The Japanese Language Program at UCSC offers students a variety of opportunities to learn Japanese. These include: language courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels; occasional intensive summer courses; courses required for majors in Language Studies, Global Economics, Literature or a minor in East Asian Studies. Our program is student-centered and interested in promoting the study of the Japanese language and culture across the curriculum.
The Japanese Language Program is committed to excellence in undergraduate teaching. Its mission is to bring students of various backgrounds to the point of communicative competence in Japanese and to equip them with the language skills and cultural knowledge necessary to pursue their further academic, professional, and personal goals.
Language courses at UCSC are taught by language teaching specialists who are hired and retained based on their proven record of effective teaching. From the beginning courses through the advanced courses, students are normally taught by the regular faculty. This enables more consistent, personalized instruction to occur than is possible at many larger institutions.
All students who have studied Japanese before, lived in Japan or have been using the language as a home language must take the placement test. This test is to assess your preparation for course work in Japanese at UCSC. Students will be placed into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 103, 104 or 105, depending upon the result of the test.
Each year, a full series of courses is offered at the beginning (Japanese 1, 2, 3), intermediate (Japanese 4, 5, 6 ), and advanced (Japanese 103, 104, 105) levels. In addition, a course in Japanese Language, Society, and Culture (Japanese 110) is offered occasionally.
In the beginning courses (Japanese 1, 2, 3), emphasis is placed on developing initial competence in all four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and understanding the language. As part of each course, students learn basic communicative skills such as how to introduce themselves, ask for information, arrange transportation, order in a restaurant, describe their daily life, and carry on every-day conversations. Through readings, films, and other materials, students are also introduced to various aspects of Japanese society and culture.
The intermediate courses (Japanese 4, 5, 6) further develop skills acquired in the first year, deepen and broaden students' understanding of contemporary Japanese culture, and help students make the transition from reading the mostly prepared texts of first-year language instruction to reading authentic texts. Simultaneously, students begin to do more and longer free writing. Orally, the intermediate courses seek to help students master the oral proficiency skills appropriate to the intermediate-mid and intermediate-high levels as measured by the ACTFL oral proficiency scale. Among these is the ability to narrate comfortably in the present, past, and future.
At the advanced level (Japanese 103, 104, 105, and 110), our language program offers three or four courses per year. These courses are content based and enable students to practice the language intensively while simultaneously concentrating on a variety of topics related to Japanese society and culture. In addition to Japanese 103, 104, and 105 (Advanced Japanese), which are offered every year, Japanese 110 (Japanese Language, Society, and Culture) may be offered occasioanlly. Japanese 110 focuses on cultural aspects of the Japanese language and uses readings in Japanese and English.
Throughout all levels of language instruction, video and audio materials are routinely used to augment classroom lessons. As the resources of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and various multimedia programs have become readily accessible to all faculty and students, our Japanese program also makes productive use of them.
Courses offered through other departments that may be of interest:
ECON 149 (Economics of East & Southeast Asia), EDU 170 (Schooling in East Asia), HAVC 114 (Buddhist Visual Worlds), HAVC 190D (The World of Lotus Sutra), History 40B (Modern East Asia), History 106B (Asian & Asian American History), History 150A (Ancient Japan), History 150B (Tokugawa Japan), History 151B (Traditional Japanese Culture in a Modern Context), History 194C (Gender & Culture in Modern Japan), History 194N (Comparative Studies in Modern Asian History), History 194Y (Memories of WW II in the US & Japan), POLI 190T (Governance & Conflict in East Asia), SOCI 128I (Race & Criminal Justice).
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1) Language Studies with an emphasis in Japanese
This major is designed to give students a foundation in theoretical and applied linguistics while they simultaneously pursue course work in the fields of Japanese language, culture, and literature.
East Asian Studies is designed to take advantage of the teaching and research skills of faculty in various disciplines who share a common interest in the culture of the Japanese-speaking countries.
The Japanese Program at UCSC is absolutely amazing! –Kiki H.
If you have a desire to learn Japanese this is one of the best places I've found for doing so. –Jason W.
The Japanese series has been tough, but ultimately has proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. –Ian H.
Study Abroad (EAP)
Useful links for studying abroad:
Japanese Traditional Festivals and Celebrations in Japan
Japan Atlas Festivals; provides festivals from 26 districts of Japan
Japanese Festivals (Matsuri), basic festival information and tourist information
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JET Program (The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program)
Other career Japan-related career sites:
http://www.us-japan.org/resources/jobbank.html (National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) job site)
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Sociolinguistics, language and gender, bilingualism, modern Japanese literature, language pedagogy
Office Location: 134 Humanities Building 1
Office Hours: MW 5:00-6:00pm; and by appointment
Foreign language methodology, drama/theater/improvisation use in language learning, language and identity, foreign language literacy
Office Location: 204 Cowell College
Office Hours: MWF 8:30-9:10am; and by appointment
Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics, language and gender, foreign language pedagogy, Japanese linguistics
Office Location: 205 Cowell College
Office Hours: M 12:40-1:40pm; W 3:20-4:20pm; and by appointment
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