Faculty :  MFL                                                                       

Level: A level

Examination Board  / website : Edexcel https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/japanese-2018.html

Assessment Details :

Paper 1: Translation into English, reading comprehension and writing (research question) - 2 ½ hours, 80 marks, 40% of A-level.

Paper 2: Translation into Japanese and written response to works – 2 hours 40 mins, 110 marks, 30% of A-level.

Paper 3: Listening, reading and writing – 2 hours 15 mins, 60 marks, 30% of A-level.

Practical Examinations (Unit titles, duration, % weighting, dates): n/a

Coursework (Unit titles, duration, % weighting, submission dates): n/a

Course Outline:

Papers 1, 2 and 3 will be based on content from the following four themes. The four themes address a range of content related to society past and present, as well as aspects of the political, artistic and intellectual culture of Japan. They are set in the context of Japan only. Themes 1 and 3 focus on Japanese society past and present, Theme 2 focuses on Japanese artistic and intellectual culture past and present and Theme 4 focuses on Japanese political culture past and present.  Each theme is broken into two sub-themes and a research subject . Each sub-theme and research subject is divided into a series of aspects.  Students are required to select only one research subject for Paper 1. For their research, students must cover all three aspects of the research subject. Teachers should consider students’ individual circumstances when giving them guidance on selecting an appropriate research subject.

Theme 1: The Changing Life of Young People


  • Education system and education reform (after the “relaxed education system”)
  • Examinations and cram schools
  • The Ministry of Education and its curriculum management

Healthy Lifestyle (Mind and Body)

  • Young people under pressure
  • Negative impact on health and diet
  • Bullying

Theme 2: Changing Cultures

Changing Popular Culture

  • Anime and manga
  • Music
  • Martial arts

Impact of Technology

  • Advancements of technology
  • Robots
  • Increased automation

Theme 3: Changing Attitude towards Life

Changing Attitudes towards Work

  • Breakdown of jobs-for-life system
  • Changing attitudes towards work
  • Economic Migration

The Prolonged Recession

  • Impact on daily living
  • The government’s actions
  • Economic globalisation
  • Accepting foreign workers

Theme 4: After the Great East Japan Earthquake

March 11th and the Aftermath

  • Quake and tsunami damage
  • Refuge life
  • Rescue and aid
  • The reaction overseas

Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Rebuilding affected areas
  • Volunteering and national unity
  • Efforts to overcome the difficulties
  • Mental healthcare

Skills / Aptitudes required to be successful in this course :

Organisation, secure knowledge of GCSE grammar and tenses, resilience, independence, good standard of written Japanese, good memory, interest in Japanese culture, willingness to give opinions, debate and share ideas.

Goes well with: Any other subject! Humanities, film/media studies, drama, law, English literature, other languages etc.

Pathways – Career and /or further study possibilities, using this subject:

Again, languages are very helpful in any career as they enable you to communicate with a broader range of people. Lots of universities offer combined degrees or the opportunity to study abroad/do a sandwich year and languages will help you stand out as a good candidate for this kind of course.

For further information, please contact: Miss Y. Kidoguchi, AST and teacher of Japanese ykidog@hendonschool.co.uk


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