SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Japanese Beginners Course

Duration: 3 terms, 10 weeks per term. Each term courses are subject to quorum requirements.

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

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

The course introduces basic grammatical forms and essential frequent vocabulary and establishes a solid foundation in all four key language skills. Participants on the course will have opportunities to practise communicating in Japanese in class on daily topics, such as routines and activities, hobbies and habits, etc. The course provides complete beginners of Japanese with a  basic grounding in in Japanese pronunciation and in the Hiragana and Katakana syllabaries. By the end of the course, participants are expected to be able to and read and write short simple texts in the appropriate script.

Students who complete this course are able to progress to Japanese Elementary, or A1 level in Common European Framework (for more details please see  CEFR Language Level Specifications (pdf; 116kb)  ).


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.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page.


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

Entry Requirements and Progression Route

For the first stage of Japanese Beginners (i.e. Japanese Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours per each sub-level). The progression route from Japanese Beginners 1 is to Japanese Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3. Upon successful completion of Japanese Beginners 3 you will be able to progress to an Elementary level course in Japanese.

Japanese Beginners 1 is scheduled as part of our courses starting October 2021:

Related Information

See more information on the Japanese language and courses in Japanese offered at SOAS Language Centre on the Japanese Language Homepage.

Back to Language Centre Homepage