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No books yet ...

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

Re: No books yet ...

Postby furrykef » Thu 11.06.2008 11:33 pm

僕は日本語がわかりません!! @.@;
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 11.06.2008 11:54 pm

becki_kanou wrote:I got the joke.
The post you quoted was me replying to richvh who had corrected your post. My reply to you is one up from that because I was naughty and double-posted.


I know, I was naughty and decided to not double-post.
I was infact responding to rich through you... Kinda like a layup against the backboard? (I don't know, I don't do basketball)

Ironically, we're having more problems communicating in English than with our Japanese :lol:
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby nukemarine » Fri 11.07.2008 1:13 am

furrykef wrote:僕は日本語がわかりません!! @.@;


でも大丈夫ね?漢字を勉強するのでその返事がちょっと分かるの?あいにく僕は日本語で話すが全然上手じゃないんだけどゆくり書いているんだ。

Eh, who am I kidding. I could barely follow half the conversation. So the joke was all over a typo?
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby grwn » Sat 11.08.2008 1:53 pm

*Kicks topic back on-topic :P *

A sudden change of plans. After a little pm conversation with Dustin I have decided not to go for Genki but Japanese for Everyone. This dropped the price a lot so I could buy it all immediately. I also ordered two Japanese manga at the same time. They should be arriving next week, so I'll just keep my hiragana and katakana up to date through iKnow until they're here. :)

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Re: No books yet ...

Postby arbalest71 » Wed 11.12.2008 4:16 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:-は二年生を教えてるけど、学生たちはラーメンを注文する表現はもう覚えてますよ。でも、日本語の勉強は競争じゃないんです。


Of course not- but you do seem to want to make it one. That's not actually a bad thing- theories need to be tested. In that sense it's fine to compete.

Ordering Ramen is indeed a test of language ability. It's not particularly a test of intellect, but I've never thought that language acquisition has much to do with intelligence. The problem with ordering Ramen is that you never know what the Ramen guy might say to _you_. It's not enough to get the Ramen you want- to have successfully ordered Ramen you have to be able to interact with the guy who is selling you Ramen, appropriately. You can be pretty sure that he won't ask you about the chemical composition of WD-40, for instance (so that's vocab you wont need)... but he might be curious about your family, or about other things about you, and he might overcome his reticence and ask about something. If you can't understand his questions you have failed to order Ramen. I mean- you got the Ramen you wanted, but you failed in the social interaction surrounding that.

While I have come to my conclusions through introspection I believe that my conclusions are (largely) supported by the literature. That's why I get irritated- you make claims that no linguist would agree with, but you pass them off as the conventional wisdom among linguists. Or you state controversial claims as if they were established fact. I wind up wondering if you have ever read any of the primary literature.

What I am saying is exactly what modern applied linguistics would predict. It should not be controversial, despite the fact that it is unintuitive.

EDIT: PenisPenisPenis.... I have a huge Penis, so I might as well flaunt it ;) My Penis aside, I wonder what you make of Schmidt (1990). Are you pedagogues so far out of date that you ignore results that are less than 20 years old?
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.12.2008 9:34 am

What claims have I made that "no linguist would agree with"?
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby arbalest71 » Wed 11.12.2008 10:21 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:What claims have I made that "no linguist would agree with"?


The degree to which you emphasize explicit study of grammar is at odds with the thrust of modern applied lingustics. Linguists do acknowledge that such study has a facilitative role, but they do so grudgingly. It's possible that I've misunderstood you, but I don't think I have. If your views are actually representative of the state of the art of pedagogy, the state of the art of pedagogy is decades behind what applied linguists have started to understand about language acquisition.

The really interesting thing is that applied linguists are starting to confirm the things that people who are good with languages have been doing for a long time. This is a case where intuition turns out to be very useful, for some people.
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.12.2008 10:36 am

I don't believe I am being excessive; certainly our program is not excessive. In the class I'm teaching now, out of 10 class hours a week, 1 is devoted to grammar explanations in English (sometimes 2, but most weeks only 1), the rest are conducted entirely in Japanese and do not contain grammar explanations. The first year program has the most grammar instruction; it has 7 class hours a week, 2 of which are grammar oriented. (Although in addition to actual grammar, things like politeness levels and behavioral culture are covered as well so it's not just pure grammar.)

I believe that explicit grammatical instruction is essential for most learners to speak Japanese correctly (and to read/write/listen/etc). However, I am not claiming, nor have I ever claimed, that grammatical instruction alone will enable you to speak Japanese (or do anything functional with the language). Of course you have to practice, and practice a lot. But I think especially at the beginning levels you have to be very careful about trying to use your intuition or guesses to figure out the way Japanese works just from seeing native materials, especially in a language like Japanese that has complicated features that are not found in the native languages of most people that study it.

