AP Japanese Language and Culture

Learn all about the course and exam.

About the Course

Develop your Japanese language skills and learn about Japanese culture. You’ll practice communicating in Japanese and you’ll engage with real-life materials such as newspaper articles, films, music, and books.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Understanding Japanese when you hear it and read it

  • Holding conversations in real-life situations

  • Writing text messages, letters, emails, essays, and other texts

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

A fourth semester (or the equivalent) intermediate-level college course in Japanese language

Recommended Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites, but students are typically in their fourth year of high-school-level study. In the case of native or heritage speakers, there may be a different pathway of study leading to this course.

Exam Dates

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

You’ll learn Japanese language skills in the context of studying family life and values in Japanese-speaking societies and explore contemporary beliefs and challenges that families face.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a voice message)
  • Reading letters and other texts
  • Taking part in spoken and written exchanges of information
  • Writing text-chat messages, short emails, and letters using the 3 writing systems and appropriate formality
  • Giving suggestions or opinions with reasoning
  • Explaining your perspectives or preferences on a topic using reasons, details, and examples

You'll build your vocabulary and learn about how language and culture shape evolving ideas about identity in Japanese-speaking communities.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a public announcement)
  • Reading travel brochures and other texts
  • Taking part in conversations, including starting and ending them appropriately
  • Exchanging information while using strategies like clarification and paraphrasing
  • Identifying and explaining cultural differences between Japanese-speaking communities and your own
  • Writing a short article comparing 2 sides of a topic

You'll explore how ideas of beauty and art influence and reflect culture in Japanese-speaking communities.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a school debate)
  • Reading short stories and other texts
  • Using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures in conversations, text chats and email exchanges, and compare-and-contrast articles
  • Writing emails and letters with appropriate formality and standard conventions
  • Creating oral and written presentations that include your perspectives and have an introduction, development of the topic, and a conclusion

You'll examine how developments in science and technology affect and shape daily life in Japanese-speaking communities. You’ll use your growing language skills to help you interpret unfamiliar words and engage in more complicated texts.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a dialogue)
  • Reading newspaper articles and other texts
  • Preparing a short presentation that includes viewpoints, supporting evidence, and elaboration
  • Getting and providing information in written and spoken exchanges using strategies such as requesting clarification, rephrasing, and asking for repetition
  • Researching information needed to compare and explain 2 sides of a topic

You'll learn more about contemporary life in Japanese-speaking communities and how social status, cultural perspectives, and access to jobs and resources can make an impact on the quality of life.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a radio news broadcast)
  • Reading letters, short stories, and other texts
  • Applying what you’ve learned from working with real-life Japanese-language materials to discuss and explain a cultural topic
  • Taking part in a conversation and correcting yourself when you make mistakes
  • Using kanji, hiragana, and katakana appropriately when you write
  • Preparing and delivering an organized cultural perspective presentation

You'll explore how complex global issues affect people’s lives in Japanese-speaking communities and engage in deeper discussions to suggest possible solutions.

While engaging in activities related to these topics, you’ll practice skills such as:

  • Understanding audio recordings (for example, a public announcement)
  • Reading step-by-step instructions and other texts
  • Taking part in conversations and written exchanges using a variety of vocabulary, sentence structures, and communication strategies
  • Preparing a cultural perspective presentation in which you give different viewpoints on topics using cultural information acquired from sources
  • Explaining and comparing the similarities and differences between 2 topics or options, and then stating a position and supporting it with reasoning

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See Where AP Can Take You

AP Japanese Language and Culture can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 45
Majors 12

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