ULJA51002 - Introduction to Japanese

  • Credits: 10
  • Pre-requisite: None.
  • Co-requisite: Open to students not following Honours courses in Japanese. If you are studying a Modern Languages Degree, either single or joint honours, please refer to the course unit selection guidance, which includes information about eligibility for LEAP units, on your programme structure.
  • Anti-requisite: Students taking the unit for university credit as part of their degree must not have already taken the unit ULJA51010 – LEAP Japanese 1. 
  • Taught during: Semester 2
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course


This course is for absolute beginners.

It introduces students to the fundamentals of Japanese grammar, reading, and writing while developing some basic communicative skills.

It aims to teach students simple structures, lexis, and phrases that will enable them to communicate in a limited number of common everyday situations in Japan.

This will be achieved through learning ‘Romaji’ (rĊmaji), a system of romanized spelling used to transliterate Japanese, which will also be used in assessment.

The introductory course differs from LEAP Japanese 1 in length, topics covered, and learning outcomes.

Both start at the same level (absolute beginner), but LEAP Japanese 1 is a full-year course and goes further and deeper into the language as it is approximately double the number of teaching hours plus double the number of self-study hours whereas the introductory level Introduction to LEAP Japanese is only one semester long.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Handle some of the basic grammatical structures of Japanese;
  • understand and read, some familiar and daily expressions used in common everyday situations and write very simple messages with the use of Romaji;
  • communicate orally at a basic level in a limited number of common everyday situations;
  • have some understanding of ways of life in Japan;
  • Perform at Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour seminar per week, delivered through blended learning which integrates on-campus and online instruction as necessary.

This will also include online digital learning available via Blackboard and supplemented by extra online resources to aid students in their independent learning.

Students will actively practice the language (words, phrases, and grammar) in pairs and groups in class, as well as through written exercises at home.

Students will also be expected to make full use of the resources and activities on the Blackboard component for this course.


Semester 2:  

  • Week 11- Listening 10% & Written Exam 50%
  • Week 12 - Oral Exam 40

 Listening Exams may be incorporated into the speaking exams if necessary

Teaching hours

36 hours (3 hours per week) including assessment time

Independent study hours

~ 62 hours (not including assessment time)

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


Nozomi Yamaguchi

Taught by

See timetables

Maximum entry

22 per group

Set texts 

To be announced in Blackboard.

Recommended text



Students may be able to proceed to LEAP Japanese 2 subject to:

  • achieving a mark over 75%
  • Agreeing to study independently the material recommended by the language tutor to reach the Common European Framework level required at the end of LEAP Japanese 1. A1


Successful completion of this course unit will enhance your curriculum vitae and your employability by showing that you have the capacity to learn other languages and the desire to engage with other cultures.