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Participate in Workplace communication

MODULE DESCRIPTOR : This module covers the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to obtain, interpret and convey information in response to workplace requirements.
Upon completion of this module the students/trainees must be able to:

LO1. Obtain and convey workplace information
LO2. Complete relevant work related documents.
LO3. Participate in workplace meeting and discussion.

LO1: Obtain and Convey workplace communication

Effective Communication

Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules.


• Indirect Communication: The Japanese communication pattern is very indirect and far less verbose than what the English-speaking West is familiar with. They rely less on words to convey context and are more attentive to the posture, expression and tone of voice of the speaker to draw meaning from a conversation. In order to maintain harmony throughout conversation and prevent a loss of face on either end, they may use ambiguous speech and understatements to convey their message in a more subtle way. The best way of navigating around this rhetoric to find the underlying meaning is to check for clarification several times using open-ended questions.
• Refusals: The cultural preoccupation with saving face and being polite means that the Japanese may wish to avoid giving a flat “no” or negative response—even when they don’t agree with you. Therefore, focus on hints of hesitation. Listen closely to what they say, but also pay careful attention to what they don’t say and implicitly mean. It’s a good idea to clarify and double check your understanding.
• Laughter: When communicating bad news, a Japanese person may smile and laugh to diffuse the uncomfortable situation. People may also cover their mouth when they giggle. It is rare to see big bursts of laughter with corresponding gestures.


• Physical Contact: The appropriacy of physical contact varies depending on the context in Japan. You can expect a Japanese person to immediately apologise if they bump into or brush against you by accident. However, often the situation is unavoidable (e.g. on crowded public transport). In these situations, people are generally accustomed to a lack of personal space.
• Body Language: The Japanese do not gesture very much while speaking as their body language is largely restrained. Instead, they often hold their hands together as they speak which prevents them from gesturing throughout conversation.
• Eye Contact: The Japanese avoid eye contact with strangers as it is considered rude to stare.
• Facial Expressions: It is common for Japanese people to maintain a placid expression and smile during an interaction regardless of the topic. This evidently differs between personalities, but a modest, reserved demeanour is polite. Furthermore, consider that whilst smiling can indicate happiness, it is sometimes used in an attempt to cover awkwardness or sadness.
• Nodding: Japanese people often nod to acknowledge what is said. However, this does not always mean they agree or understand. It is primarily a gesture made out of politeness.
• Feet: Displaying the soles of your feet is considered rude.
• Inhaling: When a Japanese person inhales air through their teeth, it usually implies disagreement.
• Silence: Silence is an important and purposeful tool used in Asian communication. Pausing before giving a response indicates that someone has applied appropriate thought and consideration to the question. This reflects politeness and respect.
• Beckoning: It is impolite to beckon people who you are not close friends with. Beckoning is done by facing the palm of the hand to the ground and waving one’s fingers towards oneself. Individual fingers should not be used.
• Pointing: Pointing is done using the entire hand unless referring to oneself, in which case they place their index finger on their nose.
• Waving: Shaking the hand with the palm facing forward from side to side means “no”.
• Gestures: A Japanese person may clasp their hands together in front of their chest when apologizing or accepting something. This expresses gratitude and respect.
• Bowing: See ‘Greetings’ for guidelines on how to bow.

Parts of Speech


Nouns in Japanese are fairly immutable. They do not take definite or indefinite articles, gender, and do not change for number.
Although there is no true plural in Japanese, a small number of nouns may take one of several collective suffixes.

Tanaka-san (Mr. Tanaka), Tanaka-san-tachi (Mr. Tanaka and his group).
Certain nouns may take a prefix in polite speech. Most often, native Japanese words
(和語) are preceded by “o-” (“お”), and Sino-Japanese words (漢語) are preceded with “go-” (“ご”). Both are readings of the kanji “御”.
Though primarily used for adding politeness or distance, some words more commonly appear with the prefix than others, and in some cases, never appear without it
(e.g., お茶 [ocha], “green tea”).
Many nouns may be converted into verbs simply by affixing 「する」 (suru) to the end.
“benkyō” (勉強(べんきょう)勉強する(べんきょう) )
Nouns may also function as adjectives when the particle の (no) or な (“na”) is appended.
“ki” (木) means “wood” with “ki no tatemono” (木の(き)建物(たてもの)


