ATS3649 - Japanese: Language and society - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Japanese Studies


Dr Robyn Spence-Brown

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Building on previously acquired knowledge of Japanese culture, this unit introduces students to the socio-linguistic study of the Japanese language and system of communication, as well as intercultural communication. Topics include communication problems, speech acts, politeness, discourse structure. Basic knowledge of Japanese equivalent to a first year sequence in the language is expected, although previous formal language study is not essential.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of sociolinguistics and to be able to employ some of the terminology used within the discipline.
  2. Be able to explain the processes of communication found in native Japanese communication situations as well as in intercultural contact situations.
  3. Be able to display a critical understanding of some issues related to communicating in Japanese or English with native speakers of Japanese.
  4. Be able to relate these processes and issues to their own experiences and observations of Japanese use.
  5. Be able to employ advanced research skills (research questions, methodologies, data management and analysis)
  6. Be able to employ a range of enquiry techniques.


Within semester assessment: 60% + Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


One of

ATS2653 Studies in Japanese interaction and language use,

ATS2648 Contemporary Japan,

ATS2382 War and memory in the Asia Pacific: Legacies of World War II,

ATS3652 Japan as empire: From Meiji to 1945,

ATS3089 Social institutions and power in East Asia