Elementary Years 8–9 Languages — Japanese

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Japanese houses — writing

Elementary Years 8–9

Languages — Japanese

Students write a letter in Japanese describing their own house and enquiring about their Japanese penpal’s house.

Context for assessment

Japanese housing reflects a mixture of the old and the new, which typifies how Japan has embraced the West. Housing in Japan retains aspects of the traditional Japan and the new Japan. Traditions reveal a lot about the culture of Japan, especially what is valued in society. Students explore these concepts in this assessment. This assessment links with Japanese houses — listening and Japanese houses — reading.

This assessment gathers evidence of learning for the following Essential Learnings:redesign headings_identify

Languages Essential Learnings by the end of Elementary Stage

Ways of working

Students are able to:

Knowledge and understanding

Comprehending and composing in the target language

Comprehending and composing skills are used to understand language input, to convey information and express ideas and opinions, and to engage in interactions in the target language for different purposes, contexts and audiences.

  • Verbal language and non-verbal language are adapted according to purpose, context and audience.

  • Texts, including conversations and narratives, follow patterns and are shaped by conventions that can vary between cultures.

  • Familiar language can be used in new contexts to help interpret and convey main ideas and supporting details.

  • Familiar linguistic features and structures are manipulated to generate original target language texts and to construct simple, cohesive texts for different purposes, contexts and audiences.

Intercultural competence and language awareness

Intercultural competence and knowledge of languages and cultures allow for exploration of different ways of experiencing and acting in the world.

  • Ideas or information may or may not be transferable from one language to another and can provide cultural insights and information.

  • Cultural practices in the target language can be compared with those of other cultures and connections noticed between language use and cultural knowledge and behaviour

  • Investigations into language use and cultural beliefs, attitudes and practices further develop intercultural competence.

Assessable elements

  • Knowledge and understanding

  • Composing texts

Source: Queensland Studies Authority 2007, Lanuages Essential Learnings by the end of Elementary Stage, QSA, Brisbane.

Listed here are suggested learning experiences for students before implementing this assessment.

  • Look at stimulus materials related to accommodation in Japan (e.g. large picture cards, DVDs, videos) and identify features. See Appendix A: Japanese web resources.redesign headings_sequence

  • Investigate the different accommodation options in Japan, including:

  • houses

  • apaato

  • manshon

  • danchi

  • ryokan

  • youth hostels.

  • Make summaries of investigations on housing.

  • Learn key vocabulary and relevant structures in Japanese. See Appendix B: Targeted language elements.

  • Read, listen and write about similarities and differences in accommodation in Australia and Japan.

  • Write descriptions of different accommodation options in Japan.

  • Read brochures about accommodation, including one that promotes a luxury hotel.

  • Describe own home to a partner.

  • Write a description of own house and bedroom.

  • Design a floor plan for an apartment or house.

  • Enter an annual architecture contest with a Japanese theme.


Teacher resources

Appendix A Japanese web resources

Appendix B Targeted language elements

Supporting resources for this assessment include images of housing in Japan. See the Assessment-related resources accompanying this assessment.

Assessment-related resource Genkoo yooshi

Niko Niko; Moshi, Moshi and Pera, Pera from the Yoroshiku series, Department of Education, Queensland & Ministry of Education, Western Australia 1993, Curriculum Corporation, Canberra.


Consider these points before implementing the assessment.

  • Print any relevant resources for students, including Appendix B: Targeted language elements, grid paper and any stimulus resources, such as the Assessment-related resources accompanying this assessment.

  • Revise any key text structures and language elements targeted for assessment. Students should have significant opportunity to learn the required language elements before the assessment.

Sample implementation plan

This table shows one way that this assessment can be implemented. It is a guide only — you may choose to use all, part, or none of the table. You may customise the table to suit your students and their school environment.

Suggested time

Student activity

Teacher role

Section 1. Plan your letter in English

10 minutes

Read and ask any questions about the Guide to making judgments and the Student booklet.

Answer any questions about the Guide to making judgments and the Student booklet.

1 hour

Plan and draft the letter in English in the Student booklet.

Provide assistance as required.

Section 2. Write your letter in Japanese

1 hour

Write the letter in Japanese on the grid paper provided by the teacher.

Provide access to charts and resources if needed.

Employ adjustment/inclusive strategies used in everyday practice for students who may require additional support.


