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Language Outreach Programmes - Japanese courses


Academic Year 2020/21 (September 2020 / April 2021)

40 hours class contact1 over a 20-week period.

Maximum intake of 10 participants.

Textbook: Japanese for busy people (Kana version) - AJALT (Click here for further information on the textbook)

This course is designed for adult learners with no previous knowledge of the language. There is no formal assessment for this course but participants will receive a certificate on successful completion of the course, including a minimum of 60% attendance record in both terms.

Course objectives:

The present course aims at:

  • Providing participants with the relevant speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a variety of basic topics related to family, daily activities, city life, etc.
  • Introducing participants to the three Japanese alphabets with an emphasis on Hiragana and Katakana,
  • Beginning to develop an awareness of Japanese culture,
  • Encouraging autonomous learning,
  • Developing personal learning strategies.

Teaching methodology:

In the Academic Year 2020/1, we will be offering to our participants the experience of a blended learning approach. The first 10 weeks will be delivered on line using the Zoom platform. As for the second term, we hope to be able to welcome all participants on campus in a usual classroom situation.

Both online and face to face classes will be interactive and based on oral communication.  Japanese will be used for teaching purposes as much as possible and activities will be varied giving intensive practice in all language skills with an emphasis on speaking and listening. Material used in class will be drawn from a variety of sources, including textbooks, CDs, DVDs, websites, etc. Homework is given every week. It reflects and the lesson content covered in class and prepares participants for the material to follow.

1Please note that an hour is an academic hour, i.e. 50 mn

‘Can do’ statements – Beginner level*

This grid of ‘can do’ statements has been designed to help you assessing your progress during the course of the programme. It succinctly presents the main learning aims of this course at beginner level (note that it is possible that due to time restrictions, not every aspect of this grid content might be covered in class). This grid might also reveal your weaker areas, thus highlighting topics you can improve on your own. To use it, simply tick the statements corresponding to your ability.  You can review your progress on a regular basis. 

Speaking: I can…

1. introduce myself and use basic greeting and leave-taking expressions.


2. ask people for things and give people things.


3. use simple phrases and sentences to describe where things are.


4. ask and answer simple questions on familiar topics (e.g. nationality, job…).


5. interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat, rephrase, or speak slowly.


Listening: I can…

1. recognize and understand familiar words and basic phrases concerning myself, people I know and things around me when people speak slowly and clearly.


2. understand everyday basic questions.


3. understand numbers, prices, dates and times.


4. follow speech which is very slow and simple with long pauses for me to get the meaning.


Reading: I can…

1. understand the general idea of simple information documents especially if they contain pictures which help the understanding of the text.


2. understand very short texts which include familiar names, words and basic phrases.


3. recognise a few kanjis


4. recognise familiar names, words and very simple phrases on notices in the most common everyday situations.


Writing: I can…

1. fill in forms with personal details (e.g. name, date of birth, nationality...).


2. describe where things are and where places are in relation to each other.


3. write Hiragana and Katana alphabets in Japanese characters.


4. write simple isolated phrases and sentences on everyday topics.


Pronunciation/Fluency: I can…

1. manage to pronounce very short, isolated mainly pre-packaged utterances.


2. articulate less familiar words with much pausing and false starts.


3. repeat the correct pronunciation of less familiar words if need be.


4. repair communication by reformulated misunderstood utterances.


Vocabulary:  I can…

1. use a very basic repertoire of words related to personal details.


2. use a limited range of vocabulary to talk about particular concrete situations.


3. use a small range of ready-made expressions and phrases related to everyday topics (introductions, leave-taking, apologies…)


4. imitate formulas and phrases encountered and explained in class.


5. use the vocabulary I know and some shared international words to understand the general idea of simple statements about everyday situations.


Grammar: I can…

1. show a limited control of a few simple grammatical structures (present tense, articles...)


2. reproduce simple sentence patterns that I have memorised.


3. link words or groups of words with very basic connectors such as ‘and’.


4. recognise present and past tenses in a text.


(* Beginner level corresponds to A1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This grid is adapted from DIALANG self-assessment statements and CEF self-assessment grid)