Fall 2016

Ronald Loftus


email: rloftus

Office Hours:

MF 10:00-11:00 am

TTh 9:30-10:30 am

Or by appointment

Location: Walton Hall 144

M, F 9:10-10:00 am

T, Th 8:40-9:30 am

Wlt. 21

voice: 6275


Course Objectives

To provide students with the basic tools necessary for communication in modern Japanese with emphasis on the spoken language. The textbook, Nakama 1, emphasizes a "proficiency" or "communications" (i.e., a "non-grammar") based approach to language learning which means that the emphasis will be on "using Japanese for real-world communicative purposes." Accordingly, most of our class time will be spent "acting in the language," i.e., practicing realistic and communicative exercises such as dialogues, or model conversations, role-plays, and practicing variations on the key patterns and sentence structures introduced in the grammar portions of the text. "Facting about the language," or explanations of key grammar points in each lesson, will occur, but the emphasis will be on developing students' communicative skills.

There are four basic skill areas involved in learning a second language:

1. speaking,

2. listening,

3. reading and

4. writing.

Our emphasis in Elementary will be on the first two, but the fundamentals of reading and writing will also be introduced. This semester we will learn the two phonetic syllabaries, katakana and hiragana and begin the study of kanji, the Chinese characters that Japan borrowed to construct its written language. Please visit the World Languages Studio website in order to see a list of a wide variety of study materials available online. For a specific set of Quick Time movies of a calligrapher writing each character with a brush that are coordinated with Nakama, see here.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. To learn to speak in the target language in task-oriented situations modeled on dialogues and exercises found in the textbook.

2. To learn how to read in the target language by recognizing the symbols of the two phonetic (kana) scripts and the few Chinese characters that are introduced in the first semester.

3. To be able to listen and understand short, learned utterances in the target language building up to sentence-length utterances situated in clear contexts.

4. To learn how to write in the target language at the level of sentences and short paragraphs featuring the two phonetic scripts and the few Chinese characters introduced this semester.

NOTE: For every class hour, there is an expectation of 2-3 hours work outside of class.  Since our class meets four times a week for 50 minutes so you should expect to do 6-9 hours outside of class engaged in course-related activities such as homework, practising the written form of the language, visiting the World Language Studio, making flash cards, undertaking vocabulary study, developing your skills by practicing on your own, working with your language partner, signing up for tutoring with our Language Assistant, Shotarô Kumano, etc. See below for more tasks that you might wish to spend time on.

My Teaching and Learning Philosophy is pretty simple: basically, what you need to do in order to successfully learn a second language is to be motivated, disciplined, and able to break down the learning process into manageable pieces. I base this on my own learning experiences and more than 30 years of teaching experience. Learning Japanese does not require so much reasoning or analytical skills; but it does require focus and regular attention to the tasks at hand which we need to break down into manageable units like completing your homework assignments in the Student Activities Manual (SAM) when they are due. This, in itself, though, may not be sufficient. You must read the textbook carefully, study the new vocabulary, learn the new words and patterns by reading, repeating them out loud, covering up the Japanese and repeating them until you can say the Japanese word or pattern with ease. If you want/need to make flash cards or keep a vocab list in a notebook, fine. We actually have some cool computer programs you can use. But as you write words or patterns down, or select them from a website, be sure to say them out loud--over and over. Learning to speak effectively is a skill that cannot be learned only through the eye; you need to involve your ears and your mouth! In the end, you will need to be systematic about your own learning process; you will have to figure out what you have to do to be a successful learner of a second language. It is not identical for everyone.

You will be assigned regular homework activities, many of them contained in your companion workbook called the Student Activities Manual (SAM ). As noted above, you need to do these assignments when they are scheduled and integrate/reinforce the learning with what was practiced in class. At any time, if you are in need of extra help or instruction, you can come in to see me during office hours (right after class) or by appointment. We have another wonderful resource if you feel you need help or additional practice: our Japanese Language Assistant, Shotarô Kumano <skumano>. You can sign up for tutoring sessions with her on WISE (My Japanese Space). Also, the World Language Students usually has someone capable in Japanese to assist you.

Note: This syllabus is a rough guide, a best estimation of the approximate pace at which we will cover material. The rhythm is important: introduce new grammar point, practice it in class, then do homework in the SAM on it that night; then, review and practice it again the next class period. And then move on to the next point. It does not always work out perfectly; we will not necessarily always be on this exact schedule. Sometimes, we may be a day ahead or a day behind. Sometimes, the homework assignment might be given earlier or it might be postponed. In that case, we have to adjust things appropriately. Therefore, do not be overly reliant on looking at the date and just doing the SAM pages assigned for that day; it is possible that we may be a little bit off from the online syllabus. So please pay attention what we DO abnd SAY in class. The governing principle is that if we introduce a grammar point on a given day (marked in the Nakama textbook with a Roman Numeral I-V), that evening's homework will be the corresponding exercise in the SAM. If we did not reach the new grammar point, do not go ahead and do the corresponding SAM pages. If you have doubts, check in with me via email.

Note also: Willamette has a policy against cheating and plagiarism which reads, in part:

Plagiarism and cheating are offenses against the integrity of the courses in which they occur and against the college community as a whole. Plagiarism and cheating involve intellectual dishonesty, deception and fraud, which inhibit the honest exchange of ideas. . . .Plagiarism, a form of cheating, consists of representing someone else’s work as one's own. See http://www.willamette.edu/cla/catalog/resources/policies/categories/plagiarism_cheating.php


Course Requirements

1. Regular class attendance; please be on time. No more than 3-4 unexcused absences during the semester. (10%)

[If a student should somehow exceed 12 absences, there should be no expectation of passing this course.]

2. Full attention and participation during class time. NO FOOD IN CLASS, PLEASE!

3. Advance preparation of Grammar Points and activities (5%).

4. Completion of all assigned homework in a timely manner; late homework will not be given full credit (10%)

5. Completion of all in-class quizzes and an Oral Assessment Interview at the end of the semester (15%)

6. In-class Unit Tests plus the final Exam (65%)

7. Complete Tasks with Language Partner as Assigned (5%).


Note: I will respect any accommodations authorized by the Office of Disabilities Services. Please let me know about these accommodations as soon as possible.



Makino & Hatasa,Nakama 1 by Makino and Hatasa text plus the Student Activities Manual (SAM)

Nakama1a is a textbook that brings practical, everyday Japanese into the language classroom with an emphasis on gaining language proficiency. Each lesson has clear objectives in terms of teaching students to be able to carry out certain language tasks: introducing yourself, meeting others, talking about yourself, getting around, counting, shopping, telling time, etc. Your text, and the materials which accompany it--including access to the Audio Component through the publisher's website, the SAM workbook, and any other handouts--are your keys to a successful language learning experience.

In this class, you must be able to learn by ear because speaking skills cannot be learned solely through the eye. All our work in class and the studying you do at home are based on this principle. Feel free to consult the Nakama Resouces Webpage. Portions of assignments may be on the student CD and all will be avialble also as audio files through WISE at the Nakama Audio 2009 site.


Class Schedule and Assignments

Class Time


August 29 (Monday)

First Day: Course Overview, Introducing Yourself (Nakama 1, p. 7)

Learning Hiragana

Homework Assignment: Hiragana I, SAM, pp. 1-3

(Assigned today, due the next class period)

Hiragana Table; Genki Version

Kana and LLC Programs

August 30 (Tuesday)

Review Hiragana あ〜そ Reading Practice (p. 6)

Learn Next 3 Lines fo Hiragana た〜ほ

Addressing People (p. 6)

Daily Greetings (pp. 10 -12)

See "Aisatsu" (Greetings) (move cursor over greeting for sound)

Leave taking, 15-16

Useful Expressions (p. 20), Polite Requests, Thanking, (18); Useful Expressions (p. 22)

More Greetings

Useful Expressions;

Homework Assignment: Hiragana II, SAM, pp. 4-6



September 1 (Thursday) Hiragana III

Hiragana Reading Practice (p. 10)

Review, Apologizing, Requesting (23).

Useful Expressions, pp. 22-23

"How do you say?" (25-28)

Asking for Japanese Equivalents of English Words (Nakama 1, 25-28)

Online Vocab Quiz





Homework Assignment:

Hiragana III, SAM. pp 7-8



Friday September 2

Reading Practice p. 15

More Reading

Hiragana Writing: Voiced consonants and Long Vowels 17-20 ;

Practice: p. 18

Double Consonants and Glides (21-25) ;

Greetings and Introductions Nakama 1 pp. 26-40



Homework Assignment:

Voiced consonants and long vowels, SAM pp. 9-12

Plus Hiragana I Supplements 1 PDF and 2 PDF,

(for additional practice)



Flashcards to quiz yourself on hiragana

September 5 Labor Day NO CLASS





Tuesday Sept. 6

Hiragana Reading Practice 20-21

Review Double Consonants and Go over Glides


Begin L. 2

Countries and Nationalities

See Lesson 2: and Nationalities and Language and Languages; Year in School




SAM, L.2, p. 25

Plus Hiragana Suppl 3-5 PDF

Plus Hiragana Suppl 6-9PDF

(Suppl 7-9 PDF)

The Hiragana Supplements Above Cover:

-- the Hardened Sounds (4,5),

--the Double Consonants (6),

--the Long Vowels (7), and

--the Glides (8-9)

Please complete them as you can.





Thursday Sept. 8 L. 2

Review Double Consonants and Glides

Review Hiragana Reading Practice p. 25

Majors and Time Expressions

Introduce and Practice Dialogue Ch. 2, 41-43

L.2, Grammar I: The X wa Y desu Pattern:

Identifying Someone or Something

Activities 1-3



Dialogue, Year in School, Majors, Gender terms





Homework SAM, L.2, I, p. 27


"Lab Activities" in the SAM: Double consonants and glides, pp. 13-18




Friday Sept. 9 L. 2 Grammar II, Asking Y/N Questions 50-52; Practice

"I am..." or "S/he is....." Pattern (46-49);

Hiragana I-III Quiz;



Homework from the SAM:

1. Finish L. 1 Listening 19-24

2. L.2, II, "Asking はい/いいえ Questions", pp. 29-30









4 Sentence Types and here.

Sept. 12 Review L. 2 Grammar II, Asking Y/N Questions 50-52; Practice

L. 2 Introduce New Grammar III: Using の to connect 2 Nouns

Noun1+no+Noun2, See Nakama pp. 53-55




Documentary Film showing tomorrow night:

"Tell the Prime Minister"

6:30 pm

Ford Hall 122

A film about the impact of the Fukushima Disaster on Social Activism in Japan







Homework SAM, III p. 31













13 Review L. 2 Grammar III Noun1+no+Noun2, pp. 53-55;

Introduce L.2, Grammar IV, Asking for Personal Information with Interrogativeslike なん/なに/どこ, pp. 56-60

Using Interrogatives: What, where, which?


Documentary Film showing tonight:

"Tell the Prime Minister"

6:30 pm

Ford Hall 122

A film about the impact of the Fukushima Disaster on Social Activism in Japan

SAM, IV p. 33-34

15 Review L.2, Grammar IV, Asking for Personal Information with Interrogatives, pp. 56-60

Using Interrogatives: What, where, which?

Introduce Grammar V, Listing/describing similarities with も/MO, 61-63;

See also here.


SAM V, pp. 35-36;

Hiragana II Quiz Review Materials

16 L.2 Review Grammar V,

Hiragana Quiz II

Review Dialogue (41-42); Listening 65;

Reading practice (67-69)



SAM, Integration p. 37;

Lab Activities SAM pp. 39- 43





19 L.2 Continue to Review Dialogue (41-42); Listening 65;

Reading practice (67-69)


Lab Activites SAM. pp. 45-47;

Dict-a-conversation, SAM p. 49


20 Integrated Practice (70-71); Review L. 2

Review Materials; Here also


22 Unit Test, Chs. 1-2 -- Postpned until tomorrow, Friday


Review Materials; Here also

23 Unit Test, Chs. 1-2

L. 2.5 Katakana

Over the weekend, commence Katakana: Do pp. 51-56 (1st 6 lines)

See also L.3 pp. 88-93; Activities, Times, Days of Week;

New Vocab

Dialogue, 94-97;


For Monday, Begin Katakana, SAM pp. 51-56;

Read Textbook Ch. 3, p. 88-97


Learning Katakana: Homework Nakama 1 Text and SAM, Lesson 2.5, SAM pp 51-56

See also Supplemental PDFs on Syllabus and on WISE, in the Resources Folder

Katakana Learning Sites:








26 L.3 pp. 88-93; Activities, Times,

Days of Week, New Verbs;

New Vocab

Dialogue, 94-97;


More on L.2 Vocab and Dialogue, 94-97;



4 Sentence Types


Homework: Katakana, SAM 57-61

Also, SAM pp. 67-68


27 L.3, Grammar I, Verbs pp. 98-102;

ni, de and o


Homework SAM I, pp. 69-70;

Katakana Practice: PDF2, PDF3

29 L.3, Grammar II Presenting Objects and events with ~ が あります


There is/I have

More Katakana Practice: PDF4, PDF5;

Note: SAM Homework II and III are on the same page so we will hand them in together on Monday

30 L.3, Grammar III, Telling Time using the Particle Ni /に

Katakana Practice

Verb Practice

Telling time






Oct. 3 L.3 Review Telling Time with

L.3, Grammar IV Adverbs Expressing Frequency 111-113


Katakana Words

SAM IV pp. 73-74

4 Review Frequency Adverbs

Katakana Review

Katakana Quiz I

L.3 Grammar V, Past forms of Verbs -ました 114-115




More katakana


SAM V, pp. 75-76


October 6 Reveiw Past Forms




Integration, SAM, p. 77

7 Listening, Reading, Nakama pp. 117-121;

L.3 More Practice Using Verbs in Past



Lab Activities SAM I-III, pp. 79-84

Katakana PDF6, PDF7,




October 10 L. 3 Review;

Katakana Review

Review Reading Ch. 3; Revisit Dialogue


  Lab Activities SAM, pp. 85-87

11 L. 3 Review

2nd Katakana Quiz

  Ch. 3 Review Materials

13 L. 3 Review




14 L. 3 Unit Test




Prepare Kanji: 大学、学校、先生, SAM 109

See also these sites for Kanji L.4

and here

Look at Maps, etc. in Nakama pp. 127-130




Oct. 17 L. 4 New Vocab, Kanji and Dialogue;


Note I : これ、それ、あれ、どれ


SAM pp. 91-92




18 L.4 Grammar I: Referring to Things Using kore/sore/are/dore; (136-40)

See also Ko/So/A/Do


Ko, So, Aa, Do

SAM I, pp. 91-94


20 L.4 Grammar II: Asking for and Giving Locations using

〜は〜に あります/います;

ここ、そこ、あそこ, どこ


SAM, II, 95-97







Oct. 24 L4 Grammar III: How Japanese Adjectives Work;

More on Adjectives + Nouns


Adjective Practice

SAM, III pp. 99-101


25 L.4 Grammar IV: Locating People and Things using 〜に〜が あります



Vocab Review

SAM, IV, pp. 103-104




27 Review Grammar IV:

Locating People and Things using 〜に〜が あります

L.4 Grammar V: Using the Particles よ and ね: Integration


SAM, IV, pp. 103-104



Sensei's 2012 Japan Trip Photos

28 L.4 Listening and Reading (158-163); Begin Review L.4


Kanji Review L4

SAM, V, pp. 105 and Integration, pp. 107-08





31 Review L. 4

Kanji and Vocabulary Quiz;


Speaking & Listening Exercises, SAM, pp. 113-115;



November 1 Review: Verbs and their Particles


LAB Speaking & Listening Activities, II, SAM, pp. 117-125, including DictaConversation;

3 Review



Review Materials L.4

4 L. 4 Chapter Test


L. 5Kanji: 山.川、田、人、中、上、下、小さい、日本

SAM, 143-144



Nov.7 L.5 Kanji, Vocabulary and Dialogue



See also L5 kanji here and on this Kanji Site

SAM p. 127;


8 L.5 Grammar I: この_、その_、あの_、どの_ + Noun 

See Vocab Link above


Kono, sono, ano, dono + Noun

SAM, I, p. 129


10 L.5 Grammar II: How to Locate Things in Japanese using 中、そと、


Using Location Nouns


Kanji Practice

More on Location Words

SAM, II, pp. 131-133


11 L.5 Grammar III: Using as a substitute for a noun

Kanji Quiz


SAM, III, pp. 135-136




14 L.5 Grammar IV: Distance and Duration with 〜から〜まで、

Particle で as "by means of" and ぐらい



Kanji Quiz


SAM, IV, pp. 137-138



15 L.5 Grammar V: Topic marker は and similarity marker も;

interrogative expressions



Location Nouns and の Review

See Grammar video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PsOBGtJSzg

SAM, V, p. 139-140;



17 Listening, Reading (p. 207)

L 5 Review(Begin)

Integration SAM, p. 141


18 L5 Review


SAM, Lab Activities, pp. 145-148;




Fall Break Nov. 20-25


28 L. 5 Review




Review Materials L5

SAM, Lab Activities, pp. 149-54;

DictaConversation, SAM p. 155


29 L. 5 Unit Test L. 5






Kanji L. 6;

Homework:SAM pp. 173-174;

See also Kanji for L.6 and

Kanji here, too.


December 1L.6 Introduce L.6 Leisure Time Vocab; Dialogue







Homework Assignment: SAM p. 157

Study New Vocab; L. 6, pp. 213-216





December 2 Dialogue and Grammar I, Particles と and に



L.5 Test

New Vocab

Practice with New Vocab

Kanji L.6 Practice

SAM I, pp. 159-160



December 5 L.6 Grammar II, Past of Adjectives(ーかった) and Copula Verb です



V-stem+に = Purpose


SAM II, pp. 161-162




6 L.6 Grammar III, て-form of Verbs, V- て下さい、くれませんか

Schedule individual oral assessment interviews in Sensei's office




SAM III, 163-64


8 L .6 Final Grammar Points

Grammar IV, Connecting Phrases with て-form of Verbs and Adjectives (-くて); and


Grammar V, Using V-ませんか- to extend invitations

Review Kanji and take Kanji Quiz L. 6

More Information on V-て forms

Schedule individual oral assessment interviews in Sensei's office


Practice V-Te forms


9 Last Class/Review

Review Grammar IV, Connecting Phrases with て-form of Verbs and Adjectives (-くて); and Grammar V, Using V-ませんか- to extend invitations




Practice V-Te forms

SAM IV, pp. 165-167


















Final Exam:

Final will be Friday Dec. 16 8:30 am

You can get started at 8:00 am if you wish