U of M Catalog Description

An introduction to speaking, reading, and writing Japanese.

Class size limit: 20

More information on the Japanese program and course, including class materials and placement test information is available.

Sample Syllabus

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in JPN 1011 should be juniors or seniors in high school or have instructor approval to participate. Exceptional tenth graders may be allowed to register if they have the approval of the CIS instructor.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


  • Banno, et al. (2020). Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Third Edition, Vol. I. Tokyo: Japan Times. (Costs approximately $40 on Amazon in 2023.)
  • Banno, et al. (2020). Genki Workbook, Third Edition, Vol. I. Tokyo: Japan Times. (Costs approximately $21 on Amazon in 2023.)
  • Course Packet (provided at no cost to the instructor to copy for his/her students).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all of the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota?

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
No. The assignments used in CIS sections of the class are exactly the same as assignments used in the on-campus sections of the class.

Who creates the exams?
Instructors in the U of M Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies create the exams.

Is there a training and mentoring system for Japanese teachers new to CIS?
Yes. Experienced instructors help new teachers get accustomed to the system. Teachers frequently email one another with questions and share materials with the whole group. New teachers also benefit from workshops that focus on course content and University processes, as well as an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS and prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M Japanese?
All courses offered through CIS have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections. Teachers wishing to teach a U of M Japanese course on the block schedule should consult with the faculty coordinator (contact information above) to make sure this arrangement will work.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include meeting University faculty and hearing about their recent research in the discipline; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to visit a Japanese class at the University, practice skills they have learned in class, and hear a lecture on Japanese literature and media by a professor.