Temple University’s Japanese language program is quite impressive because it caters to different intentions for studying Japanese. If you wish to major in Japanese, you must fulfill 43 credits. If you intend on minoring in Japanese instead, then you must fulfill 18 credits. You can also pursue a certificate of specialization in Japanese. The difference between the certificate of specialization and majoring or minoring in Japanese is that the sole purpose of the certification is to hone in on language skills and effectively use the language. In order to receive this certificate, you must fulfill 20 credits. You must achieve a C- or higher in order to pass any of the courses in the language program.

Japanese restaurant at night

Majoring in Japanese

Major prerequisites include: Japanese 1001, Japanese 1002, and Japanese 2701/Japanese 200. Major requirements include: Japanese Intermediate II, Advanced Japanese I, II, III, and IV. Of the remaining 27 credits left to fulfill, 12 credits comes from four language skills courses, nine comes from three area studies electives, another three credits comes from Japan Area Studies Writing Intensive, and the final three credits comes from a Capstone course. Majoring in Japanese at Temple is rigorous.

Japanese Dictionary and Yen at a coffee shop

Minoring in Japanese

Minor prerequisites are the same, but minor requirements are Japanese Intermediate II, Advanced Japanese I, II, six credits coming from literature courses and the final three credits coming from the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) courses.

Certificate of Specialization in Japanese

Certificate of Specialization in Japanese requirements include: Japanese Elements I and II, Japanese Intermediate I and II, and Advanced Japanese I and II.

Japanese Major Coordinators

There are three major coordinators in Temple’s Japanese language program: Ryoko Osada, Junko Saito, Asako Yamaguchi. Ryoko Osada mastered in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has experience teaching levels ranging from elementary to advanced Japanese both in the U.S. and Japan. Junko Saito completed her PhD in Japanese linguistics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has been working on a project funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (JSPS). Asako Yamaguchi mastered in Japanese pedagogy at Ohio State University; Asako’s teaching style addresses “in context” and academic use of Japan. As you can see, all of TUJ’s Japanese coordinators are highly capable.

Man reading newspaper

Importance of Studying Japanese in Japan

Although TUJ is an American University located in Tokyo, it is still very useful to study Japanese. For study abroad students who are in Japan for only a semester or two, Temple offers a Special Topics Japanese class. This course teaches practical Japanese to study abroad students; it also gives elective credit for those majoring in Japanese at Temple. Yuka Matsuhashi teaches the Special Topics 1 course. Yuka mastered in linguistics at the University of Oregon. If you are a study abroad student with no background in Japanese, you may find this course to be very efficient because you can apply what is learned in class directly to your day to day life.

Restaurant strip

Practical Use of Japanese

Often times, students that study a language can not find practical use for it, which may lead to disinterest in the language. In Japan, being able to speak Japanese is crucial, hence why there is incentive to utilize everything learned. Japanese learned in class can be used at restaurants, convenience stores, and even when navigating through one of Japan’s three train systems.