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Which Textbook

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

Which Textbook

Postby Blue25 » Mon 11.17.2008 12:42 am

I'm sure this has been asked multiple times so I'm sorry, i have tried searching the forums but they keep giving the same answer :?

It's always Genki but I'm not really interested, it's to expensive and seems more for a class room.

I'm 16, and i have a fairly low attentions span so i need something that will grab my attention and keep me focused so i have been looking at series such as Japanese for Busy people and the Mangaland Series. I am a complete beginner except i can read the main parts of Hiraganna. So any suggestions :)

Thanks
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby chikara » Mon 11.17.2008 1:52 am

Have you read Selecting a Japanese Textbook in the Wagawiki?

I used the Japanese for Busy People series but that was in a classroom setting which is what those books are designed for. I don't know if they are that much cheaper than Genki though.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Dustin » Mon 11.17.2008 2:06 am

I am a big advocate for Japanese for Everyone.

With a low attention span there is no textbook that will be the magic bullet that keeps you interested. I have a very bad problem with attention myself, sometimes debating whether I've carried on to have adult A.D.D. ><

This text is very reasonably priced, has Japanese that is used in Situations that you are more likely to come across as well.
It is quite a fast paced book, with a lot of information in it.

I also have the Japanese in Mangaland series and don't quite find it what I need to be, but good for flipping through once in a while.
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Last edited by Dustin on Tue 11.18.2008 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby nukemarine » Mon 11.17.2008 2:40 am

You have to realistic that the forums are not populated with people that check out each and every resource to determine what character type will appreciate which.

If you figure Genki is too classroom oriented, you're going to be hurting cause Genki works better than most outside the classroom.

That said, if you combine an SRS (Anki in my opinion), Tae Kim's site (use the sentences in the SRS), in addition to doing iKnow for vocabulary, you should be pretty good. The benefit is that if your low attention span keeps you from learning Japanese, you're not stuck with 50 dollar door stops.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby CerpinTaxt » Mon 11.17.2008 7:03 pm

Being 16 myself this was a hard choice for me also. I did end up getting (well borrowing) Genki and it does feel a bit classroom oriented but what textbook isn't? The main thing is probably not the text but how your going to approach it. I would suggest maybe structure out lessons for yourself that you can follow. Maybe say that I'll do this one chapter today and do all the exercises. Then review what I learnt for 1-2 days. A textbook isn't going to keep anyone's interest for long but you can at least take it in steps. A great quote I've heard various times is "study as long as its fun" once it stops being fun it becomes work and you won't really learn.

If your school offers Japanese and your not currently enrolled or will not be enrolled why not request seeing or maybe borrowing a textbook from the Teacher? I'm sure they would be happy to help you out and encourage you.

Also on an aside is iKnow completely free? I heard some talk of it requiring payment. I haven't really investigated it enough to see if this was correct.
Last edited by CerpinTaxt on Mon 11.17.2008 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.17.2008 9:09 pm

CerpinTaxt wrote:Being 16 myself this was a hard choice for me also. I did end up getting (well borrowing) Genki and it does feel a bit classroom oriented but what textbook isn't?


A self-study textbook?
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby CerpinTaxt » Mon 11.17.2008 11:15 pm

Infidel wrote:A self-study textbook?

Heh, a big flaw in my arguement, but the general thought of the word textbook to me conjures up something that is used for instruction to a class . After numerous years of school that thought got ingrained in my mind. That association most likely blinded some of my judgment in asserting that there are no textbooks meant for self-study.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Blue25 » Mon 11.17.2008 11:25 pm

Infidel wrote:
CerpinTaxt wrote:Being 16 myself this was a hard choice for me also. I did end up getting (well borrowing) Genki and it does feel a bit classroom oriented but what textbook isn't?


A self-study textbook?


What would you call these Japanese learning books then? :P

Any ways thanks for the responses, but i am still confused I guess genki is the way to go but it's just i feel like i have to buy a hole bunch of different things in order to get the full package

So i am still quite confused oh well i guess i will just have to find Copies of the 3 main ones that I'm interested in (Japanese for busy People, Genki, and Japanese for everyone), compare them and see which one would fit best for me

Ohh and i have an Iknow account and it's free i haven't heard of it becoming a payment
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Infidel » Tue 11.18.2008 8:22 am

Generally the better ones have a seperate textbook, workbook, and audio components. In this case quantity is better. The more exercises and drills the better. It's not required, but it takes some of the effort away from the student.

A motivated student can learn perfectly fine from even a primer. But the onus is completely on you to actively drill pattern sentences. Workbooks give you a little bit of an extra push before you are on your own.

