The Japanese language courses offered by the East Asian Studies Department puts equal emphasis on all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The program offers a comprehensive course of study in the modern language. The first three years of instruction (Elementary I and II, Intermediate I and II, and Advanced I and II) focus on mastery of the four skills. Elementary Japanese I is for those who have never studied Japanese before. By the end of Advanced Japanese II (the third year), students should have a solid language foundation enabling them to explore and understand authentic materials such as literature, films, etc.
In addition to these core language courses, we offer elective post-advanced courses. For those students who have completed Intermediate I, courses with specific language emphasis are also available (please refer to course descriptions).
The language curriculum provides a foundation for students who hope to pursue graduate study or careers involving Japanese language. Syllabi provided below are sample drafts, and are subject to change. For more information, please contact the Japanese Language Coordinator.
Elementary Japanese I, II
EAST-UA 247, 248 No previous training in the language is required for EAST-UA 247. Prerequisite for EAST-UA 248: EAST-UA 247 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points per term.
Introductory course in modern spoken and written Japanese, designed to develop fundamental skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Gives contextualized instructions to develop both communicative and cultural competency. Systematically introduces the Japanese writing system (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji).
Intermediate Japanese I, II
EAST-UA 249,0250 Prerequisite for EAST-UA 249: EAST-UA 248 with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite for EAST-UA 250: EAST-UA 249 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points per term.
Continuing study of Japanese at the intermediate level. Stresses reading comprehension, spoken fluency, and composition, with materials organized around social and cultural topics. Continues to introduce new Kanji characters.
Advanced Japanese I, II
EAST-UA 252,0253 Prerequisite for EAST-UA 252: EAST-UA 250 with a minimum grade of C+. Prerequisite for EAST-UA 253: EAST-UA 252 with a minimum grade of C+. Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points per term.
Continuing study of Japanese at the advanced level. Stresses reading comprehension, spoken fluency, and composition; uses original materials, such as newspaper/magazine articles, TV news, and video. Introduces additional Kanji characters. Advanced use of Japanese and character dictionaries.
Readings in Contemporary Japanese Writings
EAST-UA 266 Prerequisites: Advanced Japanese II (EAST-UA 253) with a minimum grade of C+ and permission of the instructor. Offered every year. 4 points.
Close readings of contemporary Japanese writings in social commentaries, history, and literature. Emphasizes further reading and writing skills and, to a lesser extent, speaking and listening. Students develop further strategies for autonomous learning.
Readings in Modern Japanese Writings
EAST-UA 267 Prerequisites: Advanced Japanese II (EAST-UA 253) with a minimum grade of C+ and permission of the instructor. Offered every year. 4 points.
Designed to further develop students’ proficiency in speaking, listening, writing, and reading comprehension. The texts of the course are from Japanese modern literature, social commentaries, history, and literature. Students learn and practice a wider range of useful vocabulary and expressions with reinforcement of previously learned grammatical patterns and structures through student-led discussions, presentations, and papers.
Japanese for Reading Proficiency
EAST-UA 268 Prerequisites: by placement examination and permission of the instructor only. Offered every year. 4 points.
Covers all grammatical structures and essential Kanji characters (550+) that are introduced in elementary and intermediate Japanese courses. Intended for students with a post-intermediate level of oral-aural skills, the course is a self-paced study leading to proficiency in reading and writing skills for either CAS foreign language requirement exemption or enrollment (by permission) in advanced Japanese courses.
Japanese Language and Structure in Mass Media
EAST-UA 269 Prerequisites: EAST-UA 249 with a minimum grade of C+ and permission of the instructor. Offered every year. 4 points.
Introduces students to various ways in which Japanese language shapes and is shaped by mass media. Students learn the dynamic challenges posed to the formal structure of the language (for instance, grammar) as it is practiced in multiple mediums such as television, film (including anime), and print culture (graphic novels, genre literature such as crime novels). The course also addresses the practice of translation, for instance, the grammar of cinematic modes juxtaposed with the grammar of literary language, the vernacular, and so on. This course is for post-Intermediate I through Advanced II students who would like to develop more oral-aural skills at the second-year level. (Post-Advanced II students should take EAST-UA 262, Conversation and Composition in Japanese.)
Writing Japanese in New Media
EAST-UA 272 Prerequisites: EAST-UA 250 or equivalent and permission of instructor. Offered every year. 4 points
This course is focused primarily on further developing students writing skills. Students will be exposed to various forms of writings and audiovisual materials. Weekly readings and/or video viewing will be assigned, followed by class discussion and exercises. Writing assignments will be done primarily using wiki and will be shared and reviewed by classmates and the instructor. At the end of the course, students will complete their own wiki page on the (approved) topic of their choice. In addition, an email project with Japanese college students is scheduled. This project will have students exchange emails in both Japanese and English with their counterpart(s) in Japan in order to have better understanding of the languages and cultures through authentic communication.