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Description of Minor

A working knowledge of Japanese is increasingly becoming an important tool in the world of international business and foreign affairs. Hence, Sacramento State offers a minor program in Japanese language. Coursework in Japanese may be applied toward other specially designed minors and majors such as Asian Studies, Anthropology, Humanities and Religious Studies, International Business, and International Affairs. Students who minor in Japanese come 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.

Required Courses 

To attain the Japanese Minor, four advanced language courses (taught in Japanese) must be completed for a total of 12 units. Recommended courses are 116A, 116B, 110 & 150 See “Course Offerings” for details on each course.

The prerequisite for the Japanese Minor is JAPN002B, or the second-semester of second-year Japanese (or the equivalent). Students without prior language training should start with the first-year sequence of courses—JAPN001A and JAPN001B—offered in the fall and spring terms, respectively. In the Spring 2017 we plan to offer JAPN001C, an accelerated course that combines JAPN1A and JAPN1B. This course is recommended for students who have previously taken Japanese but need to review before continuing to the second year. JAPN001C requires basic knowledge of the Japanese writing system (Hiragana and Katakana) and simple greetings.




Year 1

First-Year Japanese



Year 2

Second-Year Japanese



Year 3

Third-Year Japanese





Year 4

Fourth-Year Japanese

JAPN110 or JAPN150


JAPN110 or JAPN150


1. Students who wish to complete the Japanese Minor in one year may take two advanced languages classes concurrently, though it is not recommended. We recommend taking two years to complete the minor. Please consult your instructor.

2. JAPN120 (Japanese Civilization) may also be used towards the Minor, although it is taught in English. However, language students may read some of the material in Japanese (where available).

3. In special circumstances JAPN199 (Special Problems) can be applied to the Japanese Minor.

4. Units earned through Study Abroad Programs in Japan (Waseda University, Tsukuba University, and Yokohama National University) can also be applied to the Japanese Minor as long as they are upper-division level courses. Consult your instructor prior to and after your study abroad in Japan.

Learning Outcome for Japanese Minor

Attaining the minor in Japanese requires completing four advanced language courses taught in Japanese. Thus, by the end of the minor program the majority of the students are expected to demonstrate Intermediate Mid level proficiency. This is a standard determined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages that outlines what a student should be able to do with language “on demand.”

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 desired learning outcomes are listed as follows (not prioritized):

Communication in Japanese 

Students are able to 1) engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions (Interpersonal Communication); 2) understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics (Interpretive Communication); and 3) present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners and of readers on a variety of topics (Presentational).

Communication in the three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational), defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning (1999), is foundational to the Japanese language program’s learning outcomes. An emphasis on the three modes of communication allows students to develop an awareness of other people’s world-views, unique lifestyles, and patterns of behavior, all learned when communicating in a foreign language.

Acquire Cultural Knowledge and Understanding

Students identify, analyze, and discuss Japanese cultural practices and interpersonal relations (related to greetings, gift giving, etc.), as well as tangible and intangible cultural products (texts, traditions, etc.). Students also critically explore relationships between practices, products, and perspectives along with the assumptions that underlie them. The underlying rational for the focus on cultural competency is the belief in the inextricability of language and culture—and that learning both is crucial to language education.

Develop Insight into the Nature of Japanese and the Native Language

Students acquire the ability to analyze the linguistic features of Japanese and language in general through comparisons with their native language. Each language has its own distinctive characteristics, and linguistic/cultural comparison both raises awareness of and gives students an opportunity to reflect on their own language systems. Study of a new language system and the way such a system expresses meanings in culturally appropriate ways also gives students insight into the nature of language, linguistic and grammatical concepts, and the communicative functions of language in society. Research shows that language study improves reading and writing skills, enhances creativity, diversifies thinking, and improves critical thinking skills.

Connections with Other Disciplines

Foreign language learning expands the educational experience of all students when language students share their knowledge of and about Japanese with other disciplines in the curriculum either formally or informally. Access to information in a foreign language empowers students with knowledge and new perspectives, and efforts to connect Japanese language learning with other parts of students’ academic lives opens doors to information and experiences that enriches students’ university and life experience in general. 

Assessment tools in the Japanese Minor program

Individual /Group Projects

In each Minor course, students conduct 3-4 individual or group projects.  They plan and develop these projects through face-to-face consultations with the instructor and peers, and present their projects in class.  At the end of each semester, students submit reflective essays and peer-assessment reports on the projects.  Students are encouraged to reflect on their completed projects and improve their quality over the course of four semesters.  Past projects include cultural presentations, poster sessions on selected subjects, bilingual webpages, reflective journal writing, interview projects, song writing and performance, speeches, plays, video projects, filmmaking, etc.


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 future job search and employment opportunities.

SacCT Japanese language proficiency online exercises and test

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is the standard tool used globally to assess Japanese language ability. SacCT Japanese language proficiency online exercises and exams used throughout the Minor program are designed to resemble those on the JLPT, therefore training students for this important exam.


Learning Outcome for the first year Japanese

By the end of JAPN1B or JAPN1C, students will be able to successfully do the following:

  • SPEAKING– (interpersonal) manage a number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations and express meaning by creating with the language, in part by combining and recombining known elements and conversational input to produce responses typically consisting of sentences and strings of sentences; (presentational) present basic information on familiar topics using language practiced using phrases and simple sentences.
  • WRITING- manage practical writing needs (e.g., simple messages and letters) and to create with the language and communicate simple facts and ideas in a series of loosely connected sentences on topics of personal interest and social needs; 
  • LISTENING- demonstrate understanding of information from sentence-length speech, one utterance at a time, in basic personal and social contexts, though comprehension may be uneven; 
  • READING- demonstrate understanding of information from the simplest connected texts dealing with a limited number of personal and social needs, although there may be misunderstandings; 
  • CULTURE- investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the products, the practices, and perspectives of the culture studied.  


Learning Outcome for the second year Japanese

  • Intermediate Low (See CAN-DO BENCHMARKS:
  • Interpersonal Communication

    I can participate in conversations on a number of familiar topics using simple sentences. 
    I can handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering simple questions.

  • Presentational Speaking

    I can present information on most familiar topics using a series of simple sentences.

  • Presentational Writing

    I can write briefly about most familiar topics and present information using a series of simple sentences.

  • Interpretive Listening

    I can understand the main idea in short, simple messages and presentations on familiar topics.
    I can understand the main idea of simple conversations that I overhear.

  • Interpretive Reading

    I can understand the main idea of short and simple texts when the topic is familiar.

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