21G.501 | Fall 2019 | Undergraduate

Japanese I


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session



Course Objectives and Procedures

This course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of the language, providing opportunities to acquire basic skills for conversation, reading, and writing in Japanese. The program emphasizes active command of Japanese, not passive knowledge. Your goal is not simply to study the grammar and vocabulary, but to gain skills necessary to use them in a linguistically and culturally appropriate way.

In this course, there are two types of class sessions: grammar and drills. In grammar sessions, information necessary for using the language, such as grammar and socio-cultural information, will be provided primarily in English. Drill Sessions are conducted almost entirely in Japanese, concentrating on speaking activities that require you to use the language actively.

This course covers the first six lessons of the Genki I textbook. By the end of the semester, you will be able to:

  1. read and write hiragana, katakana, and 58 kanji characters;
  2. talk about yourself/family/others, things, time, events, and activities—in the present, future, and past tense;
  3. shop at stores and order food at restaurants;
  4. make requests and ask for permission;
  5. talk about Dos and Don’ts; and
  6. ask for and give directions.

Textbooks (Required)

  1. Banno, Eri, Yoko Ikeda, et al. Genki I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese. 2nd ed. Japan Times/Tsai Fong Books, 2011. ISBN: 9784789014403.
  2. Banno, Eri, Yoko Ikeda, et al. Genki I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Workbook 1. 2nd ed. Japan Times/Tsai Fong Books, 2011. ISBN: 9784789014410.


  1. Evaluation Criteria

Daily Grade 25%*
Five Lesson Quizzes (LQ) 25%**
Two Interview Tests 15%
One-Hour Exam 15%
Vocabulary, Dictation, Kanji Quizzes 10%***
Homework 10%

*The student’s three lowest daily scores will be dropped at the end of the term.

**The student’s lowest score will be dropped at the end of the term.

***The student’s two lowest scores will be dropped at the end of the term.

  1. Daily Grade

In the drill sessions, students will receive a daily grade based on the performance evaluated with the following criteria:

10 Excellent Excellent Very active/excellent
9 Strong/minor errors Good Consistent
8 Fair but needs improvement Adequate Adequate but needs improvement
7 Weak/with mistakes in major areas Some Sporadic
6 Unsatisfactory Inadequate Infrequent
5 Present but very poor None Seldom
0 Absent
  1. Attendance Policy
    1. Attend all sessions. Because of the cumulative nature of language learning, it is essential that you attend all sessions and keep up with the course work on a daily basis. Please follow the online daily schedule and come to class well-prepared.
    2. If you have an unavoidable reason for your absence, please email the instructors before class.
    3. Be punctual. Coming in late not only results in missed performances and quizzes that may not be made up for, but also distracts other students. Showing up late may affect your daily grade negatively.
    4. Use of laptops/tablets is strictly prohibited in class, except for note-taking during the grammar session.
  2. Exams and Quizzes

There are two oral interview tests, five lesson quizzes (20–25 minutes long), and a one-hour exam. Vocabulary, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji quizzes are given throughout the semester.

  1. Homework Policy

Submit all assignments at the beginning of the class. Late submission will result in a 5% deduction in grade each day. No credit will be given after three days. Any assignment you submit must be your own work.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Multiple Assignment Types
Instructor Insights