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3 Fields of Cultural Exchanges

Language[Japanese-Language Education Overseas]
Building Japanese-Language Education Infrastructure Overseas

We are implementing projects to enable people to engage in long-term study of Japanese, and to make it easier for teachers to teach Japanese. We are also developing original tools for teaching, learning, assessment methods. In addition, we are also working to produce textbooks, hold Japanese-Language Proficiency Tests, and carry out surveys and provide information relating to Japanese-language education, among other initiatives.

Development of teaching methods and production/provision of teaching/learning materials and educational tools

Publication of “Marugoto: Japanese-language and Culture”

"Marugoto: Japanese language and Culture" is a course book that is primarily targeted at overseas adult learners of Japanese. The book incorporates content and learning methods that allow learners to learn about Japanese language and culture in an enjoyable way. In fiscal 2015, we held seminars introducing how to use the course books and produced supplementary materials suitable for each country to be used in conjunction with the course books.

Development of the Japanese-language learning platform "JF Japanese e-Learning Minato"

We began developing "Minato," a Japanese-language learning management system, as a way to advance our e-learning project. In mid-2016 we are planning to launch "Marugoto (A1)" and other online Japanese courses on this system.

Development and release of the "HIRAGANA Memory Hint" and “KATAKANA Memory Hint” apps

"HIRAGANA Memory Hint" and "KATAKANA Memory Hint" are free apps that help people learn hiragana and katakana. These apps have been developed in English, Indonesian, and Thai, and released from August. By the end of fiscal year 2015, the six apps had been downloaded approximately 23,000 times.

Photo of ["Marugoto: Japanese-language and Culture"]
"Marugoto: Japanese-language and Culture"

Holding of Japanese-Language Proficiency Tests

Launched in 1984, the JLPT is the world’s most popular Japanese test. This year, tests were held in 3 additional countries and 10 additional cities. This means that the tests are now held in a total of 264 cities in 69 countries/regions including Japan. A total of 652,519 people sat the tests in fiscal 2015.

Photo of [People sitting the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test in Venice in December 2015]
People sitting the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test in Venice in December 2015.

JF Language Courses

We hold classes based on the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education and proposed an easier-to-teach and easier-to-learn Japanese-language education model that incorporates Japanese culture-related experiences and cultural exchange programs. The number of the course participants is increasing year-by-year: 19,542 people in 31 cities in 28 countries/regions in fiscal 2015.

Photo of [Cultural Japanese Course students enjoying traditional Okinawan performing arts in Seoul]
Cultural Japanese Course students enjoying traditional Okinawan performing arts in Seoul

Survey of Japanese-language education institutions

We carried out the "Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2015" in 203 countries/regions with cooperation from the Japan Foundation’s overseas offices, overseas diplomatic missions, and other related organizations.

Promotion of the use of the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education

We developed the JF Standard for Japanese-language education with the aim of fostering “task implementation capability” (what one can do with a language) and the ability to understand and respect other cultures in 2010. With the “JF Standard,” Japanese and other languages can be assessed using the same criteria. In order to promote the use of the “JF Standard,” we provide information to those holding seminars and training sessions in Japan and overseas, and support collaborative research.

In fiscal 2015, we translated an introductory pamphlet for the “JF Standard” in several languages, and revised the manual for roleplay tests on the “JF Standard” website. We also added new materials to, and enhanced the functions of, the “Minna no Can-do Site,” a database that indicates language proficiency of users. There are now 4,234 users registered on the website.

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Illustration of [The "JF Standard" Tree outlining the capabilities required when communicating]
The "JF Standard" Tree outlining the capabilities required when communicating

Cover of [The English version of the "JF Standard" introductory pamphlet (the Spanish version is also available)]
The English version of the "JF Standard" introductory pamphlet (the Spanish version is also available)


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Illustration of [Examples of Can-do statements for each of the 6 levels.]
Examples of Can-do statements for each of the 6 levels.