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Upper Intermediate

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Upper Intermediate

Postby Ichigo19 » Sat 04.19.2008 2:20 am

well, I've searched the forums, the wiki, amazon reviews, etc. and while not exactly finding the answers I was looking for, I've come up with more questions so please help me out if you can.

Ok, I reached my goal of 500 kanji and am allowing myself to progress to Intermediate textbooks now.

I have the "Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese" but was wondering if this textbook will take me all the way through Intermediate Japanese to being able to begin Advanced Japanese.

Would it get me to the point where I could begin to use "Authentic Japanese: Progressing from Intermediate to Advanced"?

Is there a textbook that is more advanced than the integrated approach one but not as much as Authentic Japanese?

Has anyone used 中級から学ぶ and know about where to use it at?

I also have The Intermediate Dictionary of Japanese Grammar and AOZORA Intermediate-Advanced Japanese Communication(second edition), Would it be all I need to finish off the Intermediate level?

I really want to get past the beginner phase and into as well as past the intermediate phase so I can start to use Japanese such as watching Japanese tv, talking with Japanese people etc. Any other information would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for so many questions all at once. I don't really like to ask questions/post unless I have quite a few.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby skrhgh3b » Sat 04.19.2008 2:40 pm

I would work through the Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese textbook if I were you. I wasn't a big fan of it (I wasn't a big fan of Nakama, either), but it'll prep you to begin to tackle Japanese texts on your own. Typically, when you reach an "advanced" stage, you begin to move beyond textbooks into materials written by Japanese for Japanese. After all, that's the ultimate goal, isn't it?

I'd also consider getting a good reader. Kodansha International has two readers coming out in June under the Read Real Japanese series, and I'm looking forward to them myself.

I used 中級から学ぶ in a class when I studied abroad, and I actually really liked it. It introduces a lot of useful expressions, but it's richer in exercises than it is in examples or explanations. You might have a little trouble using it without a teacher to answer your questions.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby jt » Sat 04.19.2008 8:18 pm

To state the obvious(?), terms like "intermediate" and "advanced" Japanese are really just vague guidelines used by textbook authors/publishers to give learners a general idea of what level the material is aimed it. It's not "intermediate Japanese" refers to some universally-accepted mandatory curriculum that must be completed before moving on to textbooks labelled "advanced", or to authentic Japanese materials. (Nor is the use of these terms particularly consistent across the board -- I've seen certain books called "Advanced such-and-such" that are lower in level than other texts called "Intermediate", etc.)

This is just my personal experience, but I think that there are certain basic concepts a learner needs to learn and internalize -- particles, basic conjugations of verbs/adjectives/the "copula" (desu/da), modifying clauses, etc. -- before s/he can reasonably take on authentic materials. But once you have the fundamentals down, I don't see the problem with trying to pick up a short story, video game, whatever and trying to pound through it (with a reference book like the Dictionaries of Basic/Intermediate Japanese Grammar on hand.) This is what I did, and I think it served me quite well in that I was comfortable reading "real" Japanese by my second year of study, when many of my classmates -- who had never ventured beyond their textbooks -- were still struggling with short passages even in third/fourth-year Japanese.

This is just talking about reading, though... speaking is a whole different can of worms. To put it simply, no amount of textbook study and reading practice is going to make you comfortable speaking.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby Tenorikuma » Wed 04.23.2008 7:35 am

This is just my personal experience, but I think that there are certain basic concepts a learner needs to learn and internalize -- particles, basic conjugations of verbs/adjectives/the "copula" (desu/da), modifying clauses, etc. -- before s/he can reasonably take on authentic materials.


I have to say that knowing these basics of grammar does not qualify one as even an intermediate learner, and you certainly can't tackle native materials without a vocabulary of several thousand words and a good handle on all those grammatical moods and expressions that don't show up until upper intermediate textbooks (and sometimes not even then).

In short, the intermediate stage of Japanese takes quite a bit of work. It's well worth it, of course, but it's not like French where you can get the gist of nearly anything with a dictionary.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby Ichigo19 » Mon 04.28.2008 5:58 pm

Well I decided I'd get the 中級から学ぶ and Nihongo Keigo Training from the White Rabbit Press.

Now, I've heard/read that if I have the Intermediate Japanese Dictionary or Japanese friends/teacher I shouldn't have any trouble with it. I won't have the possibility to do my study abroad for quite some time so I'll have to rely mostly on the Intermediate Dictionary. I'd like to get my Japanese ability as high as possible before I do my study abroad though so that I can maybe, if at all possible, take higher level classes when I go.

So, I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on another product & skill area.

Self studiers usually seem to lack in speaking/listening so I've found a product, Japanese Live and if anyone has used it, would you see it as necessary/ a must have? Would the Unicom's listening comprehension material better or would it be better to just build listening and such through normally watching Japanese tv/drama etc?

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby Tenorikuma » Tue 04.29.2008 7:31 am

I'm not familiar with the Japanese Live product specifically, but any textbook that has extensive listening exercises and follows them up with comprehension exercises is essential for improving one's listening skills. Simply watching TV doesn't work for everyone (though I do have a plan in the works to try transcribing TV dramas as a study method).
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby nukemarine » Wed 04.30.2008 7:27 am

Tenorikuma wrote:I'm not familiar with the Japanese Live product specifically, but any textbook that has extensive listening exercises and follows them up with comprehension exercises is essential for improving one's listening skills. Simply watching TV doesn't work for everyone (though I do have a plan in the works to try transcribing TV dramas as a study method).


Is that using the Dramanote.Seesaa.Net website that posts transcripts of Japanese dramas? It's far to advanced for me (at the moment ^_^), but probably a good resource for someone that has good grasp of Kanji and vocabulary and grammar.
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Re: Upper Intermediate

Postby Tenorikuma » Thu 05.01.2008 8:56 pm

nukemarine wrote:Is that using the Dramanote.Seesaa.Net website that posts transcripts of Japanese dramas? It's far to advanced for me (at the moment ^_^), but probably a good resource for someone that has good grasp of Kanji and vocabulary and grammar.


No, but thanks for the tip. :) That site looks useful.
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