SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

J1: Elementary Japanese

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year
This course is taught over three terms. It is an integrated introduction to modern Japanese which aims to develop basic speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Japanese script is used from the start. By the end of this course, students should be able to handle most everyday situations.


No prior knowledge of Japanese is required. This course is only available to students on BA Japanese and BA Japanese and another subject degrees. It is not available as a floater option.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course aims to develop a solid elementary level of competence in both productive (speaking/writing) and receptive skills (reading/ listening) in Japanese. Besides the four skills mentioned above, acquiring mediation skills (translation to and from Japanese/English) and some knowledge of cultural issues in relation to uses of the language also form part of the course requirements. At the end of the course, students should be able to handle basic materials in Japanese and produce fundamental Japanese.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 10 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination, one two-hour written examination taken in May/June (58%), one-hour language skills test (12%); continuous assessment (30%).

Suggested reading

The reading list for this course will be made available from the convenor at the beginning of the course.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules