choice. For example, one attended Tokyo University, one attends Kyoto University, six were/are students at Waseda University (two of those students have become local junior high school English teachers), and at least ten A.E.A. students have entered Kyushu University. Many of our previous students have studied or worked abroad as well.

bottom of page