Options and Alternatives

     Now that we have established that there are ways beyond the conventionally advertised ways to learn Japanese, one may ask, "How do I know where to go and what to find?" This will be a guide to give a good idea of where to look for what along with finding what could be the best for you.

     Lets go over some of the basic things that are going to to be either required or desired as well as the many options that will be staples to be able to learn from many different facets:

  1. Monetary Options:
  • School/Classroom Environment:
         Studying in a classroom with an instructor will ease the need to have as many resources as many are naturally provided in the classroom environment such as having a set curriculum, many people to share studies with, and deadlines ergo pressure to learn. To some however, the pressure to learn something that they are completely new to under such pressure can turn them into a passive learner. Should this be the case the classroom can be set at a later stage of learning.
  • Rosetta Stone:
         As said before, Rosetta Stone can be really great for the visual learner. When I sampled it I found it very frustrating however, because it was using a method designed for someone who has no language. In other words they take that approach saying that it is taught the same way you learned your native language. The problem I had with that is I already know English, so why not take advantage of that and describe why things are the way they are in other languages like how particles work. Rosetta Stone did not help in this department for myself. Even still it is a good program catered for the people that learn through visual aid.
  • Pimsleur & Michel Thomas:
         These two are for the auditory learners(such as myself). They are really good as far as getting you right into conversation from the very first lesson and will explain why sentences work the way they do as well as tell you of alternative meaning of the same phrases & words. These instead of giving writing courses and drills up the yin yang, only ask you to relax and think about what you are hearing so you basically start with a couple words and build on around them as the courses go on until at some point you can make sentences on your own(Typically it is not long before you can express yourself).

  • Textbooks:
         It never hurts to own a textbook on learning a language on top of your studies. If fact that is one thing that I heavily endorse, not so much that you MUST have a textbook, but you should have multiple resources as to helping you see more aspects of the language at hand. This will help make connections faster and they will seem obvious. When something becomes obvious it is at that time concrete in your mind and expansion of the language follows nicely. :)  The following books are wuite popular as well as good textbooks to use: Youkoso- An Invitation to contemporary Japanese by Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku, Genki 2nd edition by Eri Banno, and Japanese the Spoken Language by Jordan & Noda.

    Next blog will include options that will have both free services as well as premium services.


    Comments (4)

    On 31 December, 2011 16:39 , J said...

    Hey, a little constructive criticism from a Japanese Minor:

    みんなさん、読んでください。 <-- I think you mean this. (Everyone, please read.)

    Also, it's spelled arigatou: ありがとう

    Also, Pimsleur has a lot of material, but I believe they move a little too fast. I prefer my stuff in the classroom. Will be studying abroad this summer woo!

    On 31 December, 2011 17:07 , DavidicusVH said...

    @J It actually says, "yonde kurete arigato, Minna-san." meaning, "Thank you for reading." Thanks for the advice. What you said is absolutely correct from what I can tell, it's just not what I was trying to portray. I have had Pimsleur 1 and just got Michel Thomas. Pimsleur is quite fast paced and does require a lot of pausing whereas MT is far more relaxed and good for fast learning. The only problem I have with it is the pronunciations are mostly done by foreigners. So I think both together are great. Good luck with your studies!

    On 31 December, 2011 20:53 , J said...

    Currently in Genki II, what are you using?

    On 31 December, 2011 22:18 , DavidicusVH said...

    If you are referring to textbooks I am using an 11 year old book called Japanese Step by Step, by Gene Nishi.