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Language Courses

All of JCMU's Japanese language courses cover content comparable to a year's worth of college-level language study. Based on a placement test given at the beginning of program, students will be placed into one of the following levels described below.


Course Overviews

Level 1 - Elementary Japanese

Course Description

This course presumes no prior background in the Japanese language. Students will develop a solid foundation with adequate levels of four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Course Objectives

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

  1. function at a survival level in daily life (shopping by oneself, making requests, initiating and receiving phone calls, etc.);
  2. handle other conversational situations they encounter in daily life by making the most of what has been introduced in the textbook;
  3. comprehend approximately 160 kanji in addition to all the hiragana and katakana symbols which are contextualized in given texts;
  4. write simple passages with appropriate combination of kana symbols and kanji that have been introduced in the textbook;
  5. understand and appreciate many aspects of Japanese socio-cultural practices; and
  6. make a speech on a certain topic by using a variety of basic structural patterns to be introduced on this level.

Coverage

Genki L.1 - L.13

Textbooks & Other Materials

  • Banno et. al. Genki I
  • Banno et. al. Genki Workbook I
  • Genki Lesson 13 packet
  • Various worksheets and handouts

Level 2 - Lower Intermediate Japanese

Course Description

This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Japanese courses at a college level for a minimum of one year (approximately 150 hours of classes) or those who have obtained a comparable level of competency, including mastery of around 150 basic kanji used in various contexts.

Course Objectives

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

  1. improve all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to the point where they can explain and describe things more precisely and in detail;
  2. demonstrate a rudimentary understanding and appreciation of important socio-cultural practices central to effective communication in Japan;
  3. utilize an additional 200 kanji in various contexts with accuracy;
  4. improve the reading and writing skills through the use of essays and short stories with more complex structural patterns;
  5. increase awareness of the different levels and styles of speech (written/spoken, formal/informal, men's/women's, and polite expressions);
  6. exhibit a wider appreciation of Japanese customs, culture, and social phenomena; and
  7. make a speech on a certain topic by using a variety of basic structural patterns to be introduced on this level.

Coverage

Genki L.14 - L.23

Tobira L.1 & L.2

Textbooks & Other Materials

  • Banno et. al. Genki II
  • Banno et. al. Genki Workbook II
  • Tobira L.1 and L.2 packets
  • Various worksheets and handouts

Level 3 - Intermediate Japanese

Course Description

This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Japanese courses at a college level for a minimum of two years, or for those who have obtained a comparable level of competency as to be able to function orally in a wide variety of everyday situations (formal/informal, respectful/humble, male/female, etc.), to comprehend Japanese passages on more technical topics, to write a total of approximately 300 basic kanji in various contexts, to compose an essay, and to deliver a speech in front of native speakers of the language.

Course Objectives

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

  1. talk about themselves or their experiences in a complex and sophisticated manner;
  2. identify a total of about 500 kanji including the ones introduced in lower levels;
  3. summarize, explain, and discuss various topics such as educational systems, history, geography, language styles, religion, and technology;
  4. exhibit a wider appreciation of Japanese customs, culture, and social phenomena; and
  5. make speeches on some topics of their interest by using a variety of more sophisticated and complex structural patterns to be introduced on this level.

Coverage

Tobira L.3 - L.12

Textbooks & Other Materials

  • Oka et. al. Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese
  • Oka et. al. Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese "Kanji Workbook"
  • Various worksheets and handouts

Level 4 - Advanced Japanese

Course Description

This course is designed for students who have taken Japanese courses at a college level for a minimum of three years and who can demonstrate intermediate-high level of skills in all four areas: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. This course will further improve students' language skills through a wide variety of authentic materials such as newspaper / magazine articles, essays, short stories, movies, and TV dramas.

Course Objectives

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

  1. engage in a wide variety of common conversational situations with a high level of accuracy and fluency;
  2. feel comfortable in dealing with authentic materials on a wide variety of topics;
  3. express their opinions on the contents of what they have read or watched in the teaching materials both with high level of consistency and sophistication;
  4. exhibit a better understanding and appreciation of the cultural, social, and economic realm of contemporary Japan; and
  5. make speeches on various topics by using a variety of more sophisticated and complex structural patterns introduced on this level.

Textbooks & Other Materials

  • Oka et. al. Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese
  • "Sazae-san" Packet (Transcript / Vocabulary List / Grammar Notes)
  • "Seikatsu Iji" Packet (Transcript / Vocabulary List / Grammar Notes)
  • "Huuhu no Kizuna" Packet (Transcript / Vocabulary List / Grammar Notes)
  • Reading Materials Packet
  • "Kanji to Kotoba" Nishiguchi Koichi (Three A Network)
  • Various worksheets and handouts

*Contents of the packets are subject to change.

 

Grading and Attendance

  • 25% - Classroom participation and dialogue presentation
  • 10% - Assignments / Homework
  • 15% - Quizzes
  • 45% - Weekly Tests / Mid-terms and Final Examination
  • 5% - Presentation