I have a long-standing and deeply rooted interest in foreign languages and this is why I decided to take my Japanese A2. I currently study two foreign languages at school and following my Japanese AS, I decided to take my Japanese to another level by undertaking the course offered to me at the IIEL in preparation for the Japanese A2 exam. I am applying to study a degree in modern languages and I really feel that Japanese adds to the diversity of languages that I have acquired.

I was slightly sceptical about taking the Japanese A2 at first as I was particularly worried about the literature side of the exam; however my teacher went through the texts that we studied repeatedly ensuring that everyone understood not only the storyline, but also the language side of things, especially kanji. We had Kanji tests as well as vocabulary tests every week in order to gradually build up our vocabulary, which ultimately helped a lot with the translation into Japanese. In addition, we studied grammar points each week, which aided me in including complex syntax within my essays. Every week we would receive homework, which would be in the style of an A2 paper- reading, translation and writing. Towards the end of the course, we sat mock exams every other week, which helped us to see what it was like to sit a Japanese A2 paper under timed conditions. On the weeks when we did not sit one, we would go through the paper from the previous week and re-write our essays until they were perfect. Although it was a challenge, I achieved an A*, which I could not have done without the help of this course.


My Experience learning AS and A2 Japanese was very positive and I really enjoyed it. I had taken the Japanese GCSE in year 8 so when I first started the AS course it had been around 5 years since I studied Japanese. I was worried that it might be too difficult however you start off by learning the basic grammar and kanji so it was easy to gradually build up my skill.

The workbooks we were given were really helpful as you practice all the grammar and kanji you need for the exam, and the reading and writing exercises make sure you know exactly how to get marks in those parts of the exam. The teachers were extremely good at providing feedback on your homework, ensuring you know what things you need to work on to get more marks.

Near the end of the course we did mock tests and went through them the following week. I found this really helpful for finding out my weak points so I was able to work on them for the real exam. For the translation and essay sections we did a lot of practice and preparation so I felt more confident as time went on.

I was able to achieve an A* in Japanese thanks to this course and the teachers and I'm very pleased overall! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn Japanese to a high level.


子供たちは英国生まれの英国育ち。毎週土曜日の補習授業校に通っています。Year 7では自力でGCSEを受験し比較的楽にA*をとることができ、Aレベルは現地校での受験が大変になる前のY10で受験しました。



日本語Aレベル試験自体の存続が危ういという話がでていたこと、そしてGCSE試験と重なると本人が大変だろうと思いYear 10でASとA2のダブル受験を強制してしまいました。A2の勉強をしていればASも何とかなるだろう、という母の甘い考えの元、試験直前の約半年土曜コースに通わせました。外国語としての日本語の試験であるAレベルの勉強は、英訳・和訳のための英語・日本語両方の語彙力も必要であり、珍しく一生懸命辞書を引いて宿題をしていました。課題図書の作文については、完璧になるまで何度も書き直し、本当に丁寧に指導していただきました。




My Japanese A-Level Experience

I decided to take on this course as part of one of my three A-levels required to get into University.

I really enjoyed doing this course as the teaching was fun, efficient and very organised. I also found that the teachers went beyond their reach to help the students. The course consisted of 2 hour Saturday classes which involved doing things such as a booklet which covered all aspects of the exam – grammar, 10 new A2 kanjis per week, a reading exercise, and a translation, as well as studying two short stories which were covered in great detail. Essays were given for homework which would be marked by the teacher and then rewritten until it was at a very high standard.

I found that having only done GCSE Japanese before taking on this course, when I first started I was one of the weaker students and struggled a lot with the Kanji. However, by the time the exam came, I felt confident as revision was very thorough and there was no part of the specification that had not been covered. In the A2 exam both the essay questions had been ones that I had already practiced and I did not struggle at all with the other reading and translation sections like I had done initially.

As a result of all of this, I achieved an A* overall which was above my requirement for University and so I got into University with no problem! Receiving my results made me realise how far you can come with hard work, good organisation and great teaching. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to further my Japanese skills and I could not recommend a better place to study it at.


I found the Japanese A level revision course extremely helpful as I was able to learn the many skills needed in order for me to achieve an A* grade in Japanese.

There were two aspects of the course that stood out to me. First, the workbooks that are given to you every week. This workbook includes reading exercises, grammar, translating, essay writing and kanji. Every week there would be a Kanji test involving the kanjis from the current week, making sure that we were fully aware of the kanjis that would be present in the exam. The workbooks helped me become conscious of ways of gaining marks, such as through using advanced grammar, and helped me gain confidence in areas where I felt most weak. For example, it was a great challenge for me to translate English into Japanese. However by practicing every week, going through and correcting in class I was helped to become much more adept at translating English to Japanese with considerably less distress!

The second aspect that really helped me was the small size of the classes. As the class size is generally quite small, one can benefit from the one to one time with the teacher. This allows the teacher to recognise each student’s specific development needs so that they can be worked on. The teacher was extremely helpful in checking my essays, telling me where I had done well and what I could do to improve, allowing me to correct my essays until they were satisfactory.

Another benefit of the course that I was not expecting was that I was able to make new friends and re-connect with others that I had nor seen for some time. It was really nice to be able to relieve the pressure of preparing for the exam by sharing experiences and socialising with others who were in the same boat.

So, in summary, I am glad to say that I certainly benefited from attending the A level revision course and can whole heartedly recommend it.


