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Final Exam

What You Should Already Know

You should have taken the JAPAN 41 and JAPAN 43 courses or a full year of Japanese One or beginning Japanese from another institution. You should know how to pronounce all of the Japanese sounds, and read and write using hiragana. The only time you should be using Romanization is to type Japanese hiragana, katakana, and some kanji on the computer. You will be expected to type in hiragana and katakana using the computer keyboard to complete the activities in this course. The charts below are provided to remind those who have forgotten the Romanization. You should know basic grammatical sentence structures and parts of speech, such as: subject, verb, direct object, adjectives, and conjugations of the keiyoushi and keiyoudoushi (two different kinds of adjectives) in Japanese. You should also know what Japanese “particles” are in Japanese grammar and how they function in Japanese sentences.

Japanese Chart
















Voiced Sound Chart











Combined Sound Chart
































What You’ll Learn To Do

You may also be interested to know that there are many books, videos, and Web sites to help you learn about the Japanese language and culture. The more you research on your own, the more valuable the knowledge from this course will become to you.

Course Materials

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How This Course Works

The text is written with the perspective that your native language is English and you learned English in America. I recognize that not all my students have learned American English. However, most of the students I teach are Americans, so the songs, phrases, sayings, and stories I utilize in this course focus on American cultural background and thought processes.

There will be times throughout this course that a phrase or the meaning of the phrase translated from English to Japanese will slightly differ from the way a native Japanese speaker would say it, and 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 as you take time to develop the appropriate linguistic, social, and cultural nuances of the target language. Developing basic interpersonal communication skills in a new language takes approximately two years, and this course is the beginning of that second year of development. Academic language is generally developed in 3–7 years of study. I’ve included information in each unit to help you develop your language skills and give you a basic foundation to build on as you progress through each year of language learning. The steps to language learning are built around national guidelines and the linguistic practices of some very knowledgeable professors with whom I’ve worked. My approach and style of language learning lean toward the innovative practices of these linguists rather than the traditional practices.

If you are of Japanese heritage and are taking this course to obtain language credit for high school please do not skip the discussion material or the practice activities contained in the units. In the past I’ve had students who tried to do only the unit quizzes, who then found they missed more questions than they thought they should. Each unit quiz relates to the course discussion material that has been covered in the unit or a previous unit, and the assignments build on each other. If you do not read through each unit and instead try to hurry through the course, you may miss questions—even if you’ve grown up speaking the language and are bilingual—simply because you didn’t read through the discussion material and you weren’t aware of the discussion material that related to the questions or the practice exercises that may have presented the material in a different way than you’re familiar with.

This course will teach you polite Japanese rather than the slang teenagers usually use. It is very easy to pick up slang terms, but it is harder to pick up the polite and honorific terms in Japanese. My examples are as authentic as possible, but I leave a great deal of room for creativity as you create your own thoughts and put them into Japanese. Sometimes Japanese people will not understand the American English thought process, so if you try to translate jokes and other humorous or idiomatic phrases, it probably won’t come across the same way to a Japanese person. However, don’t let that stop you from trying to express those thoughts, because you’re actually creating language, which is the most important thing you can do, even if you do it with errors.

You will come across words and phrases throughout this course that may not have been introduced in a formal vocabulary list. This presentation style simulates real life more closely, and you will need to keep track of the word and phrases presented in each unit, even if they aren’t specified on an official vocabulary list. Even in your native language, vocabulary is learned through the context of a sentence either spoken or written and is not always part of a vocabulary list. Don’t get too wrapped up in having to know everything exactly—that makes language learning very stressful. Use your common sense, have fun, and enjoy your adventure.

Each of the units consist of an introduction, unit lessons, vocabulary, pictures, discussion material, examples, and practice. The audio provides a native Japanese speaker to help you with correct pronunciation and flow of the language. The units will instruct you to cue the audio to a named track.

Course Organization

This course consists of seven units and a final exam; all content is included in this course. There is no textbook. There are two important facts that will be extremely helpful to you if you remember them and apply them in your learning of the Japanese language. First, the units and final exam are focused on your application of the language. Second, and most important, is that languages build. This means that what you learn tomorrow builds on what you learn today. Hence, it would be wise to learn the concepts and then not forget them. Keep using the skills you gain so they won’t get rusty, and you will do well.

You must complete the orientation quiz before continuing in the course. More information is available on the Orientation Quiz page.

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 istech@byu.edu.

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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. If you're not satisfied with the grade you received on a self check, take it over again until you are. Your self checks count toward the participation aspect of your grade.

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. Self checks consist of 10 percent of the final grade.

Unit Quizzes

Every unit has a unit quiz. Each quiz is similar to a test and reflects the knowledge you learned in the unit and how you are retaining information from one unit to the next. Please do the unit quizzes 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. Unit quizzes consist of 20 percent of the final grade. None may be resubmitted.

Writing Assignments

Each student will be required to complete the writing assignment in each unit. 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% percent 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.

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The final exam consists of two parts: your final speaking appointment and one written exam. You will complete the final speaking appointment before requesting the written exam. The written exam is closed book and closed notes, which means you may not use notes of any kind. There is no time limit. You will need a CD player or something equivalent, such as a computer with a CD drive, to play the audio for the final exam. You may bring a CD player to the final exam, or you can use the proctor’s CD player or computer (with a CD drive), if you receive permission from the proctor to do so. Please discuss the need of an audio player with the proctor prior to the test date so you are prepared. The final exam is worth 30 percent of your final grade. You must pass both parts of the final exam separately with a 60 percent or higher to earn credit for the course. 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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You will be graded on each self check, unit quiz, writing assignment, speaking appointment, and the final exam.

The passing expectation is a minimum of a D– (60 percent) on assignments and the final exam. Because of “No Child Left Behind” and “High Stakes Schools,” some schools don’t accept anything less than a C– grade or 70 percent for transcript credit. If you want your Japanese grade to appear on a high school transcript, please make sure you know what your school expectations are.

The following grading scale will determine your final grade for this course:

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

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

Assignment % of Final Grade
Self Checks 10%
7 Unit Quizzes 20%
7 Speaking Appointments 30%
7 Writing Assignments 10%
Final Exam (final speaking appointment and written exam) 30%
Total 100%

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

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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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Course Policies

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


36 self checks, unlimited retakes; 7 unit quizzes, seven writing assignments, and 7 speaking appointments. None may be resubmitted. For speaking appointments, lowest score may be dropped (except the final exam).


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 t9coordinator@byu.edu 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.