Class Levels

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Class Levels

Thank you for your interest in Japan-America Society of Greater Austin's Japanese Language and Shodo Japanese calligraphy program. We currently offer Japanese language (emphasizing conversation, listening, reading, and writing), Shodo Japanese calligraphy, Japanese Business English classes at various levels in Austin. Due to popular demand, we have added new classes (Children/Young Teens, Japanese Business English & English Presentation) with qualified, native Japanese instructors.

Hiragana and Katakana - Beginning Preparatory Course
The Japanese Hiragana and Katakana & Beginning 0-I series offers the beginning student of Japanese the opportunity to master quickly and efficiently the reading and writing of the two Japanese syllabaries Hiragana and Katakana. The class also focuses on the development of basic conversational skills.

Beginning Series (I-IV)
The Beginning Series focuses primarily on the development of basic conversational skills and an understanding of Japanese as it is currently spoken in Japan. Topics covered include introductions, giving opinions, asking permission, expressing preferences, and giving and receiving. Both hiragana and katakana are introduced, and the student should be able to read and produce both accurately upon completion of this series of classes. Please note that Beginning I is for students with NO previous Japanese experience. Beginning II, Beginning III, etc., assume some familiarity with the language.

The required textbook for the Beginning Series is Japanese for Busy People (JBP), Volume 1, Rev. 3rd edition (kana or Romanized versions):

Beginning 1: Lessons 1-7 (Unit 1-3) Hiragana
Beginning 2: Lessons 8-14 (Unit 4-6) Katakana
Beginning 3: Lessons 15-21 (Unit 7-9) Hiragana/Katakana
Beginning 4: Lessons 22-25 (Unit 10-11) and beginner levels review

Some classes use the Japanese for Busy People (JBP) Kana Workbook. The Kana workbook is used for a self-stydy tool to learn how to read and write properly using the attached CD.

The students will also practice properly engaging in Japanese conversation.

(Note): Students can choose "kana" or "romanized" versions. However, Kana version might be challenging at first for those who are taking Beginning I and II classes. We recommend that the participants purchase the "Romanized" version textbook for Beginning I & II classes. We recommend that the participants purchase the Kana version textbook for Beginning III & IV classes.

Intermediate Series (I-IV) - Lower/Middle Intermediate level
The Intermediate Series continues to expand upon speaking, reading, and writing skills with the gradual introduction of common kanji compounds. Language functions covered include describing things, expressing intent, asking permission, signaling obligation, and expressing condition, among others. Aspects of the culture are introduced along with linguistic structures. Japanese is the primary language of instruction.

The required textbook for the Intermediate Series is Japanese for Busy People (JBP), Volume 2, Rev. 3rd edition:
Intermediate 1: Lessons 1-4 (Unit 1-2)
Intermediate 2: Lessons 5-8 (Unit 2-3)
Intermediate 3: Lessons 9-12 (Unit 3-4)
Intermediate 4: Lessons 13-15 (Unit 5) and Intermediate levels review

As a supplement material, the students can purchase the following workbook and/or textbook

For Intermediate II, III and IV classes,
1) Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Official Practice Workbook (N5/N4)
2) New Kanzen Master JLPT N4: Grammar (N4)
The students will also practice properly engaging in Japanese conversation.

Pre-Advanced Course (I-V) - Upper level of Intermediate course
The pre-advanced classes (or Intermeidate upper level) are designed for those who have finished intermediate level (Beg-Middle) or equivalent. Mastered reading/writing of Hiragana/Katakana and knowledge of at least 500 kanji are required. The classes use a selected textbook and other materials provided. The class is conducted entirely in Japanese

1) The textbook for the Pre-Advanced course is Japanese for Busy People (JBP), Volume III, Rev. 3rd edition.
Pre-Advanced 1: Lessons 1-3 Humans & Pets
Pre-Advanced 2: Lessons 4-6 Humans & Nature
Pre-Advanced 3: Lessons 7-9 Crime & Education
Pre-Advanced 4: Lessons 10-12 Business
Pre-Advanced 5: Lessons 13-15 Comprehensive Review

2) New Kanzen Master JLPT N4: Grammar (N4/N3)

JLPT Level N4/N3 Preparatory
This class will be able to offer a comprehensive preparatory course fo N4/N3 exam if the students want to study the JLPT prep. The examinee should choose the level that best matches his/her ability and training. Some online materials will be used in the class. As a supplement material, the students can purchase the following workbook and/or textbook:
1) New Kanzen Master JLPT N4: Grammar
2) New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Grammar

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) prep can be studied concurrently for some class day. The students will also practice properly engaging in Japanese conversation.

