21G.501 | Fall 2019 | Undergraduate

Japanese I

Instructor Insights

Instructor Insights

Below, instructors Takako Aikawa, Wakana Maekawa, and Masami Ikeda-Lamm describe various aspects of how they teach 21G.501 Japanese I.

"Just like our students, we should not be afraid of making mistakes."


Grade Breakdown

The students’ grades were based on the following assessment elements:

  • 25% Daily grade; three lowest scores dropped
  • 25% Five lesson quizzes; lowest score dropped
  • 15% Two interview tests
  • 15% One-hour exam
  • 20% Vocabulary, diction, kanji quizzes; two lowest scores dropped

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied

  • GIR
  • HASS
  • HASS-H
  • 21G.501 is required for a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Languages with a concentration in Japanese Studies.
  • 21G.501 counts toward the two years of Japanese studies required for participation in the MISTI-Japan internship program.


Every fall semester

Student Information


29 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly sophomores and juniors; some first-year students and graduate students

Breakdown by Major

Various majors, including computer science, mechanical engineering, material science, mathematics, and nuclear science

Typical Student Background

Most students have no prior knowledge of the Japanese language but have had some experience of Japanese culture, e.g. through anime and manga.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

Met 4 times per week for 1 hour per session; 49 sessions total; mandatory attendance

Out of Class

Outside class time, students completed homework assignments and prepared for tests and quizzes.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Multiple Assignment Types
Instructor Insights