Japanese – A Level
Japanese is a living and evolving language. During the A Level you will study a variety of topics through the medium of the language and have the opportunity to gain a greater insight into and awareness of the concerns and interests of Japan and its people. You will develop the ability to begin speaking Japanese and understand Japanese kanji and Hiragana and Katakana scripts. You will also have been exposed to a number of aspects of Japan’s historical and contemporary culture that have produced and developed its language.
As a wide variety of social issues are addressed during the study of Japanese A Level, you will have the opportunity to learn about and debate current political, demographic and socio-cultural concerns. You will also gain a thorough understanding of Japanese history and conduct in depth analyses of examples of Japanese literature and Arts.
What will I study in Japanese?
AS Units 1 and 2
Understanding and Written Response in Japanese: You will learn to speak and write basic Japanese and learn about Japanese culture and identity through an analysis of, for example: youth culture and concerns; lifestyle, health and fitness; travel and tourism in Japan; and education and employment. Japanese media products such as newspapers, websites, books and magazines will be employed as a basis for learning both the language and the culture of Japan. You will learn and be assessed on your ability to translate to and from Japanese, your knowledge of the 600 kanji that are taught throughout the course, and the rules of Japanese grammar and lexis.
A2 Units 3 and 4
Understanding, Written Response and Research in Japanese: To further develop research skills and improved comprehension of written language, you will produce Japanese language essays relating to the topics studied in the AS and/or Japanese customs, traditions, beliefs and religion; national and international historical or contemporary events; and literature and the arts. Further options for research include in depth studies of regional Japan, contemporary Japanese society, and texts by past or present day Japanese authors.
How will I be assessed?
The course is assessed by short answer questions and translation and essay based papers in the AS and A2 papers. You will be expected to show a good understanding of Japanese literature.
Do I need to have studied Japanese before?
Ideally, you should have completed Japanese GCSE or an equivalent level of study before beginning the course and be broadly interested in cultural issues and life in historical and contemporary Japan.
Who will teach me?
Ms Sakae Osakabe has extensive experience of teaching Japanese as a foreign language. She has taught in British schools and colleges for 15 years and is an examiner at GCSE and A Level.
What subjects complement Japanese?
Japanese is suitable for those studying other modern foreign languages, but is also particularly suited for those taking Economics, Government and Politics and History.
What careers can Japanese lead to?
All professions like to have recruits with a language. The nature of the modern world makes Japanese particularly suited to those working in transnational industries and financial institutions. Lawyers, bankers, economists, diplomats and a variety of business executives value this qualification.