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

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Chantal HEMMI Professor

Yoshimi HIROYASU Professor

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Ayako KITAMURA Professor

Kaoru KOYANAGI Professor

Takafumi SHIMIZU Professor

Wanting HUANG Associate Professor

Yasuhiro IMAI Associate Professor

Ahran KIM Associate Professor

Akiko MASAKI Associate Professor

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Itsuki NAGASAWA Associate Professor

Takanori SATO Associate Professor

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Yasunori TSUTSUMI Associate Professor

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Graham MACKENZIE Associate Professor

Chie URAWA Associate Professor

Katsuya YOKOMOTO Associate Professor

Masako YONEZAWA Associate Professor

Alexander BABULALL Lecturer

Garcia CHAMBERS Lecturer

Neale CUNNINGHAM Lecturer

Brendan GARLAND Lecturer

Sumire HAYASHI Lecturer

Nina KANEMATSU Lecturer

Mayumi KAWASHIMA Lecturer

Koji KOBAYASHI Lecturer

Hiroko KOMATSU Lecturer

Angelina KOVALYOVA Lecturer

Coline MAILLEUX Lecturer

Jennifer MORGAN Lecturer

Sayaka NAKAJIMA Lecturer

Kiyoshi NOGUCHI Lecturer

Philip PATRICK Lecturer

Matthew SCHAEFER Lecturer

Michael WALKER Lecturer

Sophia University

For Others, With Others