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Upper Advanced Course (B2-2)


The Upper Advanced Course aims to comprehensively develop students’ speaking, reading, listening and writing skills that they have developed so far in their Japanese study, and enable them to use more sophisticated and natural Japanese. You will discuss current affairs featuring in newspapers and TV news, as well as gain appreciation of the language through materials such as film and literature. Furthermore, you will develop the skills to comprehend technical and academic passages written in Japanese, and refine their ability to use Japanese with colleagues in the workplace, both in verbal and written interactions such as email.

The Upper Advanced Course corresponds to N1 level.

On completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Read a short story and understand the events and the motives for the characters’ actions.
  • Express their ideas and opinions with precision, present and respond to complex lines of argument.
  • Write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to their field of interest while synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources.
  • Use the language fluently, accurately and effectively on a wide range of topics, marking clearly the relationships between ideas.
  • Understand most TV news and current affairs programmes.

Topics for Term 1, 2021:

  • Exploring regions of Japan: Hokkaido
    * Climate and natural history
    * Food culture and history
    * Ainu language and culture
  • Reading a modern novel
    Hakodate by Man Arai
  • Reading about “Now” in Japan
    *Reading news articles
    *Analysis and discussion on current affairs in Japan
  • Brush-up on grammar and Kanji

The following topics were covered in Terms 1-4, 2020:

  • Japanese outlook on life and death
    *Changing outlooks on life and death – various beliefs and their changes in history
    *Analysing “Japan Folklore” – examining the appearance of ghosts and yokai
    *Proverbs and idiomatic phrases originating from superstitions
  • Natural disasters and people’s daily life
    * Disasters in Japan and Australia
    * New industries born from recovery and wisdom born from daily life
  • Reading a modern novel
    Lexington Ghosts by Haruki Murakami (from short stories Lexington Ghosts)
    The Seventh Man by Haruki Murakami (from short stories Lexington Ghosts)
    The Silence by Haruki Murakami (from short stories Lexington Ghosts)
    Wish Fulfilled (‘Mangan’) by Osamu Dazai
    North Country (‘Michinoku’) by Kanoko Okamoto
  • Viewing and analysing the Japanese film A Boy and His Samurai
  • Exploring regions of Japan: Okinawa
    * Climate and industrial development
    * Dialect (Uchināguchi)
    * Traditional culture (food culture, performing arts, customs)
  • Exploring regions of Japan: Northern Tohoku (Aomori, Akita and Iwate)
    * Climate and history
    Kitamae-bune and Northern Ou dialect
    * Traditional culture (food culture, performing arts, customs)
  • Reading about “Now” in Japan
    *Reading news articles
    *Analysis and discussion on current affairs in Japan
  • Brush-up on grammar and Kanji


【2021年Term 1のトピック】

  • 日本の地方を探る - 北海道編
    * 風土と自然誌

    * 食文化と歴史
    * アイヌの言語と文化
  • 短編小説を読む
    * 新井満「函館」
  • 日本の「今」を読み解く
    * ニュース記事を読む

    * 時事問題の分析とディスカッション
  • 文法と漢字 ブラッシュアップ


  • 日本人の死生観
    *移り変わる死生観 ― 様々な信仰と時代の変化

    *「日本昔話」を分析する -「幽霊」「妖怪」の登場のしかた
  • 自然災害と人々の暮らし

  • 短編小説を読む
    * 村上春樹「レキシントンの幽霊」(短編集「レキシントンの幽霊」より)
    * 村上春樹「七番目の男」(短編集「レキシントンの幽霊」より)
    * 村上春樹「沈黙」(短編集「レキシントンの幽霊」より)
    * 太宰治「満願」
    * 岡本かの子「みちのく」
  • 映画鑑賞・批評 -「ちょんまげぷりん」
  • 日本の地方を探る - 沖縄編

    *伝統文化 (食文化、芸能、慣習)
  • 日本の地方を探る - 北東北編

    *伝統文化 (食文化、芸能、慣習)
  • 日本の「今」を読み解く
    * ニュース記事を読む

  • 文法と漢字 ブラッシュアップ

Course Details in Term 1

Course fee

$350/term + $20 administration fee*

* New and returning students requiring a placement test will be charged a $20 non-refundable administration fee in addition to the $350 course fee when enrolling. 

Please note that the course fee does not include textbooks.

Evening  class

Mondays | January 25 – March 29, 2021
Taught by Shoko Ono

Class Size

Min: 7 / Max: 10 participants

* In the case where enrolments do not reach the minimum number of 7 people, the class may be cancelled.


To apply for the Upper Advanced course, please email the J-Course team directly at jcourse(a), and include details of your Japanese language level. Please note that you will be required to take a level check test, which will be organised as soon as possible.

Classes will be held online in Term 1, 2021.

For the best experience with online classes and homework, we recommend using the following:
  • a computer or laptop (operating systems: Windows 10 or 8.1 / Mac OS X 10.10 or later),
  • the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari,
  • headphones with a microphone,
  • a web camera, and
  • a stable internet connection, with at least a 1.2Mbps download speed and 600kbps upload speed. You can test your internet speed here.

Recommended Materials

Please note that there is no set textbook for this course. Learning materials will be provided in class.

Related Links



Photo: Brett Boardman

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