Further information: Personal pronouns
Unlike many other languages, Japanese has no true pronouns; since words that are clear from context are usually elided, there is less need for them. In general, natural-sounding Japanese tends to avoid the use of nouns that refer to people except when explicitly needed. This is often a point of confusion for beginners. Pronominals are not grammatically distinct from ordinary nominals: notably, they may take adjectives, which pronouns cannot.
“watashi”, “boku”, “ore”, “watakushi” all mean “I”; and “anata”, “kimi” mean “you”

Further information: Adjectives

A Na-adjective is a nominal that often precedes a copula
(such as ‘na’). Due to the common occurrence of na-adjectives, many Japanese dictionaries write nominals with the ‘na’ included. Na-adjectives are generally adjectival in meaning, as most cannot exist in context without a previously denoted subject; however, one might simply say “げんき な (genki na)” to describe a subject that is understood within the current conversation’s context
(this situation is limited to casual or somewhat informal conversation; using full sentences is almost always necessary when speaking to anyone of higher status). Examples of na-adjectives: “heta na:” unskilled, bad at; “genki na:” healthy, energetic; “orijinaru na:” original

Further information: Verbs
Verbs are where most of the action in Japanese sentences takes place. They are the primary means for controlling levels of politeness in speech,…
Japanese verbs inflect directly for tense, negation, mood, aspect, politeness, and honorific speech.
Unlike English, conjugation of Japanese verbs is extremely regular, with few exceptions. The system takes some getting used to, but once the kana have been learned, a uniform pattern emerges. Verbs are placed into one of three groups: 五段 (godan, aka Type I), 一段 (ichidan, aka Type II), and 不規則 (fukisoku, irregular).
Only two verbs are generally considered irregular in the modern language, 来る (kuru, to come) and する (suru, to do). Despite being such, even they are somewhat regular in their irregularity.

Further information: Adjectives
These inflect for tense, politeness, and honorific speech as well (although not aspect or mood, as they are all stative verbs); an -i adjective will always end in -ai, -ī, -ui, or -oi. (Note that there are also stative -u verbs.)
“utsukushī”: beautiful; “ī”: good; “sugoi”: amazing; “ureshī”: happy

The Copula

Although the copula is not strictly a verb, most of its forms derive from “de aru”, but inflects somewhat irregularly. It retains an “attributive form”, na, used to modify the noun it stands before: however, this form is almost exclusively used after na-adjectives.

Further information: Basic Particles

Particles: Also called postpositions or joshi, particles show the case of nouns in Japanese: that is, they mark nouns as being the subject, object, indirect object, etc. (English typically uses word order or prepositions for the same effect.)

Particles follow the noun they modify.

• wa (は): topic
• ga (が): subject
• o (を): direct object
• no (の): possession, apposition
• ni (に): indirect object, direction “to”, location of existence, etc.
• kara (から): direction “from”
• made (まで): “until”, “as far as”
• de (で): means, location of an action

Some particles are used after sentences instead:

• ka (か): question marker
• yo (よ): marker for giving new information or showing emphasis or certainty
• ne (ね): marker for seeking agreement
• tte (って): informal quotation marker


Adverbs typically modify the entire sentence, although most Japanese quantifiers (including numbers) are actually adverbs, rather than adjectives as in English.

• aikawarazu as always;
• sukoshi (少し) a little, few
• mō sugu soon, before long;
• sō thus, so


Japanese conjunctions typically either apply to nominals (like English “except”) or to predicates (like English “when”), not both (like English “and”).
• mata wa or (n.);
• soshite (そして) and then, and also (pr.);
• ga but (pr.)


Common to every language.
• wā! “wow!”
• are? “huh?”, “wha?”
• ē to “um, er”
• anō “um”

Sentence Construction
[You’re] late.

綺麗 だ
Kirei da.
Pretty is
[It] is pretty.

これ は 本 です
Kore wa hon desu.
This topic book is.
This is a book.

富士山 は 美しい
Fuji-san wa utsukushī.
Mt. Fuji topic beautiful
Mt. Fuji is beautiful.

今日 は あまり 寒くない です
Kyou wa amari samuku-nai desu.
Today topic very cold-NEG-POLITE is
It’s not very cold today. / Today isn’t very cold.

海 を 見ました
Umi o mimashita.
Sea object look at-past
[I] gazed out at the ocean.

お母さん は 店 に 行きました
Okāsan wa mise ni ikimashita.
Mother topic store place/method went-PAST-POLITE
[Her] mother went to the store.

夏 が 来ました
Natsu ga kimashita.
Summer subject come-PAST-POLITE
Summer has come.

