Below are educational resources for learners of Japanese. The first section features websites developed by the Japan Foundation. The second section is a list of websites developed by other organizations.
Ever wonder how you could use Japanese as a career? Look no further! We interviewed some of our lovely senseis in US who learned Japanese as a second language and embarked on a career in teaching Japanese. Not only did they talk about their experience as a Japanese learner but their experience becoming a sensei and the positive effects it has had in their lives! We hope these videos encourage you in continuing your journey in learning Japanese and that you too, can be a sensei!
Check out the following new & fun YouTube video series for Japanese language learners, which was created by Prof. Yuko Kato (Austin Community College) in collaboration with other professors in the U.S., Yoshimoto Kogyo (Comedy Duo: Jaru Jaru), and The Japan Foundation! It will make you laugh and enjoy learning Japanese in a new way!
"HIROGARU" is a site for learning different things about Japan and the Japanese language through your own interests. Engage with various aspects about Japan through reading or listening to information on 12 fascinating topics. Features audioclips, videos, vocabulary lists and quizzes.
If you are looking to learn Japanese on your own free time and are seeking free structured lessons, we want to remind you of our Minato website! Minato currently offers various self study courses (based off of Marugoto, practicing Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji, calligraphy, and many more) in various levels and languages as well as six tutor supported lessons (no English at the moment) for you to choose from. All you need to do is create an account and then register for the level that is right for you. For instructions on how to use the site, please watch this video.
Marugoto is a Japanese language textbook series created by Japan Foundation (JF). There are A1(beginners)~B1 (intermediate) levels and based off of JF Standard Levels. The books are now available in e-book form and you can experience some of the course materials though JF Japanese e-learning portal, Minato. Marugoto focuses on authentic materials, colorful images, and building communication/speaking skills. The difference between Rikai and Katsudoo is that, Katsudoo focuses on developing communication abilities while Rikai focuses on the grammatical foundation of the Japanese language.
A website that features the vocabulary and expressions used in Starter (A1), Elementary 1 and 2 (A2). You can use it as a dictionary to check the meaning of words, and to create My Lists for storing and organising vocabulary. You can also practise vocabulary by topic and by category. You can listen to recordings, which are also available for smartphones.
You can study Japanese language and culture following the topics of Marugoto. You can practise not just kanji and grammar, but also conversations while watching videos. In Lifestyle and Culture Corner you can see the lifestyles of Japanese people and people around the world through videos. Available for Starter (A1), Elementary 1 and 2 (A2). Also enabled for smartphone access.
Beginning Japanese-language course "Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese," starring Ellie Toyota and Kana Kurashina (aired on NHK World and available on DVD) is now on the Web!
Japanese-English / English-Japanese dictionary with useful expressions in nursing and caretaking scenes for supporting your Japanese Language learning.
Japanese anime and manga are really popular with young people all over the world today. This is an e-learning website for those who want to learn Japanese from anime and manga. Users can study expression distinctive of characters with audio playback or words used in specific genre, such as LOVE, through quizzes. It’s a fun way to learn Japanese!
NIHONGO eな Portal for Learning Japanese is a site dedicated to introducing all kinds of websites and online tools useful for studying Japanese!
A free smartphone app for beginner learners. Learn Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji the fun way with mnemonic devices! Available for iOS and Android on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.
Click here for information on Hiragana and Katakana.
Click here for information on the Kanji Memory Hint 1 app.
Click here for information on the Kanji Memory Hint 2 app.
Click here for information on the Kanji Memory Hint 3 app.
Challenge with Erin app (either can be downloaded for Android or Iphone) can be used to study beginner-level vocabulary and expressions in an engaging way through card games, manga and quizzes, and it can also be used to check how much you were able to remember.
Through its publications, the Japan Foundation provides information on not only its own programs, but also international exchange activities.
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles have supported various types of Japanese language projects through our Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (more info). Here is the list of teaching resources that we have provided support:
(The following resources do not necessarily reflect the views and recommendations of the Japan Foundation. Suggestions for additional websites can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Customize “Reading in Japanese” Stories for Creative and Innovative Classrooms!
The collection of thematic digital downloadable stories to supplement teaching aids, to meet the needs of students’ motivation, critical thinking, and diverse and inclusive classroom settings, and to promote equalities.
Yomiuri Online Kodomo
Simplified daily news for intermediate readers.
Intermediate Reader in Technical and Scientific Japanese
Free textbook designed to teach complex grammar and scientific knowledge at the same time. Increases in difficulty.
News Web Easy
NHK news articles written in easy Japanese, for second-language learners.
NHK World: やさしい日本語 Easy Japanese
Japanese lessons from NHK World - Japan. 48 lessons, 10 minutes each.
NHK Radio News
News from NHK Radio.
Live news from Japan via ANN for those living overseas.
JapanesePod101.com Youtube channel
This Youtube channel features quick, professional listening comprehension videos for learners.
Introduces several kanji learning apps, with guidelines.
Yookoso! Online Learning Center
Free activities, quizzes, and listening samples from Yookoso. Click “Online Learning Center” at the left of the page once you enter.
Japanese Language and Practice Games
Various games, resources, and information about Japan (English).
Source for Japanese culture (English).
Source for Japanese culture and news (English, Japanese).
At Home in Japan
A tutorial about studying abroad in Japan.