Everyone raves about Genki, and what I've seen is good. And Clay sells it for a decent price. As a student, when I discovered my perfect textbook course. I couldn't afford to buy them all at once either. So what I did was buy the textbook one month, and the workbook the next month.

If you want to take the college courses, then it's going to cost you unless you find a deal. I've seen people auctioning Genki on ebay before as a set package and it wwent pretty cheap. Same with Nakama and Youkoso. Nihongo no Kiso is a bit rarer on ebay, but it does come up and since it's older, I think it's relatively cheap in Clay's store.

But Japanese for Everyone (not to be confused with Minna no Nihongo) is a great budget solution as long as you have a little extra drive. Minna no Nihongo is also great, but more designed for classroom.

Nothing is wrong with a standard classroom text as long as it isn't designed with heavy usage of group activities. Sure, you won't have an answer key, but all you really have to do is check your answer pattern against the dialogs. If that is'nt enough, comming on a forum like this, explaining the question, your answer, and why you are unsure if you are correct will get you a helpful response.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby clay » Tue 11.18.2008 10:28 am

Everyone raves about Genki, and what I've seen is good. And Clay sells it for a decent price. As a student, when I discovered my perfect textbook course. I couldn't afford to buy them all at once either. So what I did was buy the textbook one month, and the workbook the next month.


For self study, do you think the workbook is a good idea? At least for Genki, I usually recommend only buying it IF the student has a teacher or someone who can check and make recommendations. Of course the Answer Key does have answers, but it isn't able to deal with variations or style issues.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Dustin » Tue 11.18.2008 2:10 pm

clay wrote:For self study, do you think the workbook is a good idea? At least for Genki, I usually recommend only buying it IF the student has a teacher or someone who can check and make recommendations. Of course the Answer Key does have answers, but it isn't able to deal with variations or style issues.


I can't really speak for Genki, but I got the Workbook for "Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese".
I really wish there was an answer key I could find for the text itself, as well as this workbook ( yes, there is stylization, but the main idea of the exercises answer gets across that I find QUITE useful in the back of Japanese for Everyone )

Maybe I am missing something, but not having an answer key REALLY makes the xercises next to useless since it does not necessarily give you the confidence that you KNOW the material.

I would get the Genki workbook if I used Genki, especially if I had a friend also doing the text alongside me. I have the advantage of having a friend who is an English Major, also studying Japanese, he is using Genki and will be using IAIJ soon as well. He is ALWAYS ahead of mee, no matter how hard I work, which is a great motivation tool, I don't want to get too far behind, and he doesn't want me to get ahead of him. We have the advantage of being able to review each other's work ( though him review mine before I can review his ^^ )

To end, I think the workbooks are great, but REALLY would be best if they came with answer keys!!!
I hope IAIJ releases one...
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Infidel » Tue 11.18.2008 5:12 pm

clay wrote:
Everyone raves about Genki, and what I've seen is good. And Clay sells it for a decent price. As a student, when I discovered my perfect textbook course. I couldn't afford to buy them all at once either. So what I did was buy the textbook one month, and the workbook the next month.


For self study, do you think the workbook is a good idea? At least for Genki, I usually recommend only buying it IF the student has a teacher or someone who can check and make recommendations. Of course the Answer Key does have answers, but it isn't able to deal with variations or style issues.


Yes--If the workbook is not full of group activities. My Introduction to Modern Japanese workbook has no answer keys at all but I didn't find this an insurmountable wall. Generally, I avoided stylistic issues by only repeating patterns I've seen before. At the end of a lesson, I'd check my answers to the dialogs. As a bonus, at least one in every 20 answers is word-for-word from the dialog. So there is built-in checkpoint. And as you've seen. When I do come across a question that makes me stretch my knowledge to the breaking point and I am unconfident of my answer, or I have no idea how to answer, I've come here and posted my issues and received some good explanations.

Speaking of which, i think i'll dig back into my textbook again. I've been trying to read posts and readers lately, but I keep on hitting walls where I'll know all the words but can't read the sentence. I'll probably start hitting the chatroom again too and maybe join a voice conference group, since I've a serious problem with not being able to articulate sentences I'd have no problem reading.
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Re: Which Textbook

Postby Mercenary » Wed 11.19.2008 5:39 pm

The work book for self study is great. It adds a lot of extra exercises that really reinforce what you learn in the textbook, plus it has the listening comprehension component that you otherwise only get in the dialogue. I'd recommend every one who is self studying with Genki to get the text book and the cds. Of course I'd also suggest getting the answer key as well.

For the work book the majority of the exercises have specific answers, so the answer key gives you what needs to be there. There are some exercises in genki as a whole that can have essentially an unlimited number of answers and for those it generally gives a basic example.
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