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Undergraduate course

Japanese, Intercultural & Contemporary Communication BA (Hons)

Immerse yourself in our multilingual world by studying language and culture and by learning Japanese.

Student in darkness with fan

Whether you’ve had experience of learning the Japanese language or just have a passion for the Japanese culture this four-year course will provide the knowledge you need to work in Japan or in an international professional context.

92% of students on TESOL & Japanese BA (Hons) were satisfied with their course. (National Student Survey 2017)

  • UCAS Code – T2X5
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 4 years full-time | 8 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Languages & Linguistics

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year

    International 2019-20 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

New and emerging technologies have had a massive impact on how we communicate and the voices we are exposed to. Explore issues relating to contemporary communication through modules on real-life conversation, language in the media, digital communication and queer and feminist theory.

We can seek out and experience a huge range of cultures and language practices without leaving home and a sensitivity to world cultures and other peoples’ experiences is increasingly valued in our lives and work. Gain theoretical expertise and real-life experience in intercultural communication, studying how language relates to speakers’ intentions, social attitudes to language and the way language choices can express identities and cultural values.

This programme is designed to help you gain Japanese language skills (no prior experience necessary!), a deep understanding of Japanese culture and the ability to communicate interculturally all underpinned your knowledge of contemporary, sociocultural language practices.

We will initially use a communicative Japanese teaching style before developing a content-and-language, integrated learning approach – studying aspects of Japanese cultures, communities and societies through the medium of Japanese. Combined with your experience of living and studying abroad you will develop as a confident user of Japanese, able to have conversations, give presentations, join in discussions and communicate effectively for a range of academic, social and professional purposes.

Course structure

Level 1

Modules

Semester 1:

One of:

  • Accelerated Japanese 1 - This intensive course is for students with no prior knowledge of Japanese language. With a focus on practical communication skills and self-expression the course covers the language needed to communicate in Japanese on routine and familiar topics.
  • Japanese Communication 1 - This course is for students who have prior study of Japanese and is designed to build on your previous knowledge. With a focus on self-expression, narrative and description the course covers language needed to communicate socially in Japanese.

Both of:

  • Language and Society - This module explores key aspects of language variation and the relationship between language and society. You will learn about language as a social phenomenon and be given opportunities to explore the role that social and cultural context plays in language variation. The module also introduces the ways language resources can be used to reflect and construct a range of social identities such as social class, gender, sexuality, age, race and ethnicity.
  • Key Concepts for Language Learning and Teaching - This module introduces you to the discipline of applied linguistics and to controversies in its definition, scope and relationship to linguistics and language teaching. The module will prepare you for any tutoring you may do in your second year and beyond.

Semester 2:

One of:

  • Accelerated Japanese 2 - This intensive course is for students with no prior knowledge of Japanese language. Successful students will be able to read and understand simple written texts and express themselves on everyday matters both orally and in writing.
  • Japanese Communication 2 - This course is for students who have prior study of Japanese and is designed to build on your previous knowledge. Successful students will be able to read and understand written texts and be able to express a wide range of ideas both orally and in writing.

Both of:

  • Multilingualism - This module addresses the world's linguistic diversity and variation and situates the English language within the context of our multilingual world. Language variation and multilingualism are considered form linguistic, psychological, sociocultural and educational perspectives.
  • Deaf culture - This module will lay the groundwork for understanding more complex ideas and theories about deaf people and deaf cultures and how deaf people see their own place in the world. Key ideas include the tensions between Deafhood philosophies and the perception of deafness as a disability, and the changing foundations of UK deaf communities. We will also look at different deaf communities around the world.

All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Level 2

Modules

Semester 1:

  • Japanese Language and Society 1 - You will learn Japanese through engaging and stimulating activities covering a wide range of topics relating to Japan. You will develop a critical understanding of aspects of Japanese cultures, communities and societies.
  • Analysing Texts - This module allows you to develop advanced skills in reading and analysing texts across a variety of genres. A broad linguistic perspective will provide insights into how meanings are created and debated in texts. As a result you will have more understanding of issues of representation and power in contemporary discourses.
  • Language, Gender and Sexuality - Language, gender and sexuality is a diverse and often controversial field, giving rise to varying and sometimes contradictory theories. This module will provide you with a thorough grounding in the main areas of feminist and queer linguistic enquiry. The main aim of the module is to empower you to argue for your own position, and give you the grounding from which to develop your own work and ideas.

Semester 2:

  • Japanese Language and Society 2 - You will learn Japanese through engaging and stimulating activities covering a wide range of topics relating to Japan. By the end of the module successful students will be able to effectively describe experiences and events in Japanese, both orally and in writing, and give reasons and explanations for opinions.
  • Intercultural Communication - Incorporating real-life examples and case studies from around the world, this module prepares you to understand ‘culture’ beyond the essentialist stereotyping. You’ll be able to reflect on and improve your own communication skills, whilst gaining theoretical knowledge in the area of intercultural communication.
  • Communication, Reasoning and Persuasion - This module explores the link between language use and reasoning, focusing on how this link underpins the persuasive power of language. Data used comprises, but is not limited to, communication about different cultures and unfamiliar contexts. You’ll develop research skills through weekly data analysis.

