Learning to Read

Japanese: Learning to Read

27 weeks


Natalie Berry




8 - 18 years old




The purpose of studying Japanese at Academic Warriors is to give students the tools to do further study of Japanese on their own.  Learning to read is the first step in the process of studying Japanese.  Learning to read in Japanese can be an extensive process, as the Japanese language can implement up to three different alphabets.  It is important to study all 27 weeks to fully understand the Japanese language.  Therefore, the Japanese reading class is broken up into sections.

Section 1: KATAKANA (9 weeks)


Students will study all characters used to write and read "loan words" in Japanese. 

Students will learn stroke order and the importance of stroke order for later translation.

Students will learn the Japanese characters needed to write their name, hometown and state. 

Students will learn the nuances of Japanese pronunciation by studying loan words. 

Students will learn the aspects of "syllabary" versus "alphabet" at is pertains to the Japanese language.


Each week, a new set of words will be added which students must read and guess the meaning.  There will also be opportunities to practice writing each new character (a set of five each week).


Section 2: HIRAGANA (9 weeks)


Students will study all characters needed to read Japanese words.

Students will begin increasing their vocabulary of Japanese words. 

Students will learn certain grammar points as they pertain to the alphabet.


Each week, a new list of words will be given to each student.  They will be given a definition of each word.  Students will begin reading sentences in both hiragana and katakana.

Section 3: Introduction to Kanji and Comic Book Reading (9 weeks)


Students will begin studying the most common Chinese characters used by the Japanese (Kanji).

Students will read their first manga (Japanese comic book)

Students will learn the nuances of Japanese sentence structure and verb conjugation.


Each week, a new page of the comic will be given to the student.  The student will highlight the hiragana, katakana, and kanji in different colors.  Students will be given the opportunity to translate on their own, but we will also discuss translations in class.


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