This introductory course is designed for complete beginners in the study of the Japanese language. The fundamentals of the language will be presented through a carefully graded syllabus. While the emphasis is on a thorough understanding of basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary, it also aims to develop communicative competence in order to prepare students for smooth transition to the study of Japanese at a more advanced level. Students in Year 3 or above are NOT eligible to enroll in this course. N.B. Since Chinese characters are an integral part of this course and will be given no separate introduction by the course instructors, students with no prior knowledge of Chinese characters should ensure that they discuss this issue with their class teacher at the beginning of the semester.