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Good teaching method?

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Good teaching method?

Postby aradu » Mon 10.03.2005 2:41 pm

I came to US 3 weeks ago and I started school 1 week ago, so I'm still quite new to everything here. I'm reading Japanese 101 with no previous experience, and I'm very excited to learn this language. However, when I first got to the class I was almost shocked. The teacher began to speak Japanese and she continued during the class. The last 10 minutes she began to speak in English and explained what we are going to do in the class. I'm not sure if this is the way languages are taught in America, but I remember back in Sweden, everything was explained in Swedish.

I have to say that it felt really weird during the first and second day, but now I can make sense of what she's talking about. She explains the words in Japanese and let us repeat. We've also done a few conversations.

One more thing which we are not allowed to do is writing in romaji. It's very hard before you know all Hiraganas. I suppose it's better to force yourself into learning Hiragana, without spending too much time with romaji.

So my question is; is this the way languages are taught in America or is it just this particular teacher? Does anyone else have any experience with this way of being taught, and is it good?
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RE: Good teaching method?

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 10.03.2005 4:28 pm

it's not necessarily the way foreign languages are taught in classrooms in america, but it is the best way, no question about it. you'll eventually get the hang of things as your listening skills improve, and that's the whole point, after all.
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RE: Good teaching method?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 10.03.2005 8:02 pm

I'm so jealous. I had english Japanese classes until I was out of college. Even though we never wrote in romaji, class was primarily in English.

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RE: Good teaching method?

Postby Hiro » Mon 10.03.2005 8:21 pm

It may not be the easiest method, but I would agree with the opinion that it's the best method. That's how my French 12 teacher taught us -- she just immersed us directly into fluent conversation, a lot of repetition, and a lot of difficult writing assignments, but we all learned the language very quickly. (I'm not American, but I'm assuming that the Canadian second-language education system is somewhat similar.)
Last edited by Hiro on Mon 10.03.2005 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Good teaching method?

Postby Die » Mon 10.03.2005 9:59 pm

You'd have to clarify a bit more how much Japanese the instructor was laying on you. You're saying from day 1 that she immediately lectured in Japanese and refused to say one English word? Does she ever answer student's questions in English, and are you allowed to speak in English?

In my schooling system that is usually only reserved for the higher level foreign language classes. Once you to get to the third year in a foreign language, the class is primarily taught in the foreign language itself as the first two years give students enough of a backbone to be able to formulate questions and understand simple instructions.

Learning Japanese this way isn't a bad way I'd guess (I suppose I can't say for certain because I am being taught in English right now)...I think the best way is to gradually go from English to Japanese to help make sense of things, but there's no way to really argue that. I've read scholary articles arguing both sides.
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RE: Good teaching method?

Postby aradu » Tue 10.04.2005 12:35 am

Random: She started speaking Japanese the first day. That was what made me shocked. I was waiting for something like: "Welcome to Japanese 101, etc...", but instead she began to speak fluent Japanese. Of course we are allowed to ask questions in English, since very few of the students can speak Japanese.

And now, one week later, I have to admit that it's no problem at all making sense of what she's saying. And I guess she doesn't use the most advanced Japanese, since I already recognize most of the words she's using.
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