Tohoku University’s Japanese language courses can be divided into two programs: the liberal education program and the Japanese language training program.
1. Liberal education program
Tohoku University offers advanced level and beginner to early-intermediate level Japanese language courses as part of its liberal education curricula, targeting international students who are working on their bachelor’s degrees.
– Advanced courses: These courses are targeted at international students who are obtaining their normal bachelor’s degree in Japanese. The courses are designed to help students acquire the Japanese language skills required for studying at university, such as academic and technical reading and writing.
– Beginner to early-intermediate courses: These courses are targeted at international students studying in the Future Global Leadership (FGL) Program, in which their normal courses for their bachelor’s degrees are offered in English. These courses are designed to help students comprehensively learn the four skills required for everyday communication (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
2. Japanese language training program
The Japanese language training program is provided to international students and researchers at the university who do not fit the criteria for the Japanese language courses in the liberal education program described above. This program can be divided into three sub-programs, as below.
1) Japanese language program for international students and researchers at the university
The ‘General course for International Students’ offers a variety of Japanese language and culture exercise classes in six different levels from beginner to advanced in order to support the Japanese learning and smooth adaptation into Japanese society for international students and researchers at the university. In addition, about 30 “International Co-learning Classes”, joint classes for general education at the university and for the students of the intermediate/advanced courses of this program, are offered each year to enable international and Japanese students to learn independently through exchanging ideas and performing group work together. A “Special Lecture Series on Japanese Culture” is also given five times a year so that students can experience and learn traditional Japanese culture including kado (Japanese flower arrangement), sado (the Japanese tea ceremony), the making of wagashi (Japanese sweets), and the playing of wadaiko (Japanese drums).
2) Education program for international students on the MEXT scholarship
The education program for international students on the MEXT scholarship can be divided into two sub-programs. One is the “Intensive Japanese Language Program”, which provides short-term intensive Japanese language education for students who will enter graduate school, and participants in the Teacher Training Program at Tohoku University or neighboring universities. The other is the “Japanese Language and Culture Study Program,” which accepts students majoring in Japanese language and culture at universities in their home countries and provides them with one year of education and training to gain a deeper understanding of the Japanese language, culture, and society.
3) Japanese language classes for Short-Term Exchange Programs
Tohoku University offers several short-term (one-year or six-month) exchange programs such as the Junior Year Program in English (JYPE) and the International Program in Liberal Arts (IPLA). A lot of international students from overseas partner institutions participate in these programs. We plan and operate Japanese language classes for these programs.