Students begin to develop language competency within the context of culturally rich thematic units. Performance-based activities allow students to speak and write in practiced and familiar situations. Listening and reading skills are developed through the use of authentic materials to interpret basic stated information in familiar contexts. Students explore the Japanese speaking culture(s), as well as make comparisons and connections to their own experiences. Communication in the classroom (teacher-student and/or student-student) takes place primarily in Japanese.