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School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

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The Language Centre

Tel: 020 7898 4888
Fax: 020 7898 4889
E-mail: languages@soas.ac.uk
Website: www.soas.ac.uk/languagecentre

The Language Centre offers full-time, part-time/evening courses and individual tuition in Japanese from beginners to advanced level. Courses are also provided for those preparing to take the Language Proficiency Tests at all levels. The DEA oversees the Japanese language courses taught in the Language Centre. The Language Centre also offers a Diploma/Certificate in Modern Japanese (previously known as a Diploma in Japanese for Business and International Affairs).

This course is full-time and consists of three terms designed to be taken over one year (from September to August). Terms one and two have 180 contact hours each and term three has 240 contact hours making a total of 600 hours' tuition in groups of five to ten people. The textbooks used are Minna no Nihongo I and II (Certificate) and Chuukyuu kara Manabu Nihongo (Diploma) . Students are required to learn hiragana and katakana before starting the course using Japanese Kana Workbook.

They then study about 600 kanji by the end of the Certificate, and 1,000 kanji by the end of the Diploma. Assessment is 30% by continuous assessment and 70% by end-of-term examination. In addition there is a range of part-time courses on offer at the Language Centre. A complete list of courses follows:

- 'Japanese Kanji and Kana Evening Class' - 500 kanji revision
- °∆Starting Japanese' - beginners without the knowledge of kana
- °∆Japanese for Beginners' - beginners with the knowledge of kana
-°∆Continuing Japanese I' - students with some basic knowledge. Start learning kanji. JLPT Level 4 standard
- °∆Continuing Japanese II' - just below JLPT Level 3 standard. End of the beginners level
- °∆Lower Intermediate Japanese' - consolidation of elementary language
- °∆Intermediate Japanese' - introduction of authentic materials
- °∆Upper Intermediate Japanese' - exposure to a variety of Japanese sources
- °∆Lower Advanced Japanese' - pre-JLPT Level 2 (Level 2 grammar structure plus authentic materials)
- °∆Advanced Japanese' - post-JLPT Level 2 (use of authentic materials, listening and reading comprehension)
- °∆Higher Advanced Japanese' - practice taigu-hyogen (all from authentic sources, listening and reading comprehension)
- Individual tuition - various levels, specialised Japanese, can be part-time or intensive. Also in company.
- Easter and Summer Intensive courses - beginners levels only, one or two weeks

The Language Centre is one of the organisers of the annual Sir Peter Parker Speech Contest. It recruits candidates, selects judges (mainly from BATJ members) and supplies an interlocutor. Screening candidates for the final day is carried out by Yoshiko Jones of the Language Centre by interviewing on the telephone and the actual speech contest is held in the Brunei Building . The Language Centre is responsible for the whole day of the Speech contest. Candidates can download application forms for the contest from the Language Centre website or contact Yoshiko Jones, e-mail: yj1@soas.ac.uk . The Language Centre also has its own Resource Centre providing students with access to satellite television, computer-aided language-learning and newspapers.

Staff within the Language Centre
Ms Sawako Irie

BA (Seisen); MA (Sheffield); MPhil (SOAS)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Mr Kentaro Iwata

BA (Eichi); MA (Durham)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Ms Yoshiko Jones

BA (Sophia); MA (London)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher & Teacher Training Course Co-ordinator (part-time)

Ms Sachi O'Brien

BA (Rikkyo)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Mr Shinichiro Okajima

BA (Westminster); MPhil/PhD (SOAS)

Ms Junko Okumiya

BA (London)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Ms Mariko Skorupski

BA (Aoyama Gakuin)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher

Ms Mizue Takahashi

BA ( Tokyo Metropolitan)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Ms Asako Takamatsu

BA (Seinan Gakuin); MA( Christ Church College )
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

Mr Tomohisa Yamada

BA (Hokkaigakuen); MA (London)
Subject Specialisation: Teacher (freelance)

The Japan Research Centre (JRC)

Professor Tim Screech Chair
Ms Jane Savory Executive Officer
Tel: 020 7898 4210
Fax: 020 7898 4209
E-mail: jrc@soas.ac.uk

The JRC brings together the Japan-related staff in the Japan and Korea department with other Japan specialists who are based in various departments throughout SOAS to co-ordinate seminars, workshops and other special activities with a Japan link. The JRC publishes the JRC news in October and January, seminars are held weekly throughout term time and there is the Tsuda Annual lecture in February. The JRC also offers PhD studentships sponsored by Kayoko Tsuda. The JRC acts as a host to Academic Visitors (primarily from Japan ) for varying periods of time to conduct research.

The Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions (CSJR)

Dr. Lucia Dolce, Chair
Dr John Breen, Professor Brian Bocking Executive
Fax: 020 7898 4239
E-mail: ld16@soas.ac.uk
Website: www. soas.ac.uk/academics/centres/csjr/

The Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions (CSJR) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London , functions as a centre for scholars and students of Japanese Religion in Europe , promoting the academic study of Japanese religion in all its diversity and through the deployment of multiple methodologies. The Centre has a rich programme of research-related activities that take place throughout the entire academic year, including the weekly CSJR Seminar series, a monthly Japanese Religions Forum for postgraduate students, and annual international conferences and workshops. It also hosts events such as films, concert and exhibitions related to Japanese religions, which are open to the general public with an interest in the religious experience of Japan .

The Centre sponsors the MA Japanese Religions at SOAS, and has supported research studentships and post-doctoral fellowships. It is currently offering bursaries at MA and PhD levels.

Further information on of the Centre activities, and on books, exhibitions and conferences related to Japanese religions may be accessed from the CSJR Newsletter , published twice yearly, and available on the CSJR webpage:

Japan Societies/Club Activities

In SOAS there are currently a Japan Society, a Japanese Music Society and an Anime Society all organised by students. Links can be found from the Students' Union web-page: http://www.soasunion.org/display/soas/Your+Societies+pages

Future Developments

In future, SOAS generally hopes to attract more students on the various postgraduate courses now under offer, both taught and research degrees.


There is an acute shortage of funds to keep up a research library in Japanese across so many different fields. There is also a lack of funding for PhD students.

Additional Information

Japanese and Law was offered as a degree until 1997 but has since ceased owing to the departure of Dr Frank Bennett.

Address Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
Telephone 020 7898 4207 Fax 020 7898 4399 School E-mail address languagesandcultures
Website http://www.soas.ac.uk/