Japanese Courses and Requirements

Students who graduate with a major in Japanese are expected to be proficient in Japanese and to have a solid grounding in the literature and culture of Japan.

The anticipated language proficiency level for Japanese majors is equivalent to level 2 in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The level of language proficiency that we expect from our Japanese majors involves the demonstrated ability to:

  • speak fluently with good grammatical, lexical and cultural accuracy in formal and informal speaking styles.
  • read authentic texts such as literature, newspapers, and magazines.
  • understand spoken language in daily conversations, public speeches and media.
  • engage and discuss cultural values and assumptions in readings and mass media.
  • translate a short story, essay, poetry, or excerpts from news, film and other media.
  • write accurate and meaningful reports and descriptions in formal written prose, and letters and notes in formal and informal language.
  • read annotated texts in classical Japanese.

A solid grounding in the literature and culture of Japan involves:

  • knowledge of classical and modern literary texts, films, and other media.
  • ability to analyze and interpret texts in an informed and sensitive way, both orally and in writing.
  • understanding and experience of cultural practices, enabling successful interaction in a Japanese cultural environment.
  • ability to undertake and implement independent research, showing a command of primary and secondary sources.