Japanese Language

Students who have prior preparation of Japanese language are placed in language courses based on the results of a placement exam and an oral interview with an instructor. Students who have lived in Japan, or use Japanese at home are required to take a placement exam administered prior to the beginning of the fall quarter. Contact the Japanese Studies office for more information.

JAPN 10 A-B-C First-Year Japanese

Objectives

Listening

At the end of first-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. listen to descriptions about people’s personal information such as his/her school, hometown, birthday, family, etc., places and buildings, people’s daily activities, weather, people’s hobbies, eating habits, culture classes, people’s clothing, travelogues, features of houses, simple radio broadcast, simple announcement at a department store, station, etc. and grasp crucial information from them to get by without much difficulty.
  2. listen to semi-authentic weather forecast and prepare appropriately for outing.
  3. understand directions to a place and get there without much difficulty.

Speaking

At the end of first-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. ask and tell colors. 
  2. ask and tell directions to a place.
  3. ask and tell if something occurs or occurred. 
  4. ask and tell locations, existence and price.
  5. ask and tell telephone numbers, time and amount of time.
  6. compare people and things, using appropriate adjectives and its conjugations.
  7. count numbers up to 10,000, using appropriate counters such as mai for a thin flat object.
  8. describe people and things, using adjectives and adverbs accurately and appropriately.
  9. exchange personal information such as school, hometown, birthday, family, etc.
  10. express one’s abilities such as “can swim,” using the potential form of verbs accurately.
  11. express one’s desires, thoughts, intentions and opinions.
  12. express one’s past experiences such as “have done before.”
  13. express prohibition and obligation.
  14. express two actions taking place simultaneously.
  15. express who gave something to whom or who received it from whom.
  16. extend and accept invitations to do something together and offers to do something for someone/you.
  17. greet others and introduce yourself, family and friends.
  18. make suggestions in which you are or are not included.
  19. offer foods or beverages and accept or decline such offers politely.
  20. refuse invitations or offers politely or make alternative arrangements.
  21. report what other people said and what you heard.
  22. request and grant permission.
  23. talk about daily activities and events, using the present, progressive or past tense.
  24. talk about hobbies, pastimes and sports
  25. talk about household chores.
  26. talk about houses, furnishings and appliances.
  27. talk about one’s likes and dislikes regarding the academic subjects, foods and beverages, sports, etc.
  28. talk about shops and stores, shopping, and clothes.
  29. talk about travel planning and travel schedule.
  30. talk about travel, transportation and sightseeing.
  31. talk about weather, climate, the four seasons and forecasting, using the form of comparatives, superlatives and conjectures. talk about your classroom, campus, hometown, neighborhood and places around town.
  32. use compound and complex sentences that involve a relative clause and a temporal clause such as -toki (when), -mae (before), -ato (after) accurately and appropriately .
  33. use the Japanese conditional sentences such as -tara and -to, etc. appropriately.
  34. use verb and adjective conjugations accurately and appropriately.

Reading

At the end of first-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. read and write hiragana, katakana and about 230 basic kanji.
  2. read short materials that don’t involve too complicated sentences about classmates/friends, town, daily life, weather, hobbies, culture classes, menus, restaurants, clothes, travel information, travel guides, directions to a place and estate ads and answer questions about the contents without difficulty.
  3. grasp the gist of semi-authentic reading materials relating to the above topics which contain some unknown kanji, vocabulary and grammar and answer questions about the contents without much difficulty.
  4. grasp information from simple authentic materials such as daily schedules, weather forecast, class schedules, menus, receipts, train station signs, advertisements, invitations, travel guides, etc. to convey the information to others without much difficulty.

Writing

At the end of first-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. write simple memos such as class schedule, shopping list, etc.
  2. write short explanatory texts or essays about yourself (birthday, age, school year, major, etc.), family (who is in your family, their ages, birthdays, etc.), friends (birthday, age, school year, major, etc.), neighborhood, daily life activities, foods and sports you like and dislike, and travel experiences, etc. using the grammatical structures and hiragana, katakana and kanji that have been taught.

Culture

At the end of first-year Japanese, comparing and contrasting the country where you were born and/or brought up, students will be able to:

  1. understand what you can or cannot ask others about their personal information.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the Japanese writing system and the format of writing personal letters/postcards.
  3. demonstrate an understanding of how the Japanese people typically spend leisure time and what they typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. understand some of the gestures the Japanese people use and customs they practice, such as the way to count with fingers, to bow, to exchange name cards, etc.

