Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test

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I have passed Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test in 2021 and I checked how it is called in English. As I wrote above, it is called Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test, but I was surprised how little information I could find if I look it in English.

What is the Test?

The Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test is conducted by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, and designed for people who are studying to be Japanese teachers or who are already working as Japanese teachers. They are tested to see if their teaching knowledge and skills meet the standards required for Japanese language education professionals. The test consists of five categories: “society, culture, local and community,” “language and society,” “language and psychology,” “language and education,” and “language in general.”


There is no teaching license to teach Japanese issued by Japanese government, and this test is regarded one of the best certification to show person’s competency to teach Japanese. Very unique, though this certification is to teach Japanese language, Wikipedia on this site only has Japanese version. (Link)

What is the test like?

This test is held once a year at several cities in Japan. (Paper-based.) The level of this test is about undergraduate degree on Japanese teaching.

This test has three sections: 1. basic comprehension of teaching Japanese (90 minutes), 2. teaching ability with assessing on learners’ speaking (30 minutes), and 3. practical questions (120 minutes).

In the first section, we need basic and wide comprehension of Japanese teaching, including curriculum design, teaching methodology, and phycology. Since this part is more theoretical, test takers need to familiar with academic topics.

Second session is more practical, but strongly focused on phonology. Test takers need to know IPA and oral chart of Japanese. Since there is not so many opportunity to learn them in Japanese school education system (as a high school student), they have to learn by themselves or take lessons for this test.

Third part is regarded more practical. It has an essay question as well.

In total less than 30% of test takers pass the test. In that sense, this is not that easy one.

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How do I pass the test?

I passed this test without taking any lectures for the test. Since I am familiar with language education in general and phonology, what I have to do is apply my skill on English education for Japanese education. Still. this exam is very challenging and I posted several articles here in Japanese as a study log.

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