Japanese Minor

To attain a Minor in Japanese, students need to complete four (4) advanced language courses, which are taught in Japanese.  By the end of the minor program, the majority of the students are expected to demonstrate Intermediate Midlevel proficiency in tasks. This is a minimum standards outlining what a student should be able to do with the language “on demand.” [Notes: Special Second Major and Special Major students are expected to demonstrate Pre-advanced and Advanced Level in tasks.]

The Japanese Minor takes a holistic approach to language proficiency and recognizes the complex interrelatedness of comprehension and comprehensibility, vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. Four (4) desired learning outcomes are listed (not prioritized) as follows:

(a) Communicate in Japanese

Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions (Interpersonal Communication); understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics (Interpretive Communication); and present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners and of readers on a variety of topics (Presentational).


Why? Communication in the three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) as defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning (1999) is foundational to the Japanese language program’s learning outcomes.  Students develop an awareness of other people’s world views, of their unique way of life, and of the patterns of behavior which order their world when communicating in languages other than their native language.

(b) Gain knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture.  

Students identify, analyze, discuss various patterns of behavior or interaction that commonly occur in Japanese culture, (e.g., cultural practices such as greeting and gift giving, etc.), as well as tangible and intangible products of Japanese culture (e.g., literature, traditions, etc.).  Students critically explore relationships between practices, products, and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions that underlie both practices and products) in Japanese.


Why? There are many unique and interesting aspects of Japanese culture, inviting students to understand a different culture on its own terms.  Only those who possess communication skills and cultural knowledge and understanding can realize the exquisite connections between the culture that is lived and the language that is spoken.

(c) Develop insight into the nature of Japanese language.

Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparison of the Japanese language and their own; and gain skill in analyzing the linguistic features of Japanese and other languages.  
Why? Each language has distinctive characteristics, and comparison of different languages raises students’ linguistic awareness and gives an opportunity to reflect their own language system.  Through the study of a new language system and the way such a system expresses meanings in culturally appropriate ways, students gain insights into the nature of language, linguistic, and grammatical concepts, and the communicative functions of language in society, as well as the complexity of the interaction between language and culture. In the process of learning, as past research documented, students increase their ability in reading and writing, and gain creativity, divergent thinking, and critical thinking.

(d) Connect with other disciplines.

Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through Japanese language by relating the information from other disciplines with information available in Japanese.


Why? Foreign language learning expands the educational experience of all students by connecting with other disciplines in the curriculum either formally or informally. The access to information in a foreign language empowers students with knowledge and new perspectives. The conscious effort to connect Japanese language learning with other parts of students’ academic lives opens doors to information and experiences which enrich the students’ university and life experience.


Assessment tools in the Japanese Minor program

i) Individual or group projects.

In each Minor course, students conduct an individual or group project.  They plan a project at the beginning of the semester, develop it through 2-3 face-to-face consultations with the instructor and tutors, and perform their project at the end of the semester.  At the end of each semester, students submit reflective essays and peer-assessment reports on the project.  Students are encouraged to reflect on their completed project and improve its quality over the course of four semesters.  Past projects have included cultural presentations, poster sessions of selected subjects, bilingual webpage, reflective journal writing, interview projects, song writing and singing, speeches, plays, video projects, film makings, etc.

ii) e-Portfolios.  

In each Minor course, students built their own e-portfolios to showcase their best work in Japanese. By the end of the Japanese Minor, students can use their e-Portfolio for their career and employment.

iii) SacCT Japanese language proficiency online exercises and test.

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is the major assessment test used globally.  SacCT Japanese language proficiency online exercises and test are similar to JLPT, and it assists students to be able to pass  JLPT throughout the Minor program.


Assessment Strategies


Road to Japanese Minor

The pre-requisite of the Japanese Minor: 2B

If you do not have any background in Japanese, start the first year Japanese. JAPN001A is the first semester of the first year Japanese. It is offered only Fall.  JAPN001B is the second semester of the first year Japanese. It is offered only Spring.

  CLASSES Fall Spring
Year 1 The First Year JAPN001A JAPN001B
Year 2 The Second Year JAPN002A JAPN002B
Year 3 The 3rd year Japanese JAPN116A
Year 4 The 4th year Japanese JAPN150 JAPN110

With the permission from the instructor, JAPN120 or JAPN194/195/199 can be used towards the Japanese Minor.

The students who minored in Japanese are from a variety of majors including Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Business, Criminal Justice, Communication, Kinesiology, Graphic Design, Philosophy, History, Art, English and Asian Studies.