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Japanese 1 Beginners


Admission requirements

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


Japanese 1 Beginners is an integrated Japanese language course, which aims to introduce Japanese to students who have no prior knowledge of the Japanese language. The main aim of this course is to develop students’ fundamental proficiency in four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. A wide range of elementary grammatical structures, expressions, vocabulary will be introduced along with “kana” characters (about one hundred), “Kanji” characters (about sixty). Students are provided with the opportunity to practice the above to perform orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner in a variety of social situations. This course will cover Lesson 1 through 6 of the “Tobira” Textbook.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will be expected to perform sufficiently in all four skills at a basic level of proficiency equivalent to A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) , which is a level where one can deal with common aspects of daily life (see the course syllabus provided through Brightspace for details).

Skill CEFR Level
Reading A1
Writing A1
Listening A1
Speaking A1


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Three two-hour tutorials every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent will result in a lowering of the participation grade with 1.0% for every absence after the first three times.

Assessment method


  • Online preparatory quizzes;

  • In-class grammar and writing quizzes;

  • End-of-term writing assignment;

  • End-of-term in-class oral presentation;

  • An oral exam and a written exam.


Partial grade Weighing
Reading 20%
Writing 20%
Listening 20%
Speaking 20%
Participation 20%

End Grade

  • To successfully complete the course, please take note that the End Grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the in-class oral and listening performance, and written exams.

  • The End Grade needs to be a 6.0 or higher to pass the course.


If the End Grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), there is a possibility of retaking the full 80% of the exam material (exams, quizzes, Midterm Exam and Final Exam). No resit for the tutorial (participation and homework) is possible.

The BA International Studies program does not allow students to resit passed (constituent) examination(s) within the language courses. Language acquisition is, primarily, accomplished through in-class acquisition activities and practical assignments which contribute to the (final) examination. The diverse structure of the language courses and characteristics of language acquisition therefore withhold the possibility to resit a passed examination.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Main Textbook (required):

  • TOBIRA I: Beginning Japanese, Tokyo: Kuroshio publishers, ISBN 978-4-87424-870-6

Workbook (required):

  • TOBIRA I: Beginning Japanese Workbook 1, Hiragana/Katakana, Kanji, Reading, Writing, Tokyo: Kuroshio publishers, ISBN: 978-4-87424-910-9


  • Enrolment for the workgroup through My Studymap is mandatory.

  • No enrolment needed for the language exams.



Passing this course is an additional requirement for a positive Study Recommendation at the end of the year.

This course uses an integrated communicative language learning method. Therefore active participation in the classroom activities is essential for successful learning outcomes.