Language Education

To cultivate the language skills necessary for interacting with global society and deepening an understanding of different cultures and values, Sophia University offers a variety of language courses and is highly supportive of students simultaneously acquiring multiple languages.

English Courses

This program aims to help students acquire English language skills like learning and thinking and collaborating with others in English.

Academic Communication (AC) 1 & 2 are required during the first year and incorporate the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) method. In AC1, a spring semester course, students improve their English for Academic Purposes (EAP) skills. In AC2, a fall semester course, students learn academic content in English based on the skills acquired in AC1, thereby developing their critical thinking and collaboration skills.

Students are then free to take elective courses according to their own specialization, needs, and interests to acquire functional English skills.

Placement Tests

New students in departments where English is required must undergo an English placement test administered by the Sophia University Center for Language Education and Research immediately after enrollment to be appropriately assigned to one of seven class levels.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

CLIL is being practiced and researched in many European countries as a new educational method to simultaneously improve knowledge in academic fields and develop language skills. Sophia University is home to the largest CLIL research center in Japan and was one of the first to introduce it into its curriculum. While learning about a variety of topics in English, students develop critical thinking skills, acquire cooperative learning skills, and broaden their international perspectives.

A Wide Variety of Language Courses

Sophia University offers language courses in 22 languages, a truly unique offering. Most students study English and one other language, but many students study three or more languages. The opportunity to study a wide range of languages from a variety of regions is a highly unique feature of Sophia University’s wide range of educational fields and its tradition of global education.

Sophia University’s Language Offerings:

English / Japanese / German / French / Ispania / Italian / Chinese / Korean / Russian / Portuguese / Latin / Indonesian / Filipino / Arabic / Thai / Persian / Cambodian / Burmese / Turkish / Vietnamese / Hindi / Swahili

LLC(Language Learning Commons)

Located on the first floor of Building 6, the LLC supports language learning for undergraduate,  graduate, and international students with initiatives to motivate students to learn languages and give back to their classes and fellow students. Books and DVDs can be borrowed to support students who wish to pursue language studies in a variety of ways.

What You Can Do at LLC

Foreign Language Communication

Small, practical conversational group lessons in a variety of languages to work on speaking and listening skills with a student instructor.

English Learning Advisor System

Advising students on efficient study methods. For students who wish to study abroad in an English-speaking country or who want to improve their English language skills for their studies and career.

Beginning Language Learning Advisor

Faculty members in charge of each language provide advice on how to learn a foreign language in general, including preparation for certification exams.

ALC NetAcademy NEXT

In addition to the four skills of Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking, we offer e-learning materials for comprehensive language learning with the addition of vocabulary and grammar skills. Students can use their smartphones or computers to continuously learn English at their own pace.

Writing Tutor System

A tutoring program to improve English and Japanese writing skills with senior-level, experienced tutors (Available only for  languages in which the student is not native)

Language Exchange

Lunchtime events where international students learning Japanese and students learning foreign languages can introduce themselves and play games, providing a great opportunity to get to know students from other countries while practicing a foreign language.

John Nissel Cup


The John Nissel Cup, Sophia University’s national English speech contest for high school students, has been held annually since 2011, aiming to help high school students improve their English skills by giving them an opportunity to present their thoughts in English in a public forum.

If the winners of this competition are admitted to Sophia University in the future, they will receive various benefits and support.

John Nissel Cup Scholarship

A scholarship (for all four years) is awarded to the top finishers of the John Nissel Cup

Benefits Eligibility

Those who place within the first 6 top places for the John Nissel Cup

Benefits Period

Course period (four years)

※ with continued examination

Benefits Amount

1st place: full tuition fee amount, 2nd – 3rd place: half tuition fee amount, 4th – 6th place: one-third tuition amount

About the Center for Language Education and Research

The Center for Language Education and Research conducts educational and research activities with the goal of further enriching and developing foreign language education, enabling students to acquire skills in a variety of foreign languages necessary to a globalized world and cultural diversification.

For more information on language education at Sophia University and the latest news on the John Nissel Cup, please visit the Center for Language Education and Research (CLER) website at Sophia University.

