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Japanese

Introduction

Japanese at Auckland Grammar School has a long history and has been taught here for more than 40 years. It started as a relatively exotic subject with very small classes but later experienced a boom as the economic relationship with Japan became more significant. It has since stabilised and remains a potentially important subject for our pupils at an international level.

The department has a solid level of both academic and practical expertise in the subject. All members have lived in Japan at some time and bring a wealth of experience to their classes.

All students who study the language receive a sound foundation in the language and culture of Japan and our results in both NCEA and CIE qualifications are consistently excellent, making us one of the highest performing Japanese departments in the country. Our best students are sometimes able to gain direct entry to Stage 2 Japanese at university.

Form 3

Course description/aims: The Form 3 Japanese course has three principal aims:

  • To give a broad general introduction to Japan, and the language and culture of the Japanese people, as part of a student’s general education
  • To lay a solid foundation for continued study of the Japanese language
  • To emphasise simple, conversational Japanese useful in contact with Japanese people

Students will learn to understand simple spoken Japanese, and to speak in simple sentences in Japanese about a variety of topics. Students will learn everyday phrases and expressions which will be useful in any contact with Japanese people. Students will learn to read and write in simple Japanese script (Hiragana). The Form 3 course lays a very good foundation of grammar and vocabulary, mostly from the NCEA Level 1 syllabus.

Course outline:

  • Introductions and greetings
  • The Japanese writing system
  • The Japanese house
  • Telling the time
  • Sport and leisure
  • Daily life
  • Transport
  • Japanese food
  • The Japanese school system
  • Shopping
  • Describing what you are doing, describing people, etc.

Methods of assessment: Three examinations during the year plus two or three speaking tests.

Special equipment and costs: The course is contained in a textbook/workbook, produced at the School, which contains a comprehensive set of Japanese dialogues on everyday themes, grammar notes, vocabulary lists, learning exercises, Japanese dictionaries and cultural notes. Much of the work for the course is done in the workbook so that stationery costs for the course are kept to a minimum. It is necessary to levy a $45 charge for the workbook which will become a valuable, permanent resource for students.

Continuation of subject: Those who have made sufficient progress in Form 3 Japanese will be able to continue with Japanese through to Form 7. To proceed to Form 4, students MUST be able to read Hiragana script.

Form 4

The Form 4 course is intensive, which will very quickly develop your Japanese to a level far beyond that of Form 3 Japanese. It will introduce a substantial amount of new vocabulary, grammar and kanji. It will require you to be prepared to work hard throughout the year. As a reward for this hard work, students’ Japanese should quickly reach a high level, laying an excellent foundation for further study.

Prerequisites: students should have completed the Form 3 Japanese course at Auckland Grammar School. You MUST be able to read and write Hiragana script. If you have completed a Form 3 Japanese course at another school you will need to consult the Head of Japanese to determine whether you are sufficiently prepared for the Grammar course. Form 4 Japanese course is a comprehensive course which will take you close to NCEA Level 1 Japanese by the end of Form 4.

Recommended achievement levels:

  • 55% or more in Form 3 final examination should be able to cope with Form 4 Japanese
  • 45 – 55% in Form 3 final examination will find Form 4 Japanese very difficult
  • Less than 45% in the final Form 3 examination will find Form 4 Japanese extremely difficult and are not recommended to take Form 4 Japanese
  1.  

Course description/aims: The broad aims of the course are to:

  • To give a broad general introduction to Japan and the language and culture of the Japanese people, as part of a student’s general education
  • To lay a solid foundation for continued study of the Japanese language
  • To emphasise everyday conversational Japanese, useful in contacts with Japanese people

The Form 4 course builds on the grammar and vocabulary of the Form 3 course. Students will:

  • Learn to understand and communicate more complex information
  • Learn how to function in Japanese society in a limited range of everyday situations
  • Learn more about Japanese geography, history, daily life and general cultural knowledge
  • Become fluent in the reading and writing of the Hiragana and Katakana script systems
  • Learn more than 100 Kanji characters

By the end of the year, Form 4 year students will have covered much of the NCEA Level 1 syllabus, giving a very good grounding on which to consolidate in Form 5.

Course outline:

  • Introducing yourself
  • Weather and the seasons
  • Shopping, home, family and daily life
  • Giving directions
  • Sport and leisure
  • Eating and drinking
  • Health
  • School
  • Travel and transport

Methods of assessment: Three exams during the year, plus a speaking test each term.

Special equipment and costs: The course is contained in a textbook and a series of workbooks. It is necessary to levy a $45 charge for the workbooks which will become a valuable, permanent resource for the student. As most work will be done in these workbooks, other stationery costs will be minimal.

Continuation of subject: Japanese is taught through to Form 7 (NCEA Level 3).

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Prerequisites: This course is an intensive and demanding course which assumes that students have already attained a good level of knowledge and skill in Japanese, and are able to fluently read and write Hiragana, Katakana and about 100 simple Kanji.

This course follows on from the Form 4 Japanese course, and assumes students have successfully completed the Form 4 Japanese course. The Form 5 course covers most of the work taught in Form 6 at other NZ schools. Students who have not successfully completed the Form 4 course MUST get permission from the Head of Japanese before enrolling in the Form 5 course.

