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JAPANESE 1Z06B Beginner'sIntensiveJapanese

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Sonomi Iwata-Consul


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 511A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Tuesday 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Course Objectives:

This course introduces basic Japanese language and culture to the students with no background in Japanese. The objectives are: to acquire a basic level of the four-language skills such as reading, speaking, listening, and writing in modern Japanese; to learn the basics of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling which are useful for engaging students effectively in real life situations and online communications; to become familiar with the Japanese people, custom and culture. The students are encouraged to access internet to find useful resources and application software for improving Japanese language skills and understand the Japanese culture. By the end of course, the students will be able to communicate appropriately in Japanese about general topics, and also read and write Japanese including hiragana, katakana and more than 100 kanji (Chinese characters).

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


1. Banno, Eri, et. al. Genki I Japan Times, 2011 (Main Text)

2. Banno, Eri, et. al Genki I Japan Times, 2011 (Workbook)

3. Banno, Eri, et. al. Genki I Japan Times, 2011 (Accompanying CDs)


1. Oxford Starter Dictionary.

2. Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1 (Bonjinsha)

*3. Kodansha’s Furigana Dictionary Japanese-English English-Japanese

* This dictionary is recommended for those students who plan to continue to study at higher levels.

Method of Assessment:


The breakdown of your final grade is as follows:

1. Class participation     10% (24 lectures)

2. Quizzes                    15% (10 quizzes)

3. Role Play                  10%  (3-minute role play)

4. Skit                          15% (5-minute skit)      

5. Progress Exam         20% (2 hours)

6. Final Exam               30% (2 hours)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Classroom Participation

Attending class regularly is essential to improve your language skills and proficiencies.  Please

make every effort to attend class.  Ten absences will result in a participation grade of 0% (1% deduction for each absence). In order to avoid the reduction, you must receive approval from the instructor for legitimate reasons by presenting an official document from the authority (e.g., a doctor’s note) before you miss a class. Out of consideration for the classmates and the instructor, please try to avoid arriving late and leaving early.  It may cause a penalty (0.1% reduction from participation grade) unless students have legitimate reasons. Please let the instructor know before a class.



Every other week, students will write a quiz to test their understanding of Japanese characters,

vocabulary, useful expressions, listening skills and grammar.  Basically, there will be no make-up quizzes, however, when the instructor has accepted the legitimate reason accompanied with the official document  (e.g. a doctor’s letter), students will be allowed to make up the missed quiz.      


Role Play

Students in pairs will act out the situations in Japanese (3 minutes).

e.g. You are in the International Office on campus. Approach a Japanese student, greet her/him introduce yourself and ask what her/his major is.


Skit Presentation

The students present a 5-minute skit in a group of three.  The students need to select partners from classmates for the skit presentation. The skit should include vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structure that were taught in class.


Mid-Term and Final Exam

2 hours listening and writing Exams. The Progress Exam will take place in June, and the Final Exam will take place in August. An overall mark of at least 50% must be attained on the final examination in order to pass the course.

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:

All classes are conducted by the instructor. There are one-hour lecture and two-hour tutorial classes per week. The first hour of each class is lecture. Students will be introduced to new vocabulary and grammatical structures of each chapter of the textbook. Kana and Kanji will be introduced also during lecture hour. The students write a mini-quiz every other week. Next two hours are tutorial class. During tutorial hours students will be given both oral and aural exercises, and are expected to participate fully in every class activity. You will be working primarily in cooperatively structured groups during these hours. Your instructor will use Japanese for instruction except when it is necessary for clarification of grammar points or administrative matters after a few weeks of the commencement of the course, so it is important that you learn useful classroom expressions at the beginning of the course. During tutorial hours, your newly acquired skills will be reinforced through a series of writing/speaking exercises.

Other Course Information:

In Class Policies

  • Private talks should be kept minimal.
  • Cellular phones must be turned off except for emergency situations.
  • Water and soft drinks are allowed, but no eating or chewing gum.


Helpful Hints for Study

In order to achieve higher marks in quizzes, and exams, and also, to accelerate 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.
  3. Listen to the CD for the assigned pages 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 Japanese pronunciations.
  4. Practice to speak 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 Proficiency test.


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.

3. Participate in the Ontario Japanese Speech Contest.