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GUC24S2J2L | Communication Strategies in Japanese Conversation (Advanced Level)

Seize the opportunity to visit Japan and jump into the Japanese language! Here at GUC, we've got you covered with Japanese courses for learners at six different levels—from absolute beginners to advanced learners. Whether you're just starting out or looking to level up, we've got a course for you!
In this condensed 5-day course, we emphasize oral communication, connecting you with using Japanese both inside and outside the classroom. If you have prior learning experience, please check your proficiency level on our website:
Note: This syllabus provides information on 'Communication Strategies in Japanese Conversation (Advanced Level)'.


1 Subject Communication Strategies in Japanese Conversation (Advanced Level)
2 Field Japanese Language
3 Key words Communication, Strategy, Requesting, Human Relationship, Territory, High Context Culture
4 Unit 0.5
5 Lecturer TBA
6 Period July 8 - 12, 2024
7 Time 8:30-10:00 (Japan Standard Time)
8 Lecture style Online (live virtual class)
9 Evaluation Criteria Excellent (S) 90–100%; Very good (A) 80–89%; Good (B) 70–79%; Pass (C) 60–69%; Fail (D) 0–59%
10 Evaluation methods Attendance and Participation 60%, Assignments 40%
11 Prerequisites ・Only students who are registered for one of the non-language GUC courses are allowed to apply.
・This course is suitable for advanced level learners who have been judged to be “Level 5 Advanced” or above in the level check test offered on our website:
The level is about the equivalent to JLPT N1.
12 Contents Purpose
This course is designed to give advanced level students a look at the society and culture behind the Japanese language through an examination of oral expressions that are preferred in daily life and their usage. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: (1) make requests in Japanese more naturally, (2) understand what the speaker considers important in oral communication in Japanese, and (3) become more aware of similarities and differences with their mother tongue and with communication in other languages.
Considering these goals, the priority of the class will not be speaking freely and at length about favorite topics. Nevertheless, learners will be given time to create their own dialogues and make sample conversations strategically.

When making a request, is it "polite" as long as we use an expression with many honorifics, for example, "...ていただいてもよろしいでしょうか"? Also, we often say, "よろしく" at the end of a conversation, but when do we say "よろしく" and with what purposes?
This course is offered as an online (live) virtual class. In the class, we will focus on requests as an example of an everyday situation that in Japanese requires a high degree of consideration of the other person's intentions and personal relationships. While observing examples of Japanese language use, such as video clips of actual conversation and international students' experiences, we will observe and discuss what kind of expressions native Japanese speakers prefer and how they develop topics, as well as what kinds of ideas are behind such expressions. There will also be activity sessions in which you will make various requests to Japanese speakers in situations that you might actually encounter, and test the effectiveness of these requests.
Through these learning activities, students are expected not only to be able to communicate better with Japanese speakers, but also to learn about the differences in communication styles and ways of thinking in their own mother tongue and other languages. Students will be assigned homework to organize such perspectives, and there will be a session for class discussion based on these homework assignments.

Note: This is a combination of lecture and interactive class that simulates face-to-face sessions. In principle, therefore, the students are requested to have their camera on during the class.  Active discussion with your classmates is strongly encouraged.
Session 1:Opening the conversation - How do the first few words of a conversation affect the rest of the communication?
Session 2:Requesting (1)  - What kind of politeness is hidden in various request expressions?
Session 3:Requesting (2) - What does it mean to make a request without using a request expression?
Session 4:Giving a reason - What reasons and what expressions can you use to make a conversation successful?
Session 5:Closing the conversation - What kind of relationship with the other person is implied in the expression at the end of the conversation?

Students are required to complete a worksheet provided everyday (1-2 pages). Students are expected to spend about one hour everyday reviewing the day's lesson.
13 Required readings Center's original materials
14 Reference readings Will be provided in class.
15 Notes on Taking the Course The pre-assessment of the applicant's Japanese language learning background may lead to a suggestion that the applicant enroll in a course at a different level than initially desired.
UTokyo Global Unit Courses (GUC)
International Education Promotion Group, Education and Student Support Department
The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8652 JAPAN

For inquiries regarding GUC, kindly direct them to the following email address:
utokyo-guc.adm(at) *Please change (at) to @
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