nl en

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 (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: 280 hours

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

  • Preparing classes, exams and extra activities : 208 hours

Assessment method

  • Learning aim: Use of the target language to communicate with correct pronunciation, vocabulary items and grammar
    Assessment: In-class oral performance
    Percentage: 40%

Deadline: Twice/semester - Learning aim: Use of course contents, including vocabulary items, grammar
Assessment: Written exam and quiz
Percentage: 40%

  • Learning aim: Use of the target language to write with suitable vocabulary items and grammar
    Assessment: Writing assignments
    Percentage 20%

Deadline: 2 times 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.


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


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


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


K. Khosla, email