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Advice regarding my next step

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

Advice regarding my next step

Postby Quark » Fri 11.26.2010 5:12 am

Hello, I'm new here, but have been lurking for a while.
Just some (not so) quick background here: I've been learning Japanese since April 2010, using the Japanese for Everyone textbook. I've also been focusing on incorporating Japanese into my everyday life, through watching Japanese TV, listening to Japanesepod101, and reading graded readers/manga with furigana. I've been mainly focusing on reading, but recently have met some Japanese students that very kindly agreed to working on a language exchange with me. Admittedly, our conversations are mainly in English, as I've had very little practice with speaking. However, I am making the effort to practice speaking Japanese. I make a lot of mistakes, get corrected, and go home with a handful of new vocabulary. Basically my motto is 毎日毎日日本語をがんばって。
Basically my question is this: I'm nearing the end of Japanese for Everyone, however, I don't feel like I've retained enough of the information yet. I'm mulling over my options, which are basically these:
1. Finish Japanese for Everyone, and move onto an intermediate text, such as An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese, Sura Sura, or Tobira.
2. Buy the Genki series, workbooks and answer keys, and start from scratch
3. Review Japanese for Everyone, from scratch, and this time, slow it down. This time I would write down any vocab or grammar points that didn't stick the first time around, write them down, along with example sentences from the book, new example sentences, and also throw them into an SRS (not my favourite method, however. I prefer to learn from context, and extensive reading, but SRS seems to work well for a lot of people.)

I'm kind of leaning towards option 3, with the possibility of buying myself Kanji in Context, or Kanji Odyssey, just to keep things a little interesting.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Any input or advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Dustin » Fri 11.26.2010 5:26 am

Hey Quark, good to see you and Welcome to TJP

I also Have JFE and it's a great textbook. If I were you I'd go through the textbook again more slowly, making sure you absorb whatever you did miss on the first go around rather than wasting money on a new set of books ( and an expensive set at that ) There is no magic bullet, both are great, but may as well use what you have.

Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese is a fairly popular followup to either Genki OR Japanese for everyone, I've already purchased it for once I am finished Japanese for Everyone.

I have Kanji Odyssey 2001 books 1 and 2, and can highly recommend them, as long as you use an srs like anki to review the kanji with context ( sentences provided ) I have no experience with Kanji in Context personally, but I hear it's a good option as well.

Other than that I'd start immersing yourself in some of the real language more often, start some basic level novels, which may be tough at first, but through a book or series, you'll have to look up less and less, and enjoy the language more and more.

I definitely recommend doing option 3, do another round of JFE supplementing it with either KiC or KO2001 and then move onto an intermediate text and materials.


Hope that helped!

-Dustin
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Dustin » Fri 11.26.2010 5:30 am

PS you should hop over to introductions and say hi there and tell us a little bit about yourself!

:mrgreen:
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Quark » Fri 11.26.2010 5:46 am

Ah, thank you so much. Basically, everything you said is what seemed like the smartest course of action to me. Sometimes we just need to hear someone else actually say it.
Do you think it would be difficult to work through Kanji Odyssey at the same time as re-reviewing JfE, or do you think if I split my study time 50/50 between the two that it would work out well?
I definitely agree though that reading native material is a wonderful resource. I'm currently working my way through よつばと and チーズスイートホーム. They're simple slice-of-life series, and while they're still vocab-wise a little difficult, they're really fun to read. Not to mention they have a habit of repeating new vocab, which really helps it stick.
I think I'll also finish reading the Japanese Graded Readers, as even from having read the first level set, I found that I had learned a lot of new vocabulary, and it was starting to give me a 'feel' for basic grammar. Not to mention that the drawings are cute, and the stories are interesting.
My new step that I've just started is watching Japanese TV without subtitles. I subscribed to a Japanese TV station, and have found some drama to watch without subs. My comprehension is still very, very low, but I get a thrill whenever I can understand something, or look at kanji on the screen and think "Hey! I can read that!" It's a huge motivator, and makes it so much easier to stay the course, and keep working.
Again, thank you so much for the advice, it really helped me make up my mind as to what to do next.
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Dustin » Fri 11.26.2010 5:52 am

I definitely think that working alongside JFE with a companion will be fine, especially a kanji book since it won't conflict with what you are already learning. In fact I usually recommend anyone that is using a text like JFE to start something like KO at around the halfway mark as specific kanji teaching since JFE presents them but does nothing to specifically teach them.

