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Japanese Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 Japanese Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the Japanese Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses (for example です/でした/ます/ました)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • plain form

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 400 ji. Write an article for your school’s newsletter, reflecting on what studying a foreign language has meant for you.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date and weather (for example 2009年6月29日、雨のちくもり)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • concluding statement (for example もうねむいのでここでおわります。)
  • sign off with name (optional)

Language features

  • written in the first person (keep the tone/perspective of the character from whose perspective you are writing)
  • usually written in past tense (でした/ました)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • plain form

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Answer the following question by writing approximately 150 ji. Write a diary entry about something unexpected that happened at school today.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutations and endings – less conventional than a normal letter, which may need ~さんへ、~より
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example メール待っています。or じゃ、またね。)

Language features

  • range of tenses (for example です/でした/ます/ました)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • plain form or polite form (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample questions – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 150 ji. Write an email to your Japanese friend informing him/her of your reasons for cancelling an outing that you had planned together for the weekend.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

Write approximately 400 ji. You have decided to take next year off between school and university to do some volunteer work. Write an email to a friend to persuade him/her to do the same.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse

Structure

  • salutations (for example ~さんへ、こんにちは。お元気ですか。)
  • letter conventions (for example ~さんへ、~より、お元気ですか。私はげんきで。)
  • comment/statement about the weather, date at the end

Language features

  • subjective language (for example 私は…)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship between participants (for example letter to a friend or letter to a teacher)

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 400 ji. Write a letter to a Japanese friend to convince him/her to join you on a one-month trip around Japan.

2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 13 (b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean plain form)

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • plain form or polite form (be consistent throughout the message)

Sample questions – 書いてみよう!

Answer the following question by writing approximately 150 ji. You are an exchange student at a Japanese high school. You have borrowed something belonging to your Japanese host brother without asking him. Send him an SMS message to explain why.

2011 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2011

Answer the following question by writing approximately 150 ji. Your Japanese friend is about to return to Japan after living in Australia for one year. Write a message for a farewell card in which you describe why you will miss him/her.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean plain form)

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • plain form or polite form (be consistent throughout the note)

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 150 ji. Your exchange student is catching the bus to school for the first time this morning. Write a note explaining how to behave on an Australian bus.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • often written in present tense
  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • plain form or polite form

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 150 ji. You are a university student in Japan currently living in a dormitory. You are looking to share accommodation off campus. Write a notice to put up on the university notice board. (Not from a past HSC examination.)

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (~さんへ、~より)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending

Language features

  • descriptive language
  • personal impressions
  • often written in past tense, for example where you went, what you did, what you saw (でした/ました)

Sample questions – 書いてみよう!

Answer the following question by writing approximately 150 ji. You are on exchange in Japan and have moved to a new host family. Write a postcard to your old host family describing the area in which you are living now.

2010 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

Answer the following question by writing approximately 150 ji. You have just spent an enjoyable day with your host family in Japan. Write a postcard to your Japanese class in Australia describing the day.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person (私)
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (for example でした/ました)
  • time words to connect events (for example 前に/~た後で/間/時/~て/~てから/そして/それから)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example そして/それから/それに/だから/しかし/でも)

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 400 ji. You have been living in Japan for six months. Write an article for a Japanese youth magazine in which you reflect on your initial experiences and how you have adjusted to living in Japan.

Adapted from 2002 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (9 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2002

(Even though this question asks you to write an article, it is a recount as you have to write about previous experience.)

Note: This question is now worth 10 marks.

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features

  • supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • factual
  • language specific to the topic
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example そして/それから/それに/だから/しかし/でも)

Sample question

Write approximately 400 ji. Your Japanese school is reviewing school rules and uniform policy. As the president of the Student Representative Council, you have been asked to prepare a report giving feedback from a student perspective. Write this report, including in it suggestions for improvements.

Adapted from 2004 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 14(b) (9 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2004

Note: This question is now worth 10 marks.

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (今日は~についてインタビューしたいと思います。)
  • question and response sequence. If writing horizontally, initials followed by a colon can be used, for example A: and B:. If writing vertically, the speakers’ names or first name initial or A and B can be used followed by a blank box. (Note: This is not how it is done in Japan but is usually the way in which interviews and conversations are presented in text books and the simplest way to set it out for exam purposes)
  • use of filler expressions and あいづち (for example ええと/あのう、ああ/はい/あのう)
  • conclusion (for example インタビューありがとうございました。OR 今日は来てくださってありがとうございました。)

Language features

  • question forms (by the interviewer)
  • register – use polite language (for example です/ますform)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (optional, for example つぎに)

Sample questions – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 400 ji. A journalist from Nihongo magazine has interviewed you about how your interest in Japanese culture has developed over the years. Write the script of the interview.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

Write approximately 400 ji. You recently completed a month of work experience. Write the script of a speech for your school assembly in which you reflect on this experience.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations (for example みなさん、おはようございます。)
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example 今日は、~について話したいと思います。)
  • ideas and information organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example さいごまで聞いてくれてありがとうございます。/これで私のスピーチはおわりです。)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses
  • usually subjective language (this depends on the context)

Sample question – 書いてみよう!

Write approximately 400 ji. You have started your own travel company specialising in tours for university students. You will give a talk at a travel expo in Tokyo. Write the script of your speech persuading students to come on your tour in Australia.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Japanese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

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