Japanese Program


Do you want to learn Japanese and explore its fascinating culture? Do you want to boost your career opportunities with a valuable language skill? Do you want to join a fun and supportive community of learners and teachers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Japanese Program at Cypress College is for you!

The Japanese Program at Cypress College offers a variety of courses and activities to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. You can study topics such as Japanese food, manga, anime, J-pop, fashion, and more. You can also learn about the history, customs, and traditions of Japan. You can even prepare for the Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese (JFT-Basic), which measures your communication abilities in Japanese.

All of our courses are transfer-level credit courses (UC/CSU, AA, GE) and are aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), an international standard for assessing language proficiency. Our faculty members are all native speakers of Japanese, have master’s degrees in Japanese, and have extensive experience in teaching Japanese as a second language. We also provide free textbooks for all Japanese courses, free tutoring (Tuesdays – Thursdays), online resources, a Japanese Culture Club, and various office hours in-person, via Zoom and walk-in.

Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate learner, the Japanese Program at Cypress College can help you reach your full potential in Japanese. Enroll today and discover the benefits of learning Japanese at Cypress College!

Cypress College Japanese Program offers these courses and the prerequisites:

  • JAPN 100 (For Beginner Conversation Course) and JAPN 101 (Elementary Japanese I) has no prerequisites
  • JAPN 102 (Elementary Japanese Ⅱ) requires a grade of C or better in JAPN 101
  • JAPN 200 (Intermediate Conversation Course) requires a grade of C or better in JAPN 102
  • JAPN 201 (Kanji Course) requires a grade of C or better in JAPN 102
  • JAPN 203 (Intermediate Japanese I) requires a grade of C or better in JAPN 102
  • JAPN 204 (Intermediate Japanese Ⅱ) requires a grade of C or better in JAPN 203

Cypress College Japanese Program offers Japanese classes in a variety of formats:

  • In-person classes for all courses
  • Zoom classes for JAPN 101, 102, 200, 203 and 204
  • Hybrid classes (a combination of in-person and online instruction) for JAPN 101 and 102
  • HyFlex classes (a combination of in-person and Zoom instruction) for JAPN 102, 203, and 204

Degrees and Certificates:

Transfer Information:

For CSUs:

  • All Japanese courses are transferable
  • All Japanese courses meet CSU general education requirements

For UCs:

  • All Japanese courses are transferable, and…
  • 203, 204 meet UC language requirements
  • 203, 204 meet UC general education requirements

For further transfer information, please email:

Textbooks:

The Japanese program offers ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost), which means that you will not need to purchase any textbooks or materials for your Japanese classes. All of the course materials will be available online for free or will be given in the classroom. This is a great way to save money on your education, and it also allows you to access the latest and most up-to-date information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Japanese Student Club?

Yes, we have a Japanese Culture Club. Professor Luther is the advisor. The club organizes monthly Japanese movie nights in the fall and spring semesters. At the beginning of each semester, the club recruits officers and plans the activities and movies for the monthly movie nights. Japanese Culture Club members are welcome to attend club meetings in Humanities 107 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., 12 to 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 to 3 p.m.

I took Japanese in high school. Can I skip JAPN 101 or 102, and start taking higher level?

To skip JAPN 101 or 102, you need to send an email to Professor Luther to request a waiver. Professor Luther will interview you and assess your Japanese proficiency. If you are proficient enough, you will be granted a waiver.

I want to take Japanese class for fun. I will not transfer to a 4-year university. Is there a non-grading option?

Yes, there is an audit option. Auditing a class means that you will not receive any credit for the class, but you will be able to attend lectures and participate in activities. To audit a class, you need to send an email to Professor Luther or the counselor to request permission.

I am interested in taking Japanese courses because I want to work in Japan. What kind of job can I get?

In April 2019, Japan established a new status of residence, “Specified Skilled Worker (SSW),” to welcome capable specialists from overseas countries to work in certain Japanese industrial fields.

The type of job you can get in Japan depends on your major, skills, and experience. However, if you want to work in Japan, it is important to learn as much Japanese as you can. In order to obtain a “Specified Skilled Worker” status of residence, it is necessary to pass the “Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese (JFT-Basic)” which is conducted within and outside Japan.

