9.25. Japanese

Programs offered:

  • Minor in Japanese (TU)

The study of modern Japanese broadens the mind and provides insight into one of the world’s richest cultures. Oglethorpe’s Japanese program embraces the “five C’s” of foreign language education outlined in National Standards in Foreign Language Education: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities.

Oglethorpe’s four-course Japanese language sequence assumes no initial knowledge of the language. The courses lead the student step by step toward communicative competence in the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills are taught by means of structured drills, listening activities, skits and readings. Guided projects using learning tools such as wikis and digital storytelling tools give students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in creative ways.  Elementary classes present the fundamentals of the language through a sequence of units that focus on daily life. A typical conversation at the beginning level might be about making plans for the weekend or describing one’s family. Students are initially trained in the two phonetic kana scripts so that they are able to write in Japanese from the very beginning. Training in kanji characters begins in the second semester. At the intermediate level students master more advanced vocabulary and grammatical patterns.  They also carry out a guided research project on an aspect of Japanese culture that interests them.  By the end of the four-course sequence, the student will be able to express a broad range of ideas with confidence, will be capable of writing short essays and will know about 240 kanji characters.

Students who seek further training in Japanese can take advanced Japanese through cross registration at one of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) institutions. Full-immersion study abroad opportunities are available at Oglethorpe’s sister schools in Japan, Seigakuin University and Otaru University of Commerce.

General interest courses taught in English on premodern and modern Japanese literature supplement the language curriculum. These and other eligible courses can be taken in conjunction with the language sequence toward fulfillment of the requirements for a minor in Japanese. The combination of a Japanese minor with a major in any of the traditional liberal arts disciplines can greatly enhance marketability following graduation and can lead to career opportunities in fields as diverse as education, the Foreign Service and international commerce.  Students with previous study experience should take the Japanese placement examination prior to registration.

Minor in Japanese (TU)

  1. Completion of all of the following courses:
    • JPN 101 Elementary Japanese I
    • JPN 102 Elementary Japanese II
    • JPN 201 Intermediate Japanese I
    • JPN 202 Intermediate Japanese II
  2. Completion of two culture courses selected from among the following:
    • ART 330 Far Eastern Art History – India, China, Tibet and Japan
    • JPN 250 Princes, Hermits and Courtesans: Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation
    • JPN 251 Identity and Nation in Modern Japanese Literature
    • JPN 290 Special Topics in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture I
    • JPN 291 Special Topics in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture II
    • POL 331 Comparative Politics of China and Japan
  3. Additional requirements and things to note:
    • Concerning the culture courses listed above, it is possible that other special topics courses offered at Oglethorpe as well as certain courses offered at other colleges and through study abroad programs may also qualify, contingent upon approval by faculty teaching in the discipline.
    • It is required that at least half of the courses counted toward the minor be taken at Oglethorpe. However, all students of Japanese language and culture are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester in Japan. Guidance in finding an appropriate program is provided by the Japanese department or the director of the Oglethorpe University center for global education. Of particular interest to students of Japanese is the Oglethorpe exchange agreement with Seigakuin University in Tokyo and Otaru University of Commerce in Hokkaido. See also information about the center for global education in 10.5.
    • A student can also gain practical experience by pursuing internship opportunities in Japanese organizations and firms in and around Atlanta. Credit for these activities is given when the internship is completed in accordance with the objectives agreed upon with the faculty supervisor. Credit is given toward the minor upon approval by the student’s faculty advisor. The office of career services has an extensive list of available internships.