It’s been a long road, but you’ve finally made it.
You’re officially an advanced Japanese learner.
The journey has probably been a difficult one but ultimately incredibly rewarding.
Celebrate! Be proud of yourself! Far too many don’t get to this level.
Now that you’ve leaped over the long-standing hump known as “intermediate learner” you may be asking yourself:
Finding the ideal advanced Japanese course or lesson doesn’t have to be a hassle.
And despite what some may think, advanced learners can definitely benefit from taking a formal online course.
Practicing your fluency and what you’ve previously learned can only take you so far.
A course can help you learn difficult vocabulary words and sentence structures that you’ll eventually need to really be a fluent Japanese speaker.
Also, if you plan on acing your JLPT for, say, a teaching position, a course is definitely necessary.
Not convinced? Let’s break down why advanced learners need advanced courses.
How Taking Advanced Lessons Can Help You Become Fluent
Get past the hump.
Taking lessons tailored for advanced learners can help you get unstuck from “advanced” limbo.
Beginner learners eventually find themselves stuck in “intermediate limbo” and it’s not much different for advanced learners, either.
If you have no clue where to go from here or perhaps if you’re struggling to find an advanced Japanese course that fits your needs, our list of great online Japanese courses will be a lifesaver.
Know your level.
For those who don’t know, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is a standardized test used to gauge how good one’s reading, writing, speaking, listening and comprehension skills are in Japanese.
The test is broken down into five sections (N1 through N5, N1 being near fluency) and is used to formally determine whether a Japanese learner is fit for teaching Japanese.
Many advanced online lessons adhere to the JLPT fluency rating system, so you’ll know exactly which course is ideal for your level of advanced learning.
Reviews don’t lie.
All the courses we’ll be mentioning have rave reviews, so you know you’re investing in a lesson that works.
Trust reviews, whether it’s for a restaurant on Yelp or an online Japanese course!
You don’t want some random Joe Schmo handling your educational future, right? The courses on our list are run and taught by accredited teachers, most of whom are native Japanese speakers.
Don’t stop learning now!
Of course, you can continue to use all the learning methods that have gotten you this far as you progress towards fluency with online courses.
One of the best ways to reach that native-level Japanese is through immersion. And no one does immersion-at-home better than FluentU!
FluentU takes real-world Japanese videos—like music videos, movie trailers, documentaries, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
It naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You’ll learn real Japanese as it’s spoken in real life.
Just take a look at the wide variety of authentic video content available in the program. Here’s a small sample:
You’ll discover tons of new Japanese vocabulary through these great clips.
Don’t worry about your skill level being an issue when it comes to understanding the language. FluentU makes native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts.
Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
You’ll see definitions, in-context usage examples and helpful illustrations. Simply tap “add” to send interesting vocabulary words to your personal vocab list for later review.
FluentU even uses a learning program which adapts to your specific needs, to turn every video into a language learning lesson and get you to actively practice your newly-learned language.
5 Advanced Japanese Lessons Online for Native-level Fluency
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a vast amount of online courses. One of them is the Advanced Japanese I course, an undergraduate resource that’s ideal for those who have just finished intermediate studies.
This course is designed to improve listening and written proficiency. The main focus is on vocabulary, kanji studies and grammar.
If you struggle with speaking and listening, this is a great course to try. You’ll also benefit from this one if you’re focusing more on kanji and Japanese reading and writing skills.
Everything you need to complete your studies is readily available, including lessons, materials and downloadable content like mp3 files and readings.
If you prefer having a teacher available to help, this course may not be ideal for you. On the other hand, it’s tuition-free. Nothing’s better than free, right?
Rocket Languages offers a ton of language courses divided into three levels. Their Platinum Japanese course is level three and designed for advanced learners.
This course is all about quick learning for optimal time management. Like the previous course, the lesson plan for this course focuses primarily on speaking and listening in Japanese for more complex situations and fluency.
To enroll in this course, you’ll need to purchase a level three membership for approximately $259.90. With this membership, you’ll gain access to interactive audio, language and culture lessons, voice recognition software for practice and three bonus survival kits.
There are no requirements for enrolling, but you may have to take a test to determine if advanced Japanese is ideal for you.
Are you studying for JLPT N2, one of the highest levels of formal fluency? This fantastic course from Udemy is perfect for you.
In this course, which is only $11.99 with a money-back guarantee, you’ll be formally trained by a native speaker for the purpose of acing your JLPT N2.
The ultimate goal of these lessons is to pass the exam and gain proficiency in reading newspapers, magazines, books and emails. So, it focuses on both writing skills and spoken comprehension skills.
For this course, you’ll need a basic knowledge of hiragana and katakana as well as general JLPT N3 level knowledge.
Even if you aren’t studying for the exam, this course is great for those who want to study business Japanese.
Each lesson includes kanji tests, vocabulary words, reading practice, grammar practice and more.
Using it is super easy and works with your schedule, too—all you need to do is sign up and all the videos, lectures and course materials are available for you to learn as you go. If necessary, you can get in touch with your teacher and other students for extra help.
JLPT N1 is the highest level of Japanese fluency. By passing this exam, you’re opening up a ton of doors for job and internship opportunities. But since this test is so intense, even advanced Japanese students who think they’re ready often still need some extra help.
In this course, you’ll study reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar and comprehension at the N1 level.
There doesn’t seem to be a formal requirement for taking it, but it’s recommended that you pass the N2 exam before enrolling. Signing up is very simple and Japonin has fantastic customer service.
Japanese Online Institute’s JLPT N1 Study Course is perfect for you if your goal is to ace the N1 exam.
Japonin is currently offering three trial lessons for $9, after which you’ll need to pay approximately $10 per lesson in addition to purchasing several textbooks.
You can start this course at any time, but classes take place on Mondays at six am, 11 am or 10 pm Japan Time. This is about as flexible as it gets for this course, but if you want some seriously valuable lessons, the price and strict class times are well worth it.
Udemy makes the list again with their Japanese Language Teacher Training Program, and for good reason.
This course, which costs approximately $11.99 per lesson (for a two-lesson program), is specifically designed for advanced learners who have passed JLPT N1 exam and wish to become proficient enough to teach Japanese.
Think of it as a polishing course to get as fluent and teaching-ready as possible.
In this course, you’ll be formally trained in word order, linguistic types, N1 prep if you haven’t yet passed the test and context dependency. It’s a fantastic resource to put on your resume if you’re trying to obtain a Japanese language teacher license.
Once you get to this kind of advanced level, vocabulary and grammar become less important. However, nuances in the Japanese language are vital to learning if you plan to teach. This course has just about everything you need, presented in accessible and well-crafted video lessons.
Each class is approximately two hours long and includes several supplemental resources. You’ll also receive a certificate of completion at the end.
Yay for resources! We bet you’ve found the perfect advanced Japanese course online for your specific needs.
Once you sign up, with some elbow grease and a lot of dedication, you’ll soon be a top-tier fluent Japanese speaker.
Emily Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. She writes about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Japanese with real-world videos.