EAS120Y1Y/EAS1301Y1Y Modern Standard Japanese I: Syllabus (2020-2021)

Objectives of the Course

This course is designed for those with no or very limited Japanese language background. The course aims to develop your basic skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as to provide relevant cultural information. By the end of this course, you should expect to be able to:

  • understand the general features of Japanese
  • understand and use basic grammar patterns and expressions
  • read and write 175 kanji
  • understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of concrete type (e.g., communication at stores, post offices, and stations)
  • introduce yourself and others and ask and answer questions about personal details such as where she/he lives, people you know, and things you have
  • interact in a simple way on familiar topics (e.g., hobbies, food, weekend plans)
  • understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of the most immediate relevance (e.g., very basic personal and family information, shopping, walking directions, announcements, local geography, employment)
  • communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters (e.g., meeting schedules, simple emails)
  • describe in simple terms aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need (e.g., short entries in a diary, short sentences for post cards)

The course will be conducted in an interactive manner; students are encouraged to interact with both the instructor/teaching assistants and their peers in Japanese in the class. Active participation in class is strongly encouraged. This course is not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Teaching Staff

Instructor: TOMITA, Yasuyo (とみ)() 恭代(やすよ)

Office: Room 14233, Robarts Library 14th Floor

E-mail Address: yasuyo.tomita@utoronto.ca (for personal or urgent matters only; I respond 8am-5pm on weekdays)

Office Hours: 2pm- 3pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, or by appointment

Course Website: Quercus, University of Toronto
It is your responsibility to check the information on Quercus every day. Important announcements on the course will be posted there and/or directly e-mailed to your “utoronto” e-mail address.

Teaching Staff:   

Teaching Assistants:

  • Natasha Anita
  • Edwin Michielsen
  • Zachery Nelson

Class Timetable & Locations

Lecture/Tutorial Time
Lecture ONLINE Asynchronous: Please watch the 2-hour lecture video on Mondays.
The video becomes available on Quercus at 9:00am on Mondays.
TUT0101 Wednesday 09:00-11:00 (Tomita)
TUT0102 Thursday    16:30-18:30 (Yoshizumi/TBA)
TUT0201 Wednesday 11:30-13:30 (Tomita)
TUT0202 Wednesday 11:30-13:30 (Komuro-Lee/TBA)
TUT0301 Wednesday 16:30-18:30 (Tomita)
TUT0401 Thursday    09:00-11:00 (Tomita)
TUT0402 Thursday    19:00-21:00 (Yoshizumi/Kmuro-Lee)
TUT0501 Thursday    11:30-13:30 (Tomita)
TUT0502 Wednesday 14:00-16:00 (Komuro-Lee)
TUT0601 Thursday    16:30-18:30 (Tomita)
TUT5101 Wednesday 19:00-21:00 (Tomita)
TUT5201 Thursday    19:00-21:00 (Tomita)

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services as soon as possible at accessibility.services@utoronto.ca or visit their website.

Textbook and Other Materials

A) Mandatory Materials

You must purchase both the textbook (third edition) and workbook (third edition). The usage of any copies violating copyrights is not permitted in this course. .  

  1. Genki I (Third Edition). Tokyo: The Japan Times, 2020 (ISBN-10: 4789017303; ISBN-13: 978-4789017305)
  2. Genki I Workbook (Third Edition). Tokyo: The Japan Times, 2020 (ISBN-10: 4789017311; ISBN-13: 978-4789017312)
  3. Genki I Additional Kanji Handouts (Please download and print them from the Quercus course website.)
  4. Other supplementary handouts need to be downloaded and printed from the Quercus course website.

B) References

  1. Makino. Seiichi and Michiko Tsutsui. A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. Tokyo: The Japan Times. 1986
  2. Kodansha’s Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary. Tokyo: Kodansha International. 1996
  3. Kodansha’s Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary. Tokyo: Kodansha International. 1995
  4. The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary. Tokyo: Kodansha International. 1999
  5. Banno et al. Kanji Look and Learn .Tokyo: The Japan Times, 2009
  6. Genki-Online Self-study Room
  7. Arimori sensei’s website
  8. Other useful online resources will be introduced at Quercus and/or in class.

Format of the Course

  1. You must watch a 2-hour lecture video on Mondays. The video becomes available at 9:00am on Mondays.
  2. The lecture video is only for students enrolled in EAS120Y1Y (2020-2021). Please do not upload the videos anywhere, re-produce them, or share them with anybody.
  3. Attending the weekly online tutorial is mandatory in order to achieve the course's educational goals. Your attendance will be recorded. There are no tutorial videos.
  4. You may not register for another course that overlaps with your tutorial section. You are not allowed to attend the tutorial other than your own.
  5. All tutorials start on time. There is no 10-minute buffer. You are responsible for making it to the tutorial on time.
  6. You must keep your video on during the class. You must keep your microphone on during the speaking activities. If your video is off, we assume that you have Internet issues or your computer is frozen. So, we will remove you from the class so that you can restart your computer. You must come back to the class with your video on if you want your attendance to be recorded.  
  7. Students are expected to participate fully in every class.
  8. Students should be in a quiet place, where they can attend the synchronous class alone.
  9. Using virtual backgrounds is prohibited, unless instructed for educational purposes.
  10. It is your responsibility to collect the information which was given during class in case you are late or absent. General information on the class schedule is posted on Quercus.
  11. Refer to the class schedule on a regular basis. The main textbook, the workbook, and the Additional Kanji handouts must be brought to class every time. Prepare and review the class regularly using all the course materials, including the audio files attached to the main textbook and the workbook.
  12. You are encouraged to visit the instructor during office hours when you have any questions and concerns.

