ULJA51002 - Introduction to Japanese (A1.1)

  • 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 (A1).
  • Taught during: Semester 2 (January - May)
  • Level of attainment: (A1.1) By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework.
  • Timetable: Click here


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 which 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 ULJA51010 - LEAP Japanese 1 (A1) 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 ULJA51002 - Introduction to Japanese (A1.1) is only one semester long.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able 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.

Transferable skills

Pair and team work, focussed listening, informal presentations, language awareness, and cultural appreciation.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hours or two 90 minutes seminars per week, delivered through blended learning which integrates on campus and on-line instruction as necessary.

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

Teaching hours

36 hours (3 hours per week) including assessment time.

Independent study hours

75 hours (not including assessment time).


All assessments are summative.

Non-credit students and members of the public need to be aware that written exams will not take place during lesson time.

Semester 2

  • Listening exam; 10% weighting; held in week 11
  • Speaking exam; 40% weighting; held in week 12
  • Written exam; 50% weighting; held in May/June, during the University exams period

Dates to be confirmed.

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of informal ongoing feedback resulting from class-based learning activities and formal written feedback given following summative assessments.


Nozomi Yamaguchi

Taught by


Maximum entry

32 per group

Set texts 



Fee-paying students can move on to the ULJA51010 - LEAP Japanese 1 (A1), but should note that much of the material will be a repeat of the introductory unit. For the same reason, degree students cannot take ULJA51010 - LEAP Japanese 1 (A1) for degree credits if they have already completed ULJA51002 - Introduction to Japanese (A1.1).

By taking this option students agree to cover the material recommended by the language tutor independently. They will be taking this at their own risk. Once they have enrolled on the course, they are not allowed to move back to ULJA51010 - LEAP Japanese 1 (A1) or ask for a refund.

Students may be able to proceed to ULJA51020 - LEAP Japanese 2 (A1/A2) subject to:  

  • achieving a mark over 80%  
  • 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)
  • an entry-level assessment carried out by the tutor.