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Japanese 1 Beginners


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 (up to a maximum of 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.
    The target level is as follows;
    A Student can

    1. introduce oneself with appropriate manner and correct Japanese;
    2. ask other people about their name, nationality, address, age, hobby, specialty, etc.,
    3. ask/ tell numbers and dates, own name, nationality, address, age, date of birth or arrival in the country, etc. such as on a hotel registration form;
    4. establish basic social contact by using the simplest everyday polite forms of: greetings and farewells; introductions; saying please, thank you, sorry, etc.;
    5. order food or drink with simple expressions such as “this please” while pointing to a sample or a picture on a menu at a restaurant;
    6. ask/ tell daily routines;
    7. request other people to do something;
    8. look at a sign in front of a store or a restaurant, and find very basic pieces of information such as the business hours and holidays;
    9. write in short, simple sentences where one went, what one did, etc. on that day for a blog entry;
    10. write a very short letter/mail/ blog introducing oneself in Japanese.

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 tutorials every week

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or a tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending classes: 72 hours (6 hrs per week over 12 weeks)

  • Preparing classes, exams and extra activities : 208 hours

Assessment method

  • There is no re-sit test during the course.


  • Learning aim: Use of course contents, including vocabulary items, grammar , Kanji
    Assessment: Written exam and quiz (60%)

  • Learning aim: Use of the target language to communicate with correct pronunciation, Listening/speaking/Dictation
    Assessment: In-class oral/listening performance (30%)

  • Learning aim: Use of the target language to write with suitable vocabulary items and grammar
    Assessment: Writing assignments (10%)


Assessment: Written exam and quiz: 60%
Assessment: In-class oral/listening performance: 30%
Assessment: Writing assignments: 10%

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
To pass the course, the average has to be 5.5 at least.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 5.5), there is the possibility of a resit.
The resit will be a written exam of two hours, and will test if the students have reached the end level of this semester. This exam consists of the following components:

  • Reading and writing;

  • Written dialogue;

  • Vocabulary and grammar.

There is no re-sit for the in-class oral/listening performance, but, in order to pass the course the grades received for the oral exam must be a minimum of a 5,5.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

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:
Local bookstore: van Stockum (
The Japan Times book club:


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


N. Seki
E. Yamamoto MA
M.J. van Berlo MA


For this course attendance and participation is essential. Classes missed for a good reason have to be discussed with the language instructor BEFORE the class takes place. Frequent absence will inevitably lead to lower participation grades, or denied access to the final exam.
Passing this course is an additional requirement for a positive Study Recommendation at the end of the year.
This course uses Integrated communicative language learning method. Therefore active participation in the classroom activities is essential for successful learning outcomes.