Welcome to Japanese 302! This is a general website open to public. Enrolled students: Please go to Canvas website for daily updates and grades. [For Japanese 301, please go to this website.]

Themes (テーマ)

In this course, we will be discussing entirely in Japanese various topics on Japanese culture, highlighting Japanese history (foreign imports and modernization); traditional arts and crafts; and nature and mind as depicted in language arts such as haiku. Additional topics may include social and global topics, such as politics and environmental issues, depending on the students’ interest.

Linguistic Goals(言語スキルの目標

This semester, you will be expected to perform more complex interpersonal and academic tasks by initiating questions, leading conversations, and facilitating discussions. Thus, in addition to simply memorizing the vocabulary and grammar rules in isolation, you are expected to practice using them naturally in given contexts. We emphasize the following three areas:

1) Situation-based Japanese (状況から学ぶ日本語):You will be expanding your vocabulary (including 300 new items and 250 new kanji words) and about 75 new grammatical/idiomatic expressions in speech and texts. While we will continue to pay attention to accuracy (e.g., character strokes, conjugations) in usage, we will also be practicing using and identifying and using these items in various styles, settings and genres. For example, you will be prompted to choose active or passive sentences, or certain sentence endings when speaking to elder/”superior” people.

2) Discourse-level Japanese (談話レベルの日本語): You will be processing longer texts and conversations in various situational settings—both personal and academic, and sometimes a mixture of the two (e.g., talking to friends about academic topics). Accordingly, you will be expected to apply strategies to manage the unexpected and unknown, such as: inferring or anticipating messages; paying attention to main points and essential details. All of these tasks will be practiced through the active usage of new and previously learned vocabulary, grammar structures, transition words and sentence-final particles, many of which require more intentional learning.

3) Academic Japanese (学術的な日本語): The content matters. We will be practicing forming well-structured arguments through expository writing and presentations. You will be asked to incorporate in your writing information you obtained from sources and/or through interactions with others (through discussions and interviews).


Independence and initiative(自律学習と自発性): This class is more student-driven than previous semesters. Be proactive and intentional about utilizing learned expressions inside and outside the class — for example, during Japanese Table lunches, events, media sources, and with tutors. Related to this, we take a context-driven and content-driven approach. In other words, we learn how to say things based on topics you want to learn about and views that you want to express using Japanese.

Preparation work(予習): In order to maximally benefit from the classroom setting, you will be assigned a larger proportion of preparation work. In stead we will have meeting times for discussions and some flexible (customizable) hours, such as workshopping and brainstorming tailored to individuals’ interest. This includes reading grammar explanations and doing basic mechanical exercises in advance, so that we can focus on usage in textual and conversational contexts in class. Your review work should involve the active internalization (and personalization) of materials.

Milestone Project期末プロジェクト

The highlight of this semester is the interview project. For this project, you will be selecting a topic on Japanese culture/society and lead a 30 to 40-minute conversation with meue no hito (or “your superior”) prompted by your questions. You will be expected to use honorifics and other politeness strategies during your interview. We will work on this project step by step starting in Week 5.

Days/Times & Classrooms日時と教室

JAPN0301A (lecture)    Tue. & Thu.         Please check Banner                 

JAPN0301Z (drill)       Mon. & Wed.       Please check Banner                    


Sayaka Abe (Japanese Studies)

Office: FIC Freeman LF01E

Contact: “sabe” at midd

Office Hours: Please check the department webpage

Course Materials(コース教材

A larger proportion of authentic materials will be included than in previous semesters. We will continue to emphasize balanced communicative skills—speaking, listening, writing and reading, as well as cultural competence.


『上級へのとびら』(本冊)TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese (required)

[Reading] The History of Importing in Japan
[Conversation] Talking about historical events
[Speech] Giving a speech on the historical events and figures of one’s country
Traditional Arts and Crafts
[Reading] What we can learn from washi (Japanese paper)
[Conversation] Explaining how to make something
[Speech] Giving a speech on how to make/use/do/etc. something
[Reading] Sensei and I; Haiku: The world’s shortest poetic form
[Conversation] Developing a conversation with follow-up questions, comments, etc.
[Speech] Giving a speech based on an interview
Reading: What it takes to become a politician
[Debate] Expressing one’s opinions/agreeing/disagreeing
Our Future and Environment
[Reading] If the world were a village of 100 people; If Japan were a village of 100 people; Ms. Maathai’s mottainai campaign
[Debate] Expressing one’s opinions/agreeing/disagreeing

Authentic Materials (生教材)



『これで身につく文法力』TOBIRA: Grammar Power (recommended)

『きたえよう漢字力』TOBIRA: Power Up Your KANJI  (recommended)

Additional reading/listening materials will be provided in class.