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Japanese Language Courses

A Collaboration of Japanese Language Experts

The Japanese Language Institute (JLI) supports international students in every aspect regarding Japanese language acquisition. There are two major missions about Japanese language education for the JLI: to build communicative ability for students' daily lives, and to prepare them with the business level proficiency required for entering the Japanese workforce. With these goals in mind, the JLI has established a series of tiers to TIU's Japanese language education to ensure that each student is enrolled in the level that is most suited to their individual needs. Currently, there are roughly 20 instructors within the JLI that allows TIU to maintain a small classroom size, as well as catered one-on-one advisory after class when students have free time. It brings us great joy to work together with international students to keep them motivated to study Japanese and eventually make it a common language for life.

Words from the Director


Yasuhiko Sukegawa | Director of the Japanese Language Institute and Professor of Linguistics

I began my higher education at Sophia University in the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, majoring in Portuguese for my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. I then pursued my Ph.D. at Tohoku University. My primary focus of study was on English, Portuguese, and Indonesian languages, as well as Linguistics and Phonetics. I am particularly interested in the wide variety of pronunciations in languages throughout the world. I feel that a thorough understanding of phonetics plays a key role when teaching Japanese.

Communication with Japanese people, especially story sharing and other deep levels of interaction, is essential for international students to live a meaningful life in Japan. For this reason, I encourage our students to pursue their study of the Japanese language to the utmost of their ability in order to deliver a new meaning to their lives here in Japan. This continuously inspires me, and I believe the rest of the JLI as well, to continue pushing the standards higher and higher, with a focus on refining communicative ability that is practical and meaningful to their lives.

TIU has many international students who aim for the stars with their Japanese education, and likewise there are some who choose to focus on their English studies in order to pursue a job in English-speaking society in the future. Since study goals differ from student to student, TIU has created its curriculum with this aspect in mind to help students reach their individual goals. For instance, the JLI is designing its intermediate and advanced Japanese courses to help students who wish to pursue a very high level of Japanese proficiency in the limited time they have during their undergrad. If students wish to pass the JLPT N1 examination, we support them with guidance about exactly what they should be studying, as well as how to manage their studies in a self-directed manner to reach this goal.

Of course, providing an excellent quality of Japanese courses is an essential aspect of the JLI's role at TIU, however "students who truly succeed" are one in the same as "students who discover their own way to learn, and put it to practice". Therefore, the most important mission for the JLI is to guide students to make this discovery and become "self-directed scholars".



List of Japanese Courses

Elementary Japanese 1 (8 Credits) - Mandatory for students with little to no proficiency in Japanese
Learning objective:
To be able to understand basic expressions used in everyday life, and use them to take part in a simple conversation.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.

Elementary Japanese 2 (8 Credits) - Mandatory for students with little to no proficiency in Japanese
Learning objective:
To be able to understand expressions used in daily life, communicate simply and explain things around them in simple words.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.

Intermediate Japanese 1 (4 Credits)
Learning objective:
To be able to understand familiar societal topics, and deal with most situations. To be able to briefly express their own opinions and the reasons behind them.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to ask to open an account at a bank, provided that the procedure is straightforward.

Intermediate Japanese 2 (4 Credits)
Learning objective:
To be able to speak naturally about a wide variety of societal topics, and express his/her own opinions in a clear and detailed manner.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.

Advanced Japanese 1 (4 Credits)
Learning objective:
To be able to understand a broad variety of complex topics, and express him/herself using appropriate words for the situation. To be able to put together complex arguments.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to have a clear understanding when it is his/her turn to speak.

Advanced Japanese 2 (4 Credits)
Learning objective:
To be able to understand almost all topics, including abstract concepts, and be able to reconstruct arguments and accounts in a logical manner. To be able to express him/herself fluently and differentiate finer shades of meaning even in complex situations.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to deal with hostile questioning confidently.

Business Japanese (2 Credits)

Prerequisite: Advanced Japanese II

Learning objective:
To acquire the Japanese language skills necessary for a business environment.
Upper Advanced Japanese (2 Credits)

Prerequisite: Advanced Japanese II

Learning objective:
To become familiar with the high level language used in the N1 level Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Practical ability upon course completion:

Ex) Students will be able to scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic of text, reading almost as quickly as a native speaker.

* The descriptions within the chart above are derived from an average level of communicative ability that is expected of students in the corresponding Japanese courses at TIU. Use the information to develop an aim for the level of Japanese that you wish to complete, and build a study plan with this in mind. For students who wish to find a job in Japan, it is recommended that at least the Advanced level should be completed.