Important Dates

Please reserve the following days for the tests:

Speaking Tests: Oct 9, Nov 6, Dec4, Jan 29, Mar 5, Apr 5

Tests: Oct 30, Nov 20, December 11-22 (TBA), Feb 5, Mar 12, April 7-30 (TBA)


Your final grade will be determined based on the following:

Assignment Type Percentage of Grade Details



[HW, Skit Video, WB] (22 Assignments in Total)

You must submit your assignments, (a) and (b), to Quercus by 9:00am on the scheduled due date. Late submissions will be accepted by the next day (9:00am) up to three times, and your late submissions will receive no points after that.

(a) Homework [HW]: Homework becomes available on Quercus at 9:00am on Fridays. Please download HW, write your answers by hand, scan it, and submit it as PDF to Quercus. Occasionally, you will be asked to submit a few pages of WB. Only the original WB pages will be accepted.

(b) Skit Video [Skit]: Students will make pairs/groups during the tutorial. After class, students should meet with their partner/group members, create a short skit together, video-record it together using Zoom, upload the video to MyMedia, and submit the link to Quercus. It is each student’s responsibility to submit the link individually (i.e., it is not a group submission). If you are late for the class or absent from the class, it is your responsibility to collect the information about the skit guidelines and find a partner to make a video together.

(c) Workbook [WB]: Please complete the assigned WB pages (see course schedule) immediately after the tutorial. The answer keys are posted on Quercus. Check your answers and correct your mistakes on your own. This is for self-study and will not be included in your final marks, except for some pages assigned as part of HW.



There are two types of quizzes. Students are required to complete and submit the quizzes by the scheduled due (see the course schedule). There are 44 quizzes in total.

(a) Online Quizzes: Please complete an online quiz on Quercus right after watching the lecture video to check your understanding of the lecture content. Please complete the online quiz by 9:00am on Tuesdays. The online quiz will become available on Quercus at 9:00am on Mondays and will be available for 24 hours until 9:00am on Tuesdays (see the course schedule). Students can try the quiz multiple times during the 24-hour quiz period and the highest score will be recorded. Students are expected to complete the quiz approximately in 5-10 minutes. No makeup quizzes will be given for any reason. All students have 24 hours, and no extra time will be given for any reasons.

(b) In-Class Quizzes: The weekly review quizzes will be given at the end of the class (i.e., tutorial) on the dates indicated in the schedule. The content of the review quiz covers both review of the previous week/lesson and the review of the lecture and tutorial of the week. You will write your answers by hand, scan it, and submit it as PDF to Quercus. No makeup quizzes will be given for any reason. No extra time will be given if you are late. For the contents of quizzes, please refer to the schedule.

Speaking Tests


There will be 6 speaking tests (4 % each) on the scheduled dates indicated in the course schedule. Details will be announced in class. There is no make-up test. No extra time will be given if you are late. You must keep your video on during the test. Otherwise, your test will be disqualified (i.e., no marks given). Details will be announced during the class.



There will be 6 tests on the scheduled dates indicated in the course schedule. Students submit their answers online/PDF to Quercus.

Tests #1, #2, #4, and #5 (4% each) will be at 9am-10am on the scheduled dates.

Test #3 and #6 (10% each) will be scheduled during the final assessment periods (TBA). All tests will include listening, reading, and writing. You must keep your video on during the test. Otherwise, your test will be disqualified (i.e., no marks given). There is no make-up test. No extra time will be given if you are late. Details will be announced during the class.

Overall Assessment


Your individual effort and engagement in the course will be evaluated. Active participation in class is highly evaluated. Taking pictures/videos are prohibited (i.e., not allowed), unless instructed for educational purposes.

  • Details including the format of the test of #4 will be given when the time approaches.
  • Your final grade must be C+ (67%) or above in this course in order to take EAS220Y1.
  • Graduate students must have a final grade of 70% or above in order to earn a credit.
  • Students who need to be absent from class for any reason (e.g., COVID, other illness or injury) and who require consideration for missed academic work should report their absence through the online absence declaration. The declaration is available on ACORN. Students should also inform the instructor about their absence before the class (i.e., the class that you will miss) starts.
  • Although there will be no make-ups for assignments, quizzes, speaking tests, or tests, if you have to miss them for reasons entirely beyond your control, you may, before the class/test starts (or before the assignment due), submit to the instructor a written request for special consideration explaining the reason for missing them, and submit to the instructor appropriate documentation of a medical certificate or a College Registrar’s note within one week of the missed assignment, quiz or test. It your responsibility to check your emails and follow the instructions.
  • A student who believes an individual item of work needs a re-evaluation or correction must make such a request, in writing, to the course instructor as soon as possible after receiving the work back, but no later than 2 weeks after it was returned. If a remarking/correction is granted, the students must accept the resulting mark as the new mark, whether it goes up or down or remains the same.
  • If any cheating during quizzes/tests should be found, you will receive a grade of zero as well as disciplinary actions to be undertaken by the University of Toronto according to proper student conduct. Plagiarism is also strictly prohibited.
  • All work you submit must be your own and must not be done by/with your classmates or others. Work submitted that is not your own will be given a failing grade and may result in a failing grade for the course. Providing false information about your background in Japanese language is also considered an academic offence and the department reserves the right to remove students from the course at any time if it is discovered they have done so. For more specific information regarding the University of Toronto policy, visit U of T's Academic Integrity website.

The syllabus presented on this page has been slightly edited from its original version. It has been posted for reference purposes only, so that students can learn more about our Japanese language courses and what they consist of.