BA English Language and Japanese

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Japanese Language 4

Course unit fact file
Unit code JAPA51042
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
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 post-Intermediate skills (such as those taught on JAPA51031). 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.


Available on: BA Japanese Studies and Combinations involving Japanese with other languages and area studies degrees and BA Modern Language with Business and Management etc. 

Not available as a free choice – but if the level is appropriate the convenor may exceptionally admit an external student.


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

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate a sure grasp of approximately 800 characters and know the standard grammatical patterns of  intermediate Japanese 

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

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

Practical skills

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • 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 
  • write stylistically appropriate Japanese prose, as well as translate Japanese into appropriate English, 
  • make a presentation and engage in discussion on a topic of interest 
  • use dictionaries (including monolingual dictionaries) effectively 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students should be able to:  

  • show developing confidence in interacting with native speakers 

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 


Weighting within unit (if summative) 

written examination at the end of semester 2 




oral examination at the end of semester 2 




regular coursework and tests (5%) of grammar, vocabulary and kanji  




portfolio of reading and translation texts 





Resit Assessment

Assessment task  


Written Exam (75%) 


Oral Exam (25%) 


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, through comment sheets on the portfolio and through feedback on exams.  Summative
Students are also able to consult individually with language tutors in their office hours. Formative


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: 

Donna toki  dou tuskau/ Nihongo hyougen bunkei jiten [JLPT N1-N4]  

(Tokyo: Ark 2010) ( ISBN-10: 4757418868 / ISBN-13: 978-4757418868 ) 


Shogakukan Reikaigakushuu kokugojiten (Tokyo: Shogakukan 2011) 

小学館 金田一京助「例解学習 国語辞典」 


A kanji dictionary that has been approved by the tutors 

Other Recommended Resources: 

Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar (Tokyo: Japan Times 1995) 

Japanese Kanji Flashcards: 750 Kanji Cards: 2 (White Rabbit Press 2010) 

Using Japanese: a guide to contemporary usage (Cambridge: CUP 2000) 

The Japanese Language: An Introduction (Oxford: OUP 1993) 

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

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