Language: Japanese Target group

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Language: Japanese

Target group: Stage 5 (Year 10)

Unit of work: Finding the way

Suggested duration: 4 weeks

What are the key ideas or concepts you want the students to learn?

•There is a range of language structures that can be used to find your way around Japan.

•The wide reliance on public transport reflects the needs of the society, and the Japanese transport system is unique in the world in its comprehensiveness, efficiency and accessibility.

Why does that learning matter?

•To have confidence when travelling in Japan, students need to know a range of language and transport options.

•Students need to question what they have in their own community and think about other options beyond their familiar context and comfort zone.

Targeted outcomes

5.UL.1, 5.UL.2, 5.UL.3, 5.UL.4, 5.MLC.1, 5.MLC.2, 5.MBC.1, 5.MBC.2

Socio-cultural content

  • Modes of transport – しんかんせん、ちかてつ、JR、でんしゃ、バス、タクシー

  • Ethos of transport service in Japan.

Students learn about:

  • ways of identifying relevant details when listening for specific information

  • the manipulation of structure, format and choice of vocabulary to achieve specific purposes

  • application of known linguistic structures in new contexts

  • variations of the message according to context, purpose and audience

  • cultural concepts and ways they are reflected in language and behaviour.

Students learn to:

  • make judgements about the relevance of detail in understanding text, e.g. extract ideas and issues referred to in text

  • select and incorporate particular structures to achieve specific purposes, e.g. buying tickets, asking for directions, reading timetables

  • reconstruct information from a range of sources, e.g. using timetables

  • reflect on formal and informal language, and when and where it is used

  • identify and analyse ways in which culture is reflected in language use in diverse contexts.

Building the field (e.g. the connections to background knowledge and cultural knowledge)

  • View and discuss a video on the transport system in Japan.

  • Look at picture cards of the various modes of transport in Japan (Japan Foundation cards) and consider the type of vocabulary and language functions required.

  • Discuss the modes of transport used on the school Japan study tour.

  • Discuss the Japanese street address system and the need for police boxes with enlarged local maps.

Cross-curriculum content and policies:

Literacy: reading timetables

Numeracy: determining cost, time to travel

ICT: accessing and interpreting information from the internet, Audacity, PowerPoint, IWB

Civics and Citizenship: recognising appropriate intercultural behaviour in diverse settings

Difference and Diversity: developing appreciation of attitudes and practices of diverse cultures

Multiculturalism: reflecting on own cultural heritage and interacting with other cultures.

Suggested resources

Japan Foundation Activity esources 3

(August 1994)

Shinkansen timetable

Sugoi! Getting around

Travel itinerary

Teaching and learning activities

1. Using Ikimashoo available on TaLe, practise saying where you are going, how you get there.(S,LR)

2. Use the Sugoi! Getting around activities available on TaLe to practise talking about transport.(S,LR,RR)
3. Describe how to get from one place to another. With your partner, use a map to ask and explain how to get from one place to another. (S*,RR, LR*)
4. Shinkansen timetable. Explain the five lines of the Shinkansen and the speeds of the trains. Ask and answer questions about how long it takes from A to B (S, RR). Most frequently used line – Tokaido line which has Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama.

5. Use the Hyperdia website to find out about different ways of getting around Japan. Compare price and speed. Find out how far it is and how long it takes to get between major Japanese cities. Record your conversations at the Midori no Madoguchi (ticket window) in Japan. (S)

Evidence of learning
Evidence of learning would be gathered by the demonstration of outcomes in all class activities including the following:
Teacher observation


Katakana quizzes

Role plays

Presentation of PowerPoint

Continuous informal class assessment

Formal assessment.













Teaching and learning activities (cont.)
6. Information gap. In pairs read a timetable that has only half the required information on it. Ask questions of your partner to complete the information. (S)
7. Buying a ticket. Using the Shinkansen website write and record a dialogue to buy a ticket. Record your dialogue using Audacity. (S, W)
8. Planning your itinerary for a trip to Japan. Decide which places you would like to visit, and which means of transport you will use. Write your conversation, then record it and present it using PowerPoint incorporating photos from the internet. (S*,W*)

Assessment strategies

Activities above marked * could be used for assessment.

Informal teacher observations in class – all skills

Verbal feedback in class – all skills

Written annotations on written work

Peer assessment of PowerPoint via checklist

Parent teacher night – all skills

Student interviews – all skills.


Evaluation and variation

Considerations: Time allocated for unit; variety of teaching strategies used; opportunities for teacher feedback and student reflection; suitability of resources; suitability of ICT/laptop activities; literacy/numeracy links.

Name: _________________________

Signature: _________________________

Date: _________________________

Intellectual quality

  • Deep knowledge

  • Deep understanding

  • Problematic knowledge

  • Higher-order thinking

  • Metalanguage
  • Substantive communication

Quality learning environment

  • Explicit quality criteria

  • Engagement

  • High expectations

  • Social support

  • Students’ self-regulation
  • Student direction


  • Background knowledge

  • Cultural knowledge

  • Knowledge integration

  • Inclusivity

  • Connectedness
  • Narrative

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