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Undergraduate Course

Japanese, TESOL and Linguistics BA (Hons)

Prepare for a life teaching English around the world. Explore Japanese culture by learning the language and studying abroad.

On this course you will gain the skills and knowledge to teach English in Japan and across the globe. It's a 4 year degree with a year studying abroad in Japan. You will learn communicative Japanese skills and gain a deep understanding of Japanese culture. Together we will explore theories and methods for teaching English in a multilingual world with the opportunity to study for the teaching English as a second language qualification, CELTA.

  • Available in Clearing

90% Languages students responded with a 90% positivity score for how well teaching staff supported their learning. (National Student Survey 2023)

92% Linguistics students responded with a 92% positivity score for how good teaching staff are at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2023)

York campus

  • UCAS code – T2X3
  • Duration – 4 years full time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

Discover Japanese and Korean

Mary Murata, Course Lead for East Asian Languages, introduces us to Japanese and Korean at York St John University.

Course overview

Study Japanese whether you are a beginner or have some previous experience with the language. We will place you at the appropriate level of language learning when you arrive. By the end of the course, you will be able to have conversations and discussions exclusively in Japanese. You will learn to give presentations and write in Japanese, allowing you to use the language for academic, social and professional purposes. Successful students will usually reach the upper B2/C1 level on the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR). You can also choose to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at level 6 for not extra cost. Please note that this course is not suitable for applicants who already have B1 level or above of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) in Japanese.

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture with a year studying abroad in Japan. While abroad, you will take Japanese language classes at your host university. You will also take classes taught in either English or Japanese that are relevant to your degree.

Explore theories and methods for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Our approach to teaching TESOL focuses on learning how to teach English around the world. We offer you the opportunity to study for the Certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages (CELTA), an additional teaching qualification, for free. It is recognised around the world and gives you practical teaching experience. You will need to apply and attend an interview before you are accepted onto the CELTA course.

The Linguistics part of the course gives you a working knowledge of how language works, how we use it and how it is structured. You will explore how we articulate speech and how English differs around the world. You will also examine how the mind processes language.

Take a look at our other Japanese degree if working in Japan interests you:

Japanese, Intercultural Communication and Linguistics BA (Hons)

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. You can only study this course full time.

In your first year you will study: 

  • 1 language module in each of semesters 1 and 2, at the right level for you
  • 2 compulsory academic modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory academic modules in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Which module you study will depend on your previous experience of studying Japanese.

If you have little or no experience, you will be placed in Accelerated Japanese 1. Working in pairs and groups, you will focus on communicating and expressing yourself in Japanese. This will teach you not only to speak the language but also to understand others in Japanese. You will also begin writing with the Japanese lettering systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and basic Kanji.

If you already have A2 level or above of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR), you will be placed in Japanese Communication 1. You will develop your abilities to speak in Japanese and understand others. You will write and tell creative narratives about events in the past or future. In both speech and in writing you will describe people and places in detail and express your thoughts and opinions.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will be introduced to key areas in language and linguistics that you will build on throughout your degree.  You will study:

  • Contemporary issues and debates about language use
  • The historical development of language and of English
  • Academic reading, writing and referencing techniques

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will introduce you to TESOL as a discipline and a profession. It will help to prepare you for any tutoring you may do in the UK or abroad. You will consider some common misconceptions that have shaped inequalities in language teaching.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module builds on your knowledge from your previous language module.

If you are placed in Accelerated Japanese 2 you will learn to talk and write about places and people, things you have done in the past and your thoughts and opinions. You will also take weekly kanji practice tests to help you develop your Japanese character writing. These tests do not contribute towards your grades, they are designed to help you develop your skills.

If you are placed in Japanese Communication 2 you will develop your understanding of Japanese by learning to talk and write about desires and plans. You will receive feedback on your writing as you start to read and write more complex sentences.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to the descriptions of grammatical structures. This means looking at word classes, sentence types, morphology and more. You will study the grammatical variation found within the UK and in other parts of the world. By the end of the module you will have an understanding of the basic terminology and key concepts.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to the principles of articulatory and practical phonetics. You will learn how to recognise, describe and produce some of the sounds and symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet. This means you will be able to recognise, transcribe and analyse sounds in varieties of English, other languages and children's language.

