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Japanese in Practice


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme who have passed Japanese 1 Beginners and Japanese 2 Pre-Intermediate. If students have not yet passed Japanese 3 Intermediate, they are expected to follow that course alongside the Japanese in Practice course.


In this course, you will put into action the linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills that you have acquired during Japanese 1, 2, and 3. You will apply your knowledge of Japanese to authentic texts related to International Studies—in practice, current affairs texts such as simple news articles and short essays.

In the first half of the course, you will practice finding, translating and reading Japanese texts with the aim of gaining basic literacy and to improve your self-sufficiency in working with these materials. In the second half, you will expand these skills to analysing and synthesising material relevant to your own interests and presenting and contextualising this material in a language portfolio.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to locate and interpret written Japanese materials that can serve as data or reference for a (research) project in International Studies.

More concretely, by the end of the course, you will have gained experience in the following skills.

  • You can locate authentic Japanese materials relevant to your own (research) interests using sources such as online newspapers, social media, Wikipedia and blogs.

  • You can determine the meaning of unknown linguistic elements (e.g. vocabulary, grammatical expressions, kanji) in these texts using relevant reference works.

  • You can translate, paraphrase, summarise and contextualise relevant passages from these texts, using relevant reference works and translation software.

  • You can report on your reading of multiple such texts in the form of (collaborative) research reports.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Seminars are held every week. Attending all seminar sessions is compulsory. Being absent from more than two of the sessions will result in a lowering of your participation grade (20% of the end grade).

Assessment method


  • Assignments
    You will make assignments as part of the preparation for the tutorial sessions. The assignments are discussed in class. Your submission of the assignments and discussion of your findings during the tutorial sessions contribute towards your assignment and participation mark.

  • Midterm assignment
    You will make an assignment during the midterm period that integrates the skills and approaches discussed thus far.

  • Portfolio
    During the second half of the course, you will work in small groups researching a topic of choice related to Japan from an International Studies perspective. The short reports you write as part of this research together constitute your portfolio and form the basis of your portfolio mark.


Partial grade Weighing
Assignments and participation 20%
Midterm assignment 30%
Portfolio 50%

End Grade

Please take note that the End Grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components. To successfully complete the course, the End Grade must be a passing grade.


If you fail this course, you can complete an alternative assignment to compensate a failing partial mark.

Retaking a passing grade

Retaking a passing grade is not possible for this course.

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2023 – 2024.

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 organised.

Reading list

We will use materials available digitally in the public domain or through the University Library Catalogue.


General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.



All other information.