First Year Japanese - First Term

Course Number: JPN 101
Transcript Title: First Year Japanese
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 7, 2017
Total Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 50
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Introduces Japanese language and culture. Emphasizes effective communicative skills in written and spoken language. Examines the practice, product and perspective of Japanese culture. The first course of a three-course sequence. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply basic understanding of the nature of tonal Japanese language in tone and pitch.
  2. Exchange basic greetings and communicate in predictable settings with appropriate vocabulary.
  3. Apply basic cultural understandings and recognize cultural values when interacting with native speakers of Japanese and authentic texts.
  4. Use an understanding of basic Japanese syntactic system to read and compose simple colloquial Japanese texts in Japanese Kana syllabaries.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed by any combination of the following:

  1. Active participation in class.
  2. Individual presentations.
  3. Contextual written tasks (in or outside of class) to assess reading, writing, cultural, and aural competencies, including reading and and writing of syllabaries.
  4. Oral interviews with partner or instructor.
  5. In class, interactive student role-plays.

Course Activities and Design

The course is taught in an immersion-style requiring various levels of collaboration, creativity, and critical-thinking skills;the course is designed to help student develop the control of their learning and respect toward different cultures through hands-on activities:

  1. One-to-one interviews are graded against a rubric that assesses complexity, comprehensibility, comprehension, fluency, accuracy, and effort.
  2. Project presentations are graded against a rubric that assesses content, organization, creativity, fluency, accuracy, word choice, and voice.
  3. Individual or small activities require self-discipline, cultural literacy, and collaborations in a community-like learning environment.
  4. Japanese word-processing, which enhances critical-thinking will be taught.
  5. Multicultural activities outside the class may be added. (ex. international festival; field trip; collaboration with another class, etc.)

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Include all or most of the following:

  1. Greetings, introductions and leave-takings
  2. Age, birth month, and nationality
  3. Location, provinces and towns within Tokyo district
  4. Japanese last names
  5. Time, weather, telephone numbers and price
  6. Academic subjects and majors
  7. Verbs in non-past, mid-level formal speech or Masu-form
  8. Verbs in past, mid-level formal speech, Masu-form
  9. Numbers, native Japanese and Sino-Japanese system
  10. Single particles
  11. Predicate using the Copula
  12. Interrogatives
  13. Verbs in gerund
  14. Personal pronouns and demonstrative pronouns

Competencies and Skills

  1. Manages introductions, leave taking, and basic formulaic exchanges including comments on weather in a culturally appropriate manner.
  2. Exchanges basic personal information.
  3. Expresses time, telephone numbers, price, and days of the week.
  4. Makes statements about daily activities, and likes and dislikes.
  5. Expresses future activities.
  6. Expresses past activities.
  7. Recognizes basic linguistic and cultural differences between non-Indo-European and Indo-European worlds.
  8. Formulates simple questions and answers.
  9. Identifies and names people and objects.
  10. Writes lists and discrete sentences using syllabaries and a few Kanji.
  11. Reads for general meanings in texts using some cognates.

Materials on cultural literacy and social responsibility are either in English or a mixture of Japanese and English. In-depth discussions are done in English.