The Department of Languages and Cultures offers the following courses in Japanese:
101 Elementary Japanese I (3)
Students will study idiomatic expressions and the fundamentals of grammar. Vocabulary acquisition, writing system (hiragana and katakana), and some kanji. The relationship between language and culture will be introduced and emphasized.
102 Elementary Japanese II (3)
Develops further the understanding, speaking, reading, and writing of Japanese, and emphasizes the structure of the language. Lectures, language laboratory, oral practice, and small group work. PREREQ: JPN 101 or equivalent.
201 Intermediate Japanese I (3)
Spoken and written Japanese. Course is designed to reinforce the fundamentals of the Japanese language skills introduced in the elementary level. It also aims at developing the functional ability to communicate in Japanese beyond the survival level. PREREQ: JPN 102 or equivalent.
202 Intermediate Japanese II (3)
Acquisition of oral skills, with the class conducted entirely in Japanese. To develop the ability to adapt appropriately and effectively in Japanese culture and society. Expansion of conversational skills. The course will also help develop cultural sensitivity, which is crucial in conducting intercultural communication. PREREQ: JPN 201 or equivalent.
301 Conversational Japanese I (3)
A continuation of Japanese 202. Students develop increased communication skills and greater understanding of Japanese grammar. This course will assist students in improving reading, writing and understanding the Japanese language, as well as refining pronunciation and other communication skills. Pre / Co requisites: JPN 301 requires prerequisite of JPN 202.
302 Conversational Japanese II (3)
Improvement of Japanese language proficiency with focus on conversation for students who have completed the first 5 semesters (or equivalent) of Japanese. A review of kanji and fundamental reading strategies in order to enhance students' verbal skills, with conversation centered around authentic materials, including newspaper articles on relevant social or political issues, short essays, and short articles from academic texts.
Kim Giesupie, who graduated from WCU after studying Japanese for 2 years , applied for the JET (The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) after one year of working.
Eric Lundberg, who graduated from WCU in May 2016 after studying Japanese for 4 years (including 1 year at Hosei University in Japan), also got accepted into the JET. He has already left for Japan at the end of July 2016 and is scheduled to teach English working in a Junior High School in Kobe, Japan.
You may know about this program, which is the best exchange program the Japanese government offers. The best students from all around the globe (college graduates) apply every year and have to go through a strenuous written examination and interview. All Japanese programs at well known colleges and universities aim for the acceptance of their students. Kim and Eric were selected as one of recipients among other candidates! Finally, WCU has winners in this very competitive program, so congratulations to Kim and Eric!
The program involves teaching in Japan for a year, and includes over $40,000 of stipends. Consider applying!
An exchange program between WCU and Hosei University, Japan started in 2014: two Japanese students came to WCU and two WCU students went to Japan in 2014. In 2015 three WCU students studied in Japan and three Japanese students came to WCU from Hosei University. Another WCU student is leaving for Japan in April of 2016.
Visit the Program website with details about application process and deadlines at:
For more information about the program, contact our Japanese instructor: Naoko Rotunno.
Students can participate in the activities programmed by the Japanese Club. Check the club information and activities in the links below: