Language Centre

Japanese Upper-Intermediate Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

This course at SOAS Language Centre in London aims to provide a continuation for learners who have completed the Intermediate level (post Minna no Nihongo book 1 and 2), with knowledge of approximately 450+ kanji. Students will start using semi-authentic materials and work beyond sentence level to a variety of discourses in communicative Japanese.

Students completing this course are able to progress to Japanese Pre-Advanced, or B2/C1 level in Common European Framework. For more details please see language proficiency levels CEFR). This course is delivered by the Language Centre


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. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.


Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course.

Entry requirements and progression route

To be able to join Japanese Upper Intermediate 1 you should have completed a Japanese Intermediate course at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (approx. 240 hours). The progression route from Japanese Upper Intermediate 1 is to Japanese Upper Intermediate 2; from Upper Intermediate 2 to Japanese Upper Intermediate 3. Upon successful completion of Japanese Upper Intermediate 3 you will be able to progress to the Pre-Advanced level course in Japanese.

Please note, that each term, courses are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Japanese Upper-Intermediate 1

In this course you will:

  • read a descriptive text which consists of a couple of paragraphs
  • write a text consisting of a couple of paragraphs to express your own opinions on non-technical issues
  • express your own opinion on non-technical topics in a limited manner
  • understand instructions and simple public announcements
  • use similes
  • give examples
  • use various types of comparative expressions
  • read and write about 470 kanji

Japanese Upper-Intermediate 2

In this course you will:

  • read a few paragraphs of text dealing with familiar social issues
  • write a text that consists of a few paragraphs in a cohesive way
  • discuss non-technical issues
  • understand instructions and relatively simple public announcements
  • use conditionals in the way Japanese use them
  • express cause and reason
  • understand the differences of various modality expressions
  • read and write about 500 kanji

Japanese Upper-Intermediate 3

In this course you will:

  • read a longer text which deals with social issues
  • compose a text with a few paragraphs using appropriate connectives
  • discuss social issues with which students are familiar
  • understand instructions and short public announcement
  • use passive-causative constructions to express forced actions and emotions associated with them
  • understand the subtle differences of various modality expressions and use them appropriately
  • use honorific expressions, i.e., “keigo” with some confidence
  • read and write about 544 kanji

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class. 

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Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

See the full list of Language Centre short courses in Japanese on the Japanese language homepage

Related information

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