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Japanese Beginner 1 Online (Monday, 6-8pm Central Time)

For someone else
Noriko Harasawa
For someone else
Enrollment for this class is currently closed.


Instructor: Noriko Harasawa

Objective: Learners in this class will be introduced to a very basic repertoire of words and simple phrases related to personal details and concrete situations. Practice will focus on asking and answering questions within the topics of greetings/introductions, friends and family, and personal details (where one lives, etc.) and becoming familiar with Japanese sentence structure, word order and particles in basic statement/question sentences by listening to and engaging in simple dialogues. The instructor will share personal examples of Japanese culture and customs and guide learners in cultural exploration.

Can-Do Statements: Upon successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

·         Read and write hiragana

·         Read katakana and recognize signs in towns/cities

·         Be familiar with a limited number of kanji (Chinese characters) related to the course topics

·         Exchange greetings and politely interact with someone they meet for the first time 

·         Use basic classroom expressions  

·         Write their name and native country in Japanese  

·         Exchange business cards

·         Give a simple introduction of friends and family using a photo 

·         Politely ask people questions about their family 

·         Count from 1 to 100 

·         Use counters to talk about the number of people, ages, and general objects 

·         Talk about favorite foods

·         Offer someone a drink 


Use of the Language: This course has been designed in such a way that most of the class time will be devoted to communication and will be taught in the target language (i.e., the language that you are studying).  After being introduced to the language during the first class session, you are encouraged to use the target language as much as possible.  You are not expected to understand everything, and you can expect to be pushed beyond your comfort zone. However, your instructor is there to make sure you can succeed in meeting the goals of the activities and of the class in general.  Our goal is for you to be able to communicate in the target language, and we cannot learn to speak a language without speaking it.  Please remember that we learn best by making mistakes, and we encourage you to try to do your best.  Don’t forget that your instructor is there to support you in class and is also available via the Matrix messaging system for assistance.

Expectations/Time Commitment:
Japanese has been identified by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) as a Group 4 language; this means that it is more challenging for students whose first language is English, and it takes more contact hours to develop proficiency compared to other languages closer to English.  Despite the challenges, many students whose first language is English develop proficiency in Japanese and find that it is a language that provides many opportunities both in our region and globally.  It is strongly recommended that you schedule about 3 hours per week outside of the weekly 2-hour class to engage with this course material.  Your instructor will give you both required out-of-class activities as well as optional out-of-class activities for you to complete if you have time.   Please plan accordingly by scheduling your time on your calendar now. Active engagement in all course activities (e.g., class participation, module completion, homework, written assignments, studying vocabulary, etc.) will contribute to your learning and success in this course.    


Required Materials: (Note: the workbook may be purchased from the vendor of your choice; one possible source is linked below)


1.       MARUGOTO KATSUDO coursebook: Japanese language and culture Starter A1 Coursebook for communicative language activities (ISBN-13: 978-4384057522)


2.   MARUGOTO+ (free, supplemental digital resource site where users can learn about Japanese language and culture)


3.   Kodansha's Hiragana Workbook: A Step-by-Step Approach to Basic Japanese Writing (ISBN-13: 978-1568364414)



Strongly recommended (free) apps:


1. Hiragana Memory Hint [English] 





2. Kana Bimoji Japanese Master




3. Katakana Memory Hint





4. Matrix LMS



This course will cover Lessons 1-6 in Marugoto.


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