Cypress College JAPN 101, 102, and 203 are using the Japan Foundation textbook “Irodori,” so you can even prepare for the Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese (JFT-Basic)!

Additionally, you should get an associate degree for your major at Cypress College. If you do not have a degree, it will be difficult to get a working visa in Japan.

Here is the list of certificates and associate degrees for your major that would enable you to get a job in Japan:

Also, an effective way to find a job in Japan is to network with people who are already living there. You can also search online job boards or reach out to Japanese companies directly.

What are some career opportunities for people who know Japanese?

To get a good job in the job market, it would be great if you have Japanese skills. Your career opportunities will be widened in many industries, such as:

  • Trading companies: Japanese trading companies are some of the largest and most successful businesses in the world. They operate in a wide range of industries, including import/export, logistics, and finance. If you have strong Japanese skills, you could work as a business development manager, market researcher, or financial analyst for a Japanese trading company.
  • Consulting firms: Consulting firms are another great option for people with Japanese skills. Consulting firms often work with Japanese companies on a variety of projects, such as market research, strategy development, and IT consulting. If you have strong Japanese skills and an MBA, you could work as a management consultant for a consulting firm.
  • Technology companies: Japan is a major player in the global technology industry. If you have strong Japanese skills and a background in technology, you could work for a Japanese technology company such as Sony, Nintendo, or Toyota. You could work as a software engineer, product manager, or marketing manager.
  • Finance: Japanese banks and investment firms are always looking for bilingual employees.
  • Law: Japanese law firms are increasingly hiring bilingual lawyers to help them with international transactions.
  • Media: Japanese media companies are always looking for bilingual journalists and editors.
  • Medical: You could work as a translator, interpreter, or medical assistant in a Japanese hospital or clinic.
  • Hospitality: You could work as a tour guide, hotel receptionist, or restaurant server in a Japanese hotel or restaurant.
  • Tourism: You could work as a travel agent, airplane attendant, tour guide, or event planner for Japanese tourists.
  • Technology: You could work as a software engineer, product manager, or technical writer for a Japanese tech company.
  • Business: You could work as an accountant, marketing manager, or business consultant for a Japanese company.
  • Education: You could teach Japanese to English speakers or teach English to Japanese speakers.

Related to the jobs from the list above, you can get certificates and associate degrees for your major.

How can I get help with my Japanese studies?

We have a great experienced tutor, Mr. Patrick Bonace. His classroom is in the library. His tutoring sessions are usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in the fall and spring semesters. Please send him an email to ask about details.

How much are the textbooks?

The Japanese program offers ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost), which means that you will not need to purchase any textbooks or materials for your Japanese classes. All of the course materials will be available online for free or will be given in the classroom. This is a great way to save money on your education, and it also allows you to access the latest and most up-to-date information.


Highlights


Contact the Program

Department Chair for Foreign Language and Lead Professor for the Japanese Program, Mihoko Terada Luther, B.A., M.A.: mluther@cypresscollege.edu

Portrait of Professor Mihoko Luther

My name is Professor Mihoko Terada Luther, and I’m excited to see you in our Japanese classes. I’m here to support your success, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need help.

Our Japanese courses are where you will learn how to communicate effectively in Japanese in various real-life situations. Our courses are designed to help you develop your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills in a fun and engaging way.

One of the features of our courses is that we emphasize listening input. Listening to a lot of Japanese is essential for acquiring the language and being able to use it naturally. That’s why we provide plenty of audio files that you can listen to anytime, anywhere. You will hear native speakers of Japanese talk about various topics related to everyday life in Japan.

Another feature of our courses is that we use authentic or quasi-authentic materials for reading and writing activities. These materials are taken from sources that are actually used by Japanese people in their daily lives, such as websites, magazines, flyers, and so on. By using these materials, you will practice your Japanese in realistic contexts and learn practical expressions that you can use right away.

Our courses cover a wide range of topics that are closely connected to everyday life in Japan. You will not only learn the Japanese language, but also experience the Japanese culture and lifestyle through different subjects. For example, you will learn about Japanese food, manga, anime, J-pop, fashion, and more.

I’m looking forward to a great semester as we learn together! Sincerely, Professor Mihoko Terada Luther

Counselors