Major in Japanese
Wake Forest College states one of the key objectives of its liberal education as helping students develop “an appreciation of different cultures and of different ways of understanding the world.” The Japanese Program contributes to this goal by offering a wide range of courses in Japanese language and culture. Japanese majors work towards the following learning outcomes by participating in language courses, electives in Japanese literature and culture, a survey of East Asian culture, and a capstone seminar. A standardized assessment of learning outcomes for the major is performed in the senior research seminar.
The major in Japanese Language and Culture requires 31 hours as described below. JPN 231 may substitute as a Humanities and Culture elective. Study abroad in Japan is also required. Under special circumstances, a student may substitute an approved intensive immersion program in the U.S. for the study abroad requirement. A minimum “C” average is required for all courses in the major.
4 Courses in Japanese Language beyond JPN 201 (10 hours)
JPN 220 Third Year Japanese I
JPN 230 Third Year Japanese II
JPN 290 Reading and Writing Japanese (taken abroad)
JPN 296 Japanese across Curriculum (taken with EAL 375)
2 EAL Courses (6 hours)
EAL 275 Survey of East Asian Cultures
EAL 375 Senior Research Seminar
2 Courses in Japanese History and/or Religion from the Following List (6 hours)
HST 246 Japan before 1800
HST 247 Japan since 1800
HST 348 Samurai and Geisha: Fact, Film, and Fiction
REL 363 The religions of Japan
REL 381 Zen Buddhism
3 Elective Courses in Japanese Literature, Film or Culture from the Following List (9 hours)
EAL 219 Major Works of Japanese Literature
EAL 253 Japanese Film: Themes and Methods
EAL 270 Contemporary Japanese Culture
EAL 285 Contemporary East Asian Cinema
We expect Japanese majors to be able to do the following:
- Students will be able to speak with ease and confidence in Japanese using appropriate styles of speech and manners in a variety of informal and formal situations on topics ranging from personal to cultural and social issues
- Students will be able to write competently in Japanese using appropriate linguistic styles to meet practical as well as academic needs on topics ranging from personal to cultural and social issues
- Students will be able to read and comprehend various types of writing in Japanese such as newspaper articles, short stories, and web content with the help of dictionaries and other resources while working toward mastering jooyoo kanji
- Students will analyze and discuss in English representative Japanese literary and cultural works in their social, historical, and theoretical contexts
- Students will write logically, clearly, and cohesively in English about Japanese literary and cultural works and traditions
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of larger regional trends in East Asian culture
- Students will demonstrate independent thinking, research, and learning skills necessary to be successful in academic, professional, and personal pursuits after graduation
Majors work towards learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 7 by taking lower division language courses (JPN101, 102, 153, and 201) and four required advanced level languages courses (JPN220, 230, 296, and also 290 taken in Japan). Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the course and include written tests, essays, speaking tests, presentations, and various projects.
Majors work towards learning outcomes 4, 5, 6, 7 by taking three electives in Japanese literature and culture—including EAL 219, 253, 270, or 285—and one required survey of East Asian cultures course EAL 275 and two courses in Japanese history and religion HST 246, 247 or 348 and REL 363 or 381. Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the courses and include analysis papers, research projects, presentations, examinations, and other activities.
A standardized assessment of all of the learning outcomes for the major is performed in EAL 375, a required research seminar on East Asian culture taken in the fall of the fourth year. As part of the seminar, students will also complete a one-credit hour JPN296 (Language across the Curriculum) course in which they develop the Japanese language component of their research projects. Seminar activities used to assess learning outcomes include:
- A research paper in English on a topic in Japanese and East Asian culture.
- A presentation in English on the research project.
- A two-page abstract of the research project in Japanese.
- A presentation on the research project in Japanese.
The paper and presentation in English are evaluated using a five-point rubric that assesses the student’s mastery of outcomes 4, 5, 6, 7. The project summary and presentation in Japanese are likewise evaluated using a five-point rubric that assesses the student’s mastery of outcomes 1, 2, 3, 7
Highly qualified majors may apply for admission to the honors program in East Asian languages and cultures. To graduate with the designation “Honors in Japanese Language and Culture” following completion of EAL 375, the student must enroll in EAL 376, present an honors-quality research paper, successfully defend the paper in an oral examination, and earn an overall grade point average of 3.0 with an average of 3.3 on work in courses taken as part of the major in Japanese.