Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Japanese Resources

I thought I'd write about what we are doing with Japanese and what sorts of things we are using.

Anime
First, there is anime which we watch with English subtitles.  You can really pick up a lot of words from a foreign language just by watching TV shows in that language.  It's mainly random vocabulary and sayings but it's a start.  Plus, my daughters figured out about the use of tones, syllables, and how to pronounce the words just by watching anime.

Online resources
Then there are lots of boards on pinterest with helps for learning the language.  And then there are various sites with good resources like practice paper to learn hiragana and katakana.

Hiragana worksheets
Flashcards and practice sheets

Rosetta Stone
We also purchased Rosetta Stone.  It is not the homeschool version but I knew that we would be using other resources as well and I got a good deal on it.  It has 3 discs, there are 4 units on each disc and 4 chapters within each unit.  It takes us about 2 weeks to do a chapter.  We each take about 15-20 min a day to work on it.  It is all in Japanese even the writing.  There is no Romanization of the words.  So you start figuring out pretty quickly vocabulary, word usage, grammar and such early on.  I'm very happy with this purchase.

Textbooks
We are looking at a variety of textbooks, one of which we will start using in August.  I am looking for something that is not too dull, that draws them in and is a little more visual.  Here are some of our choices:

Time for Japanese  the downloads of the first couple of chapters of this three level course look fun. Plus there is a lot of online resources for this program.

Irasshai (the name always makes me think of the boy-band Arashi and Jun--lol)  Is a series of videos, texts and workbooks.  I like the idea of videos.

Genki then there is this textbook and workbook series that a lot of colleges use.  It looks a little dry but there is a ton of information in the texts.

Flashcards
These are important especially for learning kanji.  If my daughters want to take the JLPT eventually then they need to not only know basic Japanese but be familiar with lots of kanji as well.  So we are looking at:

White Rabbit Flashcards

Wow, it looks like a lot of resources and a lot of work but it really isn't.  We're actually having quite a bit of fun.

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