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Elementary Japanese 1 - 1st year

The student will learn the basic structures of the Japanese language with an emphasis on listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The course will emphasize vocabulary and grammar necessary for beginning communication skills. Vocabulary and grammar skills will be taught by using situational contexts.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of short, learned utterances and some sentence-length utterances, especially where context supports understanding and speech is clear. These simple questions and statements will be related to everyday events, such as: greetings, introductions, and basic transactions at the post office, store, restaurants, and school;

2. Demonstrate understanding of short, simple descriptions of familiar places;

3. Produce short statements and ask simple questions that are common in the everyday situations listed above;

4. Ask questions about the meaning of unknown words;

5. Ask questions primarily by relying on memorized social formulae and set phrases, with occasional sentence-level expansion to meet the needs of contexts similar to those listed above;

6. Identify and demonstrate comprehension of written material in hiragana, katakana, and frequently used kanji without yomigana, with emphasis on survival and immediate needs, such as prices in stores, menus, dates on schedules, and short letters, messages, or memos relating information relevant to various aspects of student life;

7. Write hiragana, katakana, and kanji;

8. Compose short memo-type notes and diary entries related to those situations described above;

9. Demonstrate culturally appropriate conduct relevant to contextual needs, e.g., gestures, greetings, back channeling, and body language.


Course topics will include the following:

1. Vocabulary

2. Listening

3. Speaking

4. Reading

5. Writing

6. Culture

7. Grammar

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Discussion

3. Group/pair work

4. Modeling/role play

5. Language lab

6. Viewing Japanese language videos

Types of Assignments:

1. Language lab or take home language tapes

2. Textbook exercises

3. Vocabulary study

4. Writing assignments

5. Prepared and spontaneous oral production

6. Interviewing Japanese students

Sample Text:

1. Situational and Functional Japanese, Volume One Notes. Tokyo: Bojinsha Co., 1991