LO2: Complete relevant work related documents
Types of Forms
Forms and Documents

In a practical world we are living in, papers play a big role in our lives. Forms and documents hold a great chance of getting a Job, because it is where information is gathered and important information is recorded. Efficiency in this aspect is a tool for the success not only to you but also to the agency as well.

These are the common forms and documents you will be preparing for completion in the workplace:

Document used to present individual’s background and skills. use to secure new employment.

Application Letter
Summarizes knowledge and experiences of employee and details as to why he/she is qualified for the job. formal introduction with your potential employer.

A legal agreement between two or more competent industries, have to do with employment, sale or lease, or tenancy.

Times sheet
Method used for recording the number of hours worked.

Leave Forms
Request for leave of absence during critical conditions.

Safe Working Forms
Determine a projects compliance with safe working procedures.

Contact List
Records the names, contact numbers, addresses of persons and offices.

Client Letters
Letters containing the concerns of the client.

List of products and prices issued by a seller

Written reports on workplace activities (Accident or Incident reports)

For internal communications; short for “memorandum” meaning “to be remembered”.

Letters in electronic form.

Technical Writing
What comprises written communication?

or the reason why you are writing.
or the receiver of your message; reader.
or the message you are going to say to your reader.
or how you will say your message to your reader.

These are the considerations in planning and in the actual writing of your document. keep in mind that every purpose has a corresponding type of communication and any type has a corresponding format .
Enable for you to succeed in writing a particular document, you must learn and remember the
Qualities of an effective written communication:

Avoid unnecessary details. go direct to the point.

Do not generalize. Be specific. Avoid abstract words.

Think before you write. you must plan your writing to be sure it is complete. do not omit or delete important details.

Do not let your reader feel pressured. make them feel that they can benefit from the action, instead.

Be polite of your words and observe tact.

Double-check your document. (look for errors in grammar, spelling, format, or punctuation.)

Basic Mathematics
The Methodology of Japan Math

When Japan Math’s learning methodology was created, it was designed with the values and beliefs of the Japanese educational system in mind. For us, the most important thought was the idea that through their lessons and curriculum, students should be discovering concepts and skills for themselves.
Why does Japanese education place such importance on the idea of the self-possessed student? ? This specific educational approach fosters a sense of ownership in students as they move through their learning journey. Japan Math’s program heavily emphasizes the idea of students thinking for themselves and strengthening their own problem-solving skills, rather than teachers giving students the solutions too quickly.
What other Japanese education values can you see in our curriculum? Here are just a few:
1. Nurturing a sense of joy in students at the prospect of math and problem-solving to create a positive attitude toward learning.
2. Encouraging the ability to think independently and outside the box.
3. Strengthening problem-solving skills to the point that students can attempt more difficult problems using the skills and concepts they have previously learned.
Japan Math curriculum is designed to get your students excited about learning and problem-solving. We’re not concerned as to whether a student solves a problem correctly on their first try. Instead, our program focuses on encouraging positive attitudes while tackling new, harder problems.

The Japan Math process
So, what is the Japan Math learning process? It’s a series of steps that your students will go through for each new concept and skill, for every unit. The steps are as follows:
• Try
• Understand
• Apply
• Master

Let’s take a look at each step individually.
The very first step is “Try,” where your student will be given a problem that they may not necessarily have the skills to solve yet. Even though this problem is slightly difficult, it will usually be based on real-world circumstances that are easy for your student to understand.
In this step, your student is encouraged to think back on the skills they have previously learned and see if those concepts can aid them to solve new problems. They are also asked to brainstorm and work together with their fellow classmates. even provide them with a place to write their ideas and the ideas of their friends in their workbook.
After the students have tried the new problem for the unit, the teacher will review the answers from the class, encouraging discussion of different tactics and approaches. Once this discussion is complete, it’s time for the “Understand” step.
To achieve a solid understanding of a new concept, students must reflect upon the problem-solving process of the “Try” step. This may include reviewing and discussing questions like this:
• What did the problem ask them to find?
• What were the differences between this problem and the problems they’ve worked on previously?
• What concepts or skills did they need to know to solve the problem?
• What kinds of operations were necessary or helpful to solve the problem?
• Why were those operations effective?
The teacher’s role during the “Understand” step is to encourage deeper thinking by the students as they reflect on these questions. Then, they will come together as a class and decide which concepts were most important as they solved the “Try” problem and what part of the problem required new skills.
During the “Understand” step, students will solidify their understanding of the newly introduced concepts, with guidance from their teacher.

