Taking the world less travelled

How To Study Intermediate Japanese – 会話

Posted by on Jan 27, 2009 in Language | 4 comments

_intermediatejapanesenew Almost a year ago now I bought and reviewed my first impressions of An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese textbook. Since then, much to my dismay, they have bought out an updated version that includes the CDs. Dammit! Especially it is only now that I am really having the chance to start using this textbook.

I’ve finished Japanese for Everyone (awesome textbook), and as here in Australia the kids are going back to school for the new year, I’ve decided to kick myself into gear and do a bit of my own formal study. So today I bought an exercise book and I’m going to get the show on the road…

I’ve pretty much already done chapter one, so this week I’m going to take it easy and review it. Then it’s down to business. I’d like to ideally do a chapter a week. I think this means I will sacrifice how many new kanji I can learn in a week in my quest to complete Heisig . But while I love the progress I make with it, I feel like I need more, hence doing this text book.

会話 – Conversations

First in the text book is a page in English with some culture notes. These are fine, interesting, but a bit of a waste of space. I will, of course, give it a glance before I move on to the first bit of meat in a chapter – 会話. There are three conversations, one super polite, one polite and one casual. To get through the conversations, I plan to do something like:

  • Listen to the dialogue and read along
  • learn the vocab I don’t know yet
  • read along as the dialogue is being spoken. Repeat this until I can say it at the same speed as the audio. My aim isn’t to memorize but rather just to get my tongue around talking as fast as the audio does. I’m not sure if they have done anything to the new version of audio is any different, but for my version it is pretty good, sounds almost as fast as real life (compared to other audio I’ve listened to!).
  • If I could be bothered, I would also like to do something like “scriptorium”. Take a look at this video as an example:

    You can read more about it on Professor Arguelles’ website, but here’s a quick run down:

    1. Read a sentence aloud.
    2. Say each word aloud again as you write it.
    3. Read the sentence aloud as you have written it.

    I think it would be awesome writing practise, a chance to pay attention to the nitty gritty (it’s all to easy to understand something as you read it or listen to it, but when you go to say it, sometimes you are left wondering “what was that particle again?”). I also feel that I learn better when I write things down. Writing down the sentence will help me cement the vocab I have learnt.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I will start with 会話 even though it is at the beginning of the chapter. I think that I would listen to it while reading it, but do the rest of my study after I complete the rest of the chapter, or at least go through the grammar points. Listening is one of my poorer skills – I’m a good listener if you need to talk to someone, but I’m not good at learning something through listening. So this may end up being something I do later in the chapter. But, at this stage, this is what I want to do with the 会話 section of An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese.


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  1. Jamaipanese

    unfortunately (or should that read fortunately) I am still a beginner :D

  2. Paul

    Now about 6 months since you posted this review, I was wondering how things are going with the Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese textbook? I am finishing up the Minna no Nihongo II book soon, and really have enjoyed that series. But from here I don’t know which way to go. It seems like the Integrated Approach might be a bit of a review. I sure would like to hear your feedback and let us know your progress… you have been doing a chapter a week, right ;)

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