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All schools that want to label a course “AP” must get authorization by going through the AP Course Audit. This means submitting two things:

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit Form
  • A course syllabus

Teachers have the option to create their own syllabus or adopt one of the sample syllabi provided. A teacher-created syllabus is checked by our reviewers to ensure that the course fulfills the AP Program’s course-specific curricular and resource requirements.

We offer plenty of resources, below, to help teachers understand course requirements and create a syllabus that fulfills these.

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Designing Your AP Japanese Language and Culture Course

The AP Japanese Language and Culture course should be designed by your school to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of a college course that develops students’ proficiencies throughout the Intermediate Mid to Intermediate Low range of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Your course should be designed to support students as they develop the productive, receptive, and cultural skills necessary to communicate with and understand native speakers and writers of Japanese.

Students enrolling in AP Japanese Language and Culture are typically in their fourth or fifth year of language study, or have had equivalent experience with the language.

Getting to Know the Course and Exam

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the AP course and exam.

Creating Your Syllabus

Use these resources to design your syllabus.


Download this document for more help creating your syllabus.

These four annotated sample AP Japanese Language and Culture syllabi show how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

Your course must fulfill these requirements, and your syllabus should make it clear how the requirements will be addressed.

AP Japanese Language and Culture curricular requirements:

  • The teacher has read the most recent AP Japanese Language and Culture Course Description (.pdf/2.3MB).
  • The course prepares students to demonstrate their level of Japanese proficiency across the three communicative modes—Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational—at the Intermediate Mid to Intermediate Low range of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and as articulated in Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (Standards). (For Standards descriptions, see Standards Executive Summary. For Intermediate Mid and Intermediate Low proficiency descriptions, see ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.)
  • In addition to communication, the course also addresses the Standards’ other four goals: cultural competence, connections to other school disciplines, comparisons between the target language and culture and those of the learners, and the use of the language within the broader communities beyond the traditional school environment.
  • The teacher uses Japanese almost exclusively in class and encourages students to do likewise.
  • The teacher ensures that the selected themes and topics are developmentally and intellectually appropriate for the students.
  • The teacher chooses from among both conventional print and aural materials such as textbooks, audiovisual materials, and web-based content designed for language learning. He or she also makes use of materials generally used by native Japanese speakers, such as print and web-based texts; animated computer programs; and video-, CD-, and DVD-based products. The teacher scaffolds students’ experiences with these texts, particularly those that would normally be considered beyond the grasp of high school students.
  • The course teaches students to develop both communication and language-learning strategies.
  • The teacher plans and implements structured cooperative learning activities to support ongoing and frequent interpersonal interaction, and employs a range of instructional strategies to meet the diverse needs of her or his learners.
  • Formative and summative assessments are frequent, varied, and explicitly linked to the Standards’ goal areas. Prior to assigning an assessment task, teachers share with their students the criteria against which their performances will be evaluated.
  • The course provides students with frequent opportunities to conduct web searches, word process, and email in Japanese.

AP Japanese Language and Culture resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a copy of the texts utilized in the course for use inside and outside of the classroom, and has frequent access, during instruction, to a computer capable of inputting and displaying Japanese text.
  • The school facilitates student use, outside of instructional time, of in-school or public library computers capable of inputting and displaying Japanese text.

Because world language instruction targets proficiency building, which can be accomplished in multiple ways with or without a specific textbook, the AP Japanese Language and Culture course does not have a list of example textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Japanese Language and Culture.

Before you submit your syllabus, use this checklist to make sure it has all the elements required.