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Japanese 1


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This is an integrated language course for beginners, with a communicative approach. Special attention will be paid to the use of the language in practical everyday situations and the focus will be on listening, speaking and reading. Basic writing instruction will also be part of the course.

Students will be introduced to: – Japanese pronunciation; – a wide range of elementary grammatical structures and sentence patterns; – hiragana and katakana syllabaries; – basic kanji characters (145 in vol. 1 of the course book) and – vocabulary terms and expressions that are closely tied to students’ everyday lives and communicative situations in Japanese contexts.

For more details, refer to online resources accompanying the course book:
Syllabus of the Grammar and Dialogue section
Kanji characters introduced in the Reading and Writing section

Course objectives

CEFR target levels: Speaking: A1, Listening: A1, Reading: A1-, Writing A1- as applicable and as described in the Japan Foundation Standard for Japanese Language Education > A1

  • Speaking (A1): can communicate in simple everyday situations using basic expressions and vocabulary. – Listening (A1): can understand simple talk (such as basic instructions and short announcements) in communicative situations that are closely tied to students’ everyday lives. – Reading (A1-): can understand short and simple notes, notices and other basic texts; can locate relevant information in short texts that are closely tied to students’ everyday lives; can read hiragana and katakana syllabaries and basic kanji characters (145 in vol. 1). – Writing (A1-): can write basic greetings and short simple sentences on events that are closely tied to students’ everyday lives; can produce hiragana and katakana syllabaries and selected basic kanji characters.

By the end of vol. 2 of the course book, students will acquire approximately 1,700 basic words and 317 kanji characters, including 254 of the 284 kanji listed for Level 3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (as administered until 2010). An online Self-study Room offers additional resources for independent study outside the classroom ( ).


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Three two hour seminars every week

Assessment method

Participation element (attendance, preparation): 20%
Quizzes (in class): 40%
Tests (oral & written): 40%


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

1) Genki Textbook I [Second Edition], The Japan Times, ISBN: 978-4-7890-1440-3
2) Genki Workbook I [Second Edition], The Japan Times, ISBN: 978-4-7890-1441-0

Genki website


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable