Skip to main content


JPN1065 : Level A (HE Entry Level) Japanese I

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Etsuko Suda
  • Other Staff: Ms Fumika Cartlidge
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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 eight contact hours, seven of which are timetabled synchronous teaching hours. They are divided as follows:

1. Grammar & Speaking (4 hrs):

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. Writing & Reading (1 hr):

One hour will be devoted to developing skills in 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.

3. Reading (1hr):
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.

4. Listening & Speaking (1 hr):
The teaching of aural and oral skills will be focused on enabling you to practise the grammatical points and sentence patterns through listening and speaking exercises.

Also, every week you will have one structured guided learning hour:

1. Listening (1 hr)
We shall provide you with weekly listening task sheets to enable you to practice listening exercises. You are expected to complete the task sheets, check the answers and conduct reflective learning before submission.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudySkills practice111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching771:0077:00Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1121:00112:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key grammatical structures, sentence patterns and vocabulary are practised using an integrated communicative approach in practical classes 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 up to 5 times a week and will be assessed either in the classroom or online.

In order to ensure that 112 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A50kanji/vocabulary/grammar, reading comprehension of unseen text, and writing
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M40N/A
Portfolio1M10Weekly tests
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 60 minute written examination enables the assessing of the overall performance of the student in each of the knowledge and skill outcomes. Handwriting skills of Japanese characters are deemed essential at this stage of learning and assessed in the written exam and the writing assignment.

The writing assignment set in the middle of the semester in the classroom ensures students make a full output in the form of writing of grammar and hiragana/katakana/kanji script learning.

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.

Reading Lists