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Should I do Japanese HL?

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Hello! 

So i'm in 10th grade right now, and currently taking Japanese but i'm in Japanese 1 (the most basic course). My school does it this way:

Japanese 1, Japanese 2, Japanese 3 (or if you are doing IB then IB Japanese 1) and Japanese 4 (or IB Japanese 2)

Japanese 3 and 4 are those for who are not taking the IB. IF you are doing IB then the course is named IB Japanese 1 and 2.

I am trying to skip Japanese 2, and my teacher is fine with it as long as I pass this test I will be taking after summer starts. I talked to some of my friends and older students about taking Japanese HL and they all said I was crazy because no one takes Japanese HL unless they are a native or even then they don't. I really like Japanese and I wouldn't mind spending extra time studying for it, but I was wondering should I still take it as an HL? Are you taking any language b HL and you don't speak the language? Is it hard? What's the difference between SL and HL? 

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Language B is a second language and is not supposed to be taken but native speakers.

That being said, Language B can get difficult and time-consuming even at the "intio" level (most basic). The main difference between SL and HL on the exams would be the difficulty of the passages and the length of the written portion. There is a significant difference between the orals as well.

I am currently taking a SL language and it is difficult. Though, I have been told that Ib French is enough to make you relatively fluent in French. I cannot comment on the truth of this statement or whether it can be applied to Japanese as well, however, my reading skills in French has drastically improved.

In short, if you think you can do it and have no need for other subjects at HL, go with the HL course. However, Japanese SL will probably get you by.

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