Recommended achievement levels: Students who gain:

  • 60% or more in the final Form 4 examination should be able to cope with Form 5 Japanese
  • 50 – 60% or more in the final Form 4 examination should consult with the Head of Japanese before enrolling in Form 5 Japanese
  • Less than 50% in the final Form 4 examination are not recommended to enrol in Form 5 Japanese

Course description/aims: Three major topics are studied – family life, eating and drinking and school life. 

The course has two main aims:

  • To further develop the skills needed to function in a modern language (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and 
  • To prepare students for advanced level courses in Form 6 and Form 7

Methods of assessment:

  • Three examinations testing reading and writing skills
  • Listening tests
  • Oral testing, including recorded speeches and oral interactions
  1.  

Special equipment and costs: Part of the course is contained in a series of workbooks. It is necessary to levy a $20 charge for the workbooks which will become a valuable, permanent resource for the student. As much of the work will be done in these workbooks, other stationery costs will be minimal.

Continuation of subject: The Form 5 course will prepare students for further study at Form 6 level, which leads to Form 7 Japanese (NCEA Level 3).

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2 / AS):

Prerequisites: This course is an intensive and demanding course which assumes that students have already attained a good level of knowledge and skill in Japanese and are able to fluently read and write Hiragana, Katakana and about 150 simple Kanji.

This course follows on from the Form 5 Japanese course, and assumes students have successfully completed the Form 5 Japanese course. The Form 6 course covers most of the work taught in Form 7 at other schools. Students who have not successfully completed Form 5 MUST get permission from the Head of Japanese before enrolling in the Form 6 course.

Recommended achievement levels: Students who gain:

  • 60% or more in the final Form 5 examination should be able to cope with Form 6 Japanese
  • 50 – 60% or more in the final Form 5 examination should consult with the Head pf Japanese before enrolling in the Form 6 course
  • Less than 50% in the final Form 5 examination are not recommended to enrol in Form 6 Japanese

Course outline: The Form 6 course is a single course of study which covers the needs of students in both NCEA and Cambridge pathways. While the content taught is largely similar, the methods of assessment will differ for the two pathways.

The course is based around the Getting There in Japanese series of textbooks, and three major topics are studied – sport and leisure, land and people, and travel and tourism.

The course has two main aims:

  1. To further develop the skills needed to use a modern language (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and 
  2. To prepare students for advanced level courses (NCEA and university-level Japanese) in Form 7

Methods of assessments:

  • NCEA students will prepare for NCEA Level 2 internal and external assessments. All language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) will be formally tested during the year. In Term 2 and Term 3, a number of NCEA Internal Assessments (oral and written) will be conducted. NCEA students will attempt all NCEA Level 2 assessments in Japanese (internal assessments and external assessments)
  • As there is no Cambridge external examinations in Japanese at Form 6, students following the Cambridge pathway will sit NCEA Japanese external assessments in Term 4

NCEA assessments:

  • Three examinations testing reading and writing skills.
  • Listening tests.
  • Oral testing, including recorded speeches and oral interactions

Continuation of subject: Form 6 Japanese leads to Form 7 Japanese (NCEA Level 3)

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Prerequisites: This course is an intensive and demanding course which assumes that students have already attained a good level of knowledge and skill in Japanese and are able to fluently read and write Hiragana, Katakana and about 200 simple Kanji.

This course follows on from the Form 6 Japanese course, and assumes students have successfully completed the Form 6 Japanese course. Students who have not successfully completed Form 6 Japanese MUST get permission from the Head of Japanese before enrolling in the Form 7 course.

Recommended achievement levels: Students who gain:

  • 60% or more in the final Form 6 examination should be able to cope with Form 6 Japanese
  • 50 – 60% or more in the final Form 6 examination should consult with the Head of Japanese before enrolling in the Form 6 course
  • Less than 50% in the final Form 6 examination are not recommended to enrol in Form 6 Japanese
  1.  

Course description/aims: The NCEA Level 3 course is based around the Getting There in Japanese series of textbooks.

The major topics studied are land and people, travel and tourism, working life and communications. 

The course has two main aims:

  1. To further develop the skills needed to use a modern language (reading, writing, listening, speaking); and
  2. To prepare students for advanced level courses (NCEA Level 3 assessments)

Methods of assessment: NCEA students will prepare for both internal and external assessments.

All language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) will be formally tested during the year. In Term 2 and Term 3 a number of NCEA Internal Assessments (oral and written) will be conducted by 

  • Three examinations testing reading and writing skills
  • Listening tests
  • Oral testing, including recorded speeches and oral interactions

Form 7 (AS):

Prerequisites: Students who wish to study AS Japanese should have completed the Form 6 Japanese course at Auckland Grammar School. Those who have not must consult the Head of Japanese before opting for the AS course.

Course description: Topics covered include:

  • Everyday activities
  • Personal and social life
  • Education
  • The world around us, and the international world

Students are expected to use language that is considerably more advanced than that required for NCEA Level 3, and to use that language to discuss issues of much greater complexity. An extensive grammar list must be mastered. In addition, about 150 new kanji must be learned to add to approximately 200 learned by the end of Form 6.

Methods of assessment: The course is examined in November in three papers:

  • Speaking (prepared speech and conversation) (29%)
  • Reading and writing (50%)
  • Essay (21%)

There will be a practice speaking test [15-20 minutes in duration] each term, as part of the usual School examinations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.