Faculty Members

Center for Language Education and Research


Tamotsu FUJITA Professor

Research Areas Second Language Acquisition,Bilingualism,TESOL
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Yoshimi HIROYASU Professor

Research Areas Spanish Language Education,Linguistics
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Ayako KITAMURA Professor

Research Areas French Language Education,French Phonetics,Phonetic Education

Kaoru KOYANAGI Professor

Research Areas Language Acquisition Theories,Applied Psycholinguistics,Japanese Language Pedagogy

Fuyuki MINE Professor

Research Areas Second Language Acquisition,Japanese Linguistics,Japanese Language Pedagogy

Takafumi SHIMIZU Professor

Research Areas Second Language Acquisition,Interlanguage Pragmatics,Japanese Language Pedagogy

Yoshiaki SUGIKI Professor

Research Areas English Literature
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Yasushi FURUTA Associate Professor

Research Areas Italian Literature

Wanting HUANG Associate Professor

Research Areas Linguistics (Discourse Analysis,Semantics,Pragmatics),Chinese Language Education

Yasuhiro IMAI Associate Professor

Research Areas Second Language Education,Emotion and Learning,Individual Psychology (Adlerian Psychology)
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Ahran KIM Associate Professor

Research Areas Japanese-Korean Contrastive Linguistics
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Akiko MASAKI Associate Professor

Research Areas German Phonetics,Phonetic Education
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Itsuki NAGASAWA Associate Professor

Research Areas Pedagogical Japanese Grammar & Vocabulary,History of the Japanese Language,Japanese Language Pedagogy

Takanori SATO Associate Professor

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,Language Testing,English as a Lingua Franca
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Katsuya YOKOMOTO Associate Professor

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,TESOL

Graham MACKENZIE Project Professor

Research Areas English as a Medium of Instruction,Attitudes to the English Language in Japan,CLIL

Elisa Ramona ACOSTA Lecturer

Research Areas Group Dynamics,Student Autonomy,Second-language Acquisition,Intercultural Communication

Hiroko AIKAWA Lecturer

Research Areas Sociolinguistics,TESOL

Alexander BABULALL Lecturer

Research Areas Negotiated Syllabi,Practical Activities for Developing,Language Skills and Process Writing

Garcia CHAMBERS Lecturer

Research Areas Aesthetic Appreciation in English Education,Japanese Aesthetics,Applied Contemporary Aesthetics,Postcolonial Literature

Emi FUKASAWA Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,Interlanguage Pragmatics

Brendan GARLAND Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,English Literature

Reginald GENTRY Lecturer

Research Areas Second Language Acquisition,TESOL,Second Language Writing

Sumire HAYASHI Lecturer

Research Areas CLIL,TESOL

Mayumi KAWASHIMA Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,Sociolinguistics,Intercultural Communication

Koji KOBAYASHI Lecturer

Research Areas Japanese Linguistics,Japanese Language Pedagogy

Angelina KOVALYOVA Lecturer

Research Areas Writing Competence,MALL (mobile-assisted language learning),EFL (English as a foreign language)

Coline MAILLEUX Lecturer

Research Areas French Language Education,Online Learning

Aiko MINEMATSU Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,TESOL

Jason McEVOY Lecturer

Research Areas Anthropology,Ethnography,Critical Thinking,and Intercultural Pragmatics

Mika NAGASU Lecturer

Research Areas Japanese Linguistics,Japanese Language Education

Sayaka NAKAJIMA Lecturer

Research Areas Spanish Language Education,History of Chilean Culture in the 20th Century

Kiyoshi NOGUCHI Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,Japanese Language Education

Matthew SCHAEFER Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,TESOL

Tokiko SERA Lecturer

Research Areas Japanese Linguistics,Japanese Language Education

Asami SUZUKI Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,TESOL

Michael WALKER Lecturer

Research Areas Applied Linguistics,TESOL,Pragmatics

Masako YONEZAWA Lecturer

Research Areas Japanese Linguistics,Japanese Language Education

Zhang Tong Lecturer

Research Areas Teaching Chinese as a second language,Physical and health education

Sophia University

For Others, With Others