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SOAS Language Centre

Accelerated Beginners Japanese

Duration: One-year course with 3 terms, 10 weeks per term, 4 hours per week


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term of 10 weeks.

Over three terms the course provides a thorough introduction to Japanese including the Japanese writing systems hiragana あ い う (a, i, u) etc and katakana ア イ ウ (a, i, u) etc, pronunciation through listening and speaking, as well as 150 basic everyday kanji such as  木 (tree) 山 (mountain) 人 (person). 

Intended for absolute beginners, the course covers the grammar and vocabulary (about 800 words) required for spoken or written conversations like this one:

トム: けんさん、今一番欲しい物はなんですか。
けん: 時間です。週末ゴルフをして家に帰っても、またしたくなりますから。トムさんは。
トム: お金です。お金があったら、コースの後で日本を旅行したいです。

Tom:  Ken, what would you like to have most now?
Ken:  Time. Because when I play golf at the weekend and return home, I still want to do it again. What about you?
Tom:  Money. If I had money, I would like to travel in Japan.

This course is designed for learners who want to progress more quickly than the standard Beginners course and requires around five hours self-study per week. Students completing this course are able to transfer directly to Lower Intermediate 1 to continue learning Japanese.

The course is taught in English and Japanese and includes coverage of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and a balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar exercise. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive practice.


The course is taught in English and Japanese and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Japanese grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Japanese in speech and writing, guided practice in language usage and use and authentic communicative activities. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.



Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course. Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk

Language Centre How To Apply


You can view our short course timetables here.

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 33kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 107kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.