The reason I seem to stress grammar a lot is that it seems to be common for people to try to ignore it almost entirely. Sure, you might be able to learn a good deal about wa and ga by reading or listening to a lot of Japanese and noting how the particles are used. But I'm willing to bet that for most people, spending a little time reading good grammatical explanations periodically while they're reading or listening to a lot of Japanese will speed their understanding and prevent them from falling into traps like generalizing rules too broadly (i.e. "は goes with negative sentences").

There were two reasons I responded specifically to you. First, you seemed to be saying that the way you learned Japanese was that you started from nothing, watched a bunch of subtitled Japanese dramas, and then found that when you picked up a textbook you already knew everything and didn't need the textbook except to clear up a few minor points. Perhaps this is not what you intended to say, but that's what I saw.

Second, you seemed to be saying that because native speakers can learn to speak Japanese without grammar explanations, foreign learners can (and should?) do that as well. If we're talking about statements that "no linguist would agree with", I think that qualifies.
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby nukemarine » Wed 11.12.2008 12:14 pm

Yudan, you made a good response so I'm going to tack onto it (even about the bit on grammar you responded to me about earlier).

First, let me say I think of drilling grammar as being: Use this noun and this verb together and conjugate in the potential form, use these verbs in a connective case all in the past tense progressive, etc. It's being taught grammar rules, then going back and being given items to see how well you know those rules (either making up sentences, or identifying what the sentence is doing via grammar).

When I talk about not drilling, it's not about ignoring grammar. It's more like, here's the grammar rule or concept plus 3 to 5 example sentences that touch upon that grammar concept. Throw those sentences into an SRS and make note that being aware of the grammar is key to passing the card. It's sort of what I did with kanji, as I learn it but use spaced repetition in reviewing it (I'm not writing it out dozens of times). I do the same thing for vocabulary with an example sentence using that vocabulary word. That's the formal process I use and it seems to work.

Now, those grammar and those kanji and those vocabulary are going to be coming up naturally in my immersion environment (manga, internet, movies, etc). Heck, they even come up in other review items. That's what I mean by reinforcing it, seeing outside that formal studying area. That's why I and others encourage reading and listening to stuff even if it's "beyond your level". Yeah, you're lousy at it, but you get less lousy every day in part because you're getting used to what you know and in part because you're learning new things every day.

However, if a person is not doing the reinforcement, then the "drilling" is the reinforcement. If a person never has anything to do with Japanese outside of class beyond watching Anime with English subtitles, then that drilling is very important. Though truth be told, I think such a student is going to stay sucking at Japanese anyway.

But then again, I've been on this board for a little over a year now, and I still suck at Japanese, so take what I say with a grain of salt. It's always been a learning process for me, but I have a bad habit of wanting to jump in the fray with my opinion. So I like to be honest with the level of my "expertise".
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.12.2008 1:03 pm

Drilling can mean a lot of different things, and like most things in language learning, there are good drills and bad drills. Your sentence method of drilling sounds good. I think the term "drill" sometimes is stigmatized by people.

In our program the drills are stimulus-response mini conversations that utilize a particular pattern. For instance, you might have something like this:

Tape: 大丈夫ですか?
Student: 大丈夫だと思います。

Tape: 大きいですか?
Student: 大きいと思います。

Tape: できますか?
Student: できると思います。

etc. So the key point here is using plain form + と思います. In class, this drill would be combined with other drills and additional vocab/patterns from previous lessons to create some sort of context or "storyline" utilizing everything that has been learned. The drills tend to be purely mechanical -- i.e. one drill will be all positive responses and another drill will be all negative responses, but in class, the responses would have to be positive or negative in response to the context that has been set up. (The DVD is better than the audio files since the DVD has pictures to provide context to the drills.)

So when I talk about drilling plus explanations, I mean that in addition to that previous drill, the student reads an English explanation of what 思う means, how to use it in conjunction with the と particle and a plain form sentence, etc. So when the student does the drill, the student (ideally) should not just be memorizing these things as set pieces with no understanding of what is being done structurally.
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Re: No books yet ...

Postby furrykef » Wed 11.12.2008 1:30 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Drilling can mean a lot of different things, and like most things in language learning, there are good drills and bad drills. Your sentence method of drilling sounds good. I think the term "drill" sometimes is stigmatized by people.


I suppose I don't really think of using an SRS program as drilling because I tend to think of a drill as having more direction, like your example of drilling the ○○と思います structure, or maybe something vaguely specific like "vocabulary drill" or "grammar drill". I guess my SRS can be seen as a "sentence drill", but I tend to think of it more as one big mess where any question can be followed by something completely unrelated. (I call it a "mess", but I don't think it's a bad thing. It's just what it is.) Once I get Japanese and Italian sentences in my main flash card collection, I'll even have the three languages freely intermixing through my "drills" -- I can and often will end up with, say, a Japanese card being followed by a Spanish one, then an Italian one, then another Japanese one again. It all depends on what the program schedules for me.

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