Center for Japanese LanguageWaseda University

Curriculum

Japanese language studies offered by the Center for Japanese Language at Waseda University consist of Comprehensive Courses and Japanese Theme Subjects.

Comprehensive Courses are for students from beginner to pre-advanced (levels 1–6) who comprehensively study the four key skills according to a standardized syllabus and set of materials. There are 15-week Japanese for ‘Zero’ Beginners, Comprehensive Japanese, Intensive Japanese 1 and 2, and three-week or six-week Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term) courses. A Kanji course is also offered to complement the four key skills.

In Japanese Theme Subjects, teachers draw up materials and syllabuses utilizing their respective expertise to provide students from beginner to superior (levels 1–8) with unique, progressive lessons. Rather than focus on the language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, these subjects cover a wide range of topics to meet the diverse interests and needs of foreign students, from creative subjects such as haiku poetry and theater to specialized Japanese language useful in job-hunting, further education, and so on.

As shown above, the Center for Japanese Language offers courses at a wide range of levels from beginner to superior. Also, you can design your own Japanese learning according to your level and learning needs. Let’s look at some specific examples of this.

First of all, you take an on-line test to find out your level. Let’s say, for instance, the test results show your Japanese is level 5. However, you may be more proficient at certain skills than others, better at speaking, for example, than writing or kanji. In that case, you can take a Comprehensive Course and some Japanese Theme Subjects to suit your level and learning objectives. For instance, taking your base level as 5, you can select Comprehensive Japanese Level 5 to study the language comprehensively, along with a level 4 Japanese Theme Subject that focuses on writing and a level 4 Kanji course. At the same time, you can have a personal consultation about your subjects and create a personalized “My Schedule.”

Structure of Courses

Course Category

Below we describe the learning objectives and content of the Comprehensive Courses and Japanese Theme Subjects offered.

Comprehensive Courses

Comprehensive Japanese

Course name Learning objectives
Comprehensive Japanese 1 Learn lower beginner sentence patterns, vocabulary, and characters (hiragana, katakana) and become able to communicate properly in everyday situations.

Textbook: Minna no Nihongo, Beginner I, 2nd Edition (3A Corporation)

Comprehensive Japanese 2 Study upper beginner sentence patterns, vocabulary, and characters (hiragana, katakana) and become able to communicate properly in everyday situations.

Textbook: Minna no Nihongo, Beginner II, 2nd Edition

(3A Corporation)

Comprehensive Japanese 3 Reinforce and expand your beginner Japanese while learning intermediate sentence patterns and vocabulary. Learn what others think about familiar social themes and become able to convey your own ideas.

Textbook:
・Chukyu o Manabo: Nihongo no Bunkei to Hyogen 56 (Studying at the Intermediate Level: 56 Japanese Sentence Patterns and Expressions) (3A Corporation)
・Bunpou Ga Yowai Anata E [Beginner/Inter. Grammar Workbook](Bonjinsha)

Comprehensive Japanese 4 Become able to describe familiar social themes logically and objectively while increasing your intermediate sentence patterns and vocabulary.

Textbook: Chukyu o Manabo: Nihongo no Bunkei to Hyogen 82 (Studying at the Intermediate Level: 82 Japanese Sentence Patterns and Expressions) (3A Corporation)

Comprehensive Japanese 5 Learn upper intermediate vocabulary and expressions with someone’s help and become able to read newspaper articles and books. Learn to discuss social topics.

Textbook: Ikita sozai de manabu shin chūkyū kara jōkyū e no Nihongo (The Japan Times)

Comprehensive Japanese 6 Learn pre-advanced vocabulary and expressions by yourself and become able to read newspaper articles and books. Learn to discuss a wide range of social issues.

Textbook: Ryugakusei no Tame no Jidai o Yomitoku Jokyu Nihongo —Dai 3-Han (Penetrating Contemporary Japan: Advanced Japanese for International Students—From reading comprehension to conversation and composition—3rd Edition) (3A Corporation)

 

Japanese for ‘zero’ beginners

Course name Learning objectives
Japanese for ‘zero’ beginners For students with zero knowledge of Japanese. Learn how to read and write hiragana and katakana. Learn simple expressions and basic phrases used in everyday conversation, and become able to introduce yourself.

Textbooks:
Hitori de Manaberu Hiragana/Katakana (3A Corporation)
NIHONGO Breakthrough From survival to communication in Japanese (Ask Publishing)

 

Intensive Japanese

Course name Learning objectives
Intensive Japanese1-2 Learn lower and upper beginner key sentence patterns, vocabulary, and characters (hiragana, katakana) and become able to communicate properly in everyday situations.

Textbooks:
Minna no Nihongo, Beginner I, 2nd Edition (3A Corporation)
Minna no Nihongo, Beginner II, 2nd Edition (3A Corporation)

 

Kanji

Course name Learning objectives
Kanji (For Nonnative Kanji Learners) 1 For students learning kanji for the first time. Study basic kanji from entry level, including how they are written and the meaning of their radicals, and become able to understand and write them in sentences.

Textbook: KANJI LOOK AND LEARN (The Japan Times) Chapters 1–10

Kanji (For Nonnative Kanji Learners) 2 For students with some experience of learning basic kanji. Learn the meaning of radicals and basic kanji idioms, and become able to understand and write them in sentences.

