ULJA30022 - Introduction to Spoken Japanese

  • Credits: 10
  • Level: 1
  • Pre-requisite: None
  • Co-requisite: Open to students not following Honours courses in Japanese. Open only to final year students (credit).
  • Taught during: Semester 2
  • TimetableTimetable for the course (this course follows the same timetable as ULJA10022)


This course is designed for students who wish to move quickly through the fundamentals of Japanese grammar, while developing some basic communicative skills in Japanese.

It aims to teach students simple structures, lexis and phrases enabling them to communicate effectively in a range of situations in Japan.

Reading and writing Japanese characters is not covered, though time is devoted to learning the alphabet and developing recognition of commonly seen words and signs.

Students are expected to use the range of resources available in the Language Centre and communicate with native speakers wherever possible, in order to develop cultural competence.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will have acquired the ability to:

  1. Handle some of the basic grammatical structures of Japanese;
  2. Communicate orally in a limited number of social contexts; 
  3. Perform at Level A1 (Speaking and Listening) of the Common European Framework.

At the end of the course students will have developed their:

  • Pair and team work
  • Focussed listening
  • Ability to deliver informal presentations
  • Language awareness
  • Cultural appreciation

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour seminar per week. Students will actively practice new language (words, phrases and grammar) in pairs and groups in class, as well as through written exercises at home; eLearning; Supplementary materials, including links to online resources, to aid students in their independent learning will be available via Blackboard.


One written test (35%), one oral (25%), one aural test (20%) and one independent learning dossier comprised of four tasks to be conducted between weeks 3 and 12, plus a reflection/evaluation sheet to be submitted in week 12 (20%). The written and aural tests will take place in week 11, the oral test in week 12.

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


Dr. Sandra Torres

Taught by

See timetables

Maximum entry

16 per group

Set texts 

Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture Starter A1: Coursebook for communicative language activities - Basic Conversation (ISBN : 978-4-384-05752-2), Publisher: Sanshusha

Recommended text



Following this course, with additional study and/or a short period of time in Japan over the summer period, students may progress to ULJA20110 - Pre-Intermediate Japanese.


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.