The ability to choose a helpful, appropriate method for solving a problem, and to be able to execute this with speed and accuracy, are important skills in mathematics. After gaining a thorough understanding of a new concept, the next step in Japan Math’s process, students proceed to “Apply” to refine these skills.
In the “Apply” step, there are several different configurations of problems where students can use the knowledge learned in the “Understand” step. These include problems similar to those seen in the “Try” step, helping students understand that the same concepts and operations can be applied even if the problems seem different. Solving these problems improve students’ speed, accuracy, and confidence.
Sometimes, students get stuck on a particular problem. That’s okay! When this happens, it’s important to take a step back and review the foundation of the new concept. If they’re still stuck, they can return to previous pages in their workbooks to look for clues, to show students that they can apply previously acquired knowledge to almost every problem. They’ll also be able to learn that when they are having trouble with a particular problem, the key to the answer can be found by returning to the basics of their newly-learned concept.

Ideally, once a student has a firm grasp on the new concept, every problem in the “Apply” step will be solved by each student alone, without the help of their teacher or their fellow students. Once this is completed, your students have reached the final and most exciting step of the Japan Math process – “Master!” This should be celebrated before moving on to the next unit, in order to continue fostering a joy for learning and a passion for problem-solving.
The Complete Process
This process will be repeated for each lesson, allowing your students to progressively build on the concepts and skills they learned previously, while still tackling new problems with the help of their problem-solving skills and their classmates. By completing these steps in each unit, the curriculum helps your students develop an internal process for problem-solving that will be a foundation for all future mathematic endeavors.

LO3: Participate in workplace meeting and Discussion

Communication is the backbone of any office environment. This is no different in Japan.
Language is important for communicating, but it’s more than just saying the right words. It’s usually much more nuanced. Your delivery of a statement can impact its meaning. Your body language can also affect how your words are interpreted. These subtle cues can vary across languages.
So even if you have all the words right, your intended meaning can still miss its mark. It’s important for you to acknowledge that misunderstandings are inevitable. It’s also critical for you to be forgiving of mistakes made by your coworkers.

How Should you Address Your Coworkers?

This one is probably a no-brainer to individuals familiar with Japan, but Japanese social interactions usually use family names (or surnames) instead of given (first) names. The conservative nature of Japanese corporate culture means that this will likely be the case wherever you’re employed.

Bowing Etiquette

People familiar with Japan will probably be aware that the Japanese bow instead of shaking hands. Men bow with their arms at their sides, palms flat against their thighs. Women bow with their hands in front of them, arms drawn inwards to make a slight V shape and palms flat against the tops of their thighs.
Bowing is used in formal greetings. You will undoubtedly encounter it while working in Japan as bowing to your clients is paramount.
Something important to keep in mind is that the steeper you bow, the more formal it becomes. Bumping into someone on the street might just involve a “head bob” bow. If you’re bowing to a business client, you should bow at a 45° angle.

Dealing with Problems in the Office

You need to pick your battles, especially since misunderstandings are bound to happen due to the language barrier. In general, Japanese people try to preserve the harmony within a group. If someone said something that came off as aggressive, they might not have understood the nuance of what they said.
Because of their desire to maintain the group harmony, Japanese people can come across as very passive aggressive to Americans. They place much more importance on reading between the lines than we do. It’s important to try to consider other ways they may be trying to communicate.

Your coworkers may not tell you “no” directly. Instead they might say something like chotto muzukashii (ちょっと難しい) or “it’s a bit difficult” to let you down gently.
If you’re from a highly sarcastic culture, you should note that it will not be picked up on. Sarcasm tends to have a negative connotation in Japan, and your coworkers will take what you say literally.
This can cause issues, It is recommend to avoid it entirely in the workplace.

Implementing Change in Japan…Impossible?

Sometimes, you’ll think of a much more efficient way of doing something. It could be emailing documents instead of faxing them. It could be rearranging the desks to make the office easier to navigate. You might have an idea that could revolutionize the company.
Getting the agreement of one or two coworkers will not trigger any sort of change, even if it’s something as small as the kind of staples your office uses. Sometimes, they might even shoot you down. Changing something in Japan is lot of work and your colleagues may not want to put in the effort.
You need to understand that consensus is the only way change happens in Japan. Without acknowledgment that your idea is better from a significant portion of your coworkers, it will likely not happen. In a big company, you may even need multi-level managerial approval before the change can be implemented. This can take weeks or months.
But if you’re determined that your way is better and can prove it to your whole office, the change may happen eventually

Japanese Meetings

Japanese office meetings are reflective of their desire for the agreement of their peers. They value reaching a decision everyone is happy with. This also saves individuals from the shame of making a mistake. It probably seems excessively tedious to a foreigner, but that’s how it is.

