Japanese Teaching Certificate

Contact: Yoshiko Okuyama, Ph.D.
Email: yokuyama@hawaii.edu.


The mission of the Japanese Teacher Certificate Program is to provide students with a theoretical background in language pedagogy, practical tools for teaching Japanese as a second/foreign language, and adequate Japanese cultural knowledge for that career. This certificate does not culminate in eligibility for a teaching license.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the certificate program will have:

  1. Gained an overview of second language acquisition theory and teaching methodology and learned how theory relates to practice in teaching Japanese;
  2. Learned how to create formal lesson plans for all levels (elementary, intermediate, advanced);
  3. Gained some experience teaching Japanese to students with various backgrounds;
  4. Learned grammar terminology and cultural as well as individual differences; and
  5. Gained the ability to modify lesson content and activities based on each learner’s individual and cultural differences and level of Japanese proficiency

Requirements: 21 credits

Program Core Courses (9)

  • JPNS 301 Third-Year Japanese I (3)
  • JPNS 302 Third-Year Japanese II (3)
  • JPNS 422 Japanese Teaching Practicum (3)

Electives A: Pedagogical/Education Theory (6)

Select two from the four courses below:

  • JPNS 345 Methods for Teaching Japanese (3)
  • ENG 350 Second Lang Acquisition Theory (3)
  • ED 310 Foundations of Education (3)
  • ED 350 Learner Development (3)

Electives B: Japanese Culture (6)

  • Any two 300- or 400-level JPST courses or courses approved by the program coordinator.


  1. Prospective candidates should note that JPNS 301 and 302 are required only for non-native speakers of Japanese. Students are eligible for a waiver of these courses if 1) Japanese is their first language or 2) the placement test administered by the program coordinator documents that their Japanese proficiency is greater than that attained by taking JPNS 301 and 302.
  2. Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all courses required for the certificate.