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JPN1065 : Level A (HE Entry Level) Japanese I

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


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 which are divided as follows:
1. Grammar & Speaking (4 hr): seminar (interactive).
We shall cover the grammatical points listed in the syllabus, which includes: 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.
2. Listening/Speaking (2 hrs): seminar style.
We shall practice the grammatical points and sentence patterns through conversation, listening.
3. Reading & writing (2 hr): seminar style.
Two hours will be devoted to developing skills in reading and writing, using the grammatical points, sentence patterns and vocabulary studied in the previous 6 hours. 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 practiced.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching961:0096:008hrs per week x 11 weeks 8hrs x 1 week for revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1104:00104:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key grammatical structures, sentence patterns, vocabulary are practised using an integrated communicative approach in 4 hours of 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 involving individual, pair and group work.

Vocabulary tests, grammar tests and kanji tests will take place regularly once a week and will be assessed.

In order to ensure that 104 hours of independent guided study takes place, each contact hour is followed by homework assignments relating to what has just been introduced/practised. 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).

Students are required to spend at least one hour a week in the Language Resource Centre, working on listening work prescribed by the teacher.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M35Continuous assessment I (50mins) - Vocab test, Kanji test, grammar test, translation, reading, composition (In Week 7)
Written exercise1M20Weekly Vocabulary and Grammar and Kanji tests.
Prof skill assessmnt1M45Continuous assessment II (50mins)will include Vocab, Kanji & grammar tests, translation of basic sentences, reading & writing. Wk 12
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 continuous assessment tests allow assessing the overall performance of the student in each of the knowledge and skill outcomes.

Reading Lists