Required for the Major: Students are expected to achieve proficiency in Japanese language at the advanced level, requiring the equivalent of three years of language study and the completion of a senior seminar at the 0400 level. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the study of Japanese in their first academic year. Students who begin study of Japanese in the sophomore year must attend the summer Japanese School before study abroad in Japan. Students are required to spend one semester, usually in the junior year, studying in Japan but are strongly encouraged to spend the full year. Students studying in Japan are expected to take a combination of language and culture courses. In addition to the completion of Japanese language at the 0400 level or equivalent, four culture courses offered in the Japanese Studies department are required. At least two departmental culture courses must be taken before approval for study in Japan.
Seniors are required to take at least one seminar in the Japanese Studies department at the 0400 level: JAPN 0430, JAPN 0435, JAPN 0450, JAPN 0451, or JAPN 0475.
In addition to required departmental courses, students are strongly encouraged to take courses on Japan offered abroad and on the Middlebury campus in History, Religion, History of Art and Architecture, or other departments. These additional courses allow students the opportunity to enhance Japanese language and culture study according to individual interests, but do not count towards the major.
Honors: Successful completion of one advanced language course and JAPN 0700 Senior Thesis with a grade of B+ or above are required for graduation with departmental honors. Departmental honors will be awarded according to the grade point average of courses taken in the department, in the summer Middlebury Japanese School, and in Japan. A grade point average of 3.3 in these courses is required for graduation with honors. A grade point average of 3.75 and a grade of A on the thesis are required for High Honors.
Required for the Minor: Courses required for the minor in Japanese are completion of language courses to the level of JAPN 0202, or the equivalent, and two additional courses offered by the Japanese Studies department in culture, literature, or film. Cross-listed courses may not count toward the Japanese minor.
Middlebury's Summer Language School: Intensive language courses are available each summer at Middlebury's Japanese School. During the eight-week session, students and faculty live in the same Japanese language dormitory, take their meals together, and communicate exclusively in Japanese, whether in the classroom or outside of class. For all students pursuing the study of Japanese language and culture, and especially prior to study abroad in Japan, a summer of concentrated study at the second-, third,- or fourth-year level in Middlebury's intensive Japanese School is strongly recommended. Students who are unable to begin the study of Japanese in their first year at Middlebury are strongly encouraged to begin or accelerate their study by taking a course in the intensive summer program.
Study in Japan: Majors in Japanese Studies are required to spend at least one semester studying abroad in Japan. The C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Japan, located in Tokyo, offers intensive language courses and topics courses in Japanese. Students have residential options in dormitories or in home-stays arranged by the program.
Language Technology and Resources: Japanese courses incorporate a variety of computer-driven teaching and learning strategies. Video and audio materials for first- and second-year levels are available on any computer, so that students can view and listen to authentic materials at any time in their dorm rooms or in labs. Japanese films, scripts, and anime in advanced-language courses are also available on the Web to students enrolled in those courses. Many Japanese literature and culture offerings are Web-based multimedia courses. Instructors often make use of conferencing and other electronic tools to extend learning beyond regular class hours. The Middlebury College Library contains an extensive collection of works in English on most aspects of Japan; in addition, there are 1,700 works in Japanese, with special strengths in literature and linguistics.