Prerequisites:

  • JAPN 10A: None.   
  • JAPN 10 B: JAPN 10A, course equivalent or through a placement exam. 
  • JAPN 10C: JAPN 10B, course equivalent, or through a placement exam

JAPN 20 A-B-C Second-Year Japanese

Objectives

Listening

At the end of second-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. understand questions and speech about oneself and others.
  2. understand semi-authentic conversations from daily life situations, such as a doctor visit, car mechanic visit, which involves asking/seeking advice.
  3. understand semi-authentic conversations, such as job interviews, biography, and a public speech, and to distinguish speech-style differences and social status, including basic Keigo.
  4. understand semi-authentic speech about the environment, nature and culture, which states and supports one’s opinion.
  5. understand the gist of simple authentic Japanese news videos and other TV programs related to transportation, health, life, careers, communications, mass media, nature and culture (including pop culture).
  6. understand an authentic research presentation by a classmate about Japanese pop-culture.

Reading

At the end of second-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. read and write about 450 basic kanji.
  2. read semi-authentic materials with advanced grammar structures about cars and transportation, health, life and career, communications, media, nature and culture. Then answer questions about content without difficulty.
  3. grasp the gist of semi-authentic reading materials relating to the above topics which contain some unknown kanji, vocabulary and grammar and answer questions about the contents without much difficulty. 
  4. grasp information from semi-authentic materials related to the contents listed above to convey information to others without much difficulty.
  5. Read semi-authentic research papers about Japanese pop culture, and understand the structure of the material and vocabularies.

Speaking

At the end of second-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. talk about oneself and others.
  2. talk about daily life situations such as a doctor visit, car mechanic visit, which involve asking/seeking advice.
  3. talk about a job interview with appropriate speech-style including basic honorific and humble forms.
  4. talk about the environment, nature and culture, providing one’s opinion.
  5. talk about transportation, health, life, careers, nature and culture (including pop culture).
  6. make a brief research presentation about Japanese pop-culture by expressing one’s opinions clearly and logically.
  7. talk about feeling and emotions
  8. make a phone call in a proper manner
  9. seeking and giving instructions about a driving situation
  10. present opinions clearly providing various conjunctions, comparisons, citations, and adding points.
  11. use transitive and intransitive verbs accurately
  12. express a just completed action using  〜たばかり  &  〜たところ
  13. use causative verb form, passive verb form and causative-passive verb form accurately and appropriately
  14. use conditional form such as ~ば accurately and appropriately
  15. use various use of よう such as attempt, analogy, exemplification & a change in state accurately and appropriately
  16. express one’s appearance using ~は〜が、〜よう、そう、らしい、& みたい
  17. express expectation using 〜はず
  18. express a speaker’s emotional involvement using 〜ものだ
  19. express a speaker’s desire using 〜てほしい
  20. express concession using〜ても

Writing

At the end of second-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. try to state and support one’s opinion clearly and logically
  2. write while paying attention to organization.
  3. try to write sentences with various newly learned grammar structures.
  4. read and write about 450 basic kanji.
  5. write 600-800 characters of explanatory texts or essays about a dream car, one’s healthy habit, taboos in one’s home countries, using the grammatical structures and hiragana, katakana and kanji that have been taught.
  6. Create a short original dialogue about the daily life of a group of 2-3 students, with various learned grammar structures, such as transitive/ intransitve, passive form of verbs and others.
  7. write a basic research paper (both first draft and final draft) about Japanese pop culture, consisting with at least four paragraphs, based on one’s own group research, with appropriate vocabulary to “compare and examine” and to express social values in the topic. (at the end of spring quarter only).

Culture

At the end of second-year Japanese, comparing and contrasting the country where you were born and/or brought up, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of Japanese style marriage ceremony such as speech that they should make and presents that they should avoid
  2. demonstrate an understanding of Japanese Katakana words derived from English such as Ea-kon.
  3. demonstrate an understanding of what Japanese peoples’ concepts are about nature and the environment.
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the Japanese educational system
  5. demonstrate an understanding of how Japanese seek jobs, such as job-interview, fashion, job-seeking ads
  6. demonstrate an understanding of hierarchy in Japanese society demonstrate an understanding of various kinds of J-pop phenomenon such as manga, and so on.

Prerequisites:

  • JAPN 20A: JAPN 10C, course equivalent or through a placement exam.   
  • JAPN 20 B: JAPN 20A, course equivalent or through a placement exam. 
  • JAPN 20C: JAPN 20B, course equivalent, or through a placement exam

JAPN 130 A-B-C Third-Year Japanese

Objectives

This course is designed to improve students’ Japanese language skills to Intermediate High to Advance Low level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and develop communication strategies and language-learning strategies necessary for being independent learners. Students will discuss social and cultural phenomena of contemporary Japan, conduct research, write a short paper, and give presentation.

