Japanese 3 is somewhat of a departure from the topical curriculum used in levels 1 and 2 that focuses on students’ lives here. Instead, there are two organizing ideas or themes that guide curricular and learning decisions, pointing toward Japan and Japanese culture. The first is “Going to Japan”. Having this as a theme means that students will be focused on learning Japanese for use in situations that they would likely encounter if they were studying, living or working in Japan. The second theme is “Things any Japanese person would know” [日本人誰でも知っていること]. It could be something practical like knowing how to “do” math in Japanese, or knowing about the Japanese public transportation system. Or it could be something not especially useful, like knowing Japanese proverbs or tongue twisters, or knowing how to sing the Japanese national anthem. With this theme, students will have the opportunity and responsibility to choose what they want to learn, provided that it meets the criteria of being something that any Japanese person would know. In fact, as Japanese 3 is essentially an elective course taken almost exclusively by seniors, it is my intention to give students many opportunities to decide the direction we will take or the content of units of study, either as a group or for themselves individually.