Before you begin this course, you must install the Japanese language pack for your operating system. This will allow you to view the appropriate kanji for this course.
Intermediate Reader: Japanese History and Culture is meant as a continuation of Toward Better Japanese. This text introduces another 367 kyouiku kanji, plus approximately 258 jouyou kanji (called “advanced kanji” in the lessons). The materials were put together to assist you to develop your Japanese language skills through reading materials dealing with Japanese history and culture so you can speak, listen, read, and write Japanese. The purpose is not just to go through each lesson, but to help you learn skills necessary to communicate like a native with native Japanese speakers.
The course consists of twenty stories organized into fourteen lessons and divided into four units. Each lesson introduces the appropriate amount of new kanji, vocabulary, and grammatical principles which you can learn as a unit. They are introduced not in isolation but in context, which should help you retain the kanji longer. Studies have shown that using new materials is essential to internalize kanji as a part of your language system. Be sure to use them in your discussions of the materials you read—in conversation as well as in writing. We have no evidence whether or not actual writing of kanji will enhance your kanji retention. However, there is definite correlation between language attrition and the ability to produce writing symbols in Japanese. In other words, the more you remember how to write kanji, the longer you retain your Japanese language skills. The workbook was prepared specifically for the students who wish to memorize kanji through the repeated exercise of writing them.
The text also includes a CD. The CD program has been developed to help you achieve maximum benefit from the materials. I recommend that you use all the resources available: the instructor, the CD, the main text, and the workbook. I strongly encourage you first to contact the instructor to set a program of study before you begin the course so that you can take the best advantage of the program. The instructor can set a schedule and program with you so that you can develop language skills using all these materials.
Before you begin, please read the following general philosophy behind the design of these materials.
This course assumes that you have basic abilities in speaking, reading, listening, and writing Japanese. You should be able to carry on basic conversations in Japanese and ask the instructor in Japanese what you do not understand. You should be able to read basic reading materials using approximately 500 essential characters. If you score above 30 in our reading proficiency test, you have at least sufficient reading skills to be successful in the course. However, the course will be quite challenging because the number of kanji covered is considerable. Non-natives will have difficulty in catching up to near-native proficiency.
The text Japanese History and Culture: Intermediate Reader was selected to help you improve your reading skills as well as give you the cultural and historical information you need in order to talk intelligently with Japanese natives. It also introduces kanji in a systematic way together with its companion text Toward Better Japanese (a text you should have used in Japan 202 or 221). By the time you finish these two texts, you should know 1,143 kanji, including jouyou kanji, and be able to read the same materials as educated Japanese natives, such as newspapers, short stories, and novels with the help of a dictionary.
The Morton text was selected to give a brief overview of Japanese history. This short text has sufficient information for you to obtain background information for the Japanese textbook. The information you read in English will supplement the Japanese reading articles you are required to read.
Intermediate Reader: Japanese History and Literature consists of four units. To master the materials covered in each unit, you will complete the assignments and exercises contained in the workbook, Intermediate Reader Workbook. After you complete each unit, you will take a Speedback exam.
For each lesson in each unit, you should follow the following sequence of activities:
A successful study session will include the following sequences for each lesson:
For your reference, here are the proper reading times, calculated from previous data on students' reading (in minutes). Practice so tha tyou can read the stories within these times:
|Lesson Title||Minutes||Lesson Title||Minutes|
Japanese is a difficult but fascinating language. You have chosen to take this course through independent study, which will require self-discipline and effort, yet give you more flexibility. You will find the tasks fairly simple once you start. To complete the course successfully, you should make a schedule balancing the coursework with employment and other activities. Spread out the work evenly over the time you have planned, and do the assignments as regularly as possible. I suggest that you plan to complete one article per week. If you do so you should finish this course in four months.
In each lesson, you will be given a quiz from Japan: Its History and Culture. You will type your answers to these quizzes in a word processing program (such as Microsoft Word), save them to your computer, and submit them with your portfolio when you are instructed to do so.
Each quiz is followed by a series of reading assignments and writing assignments. Most of the writing assignments ask you to print out a worksheet or write kanji out by hand. For these assignments, you will scan the completed worksheets and save them to your computer and then submit them when instructed.
After the assignments section in each lesson is a Self Check. These are brief quizzes that will not be graded, but they are there to help you test yourself on your mastery of the course material. Make sure you can answer all of the questions correctly in preparation for the Speedback and Final Exams.
At the end of each lesson is a Portfolio Assignment page, which is a summary of all the work you should have completed throughout the lesson. You should finish all assignments listed for the portfolio before you proceed to the next lesson. You will submit all portfolio components at the end of the unit.
The 作文 assignment involves writing your opinion about Japanese history and culture in Japanese after watching video clips on the CD. You may use a dictionary, but you are not allowed to consult others for help. Either computer word processing or handwriting is fine. If you use a computer, each response should be two pages double-spaced, in 12-point MS-Mincho font. Send the portfolio assignments as instructed below.
You will submit your completed portfolios to Independent Study electronically through your course. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an rich text format (.RTF) file or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. For typed assignments, here’s how to do it:
For handwritten worksheets or similar assignments, follow these instructions:
It’s very important that you submit all of the assignments for a portfolio at the same time. Here’s how to submit your completed portfolio assignments:
Remember: Do not submit any assignment until you have completed all of the assignments for the portfolio!
There are four mid-course exams at the end of each unit which covers materials from that unit. The final exam is multiple-choice format, like the mid-course exams, and includes listening comprehesion, kanji, and grammar.
Your final course grade will be determined by a combination of the scores you receive on the instructor-graded portfolio assignments for each unit and the five examinations. The course components are assigned the following weights:
|Unit 1 Portfolio||16% (4% each)|
|Unit 2 Portfolio||12% (4% each)|
|Unit 3 Portfolio||12% (4% each)|
|Unit 4 Portfolio||16% (4% each)|
|Four Midcourse Exams||28% (7% each)|
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.
University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).
BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.
BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.
These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.
4 instructor-graded portfolios, may be resubmitted once for a fee.
4 computer-graded mid-course exams, one final exam; may retake each once for a fee; must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.
All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.
Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514