Japanese Learning Goals
The Japanese language courses are designed to develop linguistic skills and an understanding of Japanese culture. The study of Japanese is recommended for students interested in majoring in East Asian Studies or International Relations.
Students may also pursue a student-initiated major that includes the study of Japanese.
Ursinus is one of two institutions in Pennsylvania to offer a teacher certification program in Japanese.
Our elementary Japanese courses are designed to help students to develop four language skills in balance: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and to address what is linguistically and culturally appropriate for communication in basic social situations. By the end of these courses, students should possess the basic communication skills and culturally appropriate manners required to ask and answer questions on familiar topics and conduct short conversations in simple social situations. Students also should be able to compose short writing samples on familiar topics by using an appropriate combination of three different character systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
Advanced Elementary Level
At the second-year level, students continue developing the four language skills as they broaden their knowledge of basic linguistic structures, vocabulary, and characters. By the end of the year, students should have developed the ability to present and explain their opinions and to express doubt and wishes. Students should have acquired the communicative and cultural competence to live in a home stay or in a dormitory environment in Japan.
Beginning Intermediate Level
In JPN-211 & 212, students develop further their spoken and written language skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of Japanese social practices. Students should be able to string phrases and sentences together in order to communicate their individual experiences with more detailed information, while demonstrating more fluent skills in a wider range of social interactions. Students should be able to produce short essays and narratives.
Intermediate to Semi-Advanced Level
In JPN-311 and 312, students focus on expanding further their language skills and the sociocultural knowledge they need for communication, thereby easing students’ transition into the advanced study of Japanese. Students are expected to develop Japanese language skills, deepen their cultural understanding, and enrich their vocabulary and kanji knowledge through discussions of meaningful reading materials on topics of contemporary Japan. By the end of these courses, students should be able to use the basic tools of information literacy to obtain a variety of materials necessary for the continued study of Japanese.