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JAPANESE 1Z06S Beginner's Intensive Japanese (C01)

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2018

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Sonomi Iwata-Consul


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 511A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 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 basic grammar, punctuations, and spelling to engage effectively in real life situations and online communications; to become familiar with the Japanese people, custom music, film and culture. By the end of course, you will be able to read short passages, write about your family or your favourite things to do (200-400 words) using genkouyoushi, and to communicate appropriately in Japanese about general topics. You will be encouraged to master 46 hiragana, 46 katakana, 145 basic kanji characters, and approximately 800 vocabulary which is required to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5. Lecture notes are available on Avenue to Learn.

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)

Method of Assessment:

The breakdown of your final grade is as follows:


1. Performance         10% (Participation, Performance, Volunteer etc.)

2. Assignments         10% (Genki Workbook)

2. Quizzes                15% (10 small online quizzes)

3. Voice Samples      10% ( ① Self-introduction: submit by May 16th)

                                          ② 30 second narration: submit by June 11th)

4. Short Essay          10% (400-letter Short Essay: Peer Evaluation by July 9th)                

5. Mid-Term Exam     20% (2 hours: June 13th)

6. Final Exam            25% (2 hours: August 3rd)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

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. How actively engaged in each class is observed as your performance. You can submit MSAF once a course when you miss a class.



You are expected to complete your assignments as a self-study after each class to review what you learned in class (See course schedule for each deadline). Your assignment will be reviewed by your instructor every Monday. If you miss the deadline, your mark for assignments will be deducted 10% each day after the deadline.



You will complete a small quiz online every week in class to test your understanding of Japanese characters, vocabulary, useful expressions, listening skills and grammar. In order to submit the quiz, you need your lap-top computer or cell phone. MSAFs are not accepted for quizzes.


Voice Samples

You will submit two voice samples by the deadline in the course. If you miss the deadline, your mark for a voice sample will be deducted 10% each day. When you submit an MSAF, the weight of 5% will be added to another voice sample.


Short Essay

You will write a short essay and your essay will be evaluated according to a rubric by a peer by the deadline in the course. If you miss the deadline, your mark for essay will be deducted 10% each day. MSAFs are not accepted for short essay.


Midterm 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:

Genki textbook I

Week 1      Introduction, Japanese Writing System, Greetings

Week 2      Chapter 1 New Friends

Week 3      Chapter 2 Shopping

Week 4      Chapter 3 Making a Date

Week 5      Chapter 4 The First Date

Week 6      Chapter 5 A Trip to Okinawa

Week 7      Chapter 6 A Day in Robert’s Life

Week 8      Chapter 7 Family Picture

Week 9      Chapter 8 Barbecue

Week 10    Chapter 9 Kabuki

Week 11    Chapter 10 Winter Vacation Plans

Week 12    Chapter 11 After the Vacation

Week 13    Chapter 12 Feeling Ill

Other Course Information:

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 Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) (December). Website:
  7. Office hours are for students. Please feel free to drop by your instructor’s office whenever you have questions, concerns, or some help with studying.


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 University: Japanese@McMaster