Language Course FAQ

Have a question about language courses at OIST? Here are some of our most frequently-asked questions and their answers.


Q: When can I register for language classes?

A: Generally, language class registration opens in December for January-April classes, April for May-August classes and August for September-December classes. Please visit our website or see TIDA for the most updated information.

Q: Is it possible to register late for classes?

A: Yes. However, if you have no experience learning Japanese, you will not be able to register for the Basic 1 class after the normal registration period closes. Students with previous experience learning Japanese and English can register for a class late if the class is not full. Please contact one of our teachers for late registration.

Q: Basic 1 Japanese is full, what should I do?

A: Please wait until the next semester to register for Basic 1. The Language Section and the Resource Please visit our website for the most updated information. You may not register in advance for the next semester. Please wait for the next registration period to open.

OIST's library also has copies of the Genki 1 textbook for OIST students and staff to borrow, if you wish to study on your own. In this way you can try to enter a higher level course and avoid a full basic 1 class.

Q: I am an intern/special research student interested in studying Japanese. Am I eligible?

A: Yes. However, you may only register for Japanese Basic classes if your visa expiration date/last day at OIST is after the final date of the class. For other Japanese and English classes, as long as the course is not full you are eligible to register.

Q: Can my father-in-law/friend/13-year-old child attend language courses at OIST?

A: No. OIST language courses are only available for direct OIST employees and their immediate family (spouses and children over 18).

Q: Where can I buy Japanese or English textbooks for my class?

A: All Japanese and English textbooks can be ordered from Japanese textbooks can also be purchased from the Junkudo bookstore in Naha. Past students have noted that English textbooks are delivered more quickly and are sold at competitive prices on and ELTbooks.

Q: I don't know my level; which class should I register for?

A: Our registration pages have placement tests to help decide which class will suit you best. If it is necessary you may be required to meet a teacher for an interview. We will contact you. If you are trying to register outside of the registration period. You will need to come to the Language Education Section office (b600h, lab 2). Please contact the teachers to make an appointment for your test.

Q: I need help with translation. Can the Japanese/English teachers help me with translation?

A: No. The Language Section does not provide document translation, simultaneous translation, or help with official documents. The Resource Center can help connect you with a translation agency for personal matters. For official OIST business- or research-related translation, please contact the CPR translation team.

Q: I need help with other language-related issues. Can the Japanese/English teachers help me with this?

A: Yes. Please make an appointment through our Booking page. We are happy to help with professional documents, email, announcements, presentations, test preparation, proofreading, and conversation practice. Please be aware that the language teachers are not scientists and can only offer general grammar and style advice on scientific writing.

Q: I want to study for a proficiency test. Are there any special classes for JLPT/TOEFL/TOEIC etc.?

A: The Language Section periodically offers seminars and courses related to proficiency tests. Please contact the teachers or see our website for the most updated information.

The OIST library also has JLPT study material available to check out.