Japanese Beginners (FLJ1130)

StaffFumiko Gormley - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module is intended for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Japanese and offers an introduction to Japanese language and culture. This module is broadly equivalent to A1 / A2 Basic User level of the Common European Framework and aims to:

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of the target language
  • 2. Read and comprehend simple written and aural texts and extract specific, predictable information related to every-day situations
  • 3. Communicate effectively on a variety of general topics requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters, both orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Understand the principles of learning a foreign language intensively and organise his/her learning with guidance from the tutor.
  • 5. Use available learning aids in a variety of media, such as a reference grammar and bilingual dictionary, to consolidate his/her learning.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Communicate at a basic level in the target language
  • 7. Work productively with others as part of a team, within a set structure
  • 8. Make progress through developing skills of self-study and application and develop an awareness of and sensitivity to a foreign culture.

Syllabus plan

The module provides a systematic approach to acquiring essential grammar structures in a communicative context and in accordance with the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It covers the following grammar / topics:


- Hiragana (46 characters), Katakana (46 characters), Kanji (101 characters)
- Formal style present sentences using 'desu', 'desuka' and 'ja arimasen'
- Informal style present sentences using 'da' and 'ja nai'
- Formal style past sentences using 'deshita', 'deshitaka' and 'ja arimasendeshita'
- Informal style past sentences using 'datta' and 'ja nakatta'
- Verb conjugations, Adjective conjugations, Question sentences using 'nan', 'nani', 'doko', 'itsu', 'dare', 'donna', 'dore' and 'dooshite',
- Demonstrative forms 'Ko-So-A-Do'
- Particles 'no', 'de', 'ni', 'e', 'ga', 'o', 'wa', 'mo', 'ka', 'to',
'kara', 'made', 'ne' and 'yo'
- Conjunctions 'ga', 'kara', 'demo', 'sorekara', 'soshite' and 'dakara'
- Adverbs 'amari', 'chotto', 'ichiban', 'mada', 'moo', 'totemo',
'zenzen', 'sukoshi', 'tokidoki', 'yoku', 'taitei'
- Invitation sentences using 'mashoo', 'mashooka' and 'masenka'
- Describing the location of people and objects using
- Asking for and giving permission 'mo iidesu(ka)'
- Denying permission 'wa ikemasen'
- Expressing opinions 'to omou'
- Reporting speech 'to iu'


- Greetings, Introducing Oneself, Hiragana: A-gyoo & Ka-gyoo, Telling the Time
- Numbers (0-100), Age (issai, nisai, etc.), Hiragana: Sa-gyoo, Ta-gyoo, Na-gyoo
- Stating Name, Age, Nationality etc., Countries/Majors/Family, Occupations
- Hiragana: Ha-gyoo, Ma-gyoo, Ya-gyoo, Shopping, Numbers: 100-90,000
- At the Restaurant, In The Classroom, Hiragana: Ra-gyoo, Wa-gyoo, Describing One's Daily Routine, Weekends and Free time, Making Personal Arrangements, Katakana: A-gyoo, Kagyoo, Sa-gyoo, Kanji (pp.262-263), Describing Where Things Are and Locations - Katakana: Ta-gyoo, Na-gyoo, Ha-gyoo, The First Date, Locations, Day/Week
- Katakana: Ma-gyoo, Ya-gyoo, Ra-gyoo, Wa-gyoo, Mary'sWeekend, Kanji (pp.266-267)
- Travel, Likes and Dislikes, At the Post Office, Kanji (pp.270-271), Writing Short Postcards
- Making Requests, Giving and Asking for Permission, Stating that Something Is Forbidden
- A Day in Robert's Life, Directions, Kanji (pp.276-277), Bulletin Board, Talking About the Family
- Describing People, Parts of the Body, Kanji (pp.282-283), Writing Letters to Family/Friends
- Casual Conversations, Planning A Party/ A One-day trip, Questionnaires and Reports
- Kanji (pp.292-293), Making A Guess About the Childhoods of the People, Colours, Food and Drink, Writing A Diary, Kanji (pp.292-293)

Teaching methods are based on interactive language development tasks, such as pair / group work and role-playing, and include the study of short texts, oral development work and listening comprehension exercises. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video / DVD, and, where appropriate, computer software. The module is taught as far as possible in the target language.

You will be expected to spend time studying outside the class (between 3-5 hours per week) and we provide guidance, facilities and materials to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner. For this module, you will be asked to consolidate your class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in Japanese. You will also be expected to complete the exercise book/workbook on a self-study basis, prepare exercises and activities for the class, to write short assignments and generally acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. You will receive regular feedback on your progress from class activities, homework assignments etc. You will also receive formal feedback on the In-Class Tests, including suggestions for what and how to improve and identifying your own strategies for improvement.


Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities88Language classes
Guided independent study212Consolidate class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in Japanese. Prepare exercises and activities for class, write short assignments and generally begin to acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video / DVD, and, where appropriate, computer software.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
5 formative tasks per year (grammar and vocabulary, writing, reading and listening comprehension)variable1-8Written and oral
1 in-class formative task in week 12 (during the first two timetabled hours)1.5 hours1-5, 7Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral test3010-12 Minutes1, 3-6, 8Written and oral
Written Exam502 hours1-6, 8Written and oral
In-Class Listening Test2045 minutes2,4,5,8Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written exams and in-class listening testWritten exam1 - 6, 8Referral/deferral period
Oral ExamOral Exam1, 3 - 6, 8Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Oral Test = 30%, Written Examination = 70%


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Main course book: Japan Times, Genki 1 Text, An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, The Japan Times, 2nd Edition

Recommended materials: Dictionary: Martin's Concise Japanese Dictionary, Charles E. Tuttle Co, or Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary, Oxford University Press, or Kodansha International, Kodansha Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date

February 2018

Key words search

Japanese, beginners