SOAS University of London

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

Advanced Japanese: Contemporary Topics (PG)

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year


Intermediate Japanese 2 (Postgraduate) language level or equivalent

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The module provides students with higher intermediate knowledge of Japanese and practice in extensive reading as well as mediation skills of translating to and from Japanese/English texts. Resources will include near authentic to authentic materials dealing with current issues in the Japanese society. It allows students to interact with Japanese speakers in Japanese and to use original Japanese language sources within the level covered in the course. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Japanese language and the histories, societies and cultures associated with Japan.

At the end of the module, a student should be able to demonstrate . . .

  • knowledge and understanding of higher intermediate Japanese grammar
  • knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Japanese vocabulary
  • knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of a wide range of Japanese structures and expressions in a given context
  • the ability to understand passages in written Japanese of medium to increased length on everyday and some specialised topics
  • the ability to produce passages in written Japanese of medium length on everyday and some specialised topics
  • the ability to understand spoken Japanese and to engage in spoken discourse of increased complexity on everyday and some specialised topics
  • knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Japanese in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar.

Scope and syllabus

The module provides teaching and learning of higher intermediate level Japanese language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Japanese. It  covers complex points of word and sentence structure as well as textual relations in Japanese writing and discourse. Communicative practice and structural knowledge are established through reading and discussing a variety of Japanese texts dealing with different topics and of different length and complexity.

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%), a learning diary consisting of 4 written pieces to be submitted every 5 weeks (approx. 2000 Japanese characters) (20%); two 15 minute oral presentations (20%); a grammar and writing test in term 1 (10%).

Suggested reading

The module will be based on

  • Extracts from near authentic to authentic materials and additional materials which will be made available throughout the course.

Additional Japanese References:

Japanese Learning Resources:

  • 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,  
  • Newspapers (Asahi shinbun, Mainichi shinbun, Yomiuri shinbun)
  • Makino, S. and M, Tsutsui(1995), A dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar, The Japan Times

Kanji Dictionary

  • J.Halpern (1990), Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, The Kodansha


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules