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New textbook help

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

Re: New textbook help

Postby Sairana » Thu 02.26.2009 7:49 am

astaroth wrote:Probably my expectation were a bit high, as I was expecting my students to at least have heard of a philosopher called Plato. What I thought that time was that to confuse Plato and plateau wasn't just saying about not proper spelling, but also about education.


My first inclination is that it was an automatic spellchecker correction that got missed... but who knows? Maybe your college students really are morons. :lol:
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Re: New textbook help

Postby astaroth » Thu 02.26.2009 12:50 pm

chocomamma wrote:I really didn't mean it that way.

I know you didn't mean that way.
Even though in my case it was more like going from Italy to US with all the change in language and culture (honestly we ain't that similar) that that brings. Also about students, a lot of times our (TA's that is) main complain was that students want to be treated like adults, one does that and then they complain ... :roll:
(Also consider that in Italy college students are usually left by their own without any babysitting ... but this is a completely different topic, I guess.)
Sairana wrote:Maybe your college students really are morons. :lol:

Well I shouldn't say ... :twisted:
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Re: New textbook help

Postby chocomamma » Thu 02.26.2009 3:52 pm

astaroth wrote:Also about students, a lot of times our (TA's that is) main complain was that students want to be treated like adults, one does that and then they complain ... :roll:


Hahaha! I remember when I was like that! :twisted:
I had it the opposite after I graduated. I assumed that I would be treated like an adult because I am an adult and have been for quite a few years. Instead I got treated like a 21-22 year old who has never worked or done anything for themselves ever.

BTW your statement above is the main reason my son has said that he doesn't want to grow up (he's only 8 and saying this). :lol: So proud to be a big kid then gets chores and goes to school, then wants to be Peter Pan and never grow up :D
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Re: New textbook help

Postby astaroth » Thu 02.26.2009 6:46 pm

chocomamma wrote:BTW your statement above is the main reason my son has said that he doesn't want to grow up (he's only 8 and saying this). :lol: So proud to be a big kid then gets chores and goes to school, then wants to be Peter Pan and never grow up :D

Well he's just 8. (I saw kids who grew up too quickly and it's not fun for them at all.)
I'd be worried if one wanted to be a Peter Pan when they're 20 or 25. By the way, that's the reason I never liked Peter Pan ... the Peter Pan syndrome if you like.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby jcdietz03 » Fri 02.27.2009 8:20 pm

Nakama, that they use for my Japanese class, has vocab first. Then dialogue, then culture (two-page spread in English explaining something about Japanese culture), then grammar, then a 1-paragraph essay in Japanese (called "reading," I think). There are exercises you can do in all the sections.  I think Genki is vocab first, too.

For a textbook that doesn't put vocab first, I would flip to the chapter vocab and do that first. You won't understand the conversation or reading portion without the vocab.

For the grammar explanation, they explain it to you in English, and then give two examples, usually one for the positive case and one for the negative. You're supposed to come up with the rest on your own through exercises.
I cannot understand the difference between ~んです and ~から (complicated grammar explanation), so I just think to myself "the meaning is the same" (I know they are similar, and I do understand から) and move on. I can't really understand the difference between this concept in English either. The test will ask a translation problem and a reading comprehension problem. I think I can clear both of those even though I don't understand this difference.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby astaroth » Fri 02.27.2009 8:46 pm

jcdietz03 wrote:For a textbook that doesn't put vocab first, I would flip to the chapter vocab and do that first. You won't understand the conversation or reading portion without the vocab.

Minna no Nihongo does the same by the way.
jcdietz03 wrote:I cannot understand the difference between ~んです and ~から

Yup kinda.
Though a lot of times (let's say a good 80% of the time) the people at lang-8 substitute my から into their ので (I think んです is a contraction of のです). I came to feel that ので is somewhat less direct than から, so kind of preferable.
Last edited by astaroth on Mon 03.16.2009 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby ニッキー » Fri 02.27.2009 9:06 pm

jcdietz03 wrote:I think Genki is vocab first, too.


Genki is dialogue first, then vocab.

Personally I like it that way, I prefer to read the dialogue first and see how much I can understand or figure out without any help (after all, real text doesn't come with a handy list of vocabulary to learn beforehand ;)). I can always go over the dialogue again after studying the chapter to make sure I've understood it all.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby richvh » Fri 02.27.2009 10:05 pm

According to this page,

1) You can only use から with commands and prohibitions.

2) から is harsher and ので is softer and more polite.

I've read elsewhere that ので, unlike から, affixes no responsibility to the preceding clause.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby astaroth » Fri 02.27.2009 10:18 pm

I see. Thanks for the follow-up.
Though for some reason から is always taught before ので ... maybe because the grammar required is easier.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby kurisuto » Fri 02.27.2009 10:40 pm

As for から, you can think of its basic meaning, it can help understand why it insists on what precedes it ("from somewhere to somewhere else", hence "from/because of ...", it has this sense of "cause").
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Re: New textbook help

Postby Infidel » Sat 02.28.2009 2:18 am

jcdietz03 wrote:Nakama, that they use for my Japanese class, has vocab first.


There's a bunch of theories about this. Personally, I can see a good reason to not put the vocabulary first, because then the student prioritizes it too highly. With it appearing later, the proactive student will still review the vocabulary without making a serious effort to memorize the entire list out of phase.

Generally, I've found the most efficient method, which I admit probably won't work for everyone is: at the start of a new chapter turn to the vocabulary list and then review the list so that I've stuck as much as I can in my short-term memory. The goal on initial review is to recognize not memorize the words. Then turn to the dialog and read the dialog. After reading the dialog once look up any words that I had trouble with. As usual, once the mind has a point of context, the memorizing is much easier. So I spend much less effort and time memorizing this way than if I had tried to memorize the vocabulary list first before turning to the dialog. If anything, I make more effort memorizing the dialog than the vocabulary lists.
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Re: New textbook help

Postby cocosushi » Sun 03.15.2009 9:26 pm

Infidel wrote:Yes, language isn't like math or history where one thing progresses directly into another. And just FYI, most people learn languages naturally, meaning without explanations. In fact, there is a very strong language learning philosophy that language learning should be done completely without explanations. Certainly, learning languages is one of those rare experiences where explanations at the wrong time actually impair the learning process for many. The more you have explained to you, the less you understand. The established best procedure for learning a language via textbook is

1. See the new word or new construction.
2. Guess at the meaning.
3. Look up the meaning.
4. Have it explained if 3 was insufficient. 3 and 4 are interchangeable.

Where in other disciplines you learn in sorta reverse.

4. Verbal Explaination
3. Textbook reference.
2. Problem presented
1. Attempt to solve problem. 4 and 3 are interchangeable.

The important thing here is you need to stretch your mind and puzzle out the meaning, just like you did as a kid and everyone was babbling around you and no one was giving you grammar explanations then either.


I see where you are getting at esp. if you're a baby. At the same time, I'm living in Japan and it is so common have foreigners live here for more than 3 years or sometimes 10 years and they don't know a word of japanese! Some people live in another country but don't want to learn that language. You'll have people in Japan live here, but refuse to learn the langauge and just hang out with other foriengers and some have the audacity to get mad if you can't even understand them like when they speak to others in english. What also fusterates me is that the same people that refuse to learn japanese but teach english for living refuse to teach others on the side for a langauge exchange for free. Like for example, you'll have people that'll only teach english for money which is not bad but they're living in this country don't know japanese and refuse to help someone else in offer for a language exchange. Ok, this is my opinion and I'm sorry that I got off into a rant. But yeah, I wish I would of went to an international school where they teach japaense and english so then I wouldn't be struggling learning this langauge. :?
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Re: New textbook help

Postby Infidel » Mon 03.16.2009 2:02 am

cocosushi wrote:I see where you are getting at esp. if you're a baby.


If you're a baby then you only have two options. Hear the construction and guess.
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