JAPN 100 (3 cr): Beginning Japanese I

Beginning Japanese - JAPN100

Course Description

Welcome to Japanese 100! This course is designed to develop students’ basic communicative competence in speaking, listening to, reading and writing modern Japanese. Emphasis is on active command of Japanese, not passive knowledge. The goal is not simply to acquire grammar and vocabulary, but to be able to use Japanese appropriately in various situations. We will focus on developing accuracy and fluency in basic grammatical structures of Japanese and the functions of language in daily life situations.

This is a course for real beginners. Students who have taken Japanese 11 and/or Japanese 12, or other Japanese courses, or who have prior knowledge of Japanese, should not take this course. JAPN 100 is the prerequisite for JAPN 101. In order to take JAPN 101 you must achieve a final grade of at least 60% in this course.

Course Goals

By the end of this course you will have acquired an ample grounding in basic grammar and the skills necessary to function in various limited daily life and social situations. You will also have developed an awareness of the sociolinguistic aspects of the Japanese language. You will be able to handle topics including your personal background, experiences, preferences, needs, interests, and plans in simple sentences in speaking and writing:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Go shopping and order food in a restaurant
  • Extend /accept/refuse invitations
  • Describe your daily routine
  • Ask and describe where things are
  • Read and write a journal or a restaurant review
  • Talk about travel
  • Read and write a vacation postcard
  • Explain rules and regulations

In addition to the above, by the end of the course students will have learned:

Knowledge Skills Values
Orthography and Font

  • all the hiragana & katakana, plus 60 basic kanji


  • basic word order
  • basic conjugations of verbs & adjectives including long forms & past tense
  • basic particles

Expressions and Vocabulary

  • basic vocabulary, expressions

Sentence Structure

  • concepts of grammatical subject, direct object, predicate, etc.

  • to accurately write the kana & approx. 60 kanji
  • spelling
  • correct use of particles
  • essay structure including introduction, main body, conclusion
  • correct use of genkōyōshi manuscript paper


  • to translate simple sentences into English or Japanese
  • to comprehend main points of a passage


  • to discriminate all syllables
  • to understand short everyday conversation
  • to grasp main ideas of a short spoken paragraph


  • correct pronunciation
  • proper greetings
  • to ask & answer simple questions
  • correct intonation

Computer Skills

  • typing in Japanese

  • to be indirect, modest and polite

Japanese Culture

  • appropriate cultural norms and traditions for successful cross-cultural communication

Course Materials and Components

Required Textbook:
Eri Banno et al. 2011. Genki I An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese
(2nd edition) Tokyo: The Japan Times.

Recommended Workbook:
Eri Banno et al. 2011. Genki I  Workbook (2nd edition) Tokyo: The Japan Times.

NOTE: 1st edition is not permitted. We cover Lessons 1–6 in JAPN 100.

JAPN100 Textbook Order Form

Required Equipment:
The following items are required for everyone taking this course.

  1. A reliable computer
  2. A headset with microphone
  3. A webcam (either built in to your computer or external)
  4. Access to a scanner
  5. Reliable access to the internet
  6. A browser that supports viewing video and listening to audio
    • Mobile version is not supported

Assessment and Assignment

Course requirements:

Subject to change; see Canvas for the current details for your course on the first day of term.

Quizzes 10%
Homework 6%
Worksheets 5%
Blogs 6%
Compositions 6%
Senpai Drill sessions 5%
Final Project 10%
Listening Tests 5%
Oral Test 7%
Performance 5%
Final Exam (includes composition) 35%

NOTE: Students are required to have achieved at least 60% in the final grade for advancing to the next higher level.

Course Format

This 13 week course is divided into six lessons. At the beginning of each lesson, you will find a list of objectives. You will start with practicing new vocabulary and complete an online vocabulary quiz by the due date. Each Lesson involves about five to seven new grammar points, speaking, reading, writing and a lesson quiz. Grammar exercises will be provided and all exercises must be completed by the due date. You will not have access to the exercises and quizzes after the due date. You may have to meet the instructor and/or classmates regularly online for speaking practice. You should expect to spend approximately 12 hours a week on this course. One oral interview test and a 2.5 hour final examination will be given at the end of the term.

Graded Assignments

There are four assignments due during each lesson.

  1. Writing 1 – hiragana, katakana, kanji and grammar practice of each lesson
  2. Writing 2 – composition
  3. Speaking 1 – recording /video submission
  4. Speaking 2 –  individual or group speaking practice session

Japanese Language Program Policies

Consult Connect course site.