[cat# V04Q01]



This course is a web-based post-advanced Japanese course that provides further language instruction for those who have completed AP/JP3000 6.0 (or AS/JP3000 6.0) at York University or an equivalent other equivalent course at other institutions, or those who have acquired comparable knowledge of the Japanese language elsewhere. The knowledge assumed consists of the basic [simple sentence based], intermediate [complex sentence based] and advanced [paragraph based] grammar, general and semi-specialized vocabulary, communicative competence enhanced by various sociolinguistic and pragmatic information, and two Kana systems and Kyooiku Kanji [881 Education Characters].

In this course, students are expected to put their acquired knowledge and competence to use. Activities such as interpretation, translation, summarization, discussion, debate and web presentation will enable students to become familiar with various topics and use a wide variety of Japanese materials independently. This course requires rather heavy preparation, and many assignments are given. As this is the fourth year course in the Japanese Program, students are encouraged to improve their performance by recognizing their own weaknesses and overcoming them. This course is ideal also for those who need a remedial Japanese course to improve their performance. Kaitee Jooyoo Kanji 'Revised Chinese characters for daily use' (2136) will be targeted (passive recognition included). No textbook is used, and all the instructional materials including self-study materials are available on the web site. Technology Enhanced Learning [TEL] is used to enhance students' further acquisition of the language.

Upon completion of this course students should be able to engage themselves in sophisticated communicative activities involving various speech acts and tasks such as presentation, summarization, interpretation and extensive discussions, understand TV programs and films, read books, newspapers and magazines, and write reviews, summaries, essays and letters. 


A grade of at least "B" in AP/JP3000 6.0 (or AS/JP3000 6.0) or equivalent background is strongly recommended. Students who have not taken AP/JP3000 6.0 (or AS/JP3000 6.0) must write an on-line placement test and arrange an interview with the staff before registration [contact Norio Ota - nota@yorku.ca].


The course is semi-intensive in nature and performance and activity based: roughly within two weeks one main reading material and 50 new Kanji will be covered. Approximately 1000 Kanji will be added to the 881 covered in AP/JP1000 6.0 (or AS/JP1000 6.), AP/JP2000 6.0 (or AS/JP2000 6.0) and AP/JP3000 6.0 (or AS/JP3000 6.0). Kaitee Jooyoo Kanji [Revised Chinese Characters for Daily Use (2136)] will be targeted.
Text reading; readings in unannotated original essays and articles on current issues taken from periodicals; interpretation, translation, summarization and discussion based on a wide variety of Japanese materials. Viewing DVD films helps students further develop their listening comprehension. Extensive use of the Internet and computer-based materials for presentations and assignments.

FORMAT Four class hours per week; rather heavy preparation and assignments. Each class will be conducted in seminar style in order to enhance students' active and creative participation. Students are expected to be familiar with current affairs through reading newspapers and watching online TV news for discussion. Technology Enhanced Learning [TEL] work.


Tests [online - Moodle] - 40%; Oral assignments - 20%; Quizzes and written assignments - 20%; Essay - 10%; Attendance and participation - 10%.

HOW TO STUDY: Students will learn how best to utilize the acquired knowledge and competence. Rather than linguistic forms more attention should be paid to content. Developing the use of sophisticated vocabulary through reading will also assist speaking about various topics. The degree of authenticity of utterances and writings should increase based on careful examination of texts and expressions characteristic of Japanese. Thus, switching back and forth between English and Japanese [not literal translation] in explaining ideas and describing events is a very useful strategy. In reading students should become familiar with typical text structures, so that they will be able to predict the course of events and to capture presupposition and hidden intention. Developing an extensive knowledge of Kanji-based vocabulary will help all the four skill areas. Stylistic differences in different genre will be focused on.

In reading Japanese materials, it is helpful to itemize the contents and remember them. For listening comprehension develop a strategy for understanding the gist of each text and gradually try to increase more detailed information. The use of a little more sophisticated vocabulary is required in various activities. Students will learn to use vocabulary learned in reading in conversation, discussion and presentation, so that they will be able to express abstract and complicated ideas. Learning about Japan by extensive reading should also help students understand the Japanese psyche and perceptions.

New Kanji characters learned are constantly reinforced by repetition in various materials. Students must spend much time for learning them. Targeting the ones most difficult to remember would be helpful, and paying attention to newspaper articles that deal with Japan for topics of conversation. Current affairs are always good topics.


Please refer to the grading scheme given below.


Students who missed the class three times consecutively without any reasonable explanation to the instructor may receive a warning, and if attendance does not improve immediately, further action may be taken by the course director.