Textbook: KANJI LOOK AND LEARN (The Japan Times) Chapters 11–20

Kanji (For Native Kanji Learners) 1 For students with basic knowledge of kanji but learning Japanese for the first time. Learn the characteristics of Japanese kanji and how to read and use those kanji most often used in everyday life.

Textbook: KANJI LOOK AND LEARN Workbook(The Japan Times)Chapter 1-10

Kanji (For Native Kanji Learners) 2 For students with basic knowledge of kanji and basic knowledge of Japanese. Learn the characteristics of Japanese kanji and how to read and use them.

Textbook: KANJI LOOK AND LEARN Workbook(The Japan Times)Chapter 11-20

Kanji 3 For students with experience of learning basic kanji idioms. Understand kanji within sentences and increase the number of kanji you can write and recognize.

Textbook: BASIC KANJI BOOK Kihon Kanji 500 Vol.2 (New Edition) (Bonjinsha)

Kanji 4 For students who know the meaning of basic kanji idioms and how to read and write them. Lean the composition of kanji idioms and become able to use synonymous kanji words differently according to the context. Increase your kanji knowledge in your own field of interest.

Textbook: INTERMEDIATE KANJI BOOK Kanji 1000 Plus Vol.1 (Bonjinsha) Chapters 1–5

Kanji 5 For students who know the meaning of kanji idioms and how to read and write them, and who know basic kanji compound words. Learn the composition of kanji words and the distinction between words of Chinese origin and those of Japanese origin, and become able to use them differently according to the context. Learn to guess the meaning and pronunciation of new kanji.

Textbook: INTERMEDIATE KANJI BOOK Kanji 1000 Plus Vol.1 (Bonjinsha) Chapters 6–10

 

Conversation

Course name Learning objectives
Conversation 1 The goal of this course is enable you to conduct the daily conversation with basic Japanese grammar and words.

Textbook: Hitori de Manaberu Hiragana/Katakana (3A Corporation)
NIHONGO Breakthrough From survival to communication in Japanese (Ask Publishing)

Conversation 2 The goal of this course is to enable you to have a conversation about a familiar topic with upper basic Japanese grammar and words.

 

Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term)
*Only for participants of Short-term Japanese Program

Course name Learning objectives
Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term) 1 This class is designed for lower beginners to improve their overall skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for communication in Japanese.

Textbook: Shokyu Nihongo GenkiⅠ Second Edition (The Japan Times)

Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term) 2 This class is designed for upper beginners, or those who have completed a lower beginners class. Students will use『GENKIⅡ』(The Japan Times), to learn the sentence structures and expressions classroom practices are designed for helping the students master grammar and vocabulary by listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities.

Textbook: Shokyu Nihongo GenkiⅡ Second Edition (The Japan Times)

Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term) 3 This class is designed for those who have finished learning beginner’s level Japanese language and are ready for intermediate level. The class aims to help students achieve communicative fluency in Japanese with well-balanced skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Textbook: Chu-kyu nihongo kyokasho: watashi no mitsuketa nihon “For Intermediate Learners of Japanese: Japan through My Eyes” (University of Tokyo Press)

Comprehensive Japanese (Short-term) 4 This class is intended for students progressing from an intermediate to an advanced level. Students will be exposed to an extensive range of reading materials introduced in the textbook, including essays, descriptions, articles, surveying documents. Students will learn expressions and grammar through their reading. The class activities also include pre-reading analysis, post-reading class discussions on the theme of each reading material.

Textbook: Shin chu-kyu kara jyo-kyu eno nihongo “Authentic Japanese: Progressing from Intermediate Advanced [New Edition]” (The Japan Times)

 

Japanese Theme Subject

Japanese Theme Subjects cover more than 230 diverse and unique topics. The skills-oriented subjects are “Reading,” “Writing,” “Listening,” “Pronunciation,” “Politeness,” “Grammar,” “Vocabulary” and “Kanji” that let you focus on a skill you want to master. There are also society- and culture-oriented subjects titled “Literature,” “Movie, Drama and Entertainment,” “Living” and “Society and Culture” that enable you to acquire a range of knowledge and skills other than language, as well as specialist subjects titled “Career” and “Academic.” All Japanese Theme Subjects share the aim of developing the ability to think and solve problems. Please think about what interests you and what kind of Japanese you need to learn before selecting your subjects.

◆ Course List by Category

Category Primary Aim
Oral Expression ・Improve speaking competence by learning conversational expression and pronunciation

・Improve speaking competence through discussions, presentations and other oral activities

Written Expression ・Improve writing competence by studying the methods of written expression, including phrasing and construction

・Improve writing competence through essays, reports and other writing tasks

Listening Comprehension ・Master listening comprehension strategies and improve listening comprehension ability
Reading Comprehension ・Master reading comprehension strategies and improve reading comprehension ability
Grammar ・Master grammar and improve expressiveness
Vocabulary ・Master a robust lexicon and improve expressiveness
Society and Culture ・Study socio-cultural elements of Japan and learn, as well as be able to utilize, the Japanese words and expressions associated with them
Academic Japanese ・Learn and be able to utilize Japanese suited to undergraduate and graduate student life and research activities at a Japanese university
Business Japanese ・Learn and be able to utilize Japanese required for business contexts
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