Year 2

In your second year you will study:

  • 1 compulsory language module in each of semesters 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory academic module and 1 optional academic modules in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory academic module and 1 optional academic module in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on the practical Japanese language skills developed in your first year. You will develop these skills through studying different aspects of Japanese society and culture through reading and listening activities. You will learn to express yourself in both spoken and written Japanese, and understand an increasing number of kanji. Through this module, you will not only improve your language skills, but also learn about Japanese culture and society.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will develop the skills that will lead you towards becoming a critical, reflective and adaptive language learner, teacher and TESOL professional. Your learning will focus on theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) based around the latest SLA research through which you’ll analyse second language data. In addition, you’ll observe and evaluate English language lessons, developing critical thinking skills as you discuss these lessons in relation to SLA and teaching practice.

The module provides an excellent foundation of knowledge if you are looking to take the CELTA. It complements the teaching practice of the CELTA with a more theoretical and analytical stance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop advanced skills in reading and analysing texts across different genres and sensory perceptions. You will study different theories and methods of analysis to understand issues of representation and power in contemporary debates. The knowledge you gain in this module will help you to apply these theories more widely in later modules.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is your introduction to the core principles of phonology. We will introduce you to aspects of phonetics and phonology that will help you analyse variations in language, like child phonology and languages other than English. Topics you will cover on this module include:

  • The concept of the phoneme
  • Narrow allophonic transcription
  • Phonotactics and syllable structure
  • Transcription skills
  • Phonological features

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will learn about the key areas of feminist and queer linguistic study. We will cover different theories and approaches to the study of language, gender and sexuality. Gain the knowledge and confidence to develop your own position on these topics, arguing them effectively in your written work. You will also consider how these theories and approaches have been applied to other fields of study, like education, the workplace and in the media.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will give you a deeper understanding of how the English language is spread across the globe. Study the history of English both in the British Isles and abroad, thinking about the social history of language change, variety and status. You will explore the concept of standard varieties of English and the structural variation in major international varieties of English.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Building on the knowledge you gained studying Japanese Language and Society 1, develop your social and cultural exploration of Japan through reading and listening activities of authentic materials. You will also expand your written and verbal language skills through various activities. Through this module, you will learn more about Japanese culture and society while building your language skills.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will deepen both your theoretical knowledge and practical abilities of intercultural communication. Explore the meaning of culture through studying case studies from around the world. Look at how culture is represented in the media, in textbooks and in the tourist industry and start to understand culture beyond stereotypes. You will also learn how to develop your own communication and intercultural skills.

 

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will introduce you to the field of forensic linguistics. You will learn how to analyse language as forensic evidence for different crimes such as rape, terrorism, murder and hate crimes. Applying your knowledge of linguistics, you will also look at how language is used in the justice system, from police interviews to language in the courtroom.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will learn to apply your linguistic knowledge to literacy acquisition. You will examine how oral language development feeds into reading and writing development. We will teach you how to analyse reading and writing performance at various stages of literacy development. By the end of the module you will understand the reading and writing children engage with at different ages and be able to explain their literacy development.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will help you develop an awareness of the psychological elements of language, including:

  • Visual word recognition
  • How we learn to read and spell
  • Spoken work recognition
  • Language production

As part of the module you will develop skills in research design, collecting data and analysing it. You will also gain experience in writing up your findings in a report.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will help you develop an awareness of the sociocultural aspects of language. Investigate the issues that affect how language is used in different areas of everyday life. You will learn about different theories and approaches to sociolinguistic study and look at topics such as social and linguistic variation and social justice.

Year 3

In your third year you will spend time studying in Japan.

While abroad, you will take Japanese classes at the university you are studying at. You will also take classes that are relevant to your degree. These classes might be taught in Japanese or English.

You will complete a work placement module online while you are studying abroad. This will include 10 days of work experience. At the end of the year you will produce a reflective report. This is a chance to evaluate your experiences and consider how they relate to your studies.

Modules

Credits: 0

Compulsory module

You will take this module during your study abroad year. You will reflect on your year abroad, focusing on how your experiences relate to what you have studied. As part of this module you will complete and reflect on 10 days of work experience, either abroad or when you are back in the UK.

