Newcomers to the land where anime rose to fame, living in Japan will and surely be a tough subject to get by for foreigners who do not know anything about the language. Some people may get by with learning the language by watching some episodes from TV shows and movies, while doing some self-imposed studying as one might expect. Despite that, how about the others who want to learn Japanese but don’t have the motivation to study the words they’ve heard in their favorite programs or songs?
Rikkyou Daigaku (立教大学) is one of the leading universities in Tokyo, together with University of Tokyo and Waseda University, and one of the leading universities that offer an outstanding liberal arts and research program, also offers a Japanese Language program in tokyo to foreigners who wants to study Japanese in Japan. CJLE, of the Center of Japanese Language Education in Rikkyo, have levels of Japanese learning ranging from J0, or for students who have no experience with learning the language, to J8, or for students who excel in the language that they can study and perform research in Japanese.
The students who wish to partake in the education program are required to take a placement test to determine their designated level before the start of the semester. The placement test, which examines the student’s grammar, reading, writing and speaking ability, places the student in the appropriate level that is based on the result of the placement test. The program emphasizes the ability to use the language properly, such as using the correct words appropriately, rather than their learning experience or how many words they remember. Hence, the student cannot take classes in any other level and is restricted to taking classes based on their level. If the student wishes to take higher level classes of Japanese, they must study hard for the next placement test for the following semester. The program also doesn’t offer classes exclusively for studying Kanji, however, students learn the Kanjis when new vocabularies are introduced in each class. Students then take a “Kanji Test” once every two weeks in class after studying 30 words assigned every week from the handouts given.
Japanese Language Education Program
The program offers 8 levels of Japanese language learning:
J0; the level for students who do not have a knowledge of basic Japanese, including hiragana and katakana, and wish to learn everyday Japanese expressions and vocabulary.
J1 & J1S; Students who can write hiragana/katakana and have limited knowledge of Japanese, or only know less than 500 words, can master basic conjugations of verbs and adjectives in this level.
J2& J2S; students who know a vocabulary of 500 words and have knowledge of basic conjugations and adjectives can take this level.
J3&J3S; Students who have mastered the first half of the fundamental sentence structure of Japanese and remember 1000 fundamental vocabulary can take this level.
J4; Students who have mastered the fundamental sentence structures and remember 2000 fundamental vocabulary who are able to communicate with friends and deal with well-known topics in Japanese are suited for this level.
J5; Students who can have an everyday situational conversation in Japanese are able to take this level.
J6; Designed for students with daily comprehension of Japanese that they can read a magazine or the newspaper with the help of a dictionary and can also write their opinions in appropriate Japanese.
J7; Designed for students who can express their opinions on certain topics in sophisticated Japanese.
J8; Designed for students who have mastered the language that they can perform research in Japanese.
However, note that Levels J0, J1, J1S, J2, J2S, J3, and J3S regarded as a set, and students must take all classes offered at these levels. Additionally, even though the contents of the J1, J2 and J3 classes and the J1S, J2S, and JS3 classes are the same, J1, J2, and J3 courses meet five times a week, while J0, J1S, J2S, and J3S courses meet three times a week.