Not only is Japan a strategic political ally of the U.S. and an economic force in the global economy but is also familiar to us as a pop culture trendsetter. Manhattanville’s recognition of Japan’s importance in all these areas is reflected in its inclusion of language and exchange programs in its undergraduate liberal arts curriculum.
The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers two years of Japanese courses — JPN 1001 and 1002 and JPN 2001 and 2002. JPN 1001 and 1002 can be used to fulfill the General Education second language requirement. JPN 2001 and 2002 can be counted as electives for the Asian Studies major.
By the end of the first semester of study, students must demonstrate mastery of both phonetic syllabaries as well as the ability to conduct simple conversations at the survival skill level. By the end of the second semester, students must be able to read and write approximately 80 Chinese characters and combinations thereof. An understanding of basic sentence patterns and grammar elements will be evaluated through written assignments, exams and conversation activities. Students who successfully complete one year of study should be able to carry on a conversation in Japanese with at least three exchanges. Final exams which are given each semester include an oral portion.
Manhattanville’s Japanese language course is taught by Professor Ann Tarumoto, a bicultural faculty member who is a published author of a grammar text. In addition, exchange students from Japanese universities often serve as student instructors and bring their current insights on language and culture to the class.