All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Level 3

Modules

Year abroad
Whilst studying abroad you will take Japanese language classes at your host university. You are expected to fully engage with the tuition and assessment, but your grades will not be converted to York St John credits, as the study abroad is in addition to first, second and fourth year. You will take a distance-learning work placement module during your year abroad.

Approval to study abroad is given subject to meeting basic criteria. For study abroad in 2021/22, the requirements include passing all modules and attending at least 80% of all taught sessions. While almost all our students do meet these criteria, occasionally students don’t.

If students have otherwise met the requirements to progress to third year, but have not met the criteria for study abroad, it will usually be possible to transfer to a course which does not contain a study abroad element, most likely English Language, Linguistics & TESOL BA (Hons).

Level 4

Modules

Semester 1:

  • Japanese Language Project 1 - This module is designed for final year students who have spent a year (or a semester) in Japan. The class will be content-based, and so you are expected to communicate in Japnese and discuss a range of topics. By the end of this module, successful students will be able to communicate flexibly and effectively in Japanese, both orally and in writing, for a range of academic, social and professional purposes.
  • Language, Identities and Cultures - This module explores the ways in which language can function as an indicator of a range of social and cultural identities and how language plays an active role in contructing identites. The module takes an interdisciplinary approach to analysing the relationship between language, identity and culture.
  • Attitudes to Language - This module examines publicly held views of language. It covers topics such as Standard English and correctness. With particular reference to education it also investigates the social, political and idealogical issues associated with these views.

Semester 2:

  • Japanese Language Project 2 - This module is designed for final year students who have spent a year (or a semester) in Japan. The class will be content-based, and so you are expected to communicate in Japanese and discuss a range of topics. By the end of this module, successful students will be able to communicate flexibly and effectively in Japanese, both orally and in writing, for a range of academic, social and professional purposes.
  • Dissertation (40 credits) - you will carry out independent research related to your programme on a topic of your choice backed by tutorial supervision.

All modules are worth 20 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Teaching & Assessment

Delivery

Japanese classes are delivered in small groups of up to 25 students. TESOL modules are delivered using a mixture of lectures, workshops and seminars. Seminar groups have up to 30 students.

Academic and research skills are embedded in modules, for example, academic writing and referencing, peer review, use of web based resources for document sharing, and the use of wikis and blogs.

Contact hours

In first and third year, while you are studying at York St John University, you will take three modules per semester. Each has 2–4 hours of contact time. The taught sessions could be spread across all five days of the week, or could be concentrated into fewer days. Taught sessions are scheduled between 9 am–8 pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am–1 pm Wednesday, and 9 am–6 pm Friday.

As well as the taught sessions, you will also have academic tutorials through the semester, you can set up tutorials with your module tutors, and you'll be able to attend events such as the Colloquium Lectures and Language Talks.

While you are studying in Japan, you are likely to have more contact time, although the details will depend on the university you are studying at.

 

Self-study time

If you are joining us from school, college or the workplace you will probably feel you have a very empty timetable. This is becuase a 20-credit module, which is equivalent to 200 hours of study, only has 2-4 hours a week of contact time - the rest is study you are expected to do yourself.

We support students in achieving this by giving lots of guidance on what to study, including weekly readings and preparation for assessments, and offering regular tutorials and drop-in sessions with module tutors so you can get feedback on your work. All modules are supported by materials hosted on Moodle, the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

Staffing

Our Japanese academic staff are Mary Murata and Dr Chisato Danjo. You will also be taught by other academic staff in the School. The School of Languages and Linguistics Head of School is Dr Rachel Wicaksono. The Japanese & Intercultural Communication programme is managed by the Subject Director for Languages and TESOL, Dr Becky Muradás-Taylor. University support staff are well integrated into our programme, for example, a representative from the library contributes sessions on research and referencing over the course of the programme.

Assessment Methods

Japanese modules are assessed with a combination of oral exam, videos, class tests and written work. The assessment for TESOL modules varies from module to module. There is an exam on Language Structure: Grammar in first year. Other assessment methods include essays, presentations, data analysis, online tests, peer reviews, blog posts and research proposals and reports.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

You can enter this programme as a beginner in Japanese. You can also enter if you have studied Japanese before and/or if you have any qualifications in Japanese.

The programme is not suitable if:

  • Japanese is your first language
  • You have C1 level of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) in Japanese

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offers special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

 

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support

COURSE-RELATED COSTS

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

STUDY ABROAD

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

ACCOMMODATION AND LIVING COSTS

View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

FINANCIAL HELP AND SUPPORT

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

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