After work hours

In the West, we have a pretty strong separation of work and home life. As such, our work parties usually take place during lunch. Sometimes they happen outside of the office, but they’re usually within the building. We wouldn’t consider missing a work party unless we’re out of the office or are under heavy pressure from a deadline.
Japanese work parties, however, almost always take place after hours and away from work. Sometimes it might be going to the izakaya (Japanese pub) across the street. Other times, it might be a reservation at a restaurant that lasts for hours. These are usually called nomikai (drinking parties).
Foreigners tend to be more reluctant to attend these gatherings because they occur after work. Most of the time, we just want to go home. These parties can be weekly occurrences in some companies, so it might feel excessive.
But it’s important to remember that your absence will be missed. Try to attend at least half of the parties, so that your coworkers won’t misinterpret your absence as distaste for their companionship.

Is Communication in Japan Overwhelming?
There is a lot to remember when it comes to interacting with your Japanese coworkers. The upside is that they probably won’t expect you to be a master right off the bat. The important thing is to make a visible effort and don’t beat yourself up too much when you make a mistake.

Sentence Construction

Use Office Greetings (挨拶)
Many Japanese interactions center around the proper aisatsu (挨拶),or greetings. It might even be one of the first things you notice in Japan. Retail and restaurant workers will yell, “Irasshaimase!” when you enter their establishment.
You’ll inevitably encounter some greetings at the office. You may want to brush up on them before your first day.
Important Greetings to Know
1. Ohayou Gozaimasu (おはようございます)
This is used when greeting a coworker for the first time in the morning.
2. Ittekimasu (いってきます):
This is used when you are leaving your desk.
3. Itterasshai (いってらっしゃい):
This is said when a coworker is leaving but will be returning later in the day.
4. Tadaima Modorimashita (ただいま戻りました):
This is said upon returning to your desk.
5. Osewa ni Narimashita (お世話になりました):
This one is more nuanced. It is usually said when thanking a coworker for assisting you with something.
6. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu (よろしくお願いします):
This one is also more nuanced. It is usually said when you ask a coworker for help. It is also added to the end of a lot of emails, especially if you’ve asked a co-worker to do something on your behalf.
7. Otsukaresama Desu (お疲れ様です):
The rules of this phrase have changed over time. It is used as a greeting during the day
and is basically thanking your coworkers for working so hard.
8. Osaki ni Shitsurei Shimasu (お先に失礼します):
This is used when leaving work before all of your coworkers have finished. It’s basically an apology for leaving work before them.

Recording Information

A record is recorded information however recorded whether in printed form, on file, by electronic means or otherwise and includes correspondence, a memorandum, a book, a plan, a map, a drawing, a diagram, a pictorial or graphic work, a photograph, a film, a microfilm, a sound recording, a videotape, a machine readable record, any other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and any copy thereof. It further states that any information that is capable of being produced by a machine and subject to the regulations any record that is capable of being produced from a machine readable record under the control of an institution by means of computer hardware and software or any other information storage equipment and technical expertise normally used by the institution.

Why Are Records Important?
Records are important for their content and as evidence of communication, decisions, actions, and history. As public institutions, school boards/authorities are accountable to the public and to government. Records support openness and transparency by documenting and providing evidence of work activities and by making them available to the public. Records support quality program and services, inform decision making, and help meet organizational goals.

Characteristics of a Record

The International Standard Organization (ISO) Standard 15849 – Information and Documentation – Records Management defines the characteristics of a record. In addition to demonstrating accountability, a record should sup- port organizational needs.

Records Should Have:

• Content: A record should reflect what was communicated or decided or what action was taken, and should pro- vide enough information so that it is understood.
• Context: It should reflect how it was used or why it was created (purpose), the date, the time, and the participants.
• Meaning: It should be linked to other documents or information to which it relates.

A record is one that can be proven:
• to be what it purports to be;
• to have been created or sent by the person purported to have created or sent it; and
• to have been created or sent at the time purported.

Records must be trusted to be a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities, or facts and can be relied upon in subsequent activities. To ensure reliability, records should be created at the time of the transaction or incident or soon afterwards and by individuals with direct knowledge of the facts.

A record must be complete and unaltered and must be protected from unauthorized changes, and verifiable unaltered.
To be useable, records must be retrievable, presented, and interpreted. The links between other records should be maintained.

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