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Language Classes

Language Classes
SCJ draws upon more than 40 years’ experience in helping students learn Japanese. Because SCJ enjoys the expertise not only of ICU academic staff members, but also instructors from other universities throughout Japan and abroad, the SCJ teaching staff is dynamic, vibrant and innovative.

There are eight levels of Japanese instruction on offer. The program runs for six weeks (Monday through Friday), with classes conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Afternoons are open for individual study, tutorials with teachers, and Culture Program events.

Daily Schedule
There are 26 lesson days in total, including the placement test.


Course Description
C1 (Basic level: CEFR A1)
An introductory course in Japanese, intended for students who have no previous knowledge of Japanese. The content of the course includes pronunciation, speaking skills, listening practice, and reading and writing. Upon completion of this course, students should have acquired essential grammar, a basic vocabulary, Hiragana, Katakana and approximately 100 basic kanji and be able to communicate in simple and practical everyday situations. The focus is on situations directly related to the student’s activities and surrounding environment.

PREREQUISITE: Those who have no knowledge of the Japanese script (Hiragana) should learn it as a prerequisite before joining the program by visiting ICU’s JLP website (http://subsite.icu.ac.jp/jlp/learningJapanese.html) .

C2 (Basic level: CEFR A2)
A continuation of C1 or the equivalent. Intended for students who have studied Japanese for around 100 hours and have mastered hiragana, katakana and approximately 100 kanji. Upon completion of this course, students should have further developed competency in the basic language and mastered a total of 250 kanji. The focus of situations is expanded to include the student’s contact with other people.

C3 (Basic level: CEFR A2)
A continuation of C2 or the equivalent. Upon completion, students should have acquired mastery of basic contemporary Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and a total of 400 kanji. With this foundation, students will be able to express themselves in both spoken and written forms at a level necessary for simple daily university student life.

C4 (Intermediate level: CEFR B1)
A continuation of C3 or the equivalent. This course is for students who have completed basic-level Japanese and have mastered the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It aims at achieving a smooth transition from Basic to Intermediate Japanese. Approximately 200 new kanji are introduced. At the end of the course, students will be able to communicate in basic Japanese incorporating a fundamental knowledge of culture. 

C5 (Intermediate level: CEFR B1)
A continuation of C4 or the equivalent. Develops the four language skills further, and trains students so that they can use Japanese to deal with practical matters in their academic as well as social life. Approximately 200 new kanji are introduced. Students will learn to read authentic materials with the help of a dictionary, and to express their opinions. 

C6 (Intermediate level: CEFR B1/B2)
A continuation of C5 or the equivalent. Aims at establishing a solid base for students to fully utilize Japanese in academic as well as in social contexts. Approximately 200 new kanji are introduced.

C7 (Advanced level: CEFR B2)
A continuation of C6 or the equivalent. Prepares students for attending courses taught in Japanese, doing assignments, and participating in discussions. 

C-Sp (Special Japanese)
This course caters for students who have learnt Japanese as a first language and/or heritage language - students who are thus proficient in oral communication but who need training in reading and writing in Japanese. Participants will develop competencies in kanji/vocabulary, reading, writing and speaking abilities appropriate for university students undertaking studies in Japan.

Placement in classes is determined by a multiple choice placement test conducted the day after registration. The majority of the instructions and problems are  administered in Japanese script. Students with no prior knowledge of Japanese or whose Japanese instruction has been  based primarily on a Romanized text are required to learn  kana and an appropriate number of kanji (as noted below) before the test. Students will also have an interview and a short essay test. SCJ makes every effort to place students in the course to which they are best suited. No change in placement may be made after the first week.

Academic Credit
At the end of the course, the SCJ office provides a Certificate of Completion detailing the grade attained and the number of classroom hours. It also states that the Summer Courses in Japanese are equivalent in content, teaching method, assessment and rigor to corresponding term time courses at ICU, which are assigned five academic units of credit. Students who have this certificate should not have problems transferring the grade attained in SCJ to their home academic institutions.

Note: Students must attend at least two-third of the total classes to receive this certificate.