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JAPAN 343 A: Japanese Language in Society

lion statue next to the beach
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 4:10pm - 5:40pm
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photo of Amy Snyder Ohta
Amy Snyder Ohta

Syllabus Description:

This is a course about language 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.

Professor: Amy Snyder Ohta    (

Additional Details:

Summer 2021 Japan 343: Japanese Language in Society
Take some time this summer to learn about multilingualism in Japan! This hybrid course combines interactive sessions on Zoom with asynchronous lectures and online lecture discussions.
We’ll start by looking at at Japan's growing yasashii nihongo movement, one way that Japan is changing as a result of the growing diversity of its population, migration to Japan by people to fill its unmet demand for labor. The yasashii nihongo works to teach Japanese people how to better communicate with newcomers who are learning Japanese. Then, we'll move on to Japan's linguistic diversity: Japan's languages and dialects. Our inquiry will take us from the languages of Okinawa, which are mutually unintelligible with Japanese, to the dialects of the Japanese mainland. Japanese Sign Language, a lesser known language of Japan, is also covered in Japan 343, along with challenges for the Deaf in Japan. Then, we'll consider languages and language education for immigrants to Japan from Korea, Taiwan, China, and Brazil, along with looking into Japanese as a second language for newcomers to Japan. And, understanding Japan through a more multilingual lens also means consideration of children's multilingual development through a unit on bilingualism, which also touches on methods of raising bilingual children.
Japan 343 is taught in English and counts toward the Japanese and the Asian Languages & Cultures majors and minors, and as an elective for the Linguistics major. Prerequisite: One year of college Japanese or equivalent. Students from Japan are also welcome.
Catalog Description: 
Survey of language in Japan, including issues related to Japanese, dialects and minority languages. Prerequisite: either JAPAN 103, JAPAN 113, JAPAN 134, JAPAN 201, JAPAN 202, JAPAN 203, JAPAN 211, JAPAN 212, 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: 
September 9, 2021 - 2:51pm