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The Center for Language Studies Japanese immersion program is acknowledged as one of the most challenging and rewarding in the country. Our Japanese team is composed of exceptional native teachers who provide individualized instruction and continuous feedback in small classes. Combining innovative pedagogical methods with excellent instructional materials, our Japanese intensive courses ensure rapid learning, cultural literacy, and long lasting retention of the language. The CLS Japanese program is excellent preparation for individuals interested in work or study abroad.


Available Courses

First-Year Japanese

100A-105A. First-Year Japanese I, II (four semester credit hours each). The first-year course provides a solid foundation in basic Japanese. Students learn the two phonetic alphabets-- Hiragana and Katakana--as well as approximately 150 Chinese characters (Kanji) and the basic Japanese grammatical patterns. Through texts and supplementary materials, the course offers thorough instruction and rigorous training in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Practice in the language laboratory and individualized study sessions outside the classroom supplement the formal instruction. A cultural component is interspersed with the daily language studies.

Second-Year Japanese

110A-115A. Second-Year Japanese I, II (four semester credit hours each). The second-year course covers the basic patterns of Japanese and introduces approximately 170 Kanji characters. Classes and many cultural lectures are conducted in Japanese to stress training in comprehension (both reading and aural), speaking, and composition. Special emphasis is placed upon the development of free conversational skills. Students entering second-year Japanese are expected to have mastered Genki 1, or the equivalent, including all of the Kanji characters introduced in Genki 1 (lessons 3 through 12). A list of those characters is available online at the Japan Times website.

Third-Year Japanese

200A-205A. Third-Year Japanese I, II (four semester credit hours each). Third-year Japanese continues to develop more complicated and enhanced communicative abilities in all four language skills. Students develop the awareness of different styles and levels of speech, such as written and spoken styles, formal and informal speech, men's and women's speech, and especially Keigo, so that they can communicate appropriately in both written and spoken forms of the language. In addition, the ability to read and write about more complicated ideas and the expansion of knowledge of Kanji and vocabulary are also emphasized. The course uses selected literary works that vary from year to year. Students entering third-year Japanese are expected to have mastered all of Genki 1 and 2, or the equivalent, including all of the Kanji characters introduced in Genki 1 and Genki 2 (lessons 3 through 23). A list of those characters is available online at the Japan Times website.


Masako Lackey

Senior Instructor
First-year Japanese, Summer 2008

"I am always amazed how much the students actually learn in such a short period of time. The pace of the curriculum is fast and the amount of information they need to acquire is vast. There is no doubt the program is tough. There are days when I can hear the students crying “That’s enough. I cannot take in anything anymore.” At the end, however, I always feel that the students leave the program with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction from their accomplishment.

How can students get though this tough program? I believe that they can do it because learning is fun and rewarding at the CLS program. Students will be introduced to new vocabulary, grammar, characters and culture in class and then given many opportunities to utilize them in and out of the classroom. Lecture classes are immediately followed by practice sessions, where students engage in a variety of drills and communicative activities. In addition, students have chances to try the phrases and sentences they have just learned at the language tables at lunch and dinner. Students’ questions about the language and culture will be answered right way at the tutoring sessions every weekday evening. Weekly movie nights also provide them with chances to test their knowledge of the language and culture. Students in a way get an “instant gratification” of learning the language. This is a huge advantage of the CLS program over the regular school year program. Our program provides opportunities for the students to use the language as they learn, as if they are studying abroad."