SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Advanced Japanese: Contemporary Topics

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year


Intermediate Japanese (or equivalent).


Please note that on line registration alone will not give you an automatic right to attend the module. Please read the PDF for the procedure you need to follow to finalise your module choice. You can download the Registration form here.

Which level am I?

The following sample tests (1 to 4) are a reading comprehension of the final examination in each module. They should give you some ideas as to which module you will be taking.

  1. If you understand the sample test 1 with relative ease you will be ready to attend Basic Japanese 2.
  2. If you understand the sample test 2 with relative ease you will be ready to attend Intermediate Japanese 1.
  3. If you understand the sample test 3 with relative ease you will be ready to attend Intermediate Japanese 2.
  4. If you understand the sample test 4 with relative ease you will be ready to attend Advanced Japanese; Contemporary Texts (previously called Intermediate Japanese 3).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The module will follow Intermediate Japanese and develop to the level required by the module Advanced Japanese. It aims to develop higher intermediate level of competence in both productive (speaking/writing) and receptive skills (reading/ listening) in the target language. Besides the four skills mentioned above, mediation skills (translation to and from Japanese/English) will also form part of the module requirements. At the end of the module students should be able to handle authentic materials and express their opinions on the topics assigned with relative fluency and ease, and should have deepened their understanding of the Japanese society and its people.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

The module is designed to bridge two existing modules: Intermediate Japanese and Advanced Practical Japanese.  It will be taught in Japanese. Whereas Intermediate Japanese concentrates more on the development of the intermediate level of grammar and vocabulary, Higher Intermediate Japanese focuses on content, and provides practice in extensive reading. Students are also expected to participate in a discussion in Japanese for each topic assigned. Resources will include authentic materials dealing with current issues in Japanese society.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination (70%), one oral (5-7 minutes – 10%); and two end-of-term reading comprehension and translation tests (20%).

Suggested reading

There is no recommended reading list but students will be referred to the following materials, which will be provided by the department when necessary: 

  • Asahi shinbun ronsetsu iinkai , Tensei jingo, Asahi shinbun sha M.Kaya and A Tsuda (1994), 
  • Nihon o kangaeru itsutsu no kadai, Suri e nettowaku, H.Ito, Y.Mimaki etc. (1990), 
  • Asahishinbun de nihon o yomu, Kuroshio shuppan M.Kaya (1998), 
  • Nihonshakai Tanken, Suri e nettowaku, S.Anodo tec, Topikku ni yoru nihongo sougo enshu, Suri e nettowaku, 
  • Akira Miura & Yasuko Ito Watt (2001), Nihon o shirou: People who played important roles in Japan's Modernization. ALC
Reference books (grammar) 
  • Makino, S. and M, Tsutsui(1995), A dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar
  • The Japan Times Kanji Dictionary


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules