Japan 412 is a 4th year level discovery-based Japanese language course. This course aims to develop Japanese skills at the 4th-year level through virtual visits to Tokyo. Using online resources, video, books, and articles, students will explore the culture, history, geography, and various events in Tokyo, developing language skills and deepening knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture through meaningful interaction in Japanese with the materials, teacher, and one another. Classes are taught using a student-centered approach that focuses on discovery-based learning, leading students to develop skills and knowledge that are relevant to their interests and lives. This includes student web “search topics” where students discovered online video and website materials to access in Japanese and orally summarize in interaction with one another. A highlight of the course is drawing students into the linguistic and cultural experience of Waseda University student life. Waseda is a historic university, located in the heart of one of Tokyo’s downtowns. Learning about the history, culture, people, and current happenings in the town of Waseda and Waseda University, provides a context for student to develop linguistic and life skills that are essential for life and study in Japan. The course has an oral skills focus and also works to develop reading, listening and writing skills. Focus on “writing-to-learn” means that students write to help them to consolidate and develop language knowledge that will also be useful to them as speakers, listeners, and readers, rather than focusing on producing polished written products. In essence, this course is designed to promote students’ development of useful Japanese language skills and Japanese language learning skills to help them to engage with Japanese people and materials about Japan.
Materials used in this course are unedited materials designed for Japanese native speakers. One goal of the course is for students to learn how to self-manage when working with unedited materials. Students will vary in how much material they are able to cover depending on their own language proficiency, each progressing in their learning in their own way. Details will be discussed in class.
The course contains a strong self-directed component along with a structured syllabus of materials and activities. In keeping with an emphasis on oral skills development, each student will have a weekly individual oral interview assessment with the instructor where they can demonstrate what they are learning and get ongoing advice on developing their skills. Students are required to monitor their own Japanese language studies by keeping a study journal (学習ジャーナル)describing their study and new findings/learning and and creating vocabulary/kanji portfolio（単語・漢字リスト）to promote development of vocabulary and kanji skills.
Also, students will each do two presentations on these topics: 1) their own discoveries about Tokyo (5th week) and their own university life (10th week) in Japanese.
Enrollment requires completion of at least Japan 313/303 or 345 with a minimum grade of a 2.5, or instructor approval.
This course is a language class that counts toward Japanese major and minor. Also, VLPA requirement can be satisfied by successfully passing the course.