ULJA10010 - Beginners' Japanese

  • Credits: 20
  • Level: 1
  • Pre-requisite: This unit is suitable for those who have never studied Japanese before.
  • Co-requisite: If you are studying a Modern Languages Degree, either single or joint honours, please refer to relevant guidance about eligibility for LEAP units on your programme structure.
  • Taught during: Both semesters (September to May).
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course


This course is for beginners and aims to give a basic knowledge of spoken and written Japanese in communicative contexts. This is achieved through individual, pair and group work and self-access listening and reading materials including web-based material.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. understand spoken Japanese in various contexts
  2. talk about themselves and others and interact by means of simple questions and answers
  3. read and write the syllabic hiragana and katakana scripts and begin to acquire kanji characters.

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1 of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

Pair and team work, focussed listening, informal presentations, language awareness, cultural appreciation.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour seminar per week, delivered through blended learning which integrates on campus and on-line instruction as necessary. This will also include online digital learning available via Blackboard and supplemented by extra online resources to aid students in their independent learning.


Four pieces of assessed work as follows:

  • Semester one: Written test (Reading, Grammar, Writing) 30%. 
  • Semester two: Oral (20%), Listening (20%), Written (Reading, Grammar, Writing) 30%. 

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of:

  • informal ongoing oral and written feedback resulting from homework and class based learning activities
  • formal written feedback will be given following every assessment


Nozomi Yamaguchi

Taught by

See timetables

Maximum entry 

22 per group

Set texts

Genki 1, Third Edition (Japan Times). ISBN-13 : 978-4789017305

Recommended texts

Oxford Starter Japanese dictionary (ISBN: 0198601972) OR Oxford Kenkyusha Japanese Learner dictionary, and Oxford Japanese Grammar and Verbs (ISBN: 0198603827). More information at the Oxford University Press website.


ULJA20110 Pre-intermediate Japanese, or ULJA20010 Intermediate Japanese depending on results.


Successful completion of this course unit will enhance your curriculum vitae and your employability by showing that you have a capacity to learn other languages and the desire to engage with other cultures.