Quest for Japanese Fluency 1 is a unique online Japanese course that introduces culture as a foundation to studying the Japanese language for pre-college students. The manga-style illustrations depict a group of students from around the world who are studying at a high school in Japan.
There are six theme-based units which correlate with the six themes suggested by the College Board for Advanced Placement ® (AP® ) World Language and Culture courses. They are used in each level to start preparing students for AP® from level 1. In addition to the full course, individual units are also available for purchase.
In level 1, the introductory unit Getting Started and Unit 1 My Family are designed to be completed in three weeks each, while learning hiragana and classroom procedures. All of the other units are designed to take approximately six weeks each. In the classroom or individually with consistent practice, the learner could complete the online Japanese course in about nine months.
Each unit of this online Japanese course is divided into four sections. The unit objectives are based on the three modes of communication as presented in the Performance Descriptors designed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In this course, the three types of communication are labeled as Communicate for interpersonal communication, Comprehend for interpretive, and Create for presentational.
- Essential Question
- Unit Objectives
- Making Connections (think-pair-share activity)
- Kanji Lists
- Vocabulary Lists
- English Translations of the dialogues
- Downloadable Worksheets for Kanji and Grammar
Communicate and Comprehend Part 1 & Part 2 each include:
- 3 lessons which feature:
- lesson objectives
- cultural point
- animated videos of kanji
- vocabulary flash cards
- short, natural dialogues
- concise grammar notes with examples
- exit tickets
- 2 two activity lessons:
- interactive vocabulary activities
- listening with comprehension questions
- Students learn vocabulary and grammar points through , while engaging with cultural information related to the unit topic. In the dialogues, grammar points are indicated in orange font, while words or phrases to be replaced for the practice are underlined.
- 1 Reading Comprehension covering entire unit
- 2 Projects for students to “show what they know” through presentations in both written and spoken formats
Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji
The section titled Reference Charts has hiragana and katakana charts, animated videos and downloadable worksheets.
The kana are in a separate section, so the teacher can have flexibility when and how to introduce them. The authors recommend introducing hiragana during the Getting Started and Unit 1. In these two units, the lessons are presented in both Romanization and hiragana to support the students while they are learning hiragana, but the Romanized version is not available from Unit 2. Katakana is expected to be studied during Unit 4 but could be introduced earlier in the course. From Unit 5, no furigana is given for katakana.
In this online Japanese course, kanji are introduced starting in the introductory unit of Level 1. Students study kanji that are relevant to the unit topics and see them throughout the unit. Videos of how to write each kanji are available in the lesson they are first introduced. In the lessons, a kanji bank is given for the ones that appear in the dialogues of that unit. However, the kanji no longer appears in the kanji banks after that unit to reinforce retention.