JAPAN131-22B (HAM)

Japanese for Beginners

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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: alexandra.cullen@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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The Japanese for Beginners course is designed for absolute beginner students with little or no prior knowledge of the Japanese language. This course introduces basic communication skills so that learners can use the language in particular cultural and societal contexts (e.g. greeting, self-introducing, shopping, ordering food and beverages, describing where things are, etc.).

Eligibility to enrol in Japanese for Beginners

This course is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of Japanese. If you have already acquired hiragana, katakana and some basic kanji characters, you are advised to enrol in JAPAN231 (in A trimester). Students who are uncertain about the prerequisites should contact the Course Convener to discuss suitable course options.

FLEXI paper:

This paper is delivered in the FLEXI mode which means students are highly recommended to attend face-to-face lectures, workshops and tutorials on campus (please see the allocated rooms where to attend physically on campus) at the same time all lessons will be live-stream via Zoom, please note that lessons are not video recorded (this is because privacy issues and lessons are mostly focused on task-supported communicative activities in pairs or groups), lecture notes of lesson points on PDF documents or Panopto recordings will be uploaded on Moodle after each lecture and workshop.

Note: Scheduled classes may be moved online if the Covid situation requires.

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Paper Structure

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All four language skills, namely; reading, writing, speaking and listening will be practiced through the medium of modern Japanese grammar and vocabulary. The basic writing system of hiragana, katakana and about 30 kanji characters will be focused on in JAPAN131. In Japanese classes, emphasis will be placed on developing students’ communication skills in both receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing) skills in Japanese in order to build a competent and confident foundation at the beginner level.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • use the Japanese writing and sound system; including Hiragana, Katakana and 29 kanji characters
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use basic greetings and fillers in cultural and societal contexts:

    - greeting and leaving at different times in a day

    - greeting and self-introducing when meeting people for the first time

    - thanking and apologising

    - arriving and leaving home

    - showing appreciation when having meals

    - inviting

    - offering and accepting

    - suggesting

    - using language fillers for showing surprise and noticing details

    - using language fillers for agreeing and confirming

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use numbers for:

    - time (including duration of time and months of year)

    - age

    - school year

    - telephone numbers

    - student ID numbers

    - prices

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use some basic Japanese grammar:

    - present and past simple sentences (using copula and action verbs); affirmative, negative and interrogative sentences in special attention to the concept of using particles

    - telling habitual activities (present or past activities with using adverbs of frequency), future plans and past event

    • adding time referencing
    • adding locations

    - demonstrative pronouns

    - describing where things are

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use WH-questions:

    - asking about direct objects

    - asking time

    - asking prices

    - asking about locations

    - asking about possessions

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use particles

    - specifying topics

    - specifying nouns (places, directions, time, etc)

    - specifying objects

    - adding information

    Linked to the following assessments:
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The assignments, quizzes and tests (written and spoken) will take place in classes or workshops during the trimester.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Mini Quiz: Hiragana and Greetings
29 Jul 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Test 1
19 Aug 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Written Assignment 1
26 Aug 2022
5:00 PM
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
4. Vocabulary Quiz 1
12 Sep 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Test 2
16 Sep 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Written Assignment 2
7 Oct 2022
5:00 PM
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
7. Vocabulary Quiz 2
14 Oct 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
8. Test 3
21 Oct 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
9. Speaking Assessment
25 Oct 2022
12:00 PM
  • Other:
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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(1) Main textbook

Banno, E., & ProQuest. (2020). Shokyū Nihongo : genki. I = Genki : an integrated course in elementary Japanese. I (Dai-3 han = Third edition..).

(2) Workbook

Banno, E., Ikeda, Y., Ohno, Y., Shinagawa, C., & Takashiki, K. (2011). Genki: An integrated course in elementary Japanese workbook I (2nd ed.). Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Times.

Please note that we are using the 3rd edition released in 2020.

Both eBooks are available through the university library.

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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Moodle is used for class announcements, supplementary notes, important dates, the paper outline etc. so students will be required to check the Moodle site regularly.

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The expected workload for this paper is 10-13 hours per week (3 hours of lectures + 1 hour of workshop + 1 hour of tutorial and approximately 5-8 hours of self-directed study including task completion, review and preparation for the lessons throughout the course).

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper contributes to the fundamental understanding of the culture, society and language of Japan. This paper forms the foundation for the JAPAN231 (taught in trimester A) paper.

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Restricted papers: JAPA131

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