Japanese Guidelines

Guidelines for placing yourself in the Japanese Language Classes:

1. If you

    a. can give a smooth 15-20 minute self introduction in Japanese,
    b. can write hiragana and katakana correctly and well, and
    c. know approximately 75 basic KANJI characters

then you should wait until the spring semester and register for Japanese 106.  However, if you have not learned some basic calligraphic skills in order to write hiragana, katakana, and kanji beautifully and well, then it is highly recommended that you take an independent 1 credit pencil calligraphy class before enrolling in Japanese 106.  The Japanese language program at Whitman College emphasizes the importance of writing Japanese beautifully.


2. If you cannot do all of the above (1, abc), you should register for Japanese 105 to develop the fundamental skills that are required of all students in the Whitman College Japanese Language program.  Normally, two years of high school Japanese is not sufficient to qualify for Japanese 106.


3. If you

    a. can give a 25 minute self introduction in Japanese,
    b. can write hiragana and katakana correctly and well,
    c. can read and recognize and write 150 kanji, and
    d. have had at least three strong years of high school Japanese

then you should register for Japanese 205.  However, if you have not learned some basic calligraphic skills in order to write hiragana, katakana, and kanji beautifully and well, then it is highly recommended that you take an independent 1 credit pencil calligraphy class in addition to Japanese 205.  The Japanese language program at Whitman College emphasizes the importance of writing Japanese beautifully.


4. If you

    a. have had at least four years of high school Japanese,
    b. can recognize 350 kanji and reproduce 250 kanji
    c. can show evidence that you can write hiragana, katakana, and kanji with calligraphic skill

then you will be asked to take an oral and written placement test in order to determine whether you qualify for Japanese 305 or Japanese 405.  If you have not learned basic calligraphic skills when writing  hiragana, katakana, and kanji beautifully, you must see Professor Takemoto BEFORE you register for Japanese 305 or Japanese 405.  The  Japanese language program at Whitman College emphasizes the importance of writing Japanese beautifully.  If you have not had this kind of training, it is highly recommended that you take an independent 1 credit pencil calligraphy class in addition to Japanese 305 or Japanese 405.  Please contact Professor Takemoto to make arrangements to take a placement examination.


5. Students who have completed three years of college-level Japanese may elect to undertake an independent study program that focuses on some aspect of Japanese language, literature, or culture.  This class serves, in most cases, as a class for senior Asian Studies majors who need guidance in conducting advanced reading projects related to their thesis.