I have been learning Japanese for a little while and have reached a lower intermediate level (for those who know the British system, I have an AS Level grade C).
I've never lived in Japan and as I am what can be called a "mature student", it looks unlikely I'll ever live there. All this to try and explain that having reached an intermediate level and not having the opportunity to go to Japan very much at all, it has been hard finding teaching resources (or indeed teachers) which match my level.
The best textbook in my view is the Mirai series by Pearson/Heinmann. It is designed for secondary school pupils in Australia but I think it has the best pedagogy of all the textbooks I have looked at/used.
They really integrate kanji learning to the rest of the lesson. They have understood that I can only cope with so many kanji at one given time. The progression is well paced and the expectations are reasonable.
After I finished GCSE, the experiences I have had were as follows: 1.Teacher gave long list of kanji and said learn on your own - I found that pretty much impossible 2.Textbooks gave kanji not relevant to topic being studied 3.Whenever I shared my difficulties the answer was that that was the way it was and kanji had to be learnt that way.
I am quite stubborn so I did not give up. I found Mirai and I like it. I feel I'm learning less but better (as opposed to trying to cram in lots of kanji and not retaining any at the end).
I haven't seen the Mirai books reviewed anywhere? Any thoughts?
Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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