Japanese Studies Program @ York University


[cat# A: C17D01  B: S64Y01]    Web   eClass  



This course is to provide intermediate level language instruction for those who have completed the first year Japanese AP/JP1000 6.0 (or AS/JP1000 6.0) at York University, an equivalent course at other institutions, or those who have acquired comparable knowledge of the Japanese language elsewhere [e.g. high school credit course]. Eligible students can perform simple communicative tasks in the four-skill areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing) with basic [mainly simple sentence based] grammar, basic vocabulary, various sociolinguistic aspects, approximately 120 Kanji and two Kana systems, and good knowledge of Japanese culture and society.

The main focus of this course is on the communicative aspects of language use. The modular approach enhances the four skill areas - situation and task oriented conversation, strategy-centred comprehension [listening and reading] and structure-based writing are involved with emphasis on complex sentence structures. The grammatical component will be developed particularly with regards to three major processes for creation of complex sentences: use of subordinate clauses, relative clauses, and complementation. Listening comprehension will be enhanced by viewing video tapes. The topics and situations of conversation will be centred around daily university life. Synergy, Empathy, Communicative and Narrative Approach are the guiding principles for language instructions. The course is fully web-based: no textbook is used, all the instructional materials are available on the web, including self-study interactive materials, tests are on-line via Moodle, and entire classes are video-streamed for real-time participation (distance education format) and review.

Upon completion of this course, with the help of dictionaries, students should be able to function in daily extended conversational situations such as self-introduction, finding out necessary information, making an appointment, explaining future plans, and negotiating, understand short TV programs, read and write short paragraphs on simple topics. 


A grade of "B" in AP/JP1000 6.0 (or AS/JP1000 6.0) or an equivalent background is strongly recommended to enrol in this course. Students who have not taken AP/JP1000 6.0 (or AS/JP1000 6.0) but have studied Japanese elsewhere must write the placement test before registration. [Call (416)736-5016]


The course is semi-intensive in nature and moves quite fast: six hours per lesson. Fourteen lessons in the Lecture Notes will be completed. Approximately 480 Kanji will be covered including the 120 introduced in AP/JP1000 6.0 (or AS/JP1000 6.0).


Three on-line written tests via Moodle are scheduled, which are based on lessons of the Lecture Notes and the corresponding reading and writing lessons. The on-site essay with Moodle will be based on the web presentation. Oral and written assignments, including a short web presentation, will be given regularly according to the schedule. Short Kanji quizzes will be administered regularly as well.

Note: No make-ups except in case of emergency such as severe illness [supported by a medical certificate], automobile accidents, death in the family [a letter is required from an appropriate person], and other similar situations. Any failure in online Internet connection must be substantiated with a photo that indicates the incident. If you miss a test or quiz without any reasonable explanation, you will receive a grade of zero. Written assignments must be handed in by the due day. No late assignments will be accepted except in case of emergency stated above. If you come in too late for the test or quiz, you may be asked by the instructor to leave. Should students miss a test, oral assignment, or homework due to inevitable circumstances (e.g., medical emergency), they are required to notify their instructor within 24 hours and provide her with written proof (e.g., doctor’s note), in order for them to be rescheduled.These policies are observed stringently.


For every lesson of the Lecture Notes a short seminar-type lecture will be given in reference to the important grammatical items and the relevant information. Then the dialogues and writing will be introduced. In these lectures, some socio-linguistic, pragmatic, and cross-cultural information will be provided to facilitate those who may visit Japan in the near future. Lecture Notes, Intermediate Conversation, and Intermediate Writing are available on the Japanese web page to help students understand various important and difficult items. They are regularly augmented by new information, up-to-date explanations and examples, and practical, usable items. Occasionally video tapes will be shown to enhance comprehension of the points at issue. Attendance is mandatory and is checked every time.

Students are expected to engage in active communicative interactions with their own narratives in tutorials.

The following are useful rules:

* Make sure that you are well prepared for the class every time.
* However, even if you fail to prepare, do not skip classes.
* Please be on time for the class.
* Active participation is strongly emphasized in tutorials and will be taken into consideration in your final grade.
* During oral sessions do not look at the web materials unless so instructed.
* Try to use Japanese in class as much as possible. If necessary, you may use English words in Japanese sentence structures.
* Get to know your section members as soon as possible and study together in preparation and review for the class. It may be helpful also to get acquainted with Japanese students on campus.
* Take advantage of computer technology and multimedia software available on campus.


Please print out the Lecture Notes from the Japanese web site.


Please refer to the grading scheme given on the separate sheet. An overall grade of "B" is strongly recommended to advance to AP/JP3000 6.0 .

Tests                                        :   30%
Essay                                       :   10%
Oral assignments                     :   30%
Written assignments & quizzes:   20%
Attendance & participation       :   10%


Students who have missed class three consecutive times without any reasonable explanation to the instructor, and those whose absence is frequent 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 university regulations. Those who are accepted to this course provisionally may receive a recommendation from the instructor as to whether s/he should continue the course or not.


* 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 (water and soft drinks) are allowed, no eating or chewing gum.


