As a result of participating in this course, you will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of yourself. You will reflect on the changes you recognize in yourself and your surroundings as you make efforts to adjust your ways of being in a new culture using a new language.
  • Maintain and develop your Cultural Portfolio.


Cultural Portfolio


Your portfolio will consist of the following:

Cultural Analysis:
Revise and upload the final version of your composition assignments in Exploration of Contemporary Japan in the portfolio. 

Revise and upload compositions that you write as homework assignments in your JLP course, making sure to revise your assignment by looking at the comments given by your instructor(s). The final version should be uploaded in the portfolio. You may wish to also add in this category the papers you write in other content course (J).

Create at least two (2) entries that describe trips away from your “comfort zone.”

Days in Japan:
Create journal entries that contain incidental or informal observations, i.e., description of objects (mono) or narration of events (koto).

*Use photos/pictures effectively to get attention of your audience and enhance their understanding. Use at least one (1) photo in each post and remember that the first photo in each post will be used automatically as its thumbnail.

General Grading Criteria


Cultural Portfolio: 

Spontaneous Writing:

  • Days in Japan (10): 50%
  • Trips (2): 10%

Structured Writing

  • Cultural Analysis (5): 30%
  • Essays (4): 10%

Total: 100%

A (94-100) A-(90-93.9) B+(87-89.9)
B (84-86.9) B- (80-83.9) C+(77-79.9)
C (74-76.9) C- (70-73.9) D+(67-69.9)
D (60-66.9) F(0-59.9)

We expect you to attend all scheduled sessions. You will lose 5% of your total grade for each absence starting at the 3rd absence.

Portfolio Evaluation Criteria


10 points
Language: Excellent, with very few errors.
Content: The writer analyzes the evidence in support of the argument. Interpretation is insightful and persuasive, and displays extraordinary depth of thought. May pose original ideas.

9 points
Language: Incorporates recently learned materials, goes well beyond “bare minimum.” Errors are more nuanced.
Content: The writer analyzes the evidence in support of the argument. Interpretation goes well beyond what has already been discussed in the sources.

8 points
Language: Meets all the requirements. Errors are limited to predictable ones at the level.
Content: Meets all the requirements; the discussion is focused and the flow of argument is coherent. Observations are exactly to the point.

7 points
Language: Numerous “careless” errors, eg. using hiragana for basic vocabulary, error on conjugation, length too short.
Content: The writer fails to analyze the evidence in support of the argument. Interpretation is not fully persuasive or insightful.

6 points
Language: Incomplete / Unacceptable
Content: The analysis does not go beyond personal opinion that is not supported by the evidence or the source.