The only thing I'd recommend is to not try to get through it TOO fast because you want to make sure you retain the information it's giving you, so you may spend more time with JFE than KO, but since you've already gone through JFE ( or are at least almost there ) I would definitely add something to keep it new and exciting. Reading through a text can be boring enough, the second time... do yourself a favor :D

Graded readers are great, I don't have any yet myself but will be picking some up soon, I haven't done nearly enough native reading yet either, but I get a similar thrill when I can understand a whole sentence or phrase at once :D

-Dustin
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby wajdi » Tue 11.30.2010 11:36 am

hi guys,

i am going to finish Japanese for every one. and need to pick the right intermediate Japanese textbook.so i've heard, in a topic in which someone asked for same thing, that integrated approach might be the right choice. but my main concern is that it doesn't translate
dialogues and paragraphs (i don't my translating skills) and since it is genki 3 which means its half what jfe is, i fear it might be short on content.i don't what other options are available for me ( fear getting a book and find that it is for higher level students).
so yeah, what are my options now
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Dustin » Tue 11.30.2010 1:42 pm

wajdi wrote:hi guys,

i am going to finish Japanese for every one. and need to pick the right intermediate Japanese textbook.so i've heard, in a topic in which someone asked for same thing, that integrated approach might be the right choice. but my main concern is that it doesn't translate
dialogues and paragraphs (i don't my translating skills) and since it is genki 3 which means its half what jfe is, i fear it might be short on content.i don't what other options are available for me ( fear getting a book and find that it is for higher level students).
so yeah, what are my options now


I have also had people say that Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese can be considered "Genki 3" from certain people. Don't worry about this nickname, all it means, is that it is a great follow-up textbook after doing the Genki 1 and 2 series, and is made by the same published, and is pretty darn good :D Since JFE covers roughly the same grammar as Genki, it's a great follow-up text for JFE too.


You are correct that it does not list translations after dialogues, however after completing JFE you should have a strong enough grasp on the language to get through these without much problem. New vocabulary is still listed in the chapters, so if you come across something you don't know it won't be difficult to figure it out.

Honestly, as you get higher level in Japanese it's better to have less and less "translations" of everything, since English and Japanese don't always translate nicely. The more you can learn Japanese using JAPANESE, then the better your knowledge and understanding will be.


Hope this was informative enough for you. The revised version of IAIJ also comes with dialogues on CD free with the book, and there is an accompanying workbook that can be purchased. There however is no answer key.

GoodLuck!
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Quark » Wed 12.01.2010 12:19 am

wajdi wrote:hi guys,

i am going to finish Japanese for every one. and need to pick the right intermediate Japanese textbook.so i've heard, in a topic in which someone asked for same thing, that integrated approach might be the right choice. but my main concern is that it doesn't translate
dialogues and paragraphs (i don't my translating skills) and since it is genki 3 which means its half what jfe is, i fear it might be short on content.i don't what other options are available for me ( fear getting a book and find that it is for higher level students).
so yeah, what are my options now


I was initially thinking of the Integrated text as well. However, I think I'm going onto Tobira http://www.thejapanshop.com/Gateway-Adv ... B004BAMD2S once I'm finished going over JfE for the second time. I flipped through it the other day, and it looked really interesting. It doesn't just cover business situations, like JfE, or college life, like Genki. It covers a wide range of subjects - food, sports, mythology, etc. Although I don't recall it having much in the way of English translations. However, since it seems that it's supposed to be used in tandem with the Internet, and is essentially a multi-media text, I imagine that there's probably a forum there of people currently using the book who could help you out.
But like Dustin said, once you finish JfE and fully understand it, something like Tobira or an Integrated Approach to Japanese should be well within your grasp.
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Re: Advice regarding my next step

Postby Miaow » Wed 02.16.2011 6:09 pm

Quark,

Do you have the Workbook and Kanji Book that go with Japanese for Everyone? If not, I'd HIGHLY recommend picking them up to use while you work through JfE the second time.

You would need to order them from Japan, as they seem to be almost unknown. (They are mentioned along with their ISBN numbers on the inside front jacket flap of the older "non-revised" edition - I'm not sure if they are mentioned anywhere in the "revised" edition. Side Note: I've heard that the only thing about JfE that was "revised" was the cover design. And the author's photo. ^_^)

I ordered these books through White Rabbit Xpress (http://www.whiterabbitxpress.com) and if I recall correctly, the price for both books plus airmail shipping (to the US) was around $65, which I found very reasonable. (No affiliation, except being a happy customer!)

If you don't have the ISBN numbers in your edition, and you (or anyone else!) would like to order these books, please let me know, and I'll post the ISBNs.

HTH!
= ^. .^ =
~Miaow~
にゃあにゃあ
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