Listening

Students will be able to:

  1. display understanding of crucial information from a conversation or speech containing explanations or descriptions of familiar issues, such as experiences with different cultures, by answering comprehension questions about or reporting on it.
  2. display understanding of the gist of a conversation and, from the speech style, the relationship between the speaker and the people and things that are being discussed by answering comprehension questions.
  3. demonstrate understanding of the gist of a conversation or speech by using clues in the context even if there are unknown vocabulary and expressions.

Examples of activities: 130A Students will listen to a conversation/view a video and - identify the relationship between the speakers in the conversation. - answer comprehension questions.

Reading

Students will be able to:

  1. identify the gist of rather long reading materials by answering questions about or reporting on it.
  2. pull out necessary information from reading materials which have been carefully chosen for the learners and report on it.
  3. obtain information from a variety of written authentic material by using a dictionary and answer comprehension questions.
  4. identify the difference between the written and spoken languages.

Examples of activities: 130A

Students will read authentic/semi-authentic texts and

  • identify the main idea of the texts.
  • answer comprehension questions.
  • practice guessing the meaning of unknown kanji using their knowledge of kanji.

Speaking

Students will be able to:

  1. initiate, sustain, and close a general conversation (collecting information, giving explanations, making requests, negotiating) with a number of strategies which show knowledge of the relationship between language and culture
  2. use appropriate speech levels such as honorific/humble, casual/formal, based upon knowledge of Japanese social conventions.
  3. make simple comments about current events in society
  4. give factual explanations of familiar issues and give simple opinions about them
  5. formulate and support opinions, and exchange and modify one's opinions in a simple manner
  6. paraphrase using previously-learned expressions in Japanese
  7. conduct research and give a short presentation on the findings.

Examples of activities: 130A

  • Students will practice speaking in pairs/groups.
  • Students will practice asking a Japanese teacher to write a letter of recommendation in a culturally proper way by opening a request-making conversation appropriately, giving reasons for making a request, and ending the conversation appropriately.
  • Students will practice asking a Japanese friend to do them a favor in a culturally proper way by opening a request-making conversation appropriately, giving reasons for making a request, and ending the conversation appropriately.
  • Students will practice negotiating with a Japanese friend when their request is declined. - Students will practice discussing the pros and cons of issues (gift-giving customs/taboos) and state opinions about it.
  • Students will practice rephrasing/paraphrasing what they want to say when they do not know the exact expressions.

Writing

Students will be able to:

  1. write a short letter or memo, using an appropriate speech style and format.
  2. use appropriate transitions and write short coherent essays
  3. summarize the main points of written material about familiar topics.
  4. summarize and report on information obtained from texts.
  5. write a short paper (1200-1400 characters) about the findings of research conducted by the students.
  6. distinguish the difference between the spoken and written style and write compositions consistently using the written style

Examples of activities: 130A

  • Students will write a memo to a teacher requesting a favor in a culturally proper way by opening a request-making conversation appropriately, giving reasons for making a request, and ending a conversation appropriately.
  • Students will write an essay discussing the pros and cons of the tradition of gift-giving and state their own opinions about it.

Content

Students will discuss contemporary Japanese social and cultural phenomena, such as college life in Japan, Japanese customs, bullying, and environmental issues.

Examples of activities: 130A

  • Students will visit Japanese department store websites and research popular items for oseibo. They will discuss why such items are popular, and the pros and cons of giving such items.
  • Students will discuss why oseibo (and ochuugen) are important in Japanese society, what they think about gift-giving customs in Japan, whether or not they will follow the Japanese gift-giving customs if they are in Japan.
  • Students will learn about taboos regarding get-well-soon gifts, compare the taboos in Japanese society with the taboos in their own cultures, and discuss the reasons behind it.

Prerequisites

  • JAPN 130A: JAPN 20C, a score of 5 on the AP Japanese Langugae & Culture Test or through a placement exam. 
  • JAPN 130B: JAPN 130A or through a placement exam. 
  • JAPN 130C: JAPN 130B or through a placement exam.

JAPN 135 A-B-C Japanese for Professional Purposes

JAPN 135A. Japanese for Professional Purposes (4)

Training in oral and written communication skills for professional settings in Japanese. Broad aspects of cultural issues in Japanese organizations are introduced and comparison of American and Japanese cultural business patterns will be conducted.Prerequisites: JAPN 20C, Second Year Japanese III, or consent of instructor.