Advanced Courses
The Advanced Course is geared towards students who have a solid foundation in both conversational and written Japanese. This class focuses on the development of accurate and extended discourse as well as on the expansion of kanji knowledge in the reading of some Japanese newspapers, books, and reearch articles. Study materials are drawn from primary Japanese sources, and the class is conducted entirely in Japanese by native Japanese.

As a supplement material, the students can purchase the following textbook and grammar workbook:
1) The textbook for the Advanced course will be 上級への扉
2) 新完全マスター 日本語能力試験 N3/N2/N1, New Kanzen Master JLPT N3/N2/N1 文法、読解
3) 時代を読み解く上級日本語 第3版 (Advaced V or above)
4) 上級日本語  日本がわかる日本語がわかる (Adv V or above) 
Various materials: newspapers, short stories, onnline matrials, etc.

The students also practice properly engaging in conversation of Japanese.

JLPT Level N2/N1 Preparatory (Pre-Advanced V/Advanced)
This class will be able to offer a comprehensive preparatory course fo N2/N1 exam if the students want to study the JLPT prep. The examinee should choose the level that best matches his/her ability and training. Some online materials will be used in the class.
As a supplement material, the students can purchase the following workbook and/or textbook:
1) 新完全マスター文法 日本語能力試験N2 New Kanzen Master JLPT N2: Grammar
2) 新完全マスター文法 日本語能力試験N1

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) prep can be studied concurrently for some class day.

Shodo - Japanese Calligraphy
Shodo is Japanese traditional art of calligraphy using a brush (fude) and charcoal ink (sumi) on paper, wood plaques, and fabric. It includes Japanese Kanji and hiragana. Shodo originated in the techniques used for letter writing with its unique form of expression and developed into an art genre. This hands-on class will introduce the techniques of shodo. The Shodo - Japanese Calligraphy class is open to all levels of students. JASGA's instructor is Certified, Japanese Calligraphy license holder issued by Japan.

Japanese Business English for Japaneses Speakers
We offer a Business English class in a small interactive group setting. Classes will focus on speaking and listening, and, especially for those who want to improve their presentation skills, this will be a primary focus. The instructor is an English /Japanese bilingual and the instructor of theater performance and writings

JLPT Prep Courses
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparatory class is preparatory course for JLPT which is an internationally accredited language examination designed to evaluate and certify the language proficiency of non-native speakers of Japanese. JLPT is offered once a year on the first Sunday of December. Refer to: Students should refer to the course textbooks to determine the most appropriate class for their level. Refer to: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/index.html or http://www.aatj.org/jlpt.

JLPT Level N4 & N5 Preparatory Course
This class is a comprehensive preparatory course for N4 and N5; the examinee should choose the level that best matches his or her ability and training.
Textbook: 新しい「日本語能力試験」ガイドブック概要版と問題例集 N4,N5編 (New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary and Sample Questions for N4 and N5)

JLPT Level N4/N3 Preparatory Course
This class is a comprehensive preparatory course for the N2 and N3 exam; the examinee should choose the level that best matches his or her ability and training.
Textbook: 新しい「日本語能力試験」ガイドブック概要版と問題例集 N3,N4編 (New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary and Sample Questions for N1, N2 and N3)

JLPT N1 & N2 Preparatory Course
This class is a comprehensive preparatory course for the N1 and N2 exam; the examinee should choose the level that best matches his or her ability and training.
Textbook: 新しい「日本語能力試験」ガイドブック概要版と問題例集 N1,N2,N3編 (New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary and Sample Questions for N1 & N2)

Hiragana and Katakana Workshop:
These mini-workshops offer the beginning student of Japanese the opportunity to master quickly and efficiently the reading of the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana. It is these two writing systems, in combination with the more complex kanji (ideograms which represent meaning), which constitute the written Japanese language.

Hiragana was developed from the cursive style of kanji in the beginning of the Heian era (794-1185). Its function is to represent sound rather than meaning, and it is used to write native Japanese words as well as verb inflections, adjectival endings, etc.

Katakana was developed in the Nara period (710-794)) by either simplifying the kanji imported from China or by squaring off its cursive style. It is used to represent foreign names and words imported into the Japanese language, for onomatopoeic and mimetic words, certain slang expressions, telegrams, technical terms, and so forth