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Japanese 101/102

​Instructor: Rieko Wagoner   Seabury 003   x2434

Drill instructor: Atsuko Miyazaki  Seabury 001   x4172

Time: MWF 9:00-9:50; T 8:25-9:15; Th 8:25-9:15

Textbook: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese げんき, The Japan Times

Japan Times Genki site:

Course objectives:

By covering the whole textbook through the year, this course aims at your acquisition of

 1. four basic skills -- writing, reading, listening, and speaking -- in

    elementary level Japanese, 

 2. vocabulary, set phrases, and fundamental grammatical structures required

    to handle prescribed situations,

 3. required study skills through classroom activities, daily assignments,

    dialogue memorization, and regular quizzes.

Having achieved all these tasks, you will have solid lexical and grammatical foundations of the language and be able to carry out simple tasks, such as introducing yourself, shopping, and explaining your daily routine.

Course description:

This is an INTENSIVE language course.  It is roughly an equivalent of the first five years of your language acquisition in your mother tongue, only done in seven months.  Naturally, it moves fast and constantly every single day including weekends.  You have to make substantial COMMITMENT and build your life-style to accommodate such commitment.  Working on the task in hand EVERY DAY is the key to the success of your endeavor.

ATTENDANCE is the first requirement.  Poor attendance will have a severe consequence: for every three days missed, your final grade will go one notch down, e.g., an A would be an A-.

You will also lose a point for your attendance if you come more than 10 minutes late for the class.   Learning takes place in class.  Be present, be alert, and PARTICIPATE.

After coming to class and participating in class activities, the next requirement is to KNOW YOUR VOCABULARY.  To maximize the effect of classroom activities, you need to have new vocabulary memorized before hand.  Only when this is done, do the class activities become fully beneficial to your learning.  There will be a vocab. quiz per lesson; however, do not wait till the quiz.  Be ready on the first day.

Classroom activities are highly structured.  Please be aware that, although questions are welcome, disruptions to class activities, such as coming in late, having a cell phone ring, leaving for bathroom, eating food, making unrelated comments, etc., are not and will be duly dealt with.

Writing at this stage is simply memorizing characters and vocabulary.  In fact, you need to limit your output almost exclusively in response to questions and instructions.  Do not create wrong sentences, but copy correct sentences.   Reading is also fairly prescribed; however, you must achieve fluency in reading characters in order to answer questions in homework, quizzes and tests.  NO ROMANIZATION PERMITTED.  Speaking again is limited within the perimeters of basic situations.  This will be done over and over in class in order to make the exchange as natural as possible, and your active participation is absolutely necessary.

Lesson schedules will be distributed in class.  Be sure to check schedules on a daily basis so you do not walk into class unprepared for quizzes and other special activities.  The class material is covered in your daily written homework assignment in order for you to review and consolidate the newly introduced information.  Turn it in the next morning and you can get it back by the afternoon for feedback.  Each assignment sheet turned in in time will earn you a point.

Various course materials are available online.  You need to access Moodle in order to listen to the audio materials – vocabulary, dialogues and textbook drills.

There will be three quizzes in each lesson; vocabulary quiz, character quiz, and review quiz.  Do not miss them.  NO MAKE UP QUIZ is provided unless you have a prior arrangement with the instructor; otherwise, you will receive zero point.  There will be two exams, L1 – 3 for the mid-term and L1-6 for the final.  Each test contains a written section and an oral section.  The detail will be discussed in advance.  In addition, there will be a term project.  You will be given a topic to write about, go through editing process, memorize the final draft, and present it orally in class.

Language learning is a skill acquisition activity, very much like training in music instruments or sports.  The most effective thing to do is to listen, mimic, and memorize, and do not question what you are doing.  “Why?” questions are usually unproductive.  (Especially do not even suggest changing the class time!)  Some people may be more talented in language acquisition than others, but ultimately the degree of your every day effort determines the bulk of your final grade.

Grading is done as follows:

​Attendance and homework  ​15%
​Class participation, dlg. presentation and short quizzes ​15%
​Lesson quizzes (5%x6) ​30%
​Term project ​5%
​Midterm 15%
​Final ​20%
If you are a reasonably intelligent person and follow the daily instruction closely, an A is not a difficult grade to achieve.  Only when you miss classes and homework, your grades start sliding down.  Keep up with your schdule and do not let yourself slack off – it is only three months at a time.  You can do it and it will be absolutely worthwhile for your efforts!