Module Catalogue 2020/21

JPN1065 : Level A (HE Entry Level) Japanese I

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Etsuko Suda
  • Other Staff: Ms Fumika Cartlidge
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module establishes a basic foundation in the language systems (grammar, orthography, and phonetics) of Japanese, while beginning to develop reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. You will learn how to recognize and produce Japanese phonetic scripts (hiragana and katakana) and approximately 150 characters (kanji). By the end, you will be able to communicate, both orally and in writing, in simple situations.

The aims of the module are:
(1) To establish the most basic foundation in the language system, upon which students can build language competence for further study;
(2) To allow students to begin to develop receptive (reading and listening) and productive (writing and speaking) skills;
(3) To begin to provide students with skills necessary to become better language learners.

Outline Of Syllabus

Every week you will have five scheduled teaching hours which are divided as follows:

1. Grammar & Speaking (4 hrs): 2 hrs present in person seminars, and 2 hrs online synchronous sessions.

We shall cover the grammatical points listed in the syllabus, which include: particles,
demonstratives, interrogatives, predicate, verbs (verb groups, inflections, transitive, intransitive, etc.), adjectives, numbers, counters, polite style of speech, desiderative, “te” form, affirmative, negative, past, non-past. All points will be explained through the analysis of sentence patterns (bunkei) and will be reinforced by speaking practice such as role-play and pair work.

2. Reading & writing (1 hr): 1hr present in person seminar. One hour will be devoted to developing skills in reading and writing, using the grammatical points, sentence patterns and vocabulary studied from our core textbook earlier on each week. Kanji will be taught thoroughly in class to enhance students’ learning. Translation of basic sentences (English into Japanese and Japanese into English) will also be practised.

Also, every week you will have four structured guided learning hours including:

1. Listening

We shall provide you with listening task sheets to enable you to practice the grammatical points and sentence patterns through listening exercises. You are expected to complete the task sheet, check the answers, and conduct reflective learning before online submission.


We shall cover extra reading tasks using a reading textbook to reinforce your reading skills. You will be guided by the teacher as to how you should complete tasks and submit your work.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students will have:
(1) Competence in writing and reading hiragana, katakana and approximately 150 kanji.
(2) In-depth knowledge of the grammatical points listed in the outline of syllabus.
(3) Correct pronunciation and accent.
(4) Competence in expressing the following notions and functions in the target language: greetings; self-introduction (nationality, age, status/profession, etc.); describing things, people, situations, places, etc.; telling the time (dates, days, hours, etc.); talking about activities (e.g., typical day, plans for the future, past events, etc.); talking about hobbies, interests; expressing existence; talking about wishes/desires; permission; prohibition; coordination of two or more sentences. Please note that this is a partial list.
(5) Ability to speak in a polite style (linguistic register).
(6) Ability in translating simple sentences from Japanese into English and from English into Japanese.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:
(1) Have partial understanding of basic conversational Japanese if spoken clearly and slowly (listening).
(2) Communicate in a very simple manner using the most basic grammatical structures and vocabulary (speaking).
(3) Understand very simple everyday descriptions and dialogues (reading).
(4) Compose very simple everyday descriptions and dialogues in written form using hiragana, katakana and kanji (writing).
(5) Employ basic self-study skills (language learning).

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities361:0036:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching441:0044:0027 hrs present in person. 17 hrs online.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study891:0089:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key grammatical structures, sentence patterns, vocabulary are practised using an integrated communicative approach in 4 hours of practical classes (2 hours in-class and 2 hours online) delivered in seminar style. Oral and aural skills (i.e. speaking and listening) as well as writing and reading are practised throughout the course in task-based activities. Vocabulary tests, grammar tests and kanji tests will take place regularly once a week and will be assessed.

In order to ensure that 119 hours of independent guided study takes place, each contact hour is followed by homework assignments. Many derive from the compulsory workbooks accompanying the core textbook. Additional materials may be distributed in class and are considered an integral part of the homework assignments. There is a minimum homework submission requirement of 70%, with this percentage being calculated every 6 weeks. Where appropriate, individualised formative feedback is provided (e.g. for writing assignments involving a creative element).

This module is taught and assessed in English and Japanese (including hiragana, katakana and kanji scripts). English will be applied for the following activities: 1. Explanation of grammatical structures; 2. Translation from English to Japanese and from Japanese to English.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination991M8048 hr take home unseen written exam: kanji/vocabulary/grammar test, reading comprehension of unseen text, and writing.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Writing assignment and regular vocabulary/grammar/kanji tests .
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Regular vocabulary, grammar and kanji tests are necessary in order to allow students to acquire competence in a steady and growing fashion. It also gives students the possibility to have constant feedback on their performance.

The written examination enables the assessing of the overall performance of the student in each of the knowledge and skill outcomes.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.