Resources for the assessment

Appendix B Targeted language elements

Assessment-related resource Genkoo yooshi

During the learning process, you and your students should have developed a shared understanding of the curriculum expectations identified as part of the planning process. redesign headings_make

After students have completed the assessment, identify, gather and interpret the information provided in student responses. Use only the evidence in student responses to make your judgment about the quality of the student learning. Refer to the following documents to assist you in making standards-referenced judgments:

  • Guide to making judgments

  • Indicative A response

  • Sample responses (where available).

Making judgments about this assessment

The Guide to making judgments for this assessment demonstrates student development along a continuum. It uses task-specific descriptors to describe the quality of student performance as a standard from A to E across each of the assessable elements. In the continua model, each higher standard grade has those below nested within it. In short, an A standard includes all qualities previously described along the continuum. As the continua model plots noticeable differences in student performance, the descriptor shows what students can do, not what students cannot do.

Teachers will need to make judgments about the impact of students’ access or restricted access to hiragana and katakana charts when completing the assessment.


For further information, refer to the resource Using a Guide to making judgments, available in the Resources section of the Assessment Bank website.

Evaluate the information gathered from the assessment to inform teaching and learning strategies.redesign headings_use

Involve students in the feedback process. Give students opportunities to ask follow-up questions and share their learning observations or experiences.

Focus feedback on the student’s personal progress. Emphasise continuous progress relative to their previous achievement and to the learning expectations — avoid comparing a student with their classmates.


For further information, refer to the resource About feedback, available in the Resources section of the Assessment Bank website.

Japanese web resources

Teachers should always check websites before recommending them to students. These websites were accessed in August 2008.

Japanese houses and architecture

  • Japanese housing: .

  • Virtual Japanese house: .

  • Japanese guesthouses: .

  • Bodoin College: The Japanese garden: .

  • ThinkQuest: The art of Japan — architecture: .

  • Kansai Window: Japanese architecture: .

  • AsianInfo.org: Japanese architecture:

  • Essential Japan guide: Removing Shoes in Japan:

  • Japan guide: Japanese bathrooms: .

Japanese language

  • About.com — Japanese language: .

  • Loquela education — Japan online:

About Japan and Japanese culture

  • Earthy family — Japanese culture: .

  • Japan zone: .

  • Search for images of Japan on Flickr photosharing website: .

  • Japan zone — travel guide, information and culture:

  • Japan guide — Japan living and travel guide: .

  • About.com — Japanese language and culture: .

  • Japan Culture Club, online catalogue of Japanese cultural items: .

Babychatter — Japanese names. Select Japanese girls or boys names: .

Japanese web resources (cont.)

  • At home in Japan — Japanese home-stay tutorial: .

  • Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts: .

  • Web Japan — sponsored by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA):

  • Japan Foundation resources: < http://minnanokyozai.jp/kyozai/home/en/render.do >.

  • Culture at work — Japanese culture: .

  • Japanese web links: .

  • Japan National Tourist Organisation: .

  • Explore Japan — online Japanese gift shop: .

  • YesJapan.com Culture Centre: .

  • Asahi guide to Japanese culture: .

  • Traditional Japanese culture and modern Japan: <www.japanlink.co.jp/ka/home.html>.

Language resources

  • Curriculum Corporation — Japanese language resources: .

  • Shunko Muroya, Japanese Advisor for Alberta Education, Canada — Information and Resources for Teachers of Japanese Language: .

  • Japanese picture dictionary: .

  • Japanese language resources for teachers:

Script practice sheets

  • Tokyo Mokyo Kana and Kanji Practice Sheets: .

Loquela education.net — Japan website directory for teachers:

Targeted language elements

The following summary of targeted language elements is a suggested guide only. Teachers can modify this guide to suit local contexts. See the Indicative A response for further elaborations.

Comparing structures, for comparison (hotter, colder, lower, higher)




台所は いまより小さいです。


Describing and asking about daily routines and procedures



Describing activities: fun, boring, exciting


Describing places and things: buildings, household equipment




Expressing feelings: happy, sad, boring, lonely, tired, excited



Expressing likes and dislikes



Expressing ability and inability




Identifying when



Identifying/asking about places/ buildings


Affirming and negating statements: true and false




Expressing possibility




© The State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority) and its licensors 2009.
All rights reserved. Please read the copyright notice on our website: www.qsa.qld.edu.au


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