Elective Classes for Academic Intensive Japanese Program (AIJP)

    Speaking

    When living in Japan, if one wants to make friends and do the basics things (i.e. ask directions, order food, go to the hospital), having a basic understanding of Japanese can be beneficial. However, to truly thrive in mainstream Japanese society, one needs to have true confidence in their ability to communicate with those around them. This elective stream will give you the ability to do this but will also allow you to do so much more. In the speaking stream of elective classes, we stress a range of competencies. These can range from basic communication skills at the lower levels to more advanced concepts such as pragmatics and sociological competencies at the higher levels. Often for adult learners, it can be frustrating to express themselves in a language in which their competency is not as great as that of their first. This elective aims to help you narrow this gap so that you will eventually be able to fully express your thoughts and feelings in Japanese. For that reason, this is a highly rewarding and practical course.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Speaking 1 Speak about themselves in Japanese. How to talk about what they did on the weekend.
    Speaking 2 Give personal opinions in Japanese. How to talk about where they have travelled to and their impression of those locations.
    Speaking 3 Effectively communicate with Japanese people on a day to day basis. How to talk with their friends or colleagues at work.
    Speaking 4 Hold discussions about more abstract and complex topics. How to talk about the economic impact that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will bring to Japan.

    Listening

    Do you occasionally get lost when listening to people discuss abstract concepts on television shows, the radio or on podcasts? Do you need to visit places like the city hall or immigration offices for interviews? Before we answer that question, the following should be considered: In Japanese, the number of differing sounds that sound similar to others may seem quite numerous when compared to one’s own native language (e.g. ‘r’ and ‘l’ or ‘su’ and ‘tsu’). How we comprehend these sounds can often change our perception of what has been said to us. Japanese also contains many words that are homonyms: words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. Establishing context and being able to distinguish these words’ use is a vital cog in Japanese listening comprehension. The listening elective stream will give you an edge when dealing with difficult situations such as the one listed above as well as getting used to the natural speed that Japanese people speak at. Completion of all three levels will allow you to approach conversations with the confidence that you will understand what has been said.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Listening 1 Associate particular hiragana, katakana and kanji characters with their correct pronunciation. Pronunciation of individual sounds that may have been confusing before will become more easily distinguishable. How to ask for the price of food at a restaurant or the location of a product at a supermarket.
    Listening 2 Get used to the speed at which Japanese people speak when they are having everyday conversations amongst themselves. How to take in what a doctor is saying during a consultation for an injury or illness or how to identify the reasons for someone leaving early or not attending a certain event/class.
    Listening 3 Get the gist of what someone is saying even if they don’t understand all of the vocabulary or grammar that the speaker is using. How to understand the rules of their workplace.
    Listening 4 Separate key information from less relevant information when listening to lengthy sentences. How to identify the key points made during a regular conversation held in Japanese. Situations may include making an awkward request or expressing gratitude.

    Reading

    Have you ever wanted to read a Japanese newspaper? Do you see yourself using complex and specialist Japanese in the future? If so, this is the course to give you the grounding to achieve your goals. Starting with traditional texts such as ‘The Adventures of Momotaro: The Peach Boy’ then proceeding to more complicated pieces such as speeches delivered by prominent individuals such as Steve Jobs, the reading stream of electives will provide the foundation for you to enjoy a wide range of Japanese texts. The reading stream will enrich not only your Japanese reading abilities but will also increase your understanding of Japanese culture. An understanding of language and the culture that created it is a prerequisite in the study of any foreign language and to master both of these fields will give you a leg up in your language studies. In addition to this, improving your reading ability can give you greater independence if you are currently living in Japan due to the fact that you will be able to read government notices or bills that have been sent to your home address.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Reading 1 Acquire a familiarity and comprehension of basic Japanese writing. The benchmark for this class is around 1500 words. Texts such as 'Urashima and the Kingdom Beneath the Sea' or 'The Tale of Hachiko'.
    Reading 2 Read folk tales in Japanese from not only Japan but from the rest of the world. The benchmark for this class is around 2500 words. Texts such as 'Ikkyū-san', 'The Adventures of Momotaro: The Peach Boy' and other various international folk tales.
    Reading 3 Read additional folk story, biographical tales and short novels.The benchmark for this class is around 5000 words. Texts such as 'The Restaurant of Many Orders' or 'The Capricious Robot'.
    Reading 4 Read novels that have been adapted from movies or drama series in addition to famous speeches. Texts such as 'Run Melos!' or speeches by people such as Steve Jobs that have been translated into Japanese.

    Kanji

    Kanji (Chinese characters that are used in Japanese language) are a fact of life in Asia. Without a working understanding of this crucial component of Japanese, it may be difficult to realize the full potential of your Japanese ability. This elective stream will give you with the potential to:

    • All classes run for 50 minutes with a ten minute break between classes.
    • To see a complete list of what elective classes that YAMASA provides at the AIJP level, please click the following link.
    • Tests are supplied, both written, multiple choice and verbal (?) to insure that you know where you are at in terms of your learning.

    AIJP can also be taken concurrently with the following classes. Please click the link below for more information concerning each class.

    • Learn Kanji similar to that taught in the Japanese education system.
    • Tell the difference between kanji whose appearance is similar to others.
    • Write and read kanji characters which can be applied to other areas (see below).

    The study of kanji has benefits beyond the study of Japanese. Chinese characters are found in differing forms in 3 different languages (Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese). The study of kanji will not only give you an advantage in your Japanese studies, but also in the languages listed above.