JAPN 135B. Japanese for Professional Purposes II (4)

Continuation of training in oral and written communication skills for professional settings in Japanese. Broad aspects of cultural issues in Japanese organizations are introduced and comparison of American and Japanese cultural business patterns will be conducted. Prerequisites: JAPN 135A, Japanese for Professional Purposes, or consent of instructor.

JAPN 135C. Japanese for Professional Purposes III (4)

Continuation of training in oral and written communication skills for professional settings in Japanese. Broad aspects of cultural issues in Japanese organizations are introduced and comparison of American and Japanese cultural business patterns will be conducted. Prerequisites: JAPN 135B, Japanese for Professional Purposes II.

You can see more detailed information on Japanese for Professional Purposes here: http://ucsdjapaneseforprofessionalpurposes.weebly.com/

JAPN 140 A-B-C Fourth-Year Japanese

Objectives

This course is for students who are in advanced level of Japanese, with sophisticated grammar, idioms and expressions. Progress is achieved through four skills: reading, writing (including Kanji), listening and speaking. The goal of this course is to be functional in Japanese society, such as be able to have a discussion in Japanese college class, and obtain job opportunities in work places in Japan. To achieve this goal, we will discuss social, cultural, economic and political issues of modern day Japan, complete with a research project and presentation. As the quarter progresses, course work will further develop students’ language proficiency and with the increasing difficulty.

Listening

At the end of fourth-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. grasp crucial information from a conversation or speech containing explanation or description of complicated issues, such as TV news, documentaries and interviews (issues including social, environmental, political, and economics).
  2. understand the gist of a conversation and the relationship between the speakers, issues that are being discussed from the speech style, emphasis on Keigo (Japanese honorifics form), in formal situations, such as in a working environment.
  3. understand the gist of a conversation or speech by using clues given by the context, even if there are unknown vocabulary and expressions.

Sample activity

  • Watching Japanese TV news about US-Japan politics, such as a national election.
  • Watching an interview on TV, focused on the usage of Keigo Most listening activities are provided with a self-learning vocabulary list and pre/post listening activities.

Reading

At the end of fourth-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. grasp the gist of authentic reading materials (newspapers, magazines and novels) and answer questions about or report on the contents and answers to questions based on the reading.
  2. grasp general information from authentic newspaper articles, reading headlines of the article, without using a dictionary.
  3. understand the gist of a conversation or speech by using clues in the context even if there are unknown vocabulary and expressions.
  4. distinguish the difference between the written and spoken languages.
  5. read Japanese style business letters and regimes.

Sample activities:

Reading a Japanese newspaper article about social issues, such as the national election in Japan or the US.

  • Read the headline only, and guess what the content would be.
  • Read the article with pre/post reading activities.

Speaking

At the end of fourth-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. initiate, sustain, and close a general conversation (collecting information, giving explanations, negotiating) with a number of strategies that show knowledge of the relationship of language and culture.
  2. use appropriate speech levels such as honorific/humble, casual/formal, based on knowledge of Japanese social conventions.
  3. make a comment about current events in society.
  4. give a factual explanation of social issues and give an opinion about it.
  5. formulate and support opinions, and exchange and modify one's opinions.
  6. paraphrase using previously learned expressions in Japanese.
  7. conduct research on current social topics and give a presentation (in pairs and/or individually).

Sample activities

  • At the beginning of every class, a few students give a short presentaion about a social issue, with possible solutions and your own comments.
  • Students chose a topic of their interest on a Japanese social issue to conduct research and give a 15 minute presentation at the end of each quarter.

Writing

At the end of fourth-year Japanese, students will be able to:

  1. write a letter, using appropriate speech (including Keigo, Japanese honorifics) style and format.
  2. write an essay using conjunctions and certain expressions that have been taught.
  3. summarize the main points of written material about familiar topics.
  4. grasp information from a text, summarize, and report on it.
  5. conduct research, and write a paper (minimum 2000 characters) on it.
  6. distinguish the difference between the spoken and written style and write compositions consistently using the written style
  7. write a Japanese style regime and basic business letters with appropriate forms.

Sample activities

  • Students chose a topic of his/her interest on a Japanese social issue to conduct research and write a minimum 2000-character paper with appropriate forms.

Content

  • Students will discuss social, cultural, political phenomena in contemporary Japan, such as Japanese youth life styles and their issues, obtain a job opportunity and other topics in Japan.