As for general questions and problems please feel free to consult your instructor. Please observe office hours; otherwise make an appointment. Time-consuming questions and individual questions should be addressed during office hours. E-mail inquiries should be kept minimal. Do not expect your instructor to respond to your inquiries on the weekend.


Last date to enroll without permission of course instructor: September 20, 2023
Last date to enroll with permission of course instructor: October 28, 2023 (applicable only to those who have attended the class regularly)


Your interim grade will be provided by the beginning of February 2024.
Last date to drop a course without receiving a grade: February 8, 2024
Withdraw from a course and receive a grade of “W” on transcript: February 9 - April 8, 2024.


Language study involves not only passive aspects [memorization, recitation, drills, pattern practice and so forth] but also active and creative aspects [analysis and comprehension of what is said or written, synthesis of what is learned, and communicative application of the language in actual situations]. In this course communicative aspects are strongly emphasized so that students will be able to function in actual conversation. Therefore, 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 the 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 kind of individualistic, heuristic, and creative language study will need to change their views and learning strategies very fast.


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 ways and find the best method and system for you as soon as possible. The following are some suggestions.

* Good preparation and review are very important. Always read the explanation of the textbook and the Lecture Notes in order to familiarize yourself with the
   dialogues, important grammatical items, and new vocabulary before you go to the class.

* Try to use what you have learned in the class and elsewhere in your own way. Repeating the utterances presented on the web alone is 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 with what kind of feeling and for what purpose. Automatic recitation without knowing
  what you are saying is good only for pronunciation practice.

* Do not try to review everything at once. You will not have time to go back 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 either. 

* Make use of weekends for review. When you review, focus on the items difficult to understand, and make sure you understand all the important items
   involved in the lesson every week. It is helpful to change your review method to avoid boredom.

* Study with your friends in your class and if you should miss a class, make sure you get all the information from the video-streamed classes. Oral
   performance will benefit greatly from practicing with your friends or Japanese students on campus. Viewing Japanese TV programs and video tapes is
   helpful for listening comprehension and understanding of socio-cultural aspects of Japan.

* Take advantage of IT and the available facilities and software to enhance language acquisition. Work on the self-study materials on the web whenever and
   wherever you have access to the Internet. Review and study ahead during the winter and summer holidays to ensure you do not forget what you have


* Informal get-together may be organized by volunteer students [you included] who are studying Japanese at York University so that students will be able to
  get to know each other better and be able to communicate with Japanese guests.

* Various cultural events are planned and organized by the Japanese International Students' Association of York University [JISA], of which you can be a

* The annual Ontario Japanese Speech Contest will be held at the beginning of March. Second 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. First prize winners are eligible also for the
   National Japanese Speech Contest to be held at the end of March.

* The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is hosted by and held at York University on the first Sunday of December annually. Students are strongly
   encouraged to participate in this test to find out how much they have learned.

* Japan related exhibitions, film showing, demonstrations, and similar events are easily accessible in Toronto.


* If students continue to study Japanese further, there are opportunities for third and fourth year students to apply for scholarships sponsored by the Japanese
   Government [Monbu-Kagaku-shoo Scholarship] .

* The one-year exchange programs with Meiji University in Toky, Dokkyo University in Saitama, Keio University, Waseda Universityin Tokyo, 
   Nagoya University Hitotsubashi University and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo are available for those who have completed AP/JP3000 6.0
   (or AS/JP3000 6.0) or AP/JP4000 6.0 (or AS/JP4000 6.0) with good standing not only in Japanese but also in GPA [B or above]. Applicants must apply
   to York International and go through the selection procedure (tests and interviews). Up to three students are recommended per institution annually.
   Official inter-university exchange students may be eligible for JASSO [Japan Student Services Organization] scholarship.

* Advanced knowledge of Japanese can further facilitate your academic career (International MBA programs, East Asian Studies, Teaching of Japanese as a
   Foreign Language, etc.).

* The JET [Japan Exchange and Teaching] Program, which is sponsored by the Japanese Government, gives opportunities to work in Japan as either an
   assistant language teacher [ALT] at a local school or a coordinator for international relations [CIR] at a local government office.
   Please consult with the Japan Information Centre [ph. (416)363-5488] for further information.

CALL [Computer-Assisted Language Learning] 

Multimedia Language Centre[MLC: S117 Ross]   Not available during the 2023-24 academic year due to the renovation.

Every student has to activate MLC account as soon as possible in order to log in in MLC. Please visit the above site for the instruction.
Students are required to learn how to use Japanese IME for assignments, tests and communication in Japanese.

E-mail account

Every student must activate his/her E-mail account as soon as possible.


All the tests are administered via Moodle. Only York account is used.

Web Sites

The following are the mirror sites of the Japanese Studies Program.

GRADING SCHEME  (Please be advised that the grading scheme is different from the standard one for York University.)

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
64 - 59 D+ 3 PASSING
46 -  0 F 0 FAILING

Your final grade will be given based on the above grading scheme. A grade of "B" or above is strongly recommended to advance to the next level, although "C" is the minimum requirement.

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/lab attendance and participation.
Please note that fractions are not rounded up [e.g. 70.99% is C, and 71.00% is C+].
Grades are NOT negotiable.

Norio Ota
Course Director
Japanese Section
DLLL, York University