Teaching Resources


teaching resources

We have compiled a list of popular online teaching resources, both from the Japan Foundation and from other organizations. Don't forget to check out our Learning Resources page for websites and publications you can share with your students.

The American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) also has a list of classroom resources which you can find here.




japan foundation teaching resources



Getting to Know Japanese Language & Culture through Comedy Duo, Jaru Jaru!!

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!

YouTube Link


aatj video 1.jpgaatj video 4.jpg

Advancing Our Teaching Practice: A Series of Coaching Videos with Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, PH.D & Lead District Instructional Coach, Yo Azama

The series of short videos (approximately 15 minutes each) offers a unique professional development opportunity for Japanese language teachers. In them, experienced mentor teachers demonstrate and explain research-based teaching practices, with lessons and tips for conducting interpersonal tasks in the classroom  Learn why Japanese language teachers are admired in the world language education community, and adopt some of their teaching practices in your own classroom!





Ever wonder what's the best way to tell your students on career possibilties with Japanese? 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 students in continuing their journey in learning Japanese and that they too, can be a sensei! 

Website Resources


JF Standard

The JF Standard is a set of standards for Japanese language proficiency. By using the JF Standard, it is possible to see and understand your students' proficiency level by how well the learner uses Japanese, no matter where the learner began their studies. The JF Standard focuses on what the learner "can do," and so it is a straightforward way for teachers to assess the results of students’ efforts. It was developed based on the concepts supporting the CEFR, which serve as the basis of language education in Europe.



The Marugoto Portal site explains everything you need to know about Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture, a textbook which uses the JF Standard as a basis. An English introduction to the textbook, along with a FAQ, can be found here.



MARUGOTO (MARUGOTO Plus) is a website which accompanies the contents of Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture, a textbook which uses the JF Standard as a basis. It is free and available for everyone to use, and it has extra practice for each chapter of the textbook. It also has an "Introduction to Japanese"section for total beginners here.


Minato is a free e-learning website that let's you not only self study Marugoto materials but learn some Kansai-ben, flower arrangements, calligraphy, and Haiku! There are many useful tools to check out and you can take a look here!


“Hirogaru,” is a site for learning different things about Japan and the Japanese language through your own interests.  You can engage with various aspects about Japan and the Japanese language through reading or listening to information related to 12 topics about Japan.


Minna no kyozai

At the Minna no Kyozai site, you can share materials and resources with other Japanese language teachers from all over the world. After registering, try searching through the database of materials and ideas. Search through flash cards, photos, illustrations, videos, audio clips, and many other teaching materials created and shared by teachers.



nihongo kyoiku tsuushin

This regularly updated site brings you information on teaching materials, ideas for the classrooms, current topics in Japan, and the current status of Japanese language education in Japan and abroad.


Hiragana/Katakana/KANJI memory hint app

A free smartphone app for beginner learners. Learn Hiragana the fun way with mnemonic devices! Available for iOS and Android on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Click here for more info.

Click here for the Kanji Memory Hint 1 app information.

Click here for the Kanji Memory Hint 2 app informaiton.


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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.


Listen Together: The Songs of Japan

This is a site where you can search for and listen to Japanese songs that suit your interests and the level of your Japanese language ability. Lyrics subtitles are available on the pages where songs are played, and can be displayed in hiragana, katakana, or romaji. Even people who find Japanese kanji and the written characters difficult can still enjoy Japanese songs. Also, lyrics cards are available for download. 

other teaching resources supported by japan foundation, los angeles grant

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:

  • "A Practical Guide for Scholarly Reading in Japanese" by Fuiko Nazikian, Keiko Ono, and Naofumi Tatsumi (link)
    A Practical Guide for Scholarly Reading in Japanese is an innovative textbook for students specializing in scholarly Japanese for Asian studies. This book is aimed at scholars in any Asian Studies field in which Japanese scholarship is extremely important. (synopsis via website link)
  • "いただきます(Itadakimasu)! The Food Culture of Japan" by Becky A. Brown (link)
    "Itadakimasu! The Food Culture of Japan is designed as a first- or second-year college course in Japanese culture for students who have little to no background in the Japanese language, culture, literature, or history. Unlike any other culture text, Itadakimasu! offers a unique approach to learning about culture through a country’s cuisine." (synopsis via website link)
  • "Pop Culture New & Old - ポップカルチャーで学ぶ初中級日本語" by Yoshiro Hanai (link)
    "Love Japanese pop culture? Take this opportunity to learn about popular culture from the Edo period to today and to learn Japanese at the same time! This textbook is aimed at the beginning-intermediate learner and is full of readings that stimulate intellectual curiosity and activities that deepen cultural understanding. Language learning is enhanced through innovative approaches to learning such as reading texts online using reading assistance tools." (synopsis via website link)
  • 「日本語で読書」by Yoriko Hongo & Kumiko Sakamoto (link)
    “Nihongo de Dokusho/ Reading in Japanese” presents stories and conversations with the following themes: “People and Animals,” “School,” ”My World, " "Dream, Future, and Career," "Community Services," Etc. When you open up each theme, there are several stories and conversations in descending difficulty. The computer must meet G Suite (Google’s cloud-based software) system and browser requirements in order to use these materials. This material was made to be adaptable for students of all levels. Use gear icon and chose Download PPTX and open the story to customize the kanji, rubi /furigana, grammar, sentence structures, and whatever it needs to fit the lesson plan within the stories according to your student level." (user guide via website link)
  • "Genki-Online: Video Clips for Cultural Note" by Elizabeth Armstrong & Eric Faden (Bucknell University) (link)
    "Video clips developed as pedagogical aids to accompany “Culture Note” columns in the Dialogue & Grammar section." (information listed via website) 

Older japan foundation Resources:

  • Let’s Speak Japanese Basic – YouTube
    26 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Let’s Learn Japanese Basic II – YouTube
    25 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.


teaching resources by other organizations

(The following resources do not necessarily reflect the views and recommendations of the Japan Foundation. Suggestions for additional websites can be sent to jflaeducation@jflalc.org)


Teaching Methods *UPDATED!*


Curriculum Design


Current Events


Audio Lessons and Recordings



  • Memrise
    Offers hundreds of courses for all aspects of learning Japanese.
  • Wanikani
    Kanji learning app.
  • Japanese: More than a dictionary
    Free dictionary with different functions. Auto stroke order feature.




Textbook resources



  • Games in Japanese class!
    List of online games Japanese language teachers often use in class.

  • Kahoot!
    Interactive quizzes and surveys.

  • Quizlet
    Make flashcards, quizzes, and study games.

  • Gimkit
    A live learning game. Students answer questions and earn in-game cash and purchase upgrades and powerups.
  • Mentimeter
    Getting students involved with polls and questions during presentations.



  • Irasutoya.com
    A free-use Japanese image library.

  • JNTO's Japan Photo Library
    Large database of beautiful photos of Japan and Japanese culture. Can be used only for nonprofit purposes which may increase the number of foreigners visiting Japan.

  • Illpop
    Free Japanese-style clip art




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