Understanding Cross-cultural Issues in Advanced English

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Zhou Yujia 
Lecture2  Exercise0  Experiment0
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Fall Semester  /  Recommended semester:2,4,6,8

Outline of lecture

This course is designed to enhance students窶 understanding of various cross-cultural topics by comparing Japanese culture and American culture. For each topic, students will read two short English essays that represent the perspectives of a Japanese and an American. Various reading and listening tasks will help the students understand the notable cultural differences discussed in the texts. The students will also learn to effectively summarize the texts they have read. Other class activities, including group discussion and oral presentation, will provide the students opportunities to express their opinions in English using their own background knowledge. To obtain the full benefits of the course, the students are encouraged to actively participate in all class activities.

Purpose of lecture

This course aims to raise students窶 awareness about cultural differences between Japan and America and to develop students窶 ability to express their opinions in English on various cross-cultural issues.

Plan of lecture

(1) Introduction
(2) Things Japanese say窶謬atemae and Honne
(3) Things Japanese do窶彦ollowing the crowd
(4) Japanese and education窶姫ride in one窶冱 school
(5) Japanese and time窶柊ge is just a number
(6) Japanese fashion窶弼ob hunting
(7) Good American ideas窶膝etting a driver窶冱 license easily
(8) Admirable American manners窶謬he rules of introductions
(9) American attitudes against the unwanted窶姫ublic drunkness
(10) Customer service窶謬he troublesome custom of tipping
(11) How can they do that窶不haring a room with a stranger

Textbook and reference

All materials will be distributed during class.
繝サ窶戲ye on Japan窶柊merican and Japanese views of Japanese culture窶, 2011, Shawn M. Clankie & Kobayashi Toshihiko, Sanshusha.
繝サ窶戲ye on America窶弼apanese and American views of U.S.culture窶, 2008, Kobayashi Toshihiko & Shawn M. Clankie, Sanshusha.

Related and/or prerequisite courses

No specific requirements.


Attendance (30%); Participation in class discussion and presentation (40%); Final exam (30%). In order to earn credits, more than 80% of class attendance is required.


Contact Us:Center for the Study of World Civilizations( Tel:03-5734-3892 )

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