BA Japanese Studies

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Japanese Language 3

Unit code JAPA51031
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Japanese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is an intermediate learners’ level language course which teaches the skills of reception (reading and listening) and production (speaking and writing) in Japanese, and translation of the material learned into English. There is a pre-requisite of Intermediate skills (GCSE AS-level and above) in Japanese or equivalent. 
Please note that there are heavy timetabling requirements for both Japanese and for laboratory-based science subjects. Attendance at dedicated catch-up and/or replacement drop-in sessions on Wednesday afternoons (details to be confirmed) may be required in order to allow students from across the university to cover all the materials adequately


Building on students’ prior learning, it aims to broaden students’ vocabulary (both spoken and written), hone their translation skills and deepen their understanding of grammar. There will also be translation exercises between English and Japanese.

Knowledge and understanding

•    demonstrate a sure grasp of approximately 560 characters 

Intellectual skills

•    understand themselves as developing learners and be able to engage effectively with the appropriate resources to negotiate understanding

Practical skills

•    express themselves orally in more advanced role-plays and dialogues on everyday matters and on a wide range of  topics relating to Japanese society
•    show developing proficiency in reading Japanese texts and viewing and hearing TV and other audio and video material in standard Japanese
•    begin to write stylistically appropriate Japanese prose, as well as translate Japanese into appropriate English,
•    effectively use standard dictionaries (Iincluding kanji dictionaries) and grammar references 
•    type Japanese using word-processing packages

Transferable skills and personal qualities

•    show developing confidence in interacting with native speakers

Employability skills

self-discipline time management working in a competitive yet collaborative environment developing communication skills professionalism about study

Assessment methods

Written Exam at the end of semester 1                                                    55%

Oral Exam at the end of semester 1                                                        20%

Regular coursework and tests of grammar, vocab and kanji                   10%

Portfolio of reading and translation texts                                                  15%


Feedback methods

Feedback method Formative or Summative
Feedback on progress with language learning is provided to students through regular tests of vocabulary and kanji, through corrected versions of written work, and in timetabled drop-in sessions.   
Students are also able to consult individually with language tutors in their office hours.  


Recommended reading

Set texts:

  1. Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia (Tokyo: Kurosio 2010) (ISBN-10: 4874244475 / ISBN-13: 978-4874244470 
  2. the separate volume of exercises called Grammar Power (Tokyo: Kurosio 2012) ISBN 978-4-87424-570-5
  3. Power Up your Kanji: 800 Basic Kanji as a Gateway to Advanced Japanese (Tokyo) ( ISBN-10: 4874244874 / ISBN-13: 978-4874244876 

Students require in addition:

  1. Donna toki  dou tuskau/ Nihongo hyougen bunkei jiten [JLPT N1-N4] 
  2. (Tokyo: Ark 2010) ( ISBN-10: 4757418868 / ISBN-13: 978-4757418868 )
  3. Shogakukan Reikaigakushuu kokugojiten (Tokyo: Shogakukan 2011)
  4. A kanji dictionary that has been approved by the tutors

Other Recommended Resources

  1. Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar (Tokyo: Japan Times 1995)
  2. Japanese Kanji Flashcards: 750 Kanji Cards: 2 (White Rabbit Press 2010)
  3. Using Japanese: a guide to contemporary usage (Cambridge: CUP 2000)
  4. The Japanese Language: An Introduction (Oxford: OUP 1993)
  5. The Complete Japanese Verb Guide (Tokyo: Kodansha 1989)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 88
Independent study hours
Independent study 112

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Bunt Unit coordinator
Nozomi Yamaguchi Unit coordinator

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