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Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

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Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Senescence » Sun 09.11.2005 7:17 am

Hi everyone,
Im an intermediate learner I suppose (lived in Japan for a year and studied nothing but the language and healthy living), and I was wondering where I could go after completing Genki. Im almost positive there isnt a Genki III, because if there was, I would buy it in a heartbeat. However, Ive had a little over a year since Ive lived in Japan, I still have the Genki books, but I think I need something a little more advanced at this stage.

To give you a feel for where Im at, I'll try to break it down...

2 years of diligent study...1 of which I lived in Japan, with NO other native English speakers around

Good knowledge of about 600-700 Kanji through Boujinsha's Basic Kanji Book Series

I also have Kodansha's Kanji Learners Dictionary, and at the rate of which I study, Kanji has quickly become NO PROBLEM at all for me. Ive actually began to love it.

I study for about 3-4 hours a day on my own...and I know for a fact that my vocabulary has surpassed my grammar. I really think that I need a grammar workbook to get me back to speed here.

Ive got a book about Japanese Onomatopeia (by Hiroko Fukuda), and some of the stuff in there is really useful, if not daunting.

Im also an Assistant Japanese 201 teacher at my University. For the time being though, my school doesnt offer any Japanese classes that I havent taken so I just teach for credit now.

The question is, where do I go from here? Like I said, I know my grammar is the biggest issue, and I would like to address that ASAP.

And finally, one of my goals in life (although I'll probably be there very soon) is to conquer the level 2 Nou-ken. Ive never taken one before, but people tell me that I would blow the level 3 away, and that I should be shooting for level 2. Regardless, Ive gotta get my grammar up to snuff.

(If you need to see some of my writing to make an educated decision, just say something, I'll post an EMail that I wrote to my Japanese mom or my girlfriend...its no problem at all)
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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Daichi » Sun 09.11.2005 7:48 am

I think you've answered your own question.

You say grammar is currently your weak point, so I would say your idea to get a grammar workbook is perhaps your best option.

I recently tried one - 'Japanese: A Comprehensive Grammar', which for a low-level beginner was pretty heavy stuff, and I couldn't make head nor tail of it. However, as an intermediate I think it would be pretty good for you.

It organises each grammar point alphabetically, so instead of going from start to finish, you look up the specific point that you want to study, or that you're having trouble with.
Last edited by Daichi on Mon 09.12.2005 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Mukade » Sun 09.11.2005 8:13 am

The "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" and "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" reference books are fantastic. They include extensive examples for each grammar point listed, as well as details on the fine nuance in meaning between the listed example and other, similar, grammar points.

There are also several good books for referencing grammar and kanji that appear on the Proficiency Test. Most of them are by Japanese publishers, so I don't know how readily available they would be abroad. One reliable publisher is ALC (their website is http://www.alc.co.jp). Another is 3 A Network (http://www.3anet.co.jp).

Keep in mind that since these are Japanese publishers, they tend to create textbooks according to Japanese standards. I.e., provide a list of grammar for the student to study, provide another list of grammar for the student to study, etc. There won't be many exercises and illustrated examples. But if all you're looking for is a reference for the test, they can be invaluable.

Of course, the very best way to improve your Japanese once you've gotten to the level you are at is to just come back to Japan and live here for another few years. Check out the JET program as an extremely easy way to get over here, housing and visa provided. At your level, you might want to check out the CIR position, where you would be working in a local kenchou and doing nothing but speaking Japanese all day. JET's website, if you don't already know, is http://www.jetprogramme.org

Good luck!

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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Senescence » Sun 09.11.2005 8:35 pm

thanks guys. And Mukade, I think youve got it figured out there. If anything is all-encompassing, its the proficiency test. Id like to get that dictionary on grammar, and the second one if thats not too bad, but for the time being Ive gotta get something for the Noken I imagine.

Im not sure how much proper material for that is, is there anyone who knows an ALL-ENCOMPASING source that would be perfect for indepentent study?

Also I'll be on the JET Program soon enough. I just have to graduate from college here. Im planning on doing the normal teaching program because I like teaching and its a decent paying position. I just find it rewarding.
Last edited by Senescence on Sun 09.11.2005 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 09.12.2005 12:02 am

Just a note,

The proficiency test is actually not that all-encompassing, as it gives only lip service to keigo and has NO speaking or writing sections. It's a good test to judge your reading ability (the listening is a joke). In addition to the JLPT, I would also suggest the JETRO business test, which test you on your business japanese as well as your spoken and keigo. For communication, it is a much better test than the proficiency test, in my opinion.
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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Senescence » Mon 09.12.2005 7:13 am

Thanks a bunch Harisenbon.
Any type of test would be new to me as Ive never really had anything of the sort to test out my proficiency in the past. When I lived in Japan, all of my professors were pretty lax about my testing and didnt give me anything too formal. I think they were just suprised I wasnt there simply to party all night and skip class in the day.

However, the JETRO sounds like a pretty good deal, but naturally it means that Ive gotta learn business words which Im probably about as good at right now as political words in English...that is to say pretty awful.

Anyways, if anyone could point me to the best resources for stuff like that, I would really appreciate it.
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RE: Where to go after Genki I & II (Intermediate Learner)

Postby Senescence » Sun 09.18.2005 5:19 pm

thanks for all the help everyone, Ive got some books on the way, and Im still looking into materials for the JETRO or JLPT.

Right now I kinda have a seperate question altogether to ask. Out of all of the flashcard-type programs available for PC, what one works the best, and is the easiest to input things into? Cost isnt an issue, if it is a great tool, I dont mind ponying up some dough for it. All opinions are welcome!
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