Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.

JAPANESE 1Z06A Beginner's Intensive Japanese (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2019

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Sonomi Iwata-Consul


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 511A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: 6-7 p.m.

Course Objectives:

This course introduces basic Japanese language and culture to the students with no background in Japanese. Students will be encouraged to acquire a basic level of the four-language skills: reading, speaking, listening, and writing in modern Japanese. Students learn the basic level of grammar, punctuations, and spelling to engage effectively in real life situations and online communications. Students become familiar with the Japanese people, custom, music, film, games and culture.

Learning Outcomes:


By the end of this course, successful students should be able to:


1. achieve the Japanese language proficiency equivalent to the Level N4~5 of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) which is required 800 (N5) to 1500 (N4) vocabulary words and 100 (N5) to 300 (N4) Kanji (Chinese characters). This course will introduce basic Japanese writing systems (46 hiragana, 46 katakana, 221 basic kanji characters), approximately 1,500 vocabulary items and 100 grammar structures. Students will submit assignments, and write quizzes/exams to review and test their learning outcome.


2. describe in simple terms students’ background, immediate environment and matters in areas of own interests. Students’ writings will be assessed through peer-review of 20 short essays.


3. communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Students will be often encouraged to communicate appropriately (casually and formally) in Japanese about general topics outside of the class through facebook, twitter, and other SNS.


Lecture notes are available on Avenue to Learn. Please feel free to drop by your instructor’s office whenever you have questions, concerns, or require some help with studying.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


1. Kijima, Hiromi, et. al. (2013). Marugoto Japanese Language and Culture. Starter A1.

2. Kijima, Hiromi, et. al. (2013). Marugoto Japanese Language and Culture. Elementary 1A2.

3. Sonomi Iwata-Consul, Japanese 1Z06 Lecture Notes. 2019 (Available on A2L)

4. Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) level N5 Website:

Method of Assessment:





Participation Quizzes, SNS messages, Portfolio, etc.




20 Short Essays




10 Online Quizzes




2 hours Exam in December (scheduled by registrar’s office)


Final Exam


2 hours Exam in April (scheduled by registrar’s office)


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


Participating in class regularly is essential to improve your language skills and proficiencies. Please make every effort to attend class. Your participation will be recorded by participation quizzes on Avenue to Learn at the end of class. You can submit a MSAF when you miss a class.



You will write 20 short essay and your essay will be evaluated according to a rubric by a peer. If you miss the deadline, your mark for assignment will be deducted 10% each day. Students filing MSAFs for assignments will be required to submit the work with a three day grace period.



You will complete a small quiz online every other week outside of the class to test your understanding of Japanese characters, vocabulary, useful expressions, listening skills and grammar. In order to submit the quiz, you need to log in to the Avenue to Learn, and go to assessment and then quizzes. Students filing MSAFs for assignments will be required to submit the work with a three day grace period.


Mid-term Exam

If you submit an MSAF, you will have the option of writing an alternate test scheduled by the instructor, or of adding the 20% value of the test to the weight of the final exam.


Final Exam

If you are unable to write the final exam for any reason, contact the Academic Advisor in your Faculty to request a deferred exam. MSAFs are not accepted for Final Exam.



Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Marugoto Japanese Language and Culture. Starter A1



Due Dates




Sep. 9






Topic 1 Japanese

Lesson 1 Hiragana


p. 26-27




Topic 1 Japanese

Lesson 2 Katakana


p. 33-34




Topic 2 Myself


Quiz 1


Oct. 7

Topic 3 Food

Text p. 43 

Quiz 2


Oct. 21

Topic 4 Home

Text p. 59 



Oct. 28

Topic 5 Daily Life

Text p. 75 

Quiz 3


Nov. 4

Topic 6 Holidays and Days off 1

Text p. 91 



Nov. 11

Topic 7 Towns

Text p.109 

Quiz 4


Nov. 18

Topic 8 Shopping

Text p.125 



Nov. 25

Topic 9 Holidays and Days off 2

Text p.141 

Quiz 5


Dec. 2


Text p.157 




Exam Day (scheduled by the registrar’s office)



Marugoto Japanese Language and Culture. Elementary1 A2



Due Dates






Jan. 6

Exam Review





Topic 1 My family and Myself




Jan. 20

Topic 2 Seasons and Weather 

Text p. 29

Quiz 6


Jan. 27

Topic 3 My Town

Text p. 45 



Feb. 3

Topic 4 Going Out

Text p. 61 

Quiz 7



Topic 5 Languages and Cultures

Text p. 77 




Topic 6 Eating Outdoors

Text p. 83 

Quiz 8


Mar. 2

Topic 7 Business Trips

Text p.111 



Mar. 9

Topic 8 Staying Healthy

Text p.127 

Quiz 9


Mar. 16

Topic 9 Celebrations

Text p.143 



Mar. 23

Japanese Pop Culture

Text p.159

Quiz 10


Mar. 30


Write about J-pop Culture




Exam Day (scheduled by the registrar’s office)

Final Exam

Other Course Information:

Hints for Study


In order to achieve higher marks in quizzes, and exams, and also, to improve communicative competency in Japanese language, the following self-directed learning is highly recommended:


1. Read the pages of textbook to prepare for the class.


2. Post the charts of Japanese Characters on the wall where you can view them each day (e.g. in a bathroom and/or a bedroom).  Make flash cards of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji and keep them in your pockets to memorize them whenever you can. You can also use a cellphone app (Memory hint).


Hiragana Memory Hint:


Katakana Memory Hint:


Kanji Memory Hint:



3. Listen to the audio file for the preparation or review as often as possible.  Also, listen to the Japanese music, watch Japanese movie, or/and anime frequently so that your ears get familiar with listening to Japanese pronunciations.


4. Practice to speaking with your conversation partners regularly (every day if possible) outside of class.


5. Arrange regular times for reviewing what you learned in each lesson.


6. Take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in December.




Future Opportunities


1. The one-year exchange programs are available with Osaka University in Osaka, Seinan Gakuin in Fukuoka, Kyushu, and Hokkaidou Univerisy in Hokkaido.


2. The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program which is sponsored by the Japanese Government, given opportunities to work in Japan as either an assistant English language teacher at a local school or a coordinator for international relations at a local government office. Website: JET Programme Canada (


3. Participate in the Ontario Japanese Speech Contest in March.

Website: オンタリオ日本語弁論大会 (


4. Learn more about the Japanese courses at McMaster: