Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Successful completion of Japanese Stage 3 or equivalent level of Japanese corresponding approximately to JLPT N4/N3. Subject to decision by the module coordinator. No higher Japanese language entry qualification permitted.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any Core Language Module from the BA Modern Languages and Cultures. Any module for the BA in Japanese Studies


  • To develop further knowledge of the Japanese language.
  • To develop students' skills to do project-based research in Japanese and about Japan.
  • To enable students to improve their Japanese language skills effectively.
  • To enable students to communicate competently on a variety of general and more specific topics.
  • To deepen students' understanding of contemporary Japanese society and institutions.
  • To develop further presentation skills in Japanese.
  • To develop further writing skills


  • Functional and notional topics studied at this level will be partly determined by the course book and partly be informed by up-to-the minute current affairs and will address issues such as Japanese politics, socio-economic aspects of contemporary Japan, popular culture in Japan etc.
  • Course book materials will be supplemented with multimedia sources.
  • Group discussion exercises will promote the basis for the development of confidence, flexibility and fluency in conversations.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will have:
  • greater knowledge and understanding of a range of key aspects relating to Japan's social, economic and political structures;
  • greater knowledge and understanding of Japanese cultures and society gained through the study of cultural products;
  • greater knowledge and understanding of the main Japanese linguistic principles, structures and registers;
  • Ability to recognise and interpret approximately 420-450 kanji.
  • Ability to sit JLPT N2.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will have:
  • critical skills in the analysis of cultural products, including the expression and discussion of views relating to a wide range of cultural, social or political issues;
  • ability to conduct unprepared conversation covering issues related both to familiar and unfamiliar topics (current affairs, customs and social issues);
  • understanding of, and reporting on, the main points of clear standard speech and using authentic aural passages on current affairs, customs and social issues in Japan;
  • application of a range of grammatical principles;
  • effective use of references such as grammars and dictionaries;
  • effective use of a range of language learning techniques and skills by independently developing strategies to extend lexis and knowledge of grammar.
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will have:
  • oral communication skills, gained through the delivery of presentations;
  • written communication skills, including the ability to organise ideas in a logical and coherent sequence in sustained prose and analyse arguments critically;
  • skills in the acquisition and interpretation of information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and digital resources;
  • Information Technology skills, including word-processing, the use of electronic resources, and the use of IT both as a means of communication and as an aid to learning.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through seminar classes.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and provide the students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and multimedia sources.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is undertaken through continuous in-course assessment, designed to test students' level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 40 Two times per week 1 hour 40
Preparation and Reading 160
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Reading & Writing Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written assignment (week 9) 30% No
Written assignment (week 19) 70% Yes
Component: Speaking & Listening Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation and Q&A (week 10) 5 minutes 30% No
Presentation and Q&A (week 17) 10 minutes 70% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practise and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University