Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


Japanese III (21G.503), or placement exam and permission of the instructor.

Required Texts

This course uses the following text and its accompanying audio supplement. Students are also given a course packet covering kana and kanji, which is not available.

Buy at Amazon Jorden, Eleanor Harz. Japanese: The Spoken Language, Part 1. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987. ISBN: 9780300038347.

Buy at Amazon Noda, Mari. Japanese: The Spoken Language, CD-ROM. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780300075632.

Course Objectives and Procedures

This course covers JSL Lessons 17 through 22. It will further develop the four basic skills, speaking, listening, reading and writing, that students have acquired through Japanese I, II and III courses at MIT, with emphasis on oral communication skills in various practical situations. You will learn approximately 100 Kanji characters in this course.

FACT vs. ACT Class Sessions

The FACT classes cover grammar explanation, socio-cultural information and other important issues for using the language. The discussions will be primarily in English. Students must read the Structural Patterns (SP), Miscellaneous Notes (MN) and the Breakdowns (new vocabulary items) prior to each FACT class.

The ACT classes focus on the actual use of the language. The aim is to integrate students' knowledge so far learned with newly learned patterns, and to communicate within the frame given in the class. Students will be asked to perform the assigned Core Conversations (CC) and expected to be familiar with the Drills assigned for each class. The pace of the class and coverage of the material are influenced by the readiness of each student. So, come to class well prepared! The ACT classes will be conducted entirely in Japanese. This course emphasizes active command of Japanese, not passive knowledge of grammar. Your goal is not simply to acquire the grammar and vocabulary, but the ability to use Japanese with appropriateness and increasing spontaneity.

Important: Students should practice Core Conversations and Drills by listening to the tapes/audios (refer to Audio/Visual Materials). Reading the transcriptions in the textbook only is not sufficient.


Daily Grade

One of the things you are expected to do in ACT classes is that you act out the assigned Core Conversations. Based on your performance of CCs and other activities involving the assigned CCs and Drills, you will be given a daily performance score:

10 = excellent performance; native-like fluency

9 = very good/strong performance with some minor errors

8 = fair performance with some mistakes or weakness

7 = prepared, but weak in major areas

6 = present, but evidently unprepared

0 = absent

The above grade scale also applies to your performance on assigned readings in class.

Exams and Quizzes

There are two oral interview exams, three Lesson Quizzes (25-30 minute long) and an one-hour long exam. A Vocabulary quiz is given in each FACT class, and there are also several Kanji quizzes throughout the semester.

Evaluation Method

Daily grade (CC performance and Drills) 25%*
Lesson quizzes (x3) 20%**
Oral interviews (x2) 15%
Hour exam 15%
Vocabulary and Kanji quizzes 10%***
Homework 10%
Class participation 5%

* The 4 lowest daily grades will be dropped during the term.
** The lowest LQ score will be dropped at the end of the term.
*** The 4 lowest VQ and KQ scores will be dropped at the end of the term.

  • There will be no make-up for missed performances and quizzes.
  • Writing assignments must be submitted at the beginning of class on the due date. Late submission will result in point deduction.
  • All the homework assignments need to be completed and submitted in order to receive a course grade.

Attendance Policy

  1. 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 weekly schedule and come to class well prepared.
  2. Students are expected to come to class on time. Coming in late not only results in missed performances and quizzes that may not be made up for, but also distracts other students.
  3. Attend the class section you are registered in, unless you have made official arrangements with the instructors at the beginning of the semester. If you have to attend a section other than your regular section on a particular day, you must notify the instructors at least one day in advance.
  4. Only in case of an emergency you may be allowed to participate in class activities and quizzes in a different section without the aforementioned one-day-in-advance permission from the instructors. Oversleeping is not regarded as an emergency.

Online Supplementary Materials and Resources

Supplementary course materials and other resources are available on the course site. You are expected to use these resources on your own as much as possible.

  • Course syllabus and semester schedule
  • Weekly schedule
  • Multimedia materials for Kanji character/meaning recognition and exercises
  • Reading materials with audio
  • Quiz review materials (grammar notes and exercises, practice tests, etc.)
  • Dictionaries

Audio/Visual Materials

  • When you practice assigned Drills and Core Conversations, we encourage you to utilize the Digital Language Lab at Ohio State University for the video clips of Core Conversations, and audio of the Drills and Eavesdropping sections in Japanese: the Spoken Language.
  • You can listen to the audio, record your own voice, and compare with the model by downloading a DLRecorder.