Prerequisites

  • JAPN 140A: JAPN 130C or through a placement exam.   
  • JAPN 140BJAPN 140A or through a placement exam.    
  • JAPN 140CJAPN 140B or through a placement exam.

JAPN 150 A-B-C Fifth-Year Japanese

Currently in the process of revising. Please check back soon for more information. Thank you.

Content Objectives

Students will:

  1. Display an understanding of the subject matter in each newspaper article covered.
  2. Identify the actions, outcomes, cultural differences, opinions, etc., of the article in the following discussion.

Cultural Objectives

Students will:

  1. Display an understanding of the cultural differences of Japan and other cultures which affect the outcome and the probable reactions to the situations described in each article.
  2. Grammatical and Communicative Objectives
  3. Identify unknown kanji and kanji groupings and use context clues to find the meaning of unknown words.
  4. Participate in discussions to the greatest extent possible.
  5. Demonstrate the mastery of the relative clause.

Writing

This course is designed for the highly advanced students of Japanese who have native or quasi-native oral/aural ability. As such, the emphasis is on reading and writing as well as the development of presentation and discussion skills. Writing will form the basis of one’s ideas in a concrete way, thus writing is given top priority.

A kanji quiz is given in each class. The student is asked to write 10 kanji compound words and their English translation. There are approximately 15 quizzes per term. Student are required to learn to write and understand at least 300 kanji per term.

Students are expected to write an essay (3 genkoyoshi pages in length) and its rewrite if necessary, four times per term. Topics are provided for two essays; the remaining two are free-choice topics. These are to be written in longhand. Computer writing is not permitted. Therefore, the student will be compelled to learn a large number of kanji.

Typical grammatical and other mistakes in essays are discussed in detail in class with helpful comments from the instructor. In particular, the misuse of the relative clause is identified and corrected.

Half of the points of the Midterm and the Final exams are based upon knowledge of kanji. These kanji are taken from the quizzes, but since there are no vocabulary lists or kanji lists for quizzes, a student is exposed to the vast amount of kanji and kanji compound words which appears in daily publications of modern day Japan.

Reading

Reading consists of articles and excerpts from newspapers, magazines and books. Students are responsible to do the preparation before the class on his/her own without any vocabulary aid.

Two types of articles are given to students. One is for the detailed study and discussion in class. This type is given to students in advance of class and they are responsible for the preparation. The other is for quick reading and it is give to students on the spot. Naturally they are not penalized for not being able to read the latter perfectly. Many culturally diverse topics will encourage students to explore and stimulate his/her own interests.

Listening

Video and Movies are shown in class. Discussions following the films will facilitate an understanding of the content. Films enable improved listening ability by exposure to native speech.

Speech and Self-Expression

Most of the class time is devoted to discussion on the cultural and social aspects of the topic of the article at hand. Students are expected to express their opinions freely without constraints. These discussions are the vehicle for the spontaneous expressions of one’s ideas and philosophies.

Overall Objective

This course is designed to develop an ability to communicate, both in speech and writing, an advanced level of Japanese. Students will learn broad aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life of the present day Japanese.

At the end of the course, students are expected to integrate and function capably by communication with and in an understanding of the contemporary Japanese. The knowledge he or she acquires in this course will greatly assist them in securing employment in Japan or in Japanese industries in the U.S.A.

Example

One of the typical topics of the fall quarter is “Prejudice and Discrimination in Japan.” The reading and discussion will be centered on minority peoples in Japan. These include Ainu, Korean and Chinese Japanese, Brazilian Japanese and Filipinos, as well as some segment of Japanese society who have been unfairly treated such as Buraku-min and Okinawan. Understanding such phenomenon in the Japanese context, rather than regarding the problem as an alien situation, will give students a more balanced view on the seemingly inexplicable dichotomy between the yearning for international understanding and xenophobia which exists in modern Japan.

The lack of experience with immigrants in the past adds a special shade of color to the way Japanese accept (or do not accept) foreigners. For students who are interested in learning Japanese, be they Japanese or non-Japanese, this is an unavoidable cultural question they must face sooner or later. Identifying the meaning and sometimes pronunciation of a kanji by learning about the different parts of kanji. Write about grammar. Old and new expressions. Tanka, haiku, senryuu and kyoka. Japanese sensitivity. Esthetics. Relative clauses

Prerequisites

  • JAPN 150A: JAPN 140C or through a placement exam
  • JAPN 150B: JAPN 150A or through a placement exam.
  • JAPN 150C: JAPN 150B or through a placement exam.