Overview of the Major
The goal of the Japanese program is to develop communication skills in both spoken and written Japanese as well as knowledge of Japanese cultural and literary traditions. We offer a vibrant learning community that engages students in active learning and in a variety of extracurricular activities, preparing them to succeed in professional and personal interactions with Japan during their time at Wake Forest and after graduation. Students take courses in all levels of Japanese language, literature, and culture and spend a semester at a Japanese university honing their language skills and deepening their understanding of Japanese culture and society. Graduates have gone on to teach English in Japan and to work at Japanese companies and embassies.
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 seminar.
Expected Learning Outcomes
We expect Japanese majors to be able to:
- Communicate in Japanese with fluency and accuracy in a culturally appropriate manner in various situations.
- Communicate in Japanese in various modes such as personal interactions, written communications, and presentations.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of personal relationships and settings on the use of the Japanese language.
- 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
- Analyze and discuss in Japanese cultural and social issues and express opinions clearly in speech as well as in writing.
- Analyze and discuss in English representative Japanese literary and cultural works in their social, historical, and theoretical contexts.
- Communicate logically, clearly, and cohesively in English about Japanese literary and cultural works and traditions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary cultural trends in East Asia.
- Demonstrate the independent thinking, research, and learning skills necessary to be successful in academic, professional, and personal pursuits after graduation.
Assessment of Learning Outcomes (Curriculum Map)
Courses in Japanese Language
Students work towards learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 by taking six required languages courses: JPN 101, 102, 153, 201, 220, and 230. Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the course and include written tests, essays, speaking tests, presentations, and various projects.
Courses in Japanese & East Asian Culture
Students work towards learning outcomes 6, 7, 8, 9 by taking three electives in Japanese literature and culture—including EAL 219, 253, 270, and 285—and one required survey on East Asian culture, EAL 375. Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the course 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 LAC (Learning 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 five-point rubrics that assess the student’s mastery of outcomes 6, 7, 8, 9.
- The project summary and presentation in Japanese are evaluated using five-point rubrics that assess the student’s mastery of outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9.
Marc Yamada, Assistant Professor (Japanese language, literature, culture, film)
Yasuko Takata Rallings, Senior Lecturer (Japanese language)
Ryosuke Sano, Teaching Assistant