Conversational Japanese

I.     Course Prefix/Number: JPN 105

       Course Name: Conversational Japanese

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

JPN 102 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides conversational practice in Japanese to develop oral facility. Content includes specially designed exercises in pronunciation, stress and rhythm, vocabulary development, oral presentations and class discussion of life in Japan. Recommended: knowledge of beginning Japanese vocabulary, sounds and structures, including perfect and imperfect tenses.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Build student proficiency in speaking Japanese.
  2. Refine pronunciation and intonation.
  3. Acquire the vocabulary and contextual information necessary for functional use of Japanese.
  4. Use the Japanese language in the context of real life situations.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week Topic Exam
1 Lesson 1: Asking for Advice About a Gift
  1. Referring to Indefinite Places, Things, or People.
  2. Stating and Asking Preference an Soliciting Suggestions.
  3. Making Comparisons
    1. Expressing the Comparative Degree
  4. Making Comparisons
    1. Expressing the Superlative Degree
  5. “Doting something to See How It Goes.”
Lesson 2: Choosing a Yukata
  1. Getting Information or Advice: “I’d like to, but...”
  2. Making Comparisons
    1. Singling Out an Item for Comparison
  3. Stating Decisions
2 Lesson 3: Searching for a Lost Item
  1. Connecting Related Sentences
  2. Describing Ongoing Actions or States in Effect
  3. “Going Somewhere to do Something.”
Lesson 4: Clocking in Early
  1. Plain Forms of Verbs (1)
    Present-Affirmative and Present-Negative
  2. Asking for and Offering Explanations (1)
    Verb (Plain Form) + んです
  3. Expressing Frequency
3 Lesson 5: Inviting a Colleague to a Hot Spring
  1. Plain Forms of Verbs (2)
    Past-Affirmative and Past-Negative
  2. Talking about Past Experiences
Lesson 6: Clocking out Early
  1. Using the Adverbial Forms of Adjectives to Modify Verbs
  2. “Going Somewhere to Do Something and Coming Back”
  3. Making Strong Suggestions
  4. “Not Yet”
  5. Asking for and Offering Explanations (2)
    Noun/Adjective + んです
4 Lesson 7: Greeting a New Employee
  1. Expressing a Sequence of Events (1) “Before”
  2. Expressing a Sequence of Events (2) “After”
  3. “When” (1)
Lesson 8: Running into an Old Acquaintance
  1. Describing a Change in State (1)
  2. “When” (2)
  3. Plain Forms of Adjectives and of Nouns + です
  4. Using Direct and Indirect Quotation
5 Lesson 9: Joining a Civic Orchestra
  1. Forming Modifying Clauses
  2. Nominalizing Sentences
Lesson 10: Asking for Time Off
  1. Giving a Reason (1)
  2. Expressing Potentiality (Potential Forms of Verbs)
6 Lesson 11: Selecting a Vacation Plan
  1. Expressing Volition: “I am thinking about...”
  2. Giving a Reason (2)
  3. Forming Indirect Questions
Lesson 12: Reserving a Room at an Inn
  1. Expressing Uncertainly
  2. Talking about Future Events Coming into Being
    When ~, ~.
7 Lesson 13: Talking About Productivity
  1. Describing a Change in State (2)
  2. Making Hypothetical Statements
Lesson 14: Computer Trouble
  1. Stating the Result of an Action or Event
  2. Indicating That an Action or Event Hs Been Completed
  3. Making conditional Statement
Lesson 15: Giving Directions
  1. Speaking of Natural or Habitual Results
  2. Expressing Necessity

Note: Most of the grammar in these chapters is covered in JPN101 and JPN102. They provide situations/themes needed in order to practice conversation in Japanese.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Class work is organized functionally, dealing with the tasks or functions which form the basis of spoken communication.  Class time will be used to practice using Japanese in order to express the kind of communicative needs we all experience in a variety of situations.  Group and individual oral reports and impromptu talks will also be used.  Students will work at home with a CD of authentic conversations coordinated with each chapter.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course must be taught face-to-face.

Obviously, this is a participation class, so your presence is obligatory.  Prepare the assigned text pages prior to each class, so that you feel comfortable in the situations we play out. Throughout the semester, you will be involved in a variety of group activities.  Grammar will be reviewed only as needed.

The Oakton Community College catalog states: Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status in admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or employment practices. 

In keeping with this policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, in this class all of us (myself included) should strive to:

  • Listen and give careful consideration to all ideas expressed in class, especially those that are different from our own, without attacking or demeaning the people who have those views, and
  • Avoid using insulting terms or telling offensive jokes when talking to or about individuals or groups.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.

  • Japanese for Busy People II, Latest Edition, Author: AJALT, Publisher: Kodansha USA.
  • Audio CDs for this text
  • A Japanese/English dictionary

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

•. Attendance/Participation 15%
•. Homework 25%
•. Quizzes 20%
•. Exams 40%

Grading Scale:

1. A 100% - 90%
2. B 89% - 90%
3. C 79% - 70%
4. D 69% - 60%
5. F 59% and below

Workbook or electronic assignments must be done by students outside of the classroom in order to practice the course content. These assignments will count as 25% of the course final grade. Students need to have at least a D (60%) in this section in order to pass this course.

In this course at least one speaking exam is required.

XI.   Other Course Information

In this section, each instructor should specify policies on attendance, make-up exams, and late assignments.

Heritage speakers may not take this class.

Oakton has two Language Labs to support your language study. The Language Labs offer the perfect atmosphere for doing your lab homework, meeting with a language tutor, attending a conversation group, or working on a computer. You can find a variety of language specific resources and equipment: language reference books and other supplementary language materials, headphones with microphones, keyboard covers for typing in another language, and more. Language Lab personnel are always available to help students working individually. Visit one of the Language Labs today:

Des Plaines, Room 2446, 847.635.1612
Ray Hartstein (Skokie) Campus, Room C132, 847.635.1493

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.