Central to the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education is the idea that communication in Japanese can lead to mutual understanding among people.
We are now living in a global society where more and more people come into contact with other cultures as part of their personal and professional lives. In order to deepen mutual understanding through cross-cultural language communication the following two competences are needed.
Competence in accomplishing tasks: the ability to use language to complete specific tasks
Competence in intercultural understanding: the ability to understand and respect one's own and other people's cultures
With the aim of cultivating these competences, the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education has been developed in order to be practically useful in different educational contexts around the world.
The levels of the JF Standard are not based on what kind of grammar you know, or how many words or kanji you know, but what kind of tasks you can accomplish using Japanese.
These Can-dos, beginning with "I can ...", describe ability at completing tasks, and are divided into six levels from A1 to C2. These six levels are the same as those used in the CEFR, so it is possible to understand your Japanese proficiency using levels that are common with those used for other languages.
The JF Standard consists of both CEFR Can-dos and JF Standard Can-dos.
CEFR Can-dos are multipurpose abstract descriptors, while the JF Can-dos are examples of practical language activities related to situations where you use Japanese.
By making these Can-dos learning objectives, you can plan your learning so that it focuses on actual communication.
The six Can-do levels
CEFR is an abbreviation of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages： Learning, teaching, assessment. It is being widely introduced as a common framework for language learning and education around the world.
You can search CEFR Can-dos and JF Can-dos at Minna no Can-do website
The part of the tree where the branches spread out and produce ﬂowers shows speciﬁc communicative language activities, divided into receptive activities, productive activities and interactive activities.
The Can-dos represented by the branches of the tree are examples of communicative language activities.
The roots show communicative language competences, which correspond to knowledge of the Japanese language, such as knowledge of Japanese characters, vocabulary, grammar, etc., and these support the communicative language activities.
By looking at the JF Standard Tree, you can see which communicative language activities your learning objectives are, and which communicative language competences support such activities．
JF Standard Tree
Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture is a series of coursebooks that puts into practice the way of thinking of the JF Standard.
Since the publication of Starter (A1), in 2013, totally 9 volumes have been published.
Japanese-language education incorporating the JF Language Course and Marugoto is spreading around the world. Seminars for Japanese-language teachers to learn how to use the coursebooks are being conducted in Japan and overseas.
Marugoto : Japanese language and Culture