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The AP Japanese Language and Culture course supports students as they develop the productive, receptive and cultural skills necessary to communicate with native speakers of Japanese. The course is comparable to a fourth-semester college/university Japanese course.

The course articulates its goals in terms of three modes of communication — interpersonal, interpretive and presentational — while addressing cultural competence, connections to other school disciplines, comparisons between the Japanese language and culture and those of the learners, and the use of the language within a broader community beyond the traditional school environment.

Interpersonal Mode

The interpersonal mode involves spontaneous two-way interaction and an active negotiation of meaning between two or more people, such as conversing face-to-face or exchanging written correspondence.

Interpretive Mode

Students interpret a broad range of written and oral texts. Students develop their aural proficiency through exposure to contextualized language and written materials

Presentational Mode

Students develop the speaking proficiency to be able to create a level-appropriate speech or report, produce a newscast or video, and narrate personal experiences and current events in a coherent fashion with comprehensible pronunciation and intonation.

Students develop an expanded ability to communicate in a culturally appropriate manner and in increasingly widening contexts. They also gain an introduction to contemporary social, political or educational issues; to the place of religion within Japanese society; or to traditional versus modern male and female gender roles. Also addressed are more customary topics, such as traditional Japanese arts, customs, festivals, geography and history, at deeper and richer levels. The often demanding texts containing these rich sources of information require command of a significant number of kanji.

Students develop the interpersonal skills that enable them to request information and confirm the receipt of information, request and give directions, and issue and respond to invitations, for example. They also develop more cognitively challenging functional language skills, including, but not limited to, the ability to compare phenomena, express opinions and preferences and discuss life experiences. They also employ appropriate register in the application of each of these skills, are familiar with desu/masu and da (plain) styles of Japanese and with keigo, and use effective keyboarding skills.

The course takes a holistic approach to language proficiency, while at the same time recognizing the complex relationships among its component parts, including comprehension and comprehensibility, vocabulary usage, communication strategies, cultural awareness and linguistic accuracy.

Read the full course description and exam information with sample questions.