About Marugoto Japanese Online Course

What is the Marugoto Japanese Online Course?

The Marugoto Japanese Online Course is a course for learning Japanese language skills comprehensively, and offered in the Japanese learning platform, JF Japanese e-Learning Minato, operated by the Japan Foundation.

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What is Marugoto?

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Marugoto refers to the coursebook, Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture, developed by the Japan Foundation and based on the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education.

This coursebook is designed with an emphasis on using Japanese to communicate, and on understanding and respecting other cultures. The Marugoto Japanese Online Course is the online course version of Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture.

Please visit here to know more about the coursebook.

What is the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education?

The JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education is a tool for considering how to teach and study the Japanese language, and how to assess learning achievements. It was created based on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment), which is the basis for language education in Europe.
Using the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education, you will be able to know your proficiency level in Japanese by what and how much you can do.

Please visit here to know more about the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education.

Who is this course for?

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This course is mainly for adult learners of Japanese overseas. Being an online course, it is best suited for people who are interested in the Japanese language but could not easily find the time to study because they are busy with work, school, household duties, childcare and others, or who does not have a place to study Japanese near them.

The Marugoto Japanese Online Course is available not only for PCs but also for tablets and smartphones.
You can use your spare time to study Japanese anytime and anywhere by using a tablet or smartphone.

What levels does the course have?

The Japanese language levels of the Marugoto Japanese Online Course conform to the levels in the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education.
The courses for A1 and A2 levels are currently open.

A1 level

  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  • Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

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A2 level

  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

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B1 level

  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

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B2 level

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

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C1 level

  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

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C2 level

  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

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What languages are available for the course explanations?

The Marugoto Japanese Online Course currently has the following languages for explanations.

Language of Explanation
Online Course


Marugoto A1-1 (Katsudoo & Rikai)
Starter (A1)
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Marugoto A1-2 (Katsudoo & Rikai)

Marugoto A2-1 (Katsudoo & Rikai)
Elementary 1 (A2)
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Marugoto A2-2 (Katsudoo & Rikai)

Marugoto A2-3 (Katsudoo & Rikai)
Elementary 2 (A2)
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Marugoto A2-4 (Katsudoo & Rikai)


Marugoto A2B1-1
Pre-Intermediate (A2/B1)
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Marugoto A2B1-2

We plan to expand the course into multiple languages in the future to make it possible to read the explanations in more languages (launching date undetermined).

If you don’t know what level of courses to take,

try taking the Japanese Test for Course Recommendation!

Take the test

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Course Types

What course types are there in the Marugoto Japanese Online Course?

There are two course types in the Marugoto Japanese Online Course.

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Self-Study Course

This is a self-study course using interactive study content.

Tutor Support Course

The support of a supervising tutor is added to self-study using interactive study content.Support includes correction of assignments and live lessons for each topic, among others.
The Tutor Support Course is conducted in groups so that you can also meet friends who are studying Japanese.

What is the difference between the “Katsudoo Course” and the “Katsudoo and Rikai Course” in level A1?

Level A1’s Katsudoo Course is a course intended for people who want to study Japanese casually.Using the Katsudoo study content, you can aim to acquire practical communication skills in everyday situations by listening to Japanese and practicing speaking in Japanese a lot.

On the other hand, the Katsudoo and Rikai Course is a course intended for people who want to study Japanese fully.Together with Katsudoo, you can systematically learn how Japanese is used within the communication in Rikai.You can aim to acquire comprehensive Japanese language skills in reading, listening, writing and speaking.

Please visit here for details on Katsudoo and Rikai.

How do you go about studying in the Katsudoo and Rikai Course?

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The Katsudoo and Rikai are both written with the same topics. A topic is composed of two lessons, and each lesson is studied in order from Katsudoo > Rikai.

You can check the current
list of courses offered at JF Japanese e-Learning Minato!

Registering in a Course

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Registration (free) to the JF Japanese e-Learning Minato is required to take
the Marugoto Japanese Online Course.

Course Content

What kind of study materials will I study?

In the Marugoto Japanese Online Course, there are two study contents, Katsudoo and Rikai, to help you learn to communicate using the Japanese language.


In Katsudoo, you will study from steps 1 to 6 for each goal to acquire practical communication skills in everyday situations.

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Step1: Know the goals

Check the goal and situation.

Step2: Look,Listen and Try Saying

Listen to the sound and practice saying it.

Step3: Listen and Find

Listen to a conversation, etc., and understand its contents and take note of the expressions.

Step4: Try Using

Watch a video, and practice speaking or writing in Japanese.

Step5: Can-do Check

Check by yourself if you were able to reach the goal.

Step6: Life and Culture
(Even numbered lessons only)

Understand Japanese life and culture by looking at photos and watching videos.


In Rikai, you will study from steps 1 to 8 for each lesson to learn about the structure of Japanese.

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Step1: Basic Sentences

Check what you will study.

Step2: Japanese Script and Vocabulary

Practice Japanese script and vocabulary.

Step3: Kanji

Learn the kanji for words related to the topic.

Step4: Conversation and Grammar

Understand sentence structure and rules by relating the conversation and grammar.

Step5: Reading

Read a short composition.

Step6: Writing

Write a short composition.

Step7: Quiz (A1-1,A1-2 only)

Take a quiz.

Step8: Nihongo Check

Check by yourself if you understand how to use Japanese appropriate for this situation.

I am worried that I will not be able to understand properly by self-study…

There are a variety of contents available to support everyone’s studies, so that you can properly understand and advance even with self-study.

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Overall support

You can refer anytime to the contents to be studied in this course, as well as the basic knowledge related to Japanese, grammar materials, word books, kanji lists, etc.
These study materials can also be downloaded in PDF.

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Support for each lesson

Besides the content of the lesson being studied, you can refer anytime to the meaning and explanation of words, basic sentences and kanji to be studied in the lesson, so that you can immediately look up anything you do not understand.

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Support for each study content

There are supplementary explanations for new words and expressions, information on Japanese culture, etc., depending on the content of the practice under study.
Thus, you can deepen your own understanding while advancing in your studies

I am worried that I will not be able to continue studying by self-study…

In the online course, you can study at your own pace and in your preferred time and place.
We have provided each person with a My Page so that everyone can look back on their learning process by themselves, and help them continue with their Japanese language studies, which they have started and given considerable effort to because of their interest.

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My Page “Study Progress”

Since the progress of your study is recorded, you can check the places you have studied at a glance, and advance at your own pace while checking your daily study progress.

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My Page “Portfolio”

Since your Japanese language and culture studies are recorded, including self-evaluations and written exercises during the study, you can look back on your studies anytime and see your learning process and accomplishments over the course.

If you are interested in the Marugoto Japanese Online Course,
please try our trial version!

Sample Lesson

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