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Beginner’s level Japanese


Admission requirements

Students admitted to MA Asian Studies 60 ec tracks.

Description & Goals

This is an integrated language course for beginners, with a communicative approach. Special attention will be paid to the use of the language in practical everyday situations and the focus will be on listening, speaking and reading. Basic writing instruction will also be part of the course.

Students will be introduced to: – Japanese pronunciation, – a wide range of elementary grammatical structures and sentence patterns, – hiragana and katakana syllabaries, – basic kanji characters (145 in semester 1), and – vocabulary terms and expressions that are closely tied to students’ everyday lives and communicative situations in Japanese contexts.
For more details, refer to online resources accompanying the course book
Syllabus of the Grammar and Dialogue section
Kanji characters introduced in the Reading and Writing section

Course objectives

By the end of volume 2, students will acquire approximately 1,700 basic words and 317 kanji characters, including 254 of the 284 kanji listed for Level 3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (as administered until 2010). An online Self-study Room offers additional resources for independent study outside the classroom: (

Time table

Check the timetable on the departmental website.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Total course load: 280 hrs
Classes: 54 hrs (2 hrs twice a week over 12 weeks)
Text reading and class preparations: 162 hrs
Preparation for the Quizzes: 20 hrs
Extra activities: Japanese internet news site reading etc.: 44 hrs


Participation element (attendance, assignments, Kanji & Vocabulary Quiz): 50%
Oral presentation: 10%
Final exams (reading & writing): 40%


Blackboard will be used for course handouts, course information, and links. Blackboard

Compulsory Readings

1) Genki Textbook I [Second Edition], The Japan Times, ISBN: 978-4-7890-1440-3
2) Genki Workbook I [Second Edition], The Japan Times, ISBN: 978-4-7890-1441-0

Genki website


Registration through uSis is compulsory. No registration, means no admission to attend this course.


Emi Yamamoto (website)


Local book dealer in Leiden: Van Stockum (, Breestraat 113.