Japanese: Beginners - Part 1


This 10-week course is for complete beginners in the language and those who have acquired some expressions informally through travel or socialising. It is pitched at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and completion of the course will help you meet some of the level requirements.

To help develop your fluency in the language, the course will focus primarily on speaking and listening skills, but will also include practice in reading and writing. You will have plenty of opportunities to practise the target language through hands-on collaborative class activities such as conversations and role-plays.

Programme details

Course starts: 26 Sept 2023

Our public programme is open access, and most adult language classes are mixed ability. The weekly course schedule below is intended to give an overview of the main topics likely to be covered in each session. Please note that these may sometimes change according to the tutor’s discretion to reflect the interests of course participants.

Week 1: Introduction to the course; greetings; introductions

Week 2: Writing systems (hiragana, katakana and kanji); numbers; countries

Week 3: Personal belongings; expressing gratitude

Week 4: Asking for/giving telephone numbers

Week 5: Telling the time; the concept of uchi vs soto; the Japanese family

Week 6: Shopping 1: manners – dos and don'ts in daily life

Week 7: Shopping 2: traditional and modern culture

Week 8: Placing an order at a restaurant: food and drink

Week 9: Asking for the location of a facility; geography

Week 10: Class choice: revision, film, anime, song, language game, etc.

Key grammar points:

* The basic sentence structure

* Basic word order

* Interrogatives

* Pronouns

Key functions:

* Introducing oneself and others

* Describing the family

* Asking for and providing basic information

* Using numbers to give the time, exchange telephone numbers and shopping

* Asking for and giving simple directions


Students who attend a minimum of 70% of classes will receive a Certificate of Attendance.


Description Costs
Course Fee £251.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Ms Rie Wakayama

An Oxford local, Rie is a qualified and very experienced Japanese language teacher. She has taught Japanese to adults for many years and also GCSE and A-Level syllabuses to children at local private schools. In her spare time, Rie loves Japanese cooking.

Course aims

To enable participants to communicate at a very basic level with speakers of the target language in a limited range of practical, real-life settings.

Course objectives:

  • To help students develop the language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing for very basic routine communication in the target language.
  • To enable students to use a range of high frequency vocabulary and grammar structures for very basic routine interaction in the target language.
  • To equip students with an initial appreciation of the culture and civilisation of the country (or countries) in which the target language is spoken.

Teaching methods

You will learn through a communicative teaching approach with the emphasis on actively engaging in classroom activities in the target language. These are likely to include role-plays, pair- and small group-work, and conversational practice conducted in a supportive, friendly and informal learning environment.

The course has been structured to help you primarily to develop your speaking and listening skills and to gradually gain an insight into the culture and daily life of your target language. You will also learn and practise new grammatical structures in a communicative context and will be encouraged to develop your reading and writing skills in your own time.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • use very simple phrases and utterances to provide basic personal information, such as name, address, family members and nationality;
  • interact in a simple way using a very basic range of language in routine everyday contexts;
  • understand the gist of very short, simple written texts and audio/video excerpts containing the highest frequency vocabulary items and basic grammar structures;
  • produce simple phrases and very short texts using basic structures and vocabulary items.

Assessment methods

You will be set short, optional assignments to consolidate your learning and to allow you to progress at your own pace.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands