Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

JAPA131 Introductory Japanese 1

An introductory course in reading, writing, speaking and listening to Japanese for students with no previous knowledge of the language. The paper takes an integrated approach to the skills of language acquisition and includes basic material on the cultural heritage of the Japanese people.

Now is the time for you to learn Japanese language and culture! The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was predicted to expand job opportunities for Japanese learners and Japan experts. In this paper you will learn how to develop four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) through lots of engaging communicative activities in a relaxed environment. Let's make sure that your talent, skills and knowledge will be appreciated in the right place at the right time!

Paper title Introductory Japanese 1
Paper code JAPA131
Subject Japanese
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

JAPA 103 or JAPA 132 or any other more advanced Japanese language paper
Schedule C
Arts and Music
All assessments for this paper are internal. This paper is for beginners only and is not available to students who have passed NCEA Level 2 or 3 (or equivalent) in Japanese. For further information, contact the Department of Languages and Cultures on
Suitable for students specialising in any discipline.
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Haruko Stuart
Paper Structure

Lectures (3 hours a week): We learn and practise new grammar items, new vocabulary and new kanji (Chinese characters) through lots of engaging communicative activities. We also listen to native speakers' dialogues, read Japanese passages and write some short Japanese sentences. Frequent cultural video viewing in class will stimulate your interest and shared information of Japan-related organisations and events on campus will continue to motivate you.

Tutorials (2 hours a week): We have our tutorial classes where students are divided into smaller groups after the lecture so that students can understand the newly introduced grammar items in the lecture and sort out questions immediately. Our aim is to offer our students as many opportunities as possible to speak basic Japanese and acquire basic Japanese grammar items and expressions for their future trips to Japan, student life and/or career in Japan. All the classes are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere.

Teaching Arrangements

Summer School will consist of five 2-hour classes per week. Summer School JAPA131 has a final exam. Before coming to class in JAPA131 Summer School, you are advised to start learning hiragana (one of the Japanese writing systems) in your free time. We will learn all the hiragana in class together, but your prior self-study will help you to have an easier start. Useful hiragana sites are,, and

First semester classes will consist of three lectures per week and two tutorials per week. First semester JAPA131 is internally assessed, so does not have a final exam.

GENKI (I) The Japan Times (chapter 1~chapter 7 will be covered) Textbook and Workbook (both available at the University Book Shop)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork, Scholarship, Research
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
JAPA 131 aims to build a basic foundation that will enable students to acquire and develop four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. After completing this paper, students will gain confidence to proceed to the next level of study (JAPA 132) and start preparing for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), N5 (approximately the same level as the former Level 4 test). (For more information visit the JLPT website)

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22
Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 17-22
A2 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 13:00-13:50 9-14, 17-22
A3 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 14:00-14:50 9-14, 17-22
A4 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 15:00-15:50 9-14, 17-22