The course ‘Japanese for Beginners 1’ of St Petersburg University has become one of the world’s 20 most popular online courses starting this July, according to the international platform Class Central. More than 18,000 people have already joined it.

The course ‘Japanese for Beginners 1’ is designed for a wide audience and is available free of charge in Russian and English. As noted in the Class Central MOOCReport,  the course is aimed at those who are interested in understanding the Japanese way of thinking and their view of the world through learning the language.

Students of the course get acquainted with: Japanese grammar at level A1 and the phonetic rules; reading and writing using the kanji characters as well as the hiragana and katakana scripts; and the peculiarities of communication etiquette. The course is taught by outstanding experts in Japanese studies at St Petersburg University: Inga Ibrakhim, Candidate of Philology and Associate Professor at the Department of Japanese Studies; Yoshiko Arakawa, Candidate of Philology and Associate Professor at the Department of Japanese Studies; Nadia Hassan Issa, Assistant Professor at the Department of Japanese Studies; and Mariia Malashevskaia, Associate Professor at the Department of Theory of Social Development of Asian and African Countries.

A new session of the English-speaking course starts this week on the Coursera platform; the Russian-speaking course is available on the Open edX educational platform.

‘Learning languages contributes to the development of our abilities: to solve multiple tasks simultaneously; to shift more easily between different tasks; to develop creative and intellectual perception; and to train our consciousness. In our course, in addition to grammar, a lot of attention is paid to the Japanese writing system. It is this aspect that causes the greatest difficulties for beginners learning Japanese,’ said Vladimir Starostenko, Director of the Centre of E-Learning Development at St Petersburg University.

St Petersburg University is the leader in the number of online courses among Russian universities. The Open edX educational platform offers 132 courses in various disciplines: from nuclear physics to neurolinguistics and Chinese. 93 online courses from St Petersburg University are available on the Coursera international platform.

Class Central is a search engine that aggregates information on online courses hosted on the world's largest educational platforms. The resource helps users navigate the courses of top universities and choose the right one. It also regularly publishes news and analytical reviews in the field of online education. Class Central has an audience of over 20 million people worldwide.