SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

J1: Accelerated Elementary Japanese

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year
This 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 understand basic materials in Japanese. This course is only available to students on BA Japanese and BA Japanese and another subject degrees. It is not available as an open option.


Evidence of prior knowledge of Japanese. There will be a placement test at the beginning of the year. Please click the '2016 Welcome Letter' link on the right hand side on this page for more information.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course a student will be expected to have:

  1. knowledge and understanding of elementary Japanese grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of a basic range of Japanese vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of a limited range of Japanese structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand and to produce passages written in Japanese of short length on everyday situations
  5. the ability to understand spoken Japanese and to engage in basic spoken discourse on everyday
  6. the ability to translate from and to Japanese of short length with use of appropriate language on everyday


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 7 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

This course is designed for students who have some prior knowledge of Japanese language. It is an integrated introduction to modern Japanese which aims to further develop basic speaking, listening, reading, writing and mediation (translation to and from Japanese/English) skills.

The course covers two to three chapters per week from the textbook 'Minna no Nihongo'.

Method of assessment

Two two-hour written examinations (58%), one one-hour practical examination (12%) taken in May/June ; continuous assessment consisting of regular assignments, oral tasks (speech and presentation etc.) and quizzes etc. (30%).

Suggested reading


  • Minna no Nihongo Shokyu Vol.1 & 2 Textbook [2nd version]
  • Minna no Nihongo Elementary Japanese Vol.1 & 2 [2nd version]: Translation & Grammar Notes-English
  • Supplementary materials: SOAS Workbooks

Welcome Week Procedure and Preparation

After enrolling school, on 26 September, please come to MB 4426 (on the 4th floor of the Main Building in Russell Square) between 10am and 1pm, in order to meet your language teachers and to get detailed information on the Welcome Week schedule including your first Academic Japanese Induction classes.

For more details, please click the '2016 Welcome Letter' link on the right hand side on this page for more information.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules