Snowden International School

Snowden International School

​150 Newbury Street  Boston Massachusetts 02116

Japanese students from Gunma prefecture visit Snowden's 10th-grade class in 2017 (below)

Japanese students from Gunma

visit Snowden's 11th-grade class on March 2018 (above)

IB Japanese Ab Initio Year 1 and 2 Class Syllabus 2018 –19



IB Japanese Ab Initio is a 2 year accelerated course for 11th and 12th grade students.  For IB full diploma candidates this course is considered a standard level (SL) course having a minimum of 150 hours of contact time.  Students will take the IB Japanese Ab Initio examination at the end of their second year of study.


The Ab Initio course is a continuation of the skills introduced in the first two years. Throughout the course, students will learn to communicate using more complex language structures and sharpen their receptive, productive, and interactive skills in the Japanese language.  These skills are defined as follows:

Receptive: the ability to comprehend written and spoken language
Productive: the ability to write and speak the target language effectively
Interactive: the ability to understand and respond effectively to written and spoken language

Students develop these skills through a range of individual and group tasks using different types of texts in the language.  Ultimately students will gain more confidence and knowledge to apply the language in and out of class. 


In this course, students are taught to understand Japanese customs and culture as well as the language. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture by examining it more closely and make connections and comparisons with their own culture.  Various texts and audio-visual presentations will be used as a means of exploring different aspects of the culture and how the society functions with a focus on the following themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organization, and sharing the planet.  Consequently, students learn how to respect cultures and customs different from their own.


Why do Japanese people bow when they greet or make apologies?  What are the cultural implications behind this?
What does “being late” mean in Japanese culture and other cultures of the world?
What does “being polite” mean?  How do forms of address vary from culture to culture?
How and to what extent does the spoken language reflect the culture of the people?  Make a comparison between the people of your culture and Japanese speakers and 
their cultures, include differences in gestures that mean the same things.


3-ring binder with lined filler paper OR notebook
Pocket Folder for homework, kanji quizzes etc.
Daily internet access
Dictionary  -  I will make some recommendations

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Japanese Classes

Ms. Wilson Daboussi