Year 4

In your fourth year you will study:

  • 1 compulsory language module in each of semesters 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory academic modules and 1 optional academic module in semester 1
  • A dissertation module in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will focus on developing your Japanese language skills for academic purposes by using Content and Language Integrated Learning. You will use your linguistic research skills to analyse authentic materials such as TV shows, books, manga, video games, advertising, commercials and YouTube videos, conducting a study in an area that interests you. For example, you might focus on Japanese pragmatics and sociolinguistics, such as gendered language, dialects, politeness or honorifics. Whatever topic you choose, you will write up your findings in an essay and present them verbally in Japanese.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will study how the public views language and consider the social and political issues surrounding these views. Explore Standard English and ideas about correctness and consider public attitudes towards bilingualism and new language. You will also discuss taboo language and how attitudes can change because of technological developments.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore how children acquire language skills. We will introduce you to theories of child language acquisition, focusing specifically on how they develop speech sounds. Study the phonological processes seen in children and learn how these evolve into adult speech systems. You will also learn to use specialist language acquisition and acoustic analysis software.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine regional varieties of British English. You will learn about lexical, morphological, syntactic, phonetic and phonological levels. By the end of the module you will be able to complete an analytical description and comparison of social and regional accents.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will study theories about how we learn second languages. Gain an understanding of variations in English as a second language. You will explore grammatical and phonological features including:

  • Verbs and clauses
  • Word class and order
  • Phonotactics
  • Syllable structure and stress

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module offers an in depth exploration of the linguistics and culture of East Asia. This will give you an important wider context of the language you are learning. We will explore the structural and sociolinguistic aspects of East Asian language including:

  • Grammar
  • Phonology
  • Writing systems
  • Politeness
  • Dialect variation
  • Power and gender

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Teaching English as a second language comes with a unique set of challenges. On this module, you will explore some of the possible dilemmas and decisions made in response to them. Our teaching draws from the latest research in second language acquisition and teaching, English language education and TESOL. Your learning will involve analysing this research and applying it to a lesson plan and the designing of learning materials that address contemporary issues. The themes and ideas that you’ll explore and in keeping with the University’s status as a University of Sanctuary.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Building on the knowledge you gained from Japanese Language Project 1, you will further develop your employability and professional skills in this module. Using Content and Language Integrated Learning, you will not only improve your language skills, but also develop your skills in CV writing and interview techniques. Through this module, you will reflect on your experience and skills you gained through your degree, and prepare yourself for your future after graduation.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

Your dissertation is your chance to take responsibility for your learning and conduct a piece of linguistic research on a topic you are passionate about. Your tutors will support you to refine your idea and encourage you to choose a topic that you enjoy and excel in. You will also attend 1 to 1 tutorials which will help you design and conduct your research and write up your findings.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will learn Japanese in small groups of up to 25 students. We deliver your other modules through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

You will usually study 3 modules per semester. Each normally has at least 3 hours of contact time per week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9:00am and 8:00pm, Monday to Friday. While studying in Japan you are likely to have more contact time. Details will depend on the university you are studying at.

In addition to taught sessions you will have individual academic tutorials throughout each semester. You will need to engage in independent study outside of your contact time. This could include preparing for seminars, reading around topics discussed in lectures and writing assignments.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

For your Japanese modules, assessment methods include oral exams, videos, class tests and written work. The assessment types for your other modules vary. These might include:

  • Blog posts
  • Data analysis
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Presentations
  • Research proposals
  • Reports

You will always receive feedback on the work you do. This will help you to improve your writing and your academic abilities.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Japanese, TESOL and Linguistics

This course will prepare you for a career teaching English to speakers of other languages. You will also gain specialist skills in analysing language and presenting linguistic data. The transferrable skills you develop in communication, research and problem solving are in high demand in a range of careers.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • English language teacher training 
  • Management and Education consultant 
  • Translator 
  • Interpreter 
  • Editor 

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

PGCE at York St John University

Further your education and work towards a rewarding career in teaching by studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) after you graduate. For over 180 years, we have worked with enthusiastic individuals who want to shape the future of young people across both primary and secondary school settings. You'll spend a lot of time in schools, developing your practice by teaching. You will graduate with Qualified Teacher Status and become part of the well respected alumni of York St John educators.

Discover more about PGCE

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

Please note that this course is not suitable for applicants who already have B1 level or above of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) in Japanese.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

International 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this course is £11,500 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

William A Gauld Scholarship

Care leavers and estranged students can apply for this scholarship to help fund study abroad.

For more information about this scholarship visit our Study Abroad and Exchange funding page. 

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses.

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk.

Course highlights

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