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Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

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Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby Instant Radical » Thu 08.14.2008 7:31 pm

Hello everyone. I've been learning Japanese for close to two years, and recently finished the two Genki textbooks. However, I have yet to decide a suitable way to continue my Japanese learning. While I could simply use my other books and resources (Basic and Intermediate Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar, plus vocabulary lists, JapanesePod101, etc.), a lack of self-discipline and ways to practice what I learn makes me most inclined to use a textbook.

As far as learning goes, my strong area is reading/writing/kanji. I find it very easy to memorize kanji, for some reason, and probably know somewhere around 500-800 with varying levels of proficiency due to memorizing the kanji reading seen in most new vocabulary words I learn. Likewise, when my admittedly weak vocabulary isn't hindering me (I still don't even know all the 3級 words!) I can read quite easily. I think I know just about all of the grammar from A Basic Dictionary... etc.; at the very least I can understand it in writing. My weakness is verbal - while I was in Japan this summer my speaking ability improved dramatically, but my listening ability is still incredibly weak and I'm nowhere close to being able to understand daily conversation. I can't understand fairly basic sentences or questions, although the fact I was in Aomori this summer and had to deal with near-incomprehensible Tsugaru-ben may have something to do with it.

So I need some sort of course that's going to help me improve my vocabulary, integrate plenty of listening, and especially exercises to tighten up my grammar. I take Japanese classes at my university, but they're extremely easy for me and are basically just review of stuff I've already learned. However, I can practice speaking with the tutors and other Japanese students, which I really need to do more often. I've considered getting the new edition of An Integrated Course In Intermediate Japanese, but judging from the excerpts I've seen, it appears there's a fair bit of overlap with Genki. I want to pursue Japanese that will really challenge me to improve, but I'm not sure what's the best choice that will give me lots of exercises for practicing. What would you guys suggest? Any particularly useful textbooks that might be around my level? Or other books/learning aids/advice that might be helpful, such as reading books in Japanese? Or should I ditch textbooks altogether and go some other route now that I've got a firm grasp of the basics? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby Dustin » Thu 08.14.2008 10:37 pm

I would get the Integrated Course in Intermediate Japanese.

Yes there will be some overlap, since it wasn't designed specifically for the Genki text, but is the only real filler text between most beginner texts and the much more advanced texts, such as the all Japanese texts.
You could attempt to jump to something a little harder, and then if you seem to be in a little over your head you could always pull back and get the intermediate text.

Hope my opinion helps
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Re: Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby fielle » Fri 08.15.2008 8:37 am

If you are taking Japanese classes at your school, could you ask your teachers to help you find a Japanese person to meet with and speak to in Japanese on a regular basis? As you said, your Japanese improved from speaking it, and your listening will also improve the more you work on having a conversation.
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Re: Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby Instant Radical » Fri 08.15.2008 2:22 pm

That's probably a good idea, but it's a little tough because there's really not an ideal time I can meet with any of my Japanese friends for practice. But maybe this semester I'll have more opportunities.

One of the biggest obstacles for me is my awful vocabulary. Most conversations don't have much unfamiliar grammar, but I simply can't understand what anyone is saying because my vocabulary is so bad. It's amazingly difficult for me to memorize words, and when I do, I often recognize them much better by kanji than by ear. Is there any particularly effective technique for memorizing words? I sure haven't found it yet.
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Re: Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby HarajukuxBoy » Sat 08.16.2008 3:41 pm

After genki 1&2, then you go on to Genki 3, the intermediate textbook. I'm sure the genki series does all that, if you get the workbooks and cds ect.
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Re: Finished Genki... so what should I do now?

Postby Dustin » Sat 08.16.2008 6:09 pm

Genki 3?

All I have heard is that "An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese" is Published by the same company ( The Japan Times ) as "Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese" Which have quite similar names as well. There have been a few people that referred to this text AS Genki 3, but do not see anything else to support that.
Pretty well everywhere I have looked has referred to "An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese" as the next step, whether you have done Genki 1 and 2, Japanese for Busy People, 1-3 or Japanese for Everyone.

BTW the new revised edition does come with 2 cd's and a workbook is currently in the making.
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