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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 Integrity

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. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

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. 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:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service ( to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

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.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
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".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

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.