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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

This is a beginning course, and there are no prerequisites for this course.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use correct Japanese pronunciation and read and write in two forms of Japanese.
  2. Use greetings and useful phrases.
  3. Identify and describe family members, body parts, and classroom objects.
  4. Use numbers for counting, days of the week, months, years, telling time, and scheduling events.
  5. Use adjectives and verbs in different tenses.
  6. Form simple grammatical sentences that can be used as foundational patterns in language development.
  7. Use the language with confidence and thought rather than reproducing rote memorization.

Course Materials

To successfully complete this course you will need the following:

Course Organization

This course consists of eight progressive units. The text is written with the perspective that your native language is American English. There will be times throughout this course that a phrase, or the meaning of a phrase, as it is translated from English to Japanese, isn’t exactly like a native Japanese speaker would say it. If you know a Japanese person, he or she will likely tell you so. However, the process of learning a second language involves connecting with what you already know. Developing basic interpersonal communication skills in a new language takes approximately two years, so it doesn’t usually happen in the first year of a course. The examples in the course are as authentic as possible, but I leave a great deal of room for creativity as you create, in the new language, a foundation that will last a lifetime.

Each of the eight units consists of an introduction, course and unit lessons, vocabulary, pictures, discussion material, examples, and self check questions and activities. Although the self check activities are not graded, they are designed to help you prepare for your assignments and the final exam. The audio material provides a native Japanese speaker to help you with correct pronunciation and flow of the language. Each unit includes self check questions with their corresponding answers.If you cannot read the Japanese characters, you can press ctrl and + to zoom in. You can then press ctrl and – to zoom out.

Other Resources

There is a course discussion board at the end of the course, as well as a course wiki. The discussion board is designed for students to connect, discuss course-related matters, and share ideas with each other. The wiki is designed for the instructor to post information that may provide enrichment or relevant information for the course to the students.

Other Technical Considerations

This course functions best in a web browser other than Internet Explorer. If you only have Internet Explorer, you can download other browsers (e.g., Firefox, Safari, etc.) for free online. If you have trouble doing this, contact Technical Support at 1-877-897-8085 or

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Self Checks

There are self check “quizzes” in each unit intended to help you review the material covered in that unit. Self checks are designed to be taken over and over as many times as you wish, to help you gain greater mastery of the concepts or skills being tested. If you find that you do not know or are not certain about an answer, go back to the unit material and reread the section pertaining to that question. If you don't like your grade on a given self check, it until you are satisfied with the grade.

Unit Quizzes

Units 1 through 7 have unit quizzes at the end of each unit. Each unit quiz is similar to a test, and reflects the knowledge that you have learned in the unit. Please do the unit quiz without using your text or notes. If you do this, it will be a better assessment of your ability to master the simple concepts of this course. These unit quizzes count toward 25% of your final grade.

One comprehensive unit quiz (cumulative review) that includes questions taken from all the unit quizzes. This review was created to give you extra practice and to help you review and learn the concepts of the units. This review counts toward 5% of your final grade.

Conversation Café and Speaking Appointments

The Conversation Café is a virtual room where conversation practice and speaking appointments take place. Minimal English is used in the Café. Activities are moderated by a TA/instructor. Hours of the Café are posted on the Communication and Conversation Café page. Spend as much time as possible in the Café, practicing the concepts you learn! Before you complete your speaking appointment, you must spend some time practicing in the Conversation Café. You must complete the first Conversation Café to move on in the course.

Speaking appointments are graded oral assessments. You will be required to complete certain language tasks or have a dialogue with the TA/instructor during your speaking appointment. A speaking appointment is a required part of every unit and must be completed before you move on to the next unit. TA-graded speaking appointments are completed on a first-come, first-served basis (no scheduling) in the Conversation Café room. The second, fifth, and final exam speaking appointments will be scheduled with your instructor and will take place in the instructor’s virtual room. These appointments require a photo ID and a webcam. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment, you must reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours before the appointment. If you fail to show up at your scheduled time, you will receive a 0.

A grade will be posted within 24 hours of the appointment. The lowest score from all of your speaking appointments will be dropped. (This does not include the final speaking appointment.) See “Grading” below to see what percentage of your final grade the speaking appointments are on.

We strongly encourage you not to use notes during your speaking appointments. That will help you be better prepared for the final speaking appointment where no notes are allowed. Note: You should complete all speaking appointments in the correct order. For more specific information about each speaking appointment, please refer to each assignment in the course.

Writing Assignments

You will be required to complete 3 writing assignments paced throughout the course. These should be submitted electronically through the dropbox and will be graded by the instructor. Grading will be based on provided rubrics associated with each assignment. Graded assignments will be returned with comments. These assignments count toward 10% of your final grade.

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The final exam consists of two parts: a final speaking appointment and a final written exam. The speaking appointment is much like the others you have completed in the course and must be completed before you request the written exam. The written exam is proctored and consists of 94 questions (89 multiple choice and 5 essay). You may not use notes of any kind. This final exam, both portions combined, counts toward 30% of your final grade. Notes will not be allowed during your final speaking appointment. If you use notes during the final speaking appointment, you will receive a 0 grade and fail the course. Due to the nature of this course's learning outcomes, the exams are only available in a paper format. Please plan for shipping time.

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Your final grade for this course will be determined by the following percentages.

Assignment % of Final Grade
7 Unit Quizzes 25%
Cumulative Review 5%
8 Speaking Appointments 30%
3 Writing Assignments 10%
Final Exam (speaking and written portions) 30%
Total 100%

Note: You must pass the both parts of final exam in order to pass this course.

Grading Scale
A 100%-93% C 76%-73%
A- 92%-90% C- 72%-70%
B+ 89%-87% D+ 69%-67%
B 86%-83% D 66%-63%
B- 82%-80% D- 62%-60%
C+ 79%-77% E (Fail) 59% or below

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Copyright Notice

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)

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Accessibility Notice

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.

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Copyright © 2012 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514

Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


7 unit quizzes, 1 cumulative review, 8 speaking appointments, and 3 writing assignments. None may be resubmitted. For speaking appointments, lowest score may be dropped.


1 final speaking appointment (may retake once for a fee; no-shows count as attempts and are given zeros), and 1 proctored, instructor-graded final exam (may retake once for a fee). To pass the course, you must pass both the final speaking appointment and the final exam with at least a 60 percent on each.

Course Duration

Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months. You may only complete one speaking appointment per day. No exceptions. You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words. As determined by your instructor or the BYU Independent Study administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

  1. You will fail the unit and be allowed the opportunity to resubmit the unit (or)
  2. You will fail the unit and be denied the opportunity to resubmit the unit

Second Offense of Plagiarism

  1. You will fail the unit and fail the class (or)
  2. You will fail the unit, fail the class, and may be ineligible to enroll in a specific course or any of our courses without going through an appeals process which will determine the severity of your plagiarism

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

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 or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at 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 or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.