The University of Southampton

JAPA9025 Japanese Language Stage 4A

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of every language course at the University is to enable you to communicate in your target language (TL) at that particular level and in your particular area of interest. We use the word ‘communicate’ in its widest sense, meaning that you will not only be able to talk to people in the language but also to develop your proficiency in listening, reading, and writing. This means that the module aims for you to understand all the things which affect communication in that language, including knowledge of how the language is used, how it works and how to analyse it, and the cultural contexts in which it is spoken. Successful completion of the full Stage 4, over two semesters, is approximately equivalent to reaching Levels B2/C1 of the Common European Framework and Level 3 of the National Language Standards. Taking this single semester module at Stage 4 will take you part of the way to the outcomes of the full Stage. You are encouraged to take a full language Stage if you want to make significant progress in the language you are learning. After completing this single semester module, as a competent language user at the midpoint of Stage 4, and after a notional 150 hours of study time (class contact plus independent learning), you should have skills, knowledge and understanding in the areas outlined below. These are expressed in terms of what you should know and/or be able to do by the end of this module.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understand a good range of vocabulary and structures relating to many everyday contexts as well as some specialised vocabulary relating to particular topics and experiences
  • Write texts which are cohesive at sentence, paragraph and whole text level. Use some complex grammatical structures and appropriate vocabulary, but still with first language interference.
  • Start to transfer information from spoken and written TL texts into English.
  • Use bilingual and monolingual dictionaries and standard grammar reference books to check complex grammar and a broad range of vocabulary.
  • Use a growing repertoire of skills in using resources for independent language learning.
  • Set, monitor and refine your learning goals.
  • Be prepared to take risks in trying out the language, monitor the accuracy and appropriacy of your performance and learn from your evaluation.
  • Engage with the current media in the target language on a regular basis.
  • Use basic repair and paraphrase strategies in order to convey, clarify and negotiate meaning and opinions appropriately with another TL user.
  • Use a limited range of conversational maintenance devices.
  • Identify and simulate fairly closely most TL sounds/sound sequences.
  • Understand the gist and much detail of spoken language in a range of registers, delivered at normal speed with only occasional need for concession by a TL speaker or written support.
  • Identify a range of registers.
  • Have knowledge of almost all of the grammatical structures of the TL, and command of most of them.
  • Have command of a fair range of vocabulary on familiar and some specialised topics, including collocational patterns and some fixed expressions
  • Know sufficient metalanguage (terminology), where necessary in English, to understand and construct accurate descriptions of grammar and of how language is used
  • Have a general understanding of intercultural differences in interactional behaviour.
  • Have a basic understanding of the paralinguistic meaning (non-linguistic communication devices/signs).
  • Have a general understanding of the political and educational systems and key historical issues in the countries in which the target language is spoken.
  • Read and understand the main ideas and much detail in authentic texts in a variety of genres (including emails, newspapers, textbooks and literature with some recourse to dictionaries, glossaries and grammar reference materials
  • Extract information, ideas, opinions and hypotheses relating to general topics and to specialised topics of personal interest
  • Engage confidently in conversations relating to everyday topics and a range of specialised ones.
  • Employ a range of interactional strategies to deal with familiar and some unpredictable situations.
  • Present facts and ideas with the help of visual aids.
  • Manipulate language dealing with everyday topics, as well as some specialised ones, using a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary.
  • Write effectively in order to communicate information, ideas, concepts and opinions relating to a variety of situations and topics.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Learning, research and organisational skills
  • Communication skills: written, oral, and IT
  • Intercultural and interpersonal skills
  • Time management
  • Perseverance
  • Development of memory
  • Attention to detail
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • extract and synthesise key information from written and spoken sources.
  • engage in analytical and evaluative thinking.
  • develop problem-solving skills.


This Stage will integrate topics and, where appropriate, specialist areas with the study of the language. Course books, reference material and topic-based material will be used as appropriate. Much of the material will be derived from authentic print and audio-visual media. Independent learning material will be available in the Languages Resources Centre and on Blackboard.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The combination of direct teaching, opportunities for participation, and support for resource-based independent study are specifically designed to ensure that you can achieve communicative competence as outlined in the learning outcomes above. Classes Although part of any class session is likely to involve direct teaching, the emphasis is on student participation and you will be expected to take part actively in discussion and in tasks like small group and pair work, role play, and individual or group presentations. As much of the class as possible will be taught in the target language. While all this may seem daunting, the tutor will give you plenty of support to build your confidence and, particularly in the case of assessed work, will provide feedback which will help you to improve. Independent Learning You will also be expected to spend time studying outside the class, and we provide guidance, facilities and materials to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner. As you progress through the language stages you will learn to understand, monitor and improve your own learning style; you will also acquire some expertise as a researcher and develop the kind of key skills which are valued by employers. You are encouraged to use the Language Resource Centre at the Avenue Campus and at other sites in the University where relevant, such as the Hartley Library. These facilities include on-line and computer-based resources, films on DVD, current newspapers and magazines, language laboratories, satellite TV, and self-access materials. Some of the resources are available on short loan. For this Stage, you will be asked to consolidate your class work, to read, watch or listen to material in the target language, to prepare exercises and activities for the class, to write assignments, undertake projects and continue to build a repertoire of effective language learning strategies.

Independent Study228
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list



Assessment Strategy

At the beginning of the module, you will receive information about your assessment. This will include: ? what tasks you will be expected to carry out. ? clear criteria against which your work will be assessed. ? what the provisional date and deadline of each assessment task is. Note that it is the responsibility of students to ensure that they have read and understood this documentation, to plan their work schedule in advance, and to keep to the deadlines. If you are in any doubt, talk to the module coordinator in good time. Assessment will cover what you have studied in class and what you are expected to have acquired as an independent learner. The design of the tasks and the criteria by which they are assessed ensure that you will be able to demonstrate all aspects of your learning: language skills, strategies and knowledge related to language learning, and key skills. Coursework and the in-class exam will give you formative feedback on your progress, that is, feedback which will help you learn. The exam at the end of the module will test what you have achieved and also what you are able to do in real life conditions of language use where you need to think on your feet and use your own linguistic resources.



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