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JAPAN 343 A: Japanese Language in Society

statue next to the beach
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 4:10pm - 6:50pm
SAV 166
photo of Amy Snyder Ohta
Amy Snyder Ohta

Syllabus Description:


MTWTh 4:10 – 6:50PM SAV 166

Office Hours: By Appointment (

Course Description:  This is a course about language and language minorities in Japan. Topics to be covered in lecture and course readings include Japanese dialects, standardization, bilingualism, code-switching between Japanese and English, and minority language communities and education (Okinawan languages, Ainu, Japanese Sign Language, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, and English) in Japan.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To be able to explain the linguistic and cultural diversity of Japan, including issues impacting language variation.
  2. To understand social and educational issues as they relate linguistically diverse populations in Japan, including immigrants, dialect speakers, and Japanese people with different language backgrounds.
  3. To develop critical analysis and oral/written communication skills through reading and discussion of the views of language majority and minority speakers in Japan in the context of Japanese society and public policy, and through guided research and writing.

Prerequisites:  Completion of Japan 213 or higher, or equivalent. Students from Japan are welcome in this course.

Required Materials: Reading assignments and documentary film (PDF files or links, depending on the reading material--see Canvas Assignments Summary.)

Course policies, grading categories' description, etc. are here.

Catalog Description: 
Survey of issues in Japanese language use. Areas covered include dialectical variation, language attitudes, gender differences, and pragmatics. Prerequisite: either JAPAN 203, JAPAN 213, JAPAN 234, JAPAN 301, JAPAN 302, JAPAN 303, JAPAN 311, JAPAN 312, JAPAN 313, JAPAN 334, or JAPAN 345.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:50pm