JP1000 Lecture Notes
This Lecture Notes is designed to assist you to glance through
important items in each lesson, and to provide further information to
them. New information is added every year. In the Appendices,
useful expressions, and other practical information are provided for
Please make good use of them. The following are the basics of language
learning and acquisition.
Why learning language?
Every one is able to develop one native language as long as s/he gets
exposure to the language and its culture. Many develop multilingual
Language is by far the best medium to educate yourself to be a member
the global village. It is quite exciting to find and learn how other
in different cultures perceive world, express themselves, and interact
with each other. It is no exaggeration to say that you will learn about
another world. I believe that knowing at least another language as well
as your native language is a must for living in an ever changing world.
What is required?
Acquiring another language, however, is not as easy as many people
It requires a lot of time, patience, self-discipline, strong
and active participation. What is more, once you begin to learn another
language, you cannot stop in the middle, for you will forget what you
learned very quickly. In this regard, language-learning is a life-long
commitment. Good language learners are those who develop originality
creativity, sensitivity to another language and culture, communicative
competence and skills in the native and target languages, and personal
opinions on various issues. If you are not communicative in your own
how can you be communicative in another language?
Why learning language in the university?
In foreign language courses at the university level, students are
to go far beyond learning four skills [listening, speaking, reading,
in the target language. By being exposed to a different language and
culture, students will learn to be cross-culturally communicative.
This education and training for cross-cultural communication is the
discipline involved in language learning. Our objective is to help you
acquire cross- cultural education and training by using the Japanese
as a medium.
Why the Japanese language?
Economically speaking, Japan is the second largest trade partner for
People who know about Japan and speak the language fluently are still
short supply. There exist various opportunities for study and work in
and Japan-related fields in Canada and other countries. Educationally
exposure to a seemingly quite 'foreign' language and culture helps
develop awareness of themselves and appreciation of their own cultures
as well. While there are many differences between Japan [Japanese] and
Canada [English], students will also find a lot of similarities between
them. It is important to note that Canada has some Japanese-Canadian
Is Japanese unique and one of the most difficult languages to learn?
When one looks at languages in the world, the Japanese language belongs
to the majority which are based on the word order (SOV:
It is considered to be one of the Ural-Altaic language family, which
Korean, Turkish, Mongolian, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian and others. As
far as the grammar and vocabulary are concerned, Japanese is not any
difficult than other languages, but reading and writing pose a
difficulty for Canadians because of two basic writing systems and Kanji
Language study involves not only passive aspects [memorization,
drills, pattern practice and so forth] but also active and creative
[analysis and comprehension of what is said or written, synthesis of
is learned, and communicative application of the language in
situations]. In this course, communicative aspects are strongly
so that students will be able to function in actual conversation.
tutorials will not be conducted in such a way that the instructor gives
lectures and drills and the students respond to him/her, but instead
students are encouraged to interact with both the instructor and other
students in the class in actual communication [active participation].
Those who are not familiar with this type of individualistic,
and creative language study will need to change their views and
strategies very fast. Communication involves at least two parties. Here
good pronunciation is crucial, because the other party tends to judge
linguistic ability based on your pronunciation. Even if your grammar is
correct, if the pronunciation is poor, people think that they cannot
with you. Poor pronunciation also hampers your listening comprehension.
Non-verbal communication, body language in particular is also a very
factor in communication.
HOW TO STUDY
There is no one way to study language that is good for every one; every
person has a different learning style and strategy. Try out various
and find the best method and system for you as soon as possible. The
are some suggestions.
Good preparation and review are very important. Always
the explanation of the textbook and the Lecture Notes in order
familiarize yourself with the dialogues, important grammatical items,
new vocabulary before you go to the class or LAB.
Try to use what you have learned in the class and elsewhere in your
own way. Repeating the utterances presented in the textbook alone
not sufficient. Think of situations where you can say what you want to
say and how the other party may respond to you.
In recitation and drills always be aware of what you are saying
what purpose. Automatic recitation in LAB without knowing what you
are saying may be good only for basic pronunciation practice.
Do not try to review everything at once. You will not have time to go
to review all the lessons covered. A steady accumulation of the
knowledge and use of the language is the only way to proceed further in
language study. You cannot cram everything overnight for the test
Make use of weekends for review. When you review, focus on the items
difficult to understand, and make sure you understand all the
items involved in the lesson every week. It is helpful to change your
method to avoid boredom.
Study with your friends and if you should miss a class, make
you get all the information from them. Oral performance will benefit
from practising with your friends or other Japanese students on campus.
Viewing Japanese TV programs and video tapes is helpful for listening
and understanding of socio-cultural aspects of Japan.
+AKk- Norio Ota 2008