My experience of learning Japanese has been rocky one. From when I started studying Japanese in Year 8 till I took the GCSE exam, I had always been top of the class without putting in very much effort. What a change I faced when I joined the Bokokugo Kyoshitsu. Suddenly, no longer was I ahead of the game – far from it. I was the only one in the class who was neither part Japanese nor had spent any time in Japan. Keeping up with the syllabus and my classmates, especially with the reduction of teaching time I received from four hours spread over the week to one hour on Tuesdays and two on Saturdays, now required real work, and I was often frustrated that, despite my efforts, my Japanese was extremely broken and I could still only express myself in the simplest terms.

Slowly, though, I adjusted to the pace, and my Japanese, while still broken and full of gaps, is now much better than before. After six years of Japanese study I truly appreciate how different it is from the other languages I know, but I have also come to realize that I enjoy being presented with this challenge, and that these linguistic differences which force you to think in ways very alien to a native speaker of English make Japanese a real pleasure to learn. Though I still have many years of study ahead of me before I get even halfway to fluency in Japanese, I relish the prospect like a mountain climber, who, though they know that the summit is distant and they are small, and that the path upwards is fraught with snowdrift and ravines, smiles and climbs anyway, for the pure joy of it. 


My experience with A-level Japanese has shown me that it is a satisfying course which covers a great deal more than just the language and proved a perfect complement to my other academic interests. Because my school does not offer the course I took part in this correspondence program together with a few days in London to help me get to grips with the A2 exam. I can safely say that without this experience I would not have done nearly as well as I did. Although challenging at first with all the kanji you must memorize, A-level Japanese proved not only very satisfying because of how much you will see you have progressed in the language but also because it exposes you to Japanese culture as a whole. Especially in A2 level Japanese I was very happy to find I was invited to analyse the short story「鼻」by Akutagawa, an important Japanese literary figure that I was interested in. To be able to express to a satisfying level my feelings towards character motivations for example in Japanese was very rewarding for me. The course in London focusing on past papers taught me how to translate my thoughts most effectively to achieve the best possible score in the exam through looking at structure in the essays, certain tips for the translation and efficiency in the comprehension. Without it I would not have had as much confidence in knowing what sort of questions can be asked and, more importantly, how to tackle them at the highest level. A-level Japanese has proved to me my enthusiasm for the language and all that surrounds it and the London course has helped me greatly to achieve an A* grade with which I move on to focus solely on Japanese at university level.




3歳頃から通信教育で日本語を学習し、GCSEをyear 8で受けました。

ASについては他の教科の勉強の邪魔になるということで当初は受ける予定にしていませんでした。しかし、大学入試のUCASポイントに加算されると聞き、Year 10 のクリスマス頃に慌てて受けることにしました。Specを見て、娘の日本語レベルで十分だと判断しましたが、IIELの通信講座を短期集中で、4 か月ほどで完了する予定で受講しました。テストで確実に点数を取るための講座の指導のおかげでAの結果をもらえました。








I’m half Japanese like most of the students in my class, and to say my Japanese isn’t as good as my English is an understatement. However, that doesn’t mean I enjoy my English classes more than I enjoyed my Saturday Japanese classes! If anything, I enjoyed our three hour weekly sessions more than my one-hour-and-a-half English lessons. Not only did I manage to get an A* in my A2 Level thanks to 母国語教室 (and my amazing Sensei!), I also managed to make friends! So, thank you 母国語教室; I appreciate it so much and I am going to miss our weekly classes.


I found the A2 Japanese class extremely helpful and enjoyable, as the classes were taught in a way that I could understand and keep up with. We covered the large amount of structures and kanji required gradually throughout the course so I felt fully prepared and not overwhelmed by them before the examination. I enjoyed working with my classmates in translation work and research as we could share our ideas and learn things from each other. By doing many mock examinations in the sessions prior to the actual exam, I was able to understand how it would be structured and get a general feel of what would be required of me, and how I could complete the exam to my best ability. Having also attended the GCSE and AS courses, I would recommend all courses to anyone hoping to study Japanese.


Going to these A Level classes was a fantastic experience. The group was small and we were all at the same level, so we progressed very quickly. In the first lesson we were given a past A Level paper and I found it very hard, and wondered if I would really be able to get the grade I wanted at the end of the year. One year on, I came out with an A* in A Level Japanese! Although it was hard work, I really enjoyed the lessons. We got to do traditional Japanese calligraphy twice, which was a very nice cultural addition. Best of all was the people I met through the course. It was great to meet a group of very committed people of a similar background. I have made some really great friends that I hope I will be in touch with for a very long time and this made the course so much more fun.


私は2年間、母国語教室に通ってASコースとA2コースを受けました。先生がA Levelに必要な文法、漢字やトピックに集中してくださったので、試験のずいぶん前から自信を持って文法や漢字を使うことができました。3学期で模擬試験を数回して、それを先生と一緒に復習したので、もっと自信をつけることができました。先生方はとても親切で、クラスの全員が何をどう書けば点数を重ねられるかを丁寧に教えてくださいました。こういうことは自分ひとりで勉強していたら、わからなかったことだと思いました。さらに授業が速く進行しすぎていると思ったときは、先生はいつも授業の進行をもう少し遅くしたり、自習時間のときに分からなかったことを教えてくれました。一体感をもたらすために、先生は生徒同士でトピックや文章の書き方についての話し合いを勧めました。これは学習にとても大事でしたし、クラスメートとの友情にもつながっていきました。母国語教室に通っていなくて、先生方からの手伝いや励ましがなければ、私はA*を取れなかったと思います。母国語教室を通じて、自分と同じような立場にいる新しい友達を作ることもできたのも、とてもよかったです。