FLJ1130 - Japanese Beginners

2020/1 Module description

StaffMrs Yumiko Moore - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

Japanese Beginners is intended for those who have little or no previous knowledge of Japanese and provides an introduction to the Japanese language and culture in a general context. It is also suitable for those with a GCSE (Grade C or below) in Japanese. The emphasis is on enabling you to communicate orally in Japanese. Japanese Beginners can be taken towards achieving ‘with proficiency in Japanese”. See: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/flc/undergraduate/proficiency/

Module aims

The module offers an introduction to Japanese language and culture, and is broadly equivalent to A1/A2 Basic User level of the Common European Framework. The module aims to:

  • Provide you with a solid foundation of the basic grammatical structures of the target language thus enabling you to communicate effectively across the four key language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) at an elementary level on a variety of general topics
  • Enable you to give and understand information and to achieve a confident elementary level of communicative competence in everyday situations
  • Provide an introduction to the customs, culture and society of the regions/countries in which the languages are spoken and to develop your awareness of the general social and cultural background of the language

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of the target language
  • 2. Read and comprehend simple written and aural texts and extract specific, predictable information related to every-day situations

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Communicate effectively on a variety of general topics requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters, both orally and in writing
  • 4. Understand the principles of learning a foreign language intensively and organise your learning with guidance from the tutor

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Use available learning aids in a variety of media, such as a reference grammar and bilingual dictionary, to consolidate your learning
  • 6. Communicate at a basic level in the target language
  • 7. Work productively with others as part of a team, within a set structure
  • 8. Make progress through developing skills of self-study and application and develop an awareness of, and sensitivity to a foreign culture

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

The module provides a systematic approach to acquiring essential grammar structures in a communicative context and in accordance with the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:


  • Hiragana (46 characters), Katakana (46 characters), Kanji (101 characters)
  • Formal style present sentences using 'desu', 'desuka' and 'ja arimasen'
  • Informal style present sentences using 'da' and 'ja nai'
  • Formal style past sentences using 'deshita', 'deshitaka' and 'ja arimasendeshita'
  • Informal style past sentences using 'datta' and 'ja nakatta'
  • Verb conjugations, Adjective conjugations, Question sentences using 'nan', 'nani', 'doko', 'itsu', 'dare', 'donna', 'dore' and 'dooshite'
  • Demonstrative forms 'Ko-So-A-Do'
  • Particles 'no', 'de', 'ni', 'e', 'ga', 'o', 'wa', 'mo', 'ka', 'to', 'kara', 'made', 'ne' and 'yo'
  • Conjunctions 'ga', 'kara', 'demo', 'sorekara', 'soshite' and 'dakara'
  • Adverbs 'amari', 'chotto', 'ichiban', 'mada', 'moo', 'totemo', 'zenzen', 'sukoshi', 'tokidoki', 'yoku', 'taitei'
  • Invitation sentences using 'mashoo', 'mashooka' and 'masenka'
  • Describing the location of people and objects using 'ni-ga-imasu/arimasu'
  • Asking for and giving permission 'mo iidesu(ka)'
  • Denying permission 'wa ikemasen'
  • Expressing opinions 'to omou'
  • Reporting speech 'to iu' 


  • Greetings, Introducing Oneself, Hiragana: A-gyoo & Ka-gyoo, Telling the Time
  • Numbers (0-100), Age (issai, nisai, etc.), Hiragana: Sa-gyoo, Ta-gyoo, Na-gyoo
  • Stating Name, Age, Nationality etc., Countries/Majors/Family, Occupations
  • Hiragana: Ha-gyoo, Ma-gyoo, Ya-gyoo, Shopping, Numbers: 100-90,000
  • At the Restaurant, In The Classroom, Hiragana: Ra-gyoo, Wa-gyoo, Describing One's Daily Routine, Weekends and Free time, Making Personal Arrangements, Katakana: A-gyoo, Kagyoo, Sa-gyoo, Kanji (pp.262-263), Describing Where Things Are and Locations - Katakana: Ta-gyoo, Na-gyoo, Ha-gyoo, The First Date, Locations, Day/Week
  • Katakana: Ma-gyoo, Ya-gyoo, Ra-gyoo, Wa-gyoo, Mary'sWeekend, Kanji (pp.266-267)
  • Travel, Likes and Dislikes, At the Post Office, Kanji (pp.270-271), Writing Short Postcards
  • Making Requests, Giving and Asking for Permission, Stating that Something Is Forbidden
  • A Day in Robert's Life, Directions, Kanji (pp.276-277), Bulletin Board, Talking About the Family
  • Describing People, Parts of the Body, Kanji (pp.282-283), Writing Letters to Family/Friends
  • Casual Conversations, Planning A Party/A One-day trip, Questionnaires and Reports, Kanji (pp.292-293)
  • Making A Guess About the Childhoods of the People, Colours, Food and Drink, Writing A Diary, Kanji (pp.292-293)

Teaching methods are based on interactive language development tasks, such as pair/group work and role-playing, and include the study of short texts, oral development work and listening comprehension exercises. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video/DVD, and, where appropriate, computer software. The module is taught as far as possible in the target language.

You will be expected to spend time studying outside the class (between 3-5 hours per week) and we provide guidance, facilities and materials to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner. For this module, you will be asked to consolidate your class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in Japanese. You will also be expected to complete the exercise book/workbook on a self-study basis, prepare exercises and activities for the class, to write short assignments and generally acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. You will receive regular feedback on your progress from class activities, homework assignments etc. You will also receive formal feedback on the in-class tests, including suggestions for what and how to improve and identifying your own strategies for improvement.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching88Language classes
Guided independent study212Consolidate class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in Japanese. Prepare exercises and activities for class, write short assignments and generally begin to acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video/DVD, and computer software where appropriate

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 formative tasks covering some or all of the following areas: grammar, writing, listening, reading, speaking.Variable1-8Written and oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio50Variable1-8Written and oral feedback
Written examination25Take-home examination1-6, 8Written and oral feedback
Oral Examination257-8 minutes1, 3-6, 8Written and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-8Referral/Deferral period
Written ExaminationWritten Examination1-6,8Referral/Deferral period
Oral ExaminationOral Examination1,3-6,8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

You will only be required to retake any failed assessments. Marks for any passed assessments will be carried forward. If you have failed any assessments but managed to pass the module overall, you will not be allowed to retake the failed assessments.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Main course book: 

  • Japan Times, Genki 1 Text, An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, The Japan Times, 2nd Edition

 Recommended materials: 

  • Dictionary: Martin's Concise Japanese Dictionary, Charles E. Tuttle Co, or Oxford Starter Japanese
  • Dictionary, Oxford University Press, or Kodansha International, Kodansha Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Japanese, beginners, Japan

Important please note

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the module descriptors for the Online Module Selection process, please be aware that on rare occasions it may be necessary to remove proposed modules for reasons beyond our control. In addition, there are still some new modules going through the accreditation process. These will be offered in due course by the relevant discipline.

All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

We are committed to providing an outstanding education and high quality teaching. You can find out details of your modules and any potential changes on these pages. If you are a returning student, joining after the first year or a postgraduate student details of your module changes will be provided in August. Find out more about the overall teaching and learning approach on your course, and please be aware that this information may supersede the specified teaching and learning activities within individual modules.

Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.