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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2021/22 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • No language qualification in Japanese and no prior study of Japanese


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Core language modules from the BA Modern Languages & Cultures; Any module for the BA Japanese Studies


  • To provide an introduction to Japanese Language in the four core language skills, i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing and an introduction to the basic grammatical structures of the target language.
  • To encourage a positive and confident attitude towards language learning.
  • To develop and apply meta language and learning techniques appropriate to undergraduate level study.
  • To provide a linguistic platform for communicative competence in Japanese.
  • To promote cultural awareness.


  • The module is designed to provide a sound platform for foreign language acquisition by helping students to understand the core structure of the Japanese language through the study of grammar.
  • Classes will be used to introduce and practise new vocabulary through interactive language exercises developing students’ independence and fluency at an introductory level.
  • Guided and independent self-study will be an important element in order to achieve maximum exposure to the target language and to accelerate students’ learning pace.
  • Cultural awareness will be developed through the study of selected background material. Functional topics may include:
  • Talking about yourself and daily activities
  • Dealing with every day situations when visiting Japan
  • Present and future events;
  • Describing people, objects and places
  • All teaching materials will be kana / kanji based, hence students will achieve full competency in kana recognition and production plus recognition and production skills for around 120-150 kanji.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of basic grammar and be able to communicate in the present, past and future tenses on familiar topics and activities;
  • understand and elicit basic factual information in Japanese in simple everyday situations;
  • understand and extract relevant information from course related written and aural texts;
  • have an awareness of the main features of contemporary Japanese culture.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • communicate in tasks requiring a direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities;
  • demonstrate an understanding of core meta language sufficient to undertake independent study of essential grammar and lexis;
  • demonstrate a strategic competence that will allow them to understand the gist of conversations / texts in simple, everyday but unpredictable situations.
  • describe aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need;
  • write short notes and messages.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • demonstrate the ability to identify their own learning needs and address them effectively;

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through a weekly 2-hour seminar and a weekly 1-hour language lab.
  • Seminar sessions will be used to practise the four skills and to provide students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and from multimedia audiovisual learning material.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is undertaken through in-course assessment, designed to test students’ level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 20 Weekly 2 hours 40
Practical Seminars 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Preparation and Reading 140
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Reading & Writing Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written assignment (week 8) 30% No
Written assignment (week 19) 70% Yes
Component: Speaking & Listening Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation (week 10) 5 minutes 30% No
Group oral assessment (weeks 21-22) 15 minutes 70% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practise and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University