    The art of calligraphy is also based on the writing of various kanji characters. An understanding of kanji stroke order can help in the learning of this ancient Asian cultural pursuit.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, studentsmight usually cover
    Kanji 1 Read and write 100 unique kanji characters. How to read, write and revise 12 new kanji characters (Classes last for 1 hour). Short tests and homework are provided.
    Kanji 2 Read and write 120 unique kanji characters on top of the 100 characters previously learnt in Kanji 1. How to read, write and revise 15 new kanji characters (Classes last for 1 hour). Short tests and homework are provided.
    Kanji 3 Read and write 120 unique kanji characters on top of the 220 characters previously learnt in Kanji 1. This will result in a total of 340 characters being learnt over the span of the 3 classes. How to read, write and revise 15 new kanji characters (Classes last for 1 hour). Short tests and homework are provided.
    Kanji Marathon Read and write kanji characters pre determined by the student themselves. Learning will be self directed. Kanji that are deemed appropriate to their level. This will be decided by the student.

    Respectful Language

    This elective will allow you to use a part of the Japanese language that is difficult to practice with your friends, classmates or family members, let alone in every day conversation: humble and polite language. Indispensable to the conducting of business in Japan as well as in the customer service industry and workplace, this elective gives you a rare chance to practice this key area of Japanese language.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Respectful Japanese Revision Use respectful Japanese in various settings as well as review the fundamentals of this important concept. How to conduct an interview using respectful Japanese.

    Business

    Quick quiz:
    1) Do you know what you should do with a Japanese business card once you have received it?
    2) As an employee in a Japanese company, how would you start a conversation with your company president about what you did on the weekend?

    If you want to find out the answer to these questions, this is the course for you. This elective stream teaches the fundamentals of Japanese business culture; a concept which still remains a mystery to so many Westerners. Through this elective stream, you will also be able to deepen your understanding of this very important facet of Japanese society; one which is a microcosm of a larger whole.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Introduction to Business Japanese Learn about working in Japan as well as Japanese business etiquette in a practical and realistic way. how to introduce yourself, write business e-mails and conduct interviews in Japanese.
    Basics of Business Japanese Put the knowledge that was acquired in Introduction to Business Japanese into further practice. Knowledge concerning Japanese business etiquette and customs will be further explored. How to introduce others, make business phone calls and conduct interviews in Japanese.

    N1/N2 Japanese Proficiency Test

    Would you like to go to a Japanese university in the future? Or perhaps add something a little extra to your resume? It might also be possible that you just want to test your Japanese language ability. Maybe you have been studying Japanese but feel like you don’t have anything concrete to aim for.
    If any of these questions or statements apply to you, sitting the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) might be your answer. Exam candidates often study for months prior to the test but sometimes discover that whilst they have the linguistic capability to pass the test, the strategies they bring to test day are lacking. For this reason, this elective stream differs from our other classes in that you will be learning techniques to get a pass mark on the JLPT; a test that has been long recognized as the leading measure in Japanese testing when it comes to assessing one’s Japanese ability.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Level 1 Grammar Gain a pass mark on the Japanese Proficiency Test, Level 1. 1) Become familiar with the grammar question sets posed by the Japanese Proficiency test and get used to their wording.

    2) Increase the number of sentence patterns that they understand.
    Level 1 Vocabulary 1) Become familiar with the vocabulary question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.

    2) Increase the amount of vocabulary that they understand.
    Level 1 Listening 1) Become familiar with the listening question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.

    2) Learn listening techniques.
    Level 1 Reading 1) Become familiar with the reading question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.
    2) Learn reading techniques.
    Level 2 Grammar Gain a pass mark on the Japanese Proficiency Test, Level 2. 1) Become familiar with the grammar question sets posed by the Japanese Proficiency test and get used to their wording.

    2) Increase the number of sentence patterns that they understand.
    Level 2 Vocabulary 1) Become familiar with the vocabulary question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.

    2) Increase the amount of vocabulary that they understand.
    Level 2 Listening 1) Become familiar with the listening question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.

    2) Learn listening techniques.
    Level 2 Reading 1) Become familiar with the reading question types posed by the Japanese Proficiency test get used to their wording.

    2) Learn reading techniques.

    University entrance test preparation

    If you intend on going to a Japanese tertiary institution, then this is the course that will equip you with the best possible chance at not only passing the Japanese University Entry Exam but also succeeding beyond your own expectations. This class differs from our JLPT course in not only objectives but in content. The Japanese for the university entrance exam elective consists not only of reading and listening components but it also requires you to write a short essay in addition to an opinion piece of roughly 500 words each within a set time limit*. This is challenging in itself and will really stretch the potential of your Japanese ability. Due to smaller class numbers, the Japanese for university entrance exam elective also allows you greater access to your teacher. This in turn will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the material presented and will provide a more personalized study environment for you.

    *The composition of the university entrance exam can differ depending on your chosen university and/or field of study.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Japanese for university entrance exams Attain strategies to pass the test that allows entry into Japan's tertiary institutions. Reading, listening and a combination of reading and listening questions are revised under a set time period.

    Elementary Revision

    In any course of study, feedback as well as practicing previously learnt material is critical. Being cognizant of this, our Elementary Revision program will allow you to go over the basics of what you have studied in previous classes such as:

    • Verb groups and endings (-te form and negative tense)
    • Particles (wa, wo, de, ni etc.)
    • Grammar forms (causative, passive)

    While it does focus on grammar points, our Elementary Revision elective class also look at how language is used in the real world by looking at the use of particular lexical items/grammatical forms and how they are used in communicative settings.
    In short this is the program for those who wish to build a solid linguistic foundation that will serve them well as they progress through their studies.

    Class name Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to In an average class, students might usually cover
    Elementary Revision Revise difficult to understand or easily confusable material or sentence patterns. The aim of this class is to allow the student to correctly use language that has been learned during the completion of 'Minna no Nihongo'. Transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, passive voice, causative tense, passive causative tense etc.

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