Academic dishonesty such as cheating and plagiarism will be penalized severely according to the university regulations. Those who are accepted to this course provisionally may receive recommendation from the instructor as to whether or not s/he should continue the course.


As for general questions and problems please feel free to consult your instructor. However, please observe office hours; otherwise make an appointment. Time-consuming questions and individual questions should be addressed during the office hours.


* Any form of abuse, physical, psychological, or verbal, will not be tolerated.
* 'Political Correctness' should be adhered to as a guiding principle.
* Private talking should be kept minimal.
* Cellular phones and pagers must be turned off except for emergency situations.
* Only drinks are allowed, no eating or chewing gum.


Last date to enroll without permission of course instructor: September 21, 2016
Last date to enroll with permission of course instructor: October 19, 2016 (applicable only to those who have attended the class regularly)


Your interim grade will be provided by the end of January, 2017. If you should decide to drop the course, the deadline is February 10, 2017


Ontario Japanese Speech Contest

The annual Ontario Japanese Speech Contest will be held at the beginning of March. Third year students are eligible for the intermediate category. York students have been doing extremely well in the past. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in this event.

National Japanese Speech Contest

The first prize winners of the regional speech contests are eligible to compete in the Canada-wide National Japanese Speech Contest to be held at the end of March.

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is hosted by and held at York University on the first Sunday of December. Students are strongly encouraged to take part in the test.


Monbu-Kagaku-sho Scholarship

There are opportunities to apply for scholarships sponsored by the Japanese Government.

Exchange Program

The one-year exchange programs with Meiji University in Tokyo, Dokkyo University in Saitama, Keio University, Waseda University, Hitotsubashi University, Ayoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo and Nagoya University in Nagoya are available for those who (will) have completed AP/JP3000 6.0 (or AS/JP3000 6.0) with good standing not only in Japanese but also in GPA [B or above]. Applicants must apply to York International and be recommended by the selection committee through an interview and a test. Up to three students are recommended per institution annually. Official inter-university exchange students may be eligible for JASSO [Japan Student Services Organization] scholarship.

JET Program

The job prospects in Japan-related areas look very promising not only in Canada and the U.S. but also in Japan. The JET [Japan Exchange and Teaching] Program, which is sponsored by the Japanese Government, gives opportunities to work in Japan as either an assistant English language teacher [ALT] at a local school or a co-ordinator for international relations [CIR] at a local government office. Consult with the Japan Information Centre [ph. (416)363-5488] for further information.

Internship/Co-op (full-time internship) programs

Summer internship and Co-op positions might be available at Mitsui and Co., Canada in Toronto. Please consult with the faculty of the Japanese Section.

CALL [Computer-Assisted Language Learning]

Multimedia Language Centre [MLC: S117 Ross]

E-mail account

Every student must activate his/her E-mail account as soon as possible in order to log in at MLC.

E-mail list


Students in jp4000 will be automatically put on the jp4000 list above. Only York addresses are used. 

Nihongo list has been set up to improve communication among students and instructors by exchanging ideas and information, posting questions, announcing special events, and discussing issues. Every student must be on the lists. To subscribe to the lists, send the following messages:

subscribe nihongo (E-mail address) [E-mail address is necessary only when you use a non-York account.]

to: majordomo@tsuge.arts.yorku.ca

E-Pal [E-mail Penpaling] Program (not confirmed)

Students might be involved in E-mail communication in Japanese with students in Japan.

Web Page

Please check one of the Japanese Web Sites regularly for new information.
http://buna.yorku.ca/ [Japanese]
http://tsuge.arts.yorku.ca/ [Japanese]

    %         GRADE   POINTS    EVALUATION

100 - 95        A+      9       EXCEPTIONAL

 94 - 89        A       8       EXCELLENT

 88 - 83        B+      7       VERY GOOD

 82 - 77        B       6       GOOD

 76 - 71        C+      5       COMPETENT

 70 - 65        C       4       FAIRLY COMPETENT 

 64 - 59        D+      3       PASSING

 58 - 53        D       2       BARELY PASSING

 52 - 47        E       1       MARGINALLY FAILING

 46 -  0        F       0       FAILING
Your final grade will be given based on the above grading scheme.
Please note that the grading percentages are set higher than in the standard grading scheme because 10% of the total grade is allocated for class attendance and participation.
Fractions are not rounded up. [e.g. 70.99% is C, and 71.00% is C+.]

Norio Ota
Course Director
Japanese Studies Program
York University