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Beginning Japanese: Your Pathway to Dynamic Language Acquisition (No Series) Hardcover with disc Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 0804841322
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Editorial Reviews


"One of the newer textbooks in the intermediate space, and a little more lively perhaps than the integrated approach." —Japanesestudent.info blog

"Last year, I discovered the Beginning and Intermediate Japanese series by Kluemper. I changed textbooks immediately after experimenting with it for a week." —Kyler Jackson, Japanese Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School

"It provides web–based and supplementary audio resources in addition to the textbook, which progressively give students more exposure to language a little beyond their expected level of attainment, and which immerse students in culturally authentic contexts." —Geoff Biesinger, AATJ Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael L. Kluemper served as a board member for the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers from 2001—08, and has worked on national task forces for the implementation of a Japanese AP course. He lives in Louisville, KY.

Lisa Berkson was honored by the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese as the language teacher of the year in 2007. She currently teaches Japanese and Chinese language classes at Dobson High School in Mesa, AZ.

Nathan Patton teaches Japanese language at Scott County High School in Georgetown, KY where he serves as Chair of the World Language Department.

Nobuko Patton has taught Japanese at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College and Jessie Clark Middle School in Lexington, KY. She lives in Kentucky.

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Product Details

  • Series: No Series
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Hardcover with disc edition (March 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804841322
  • ASIN: B007F80CC6
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,537,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I saw this in a local bookstore and was charmed by its attractive look and use of manga for dialogues.
I picked it up and started to go through it deeper at home.

My early conclusion is that this book is intended for use in a classroom as a textbook, and not something for individual self-study. Here's why:
1) The other reviews are correct when saying that you really need to feel very comfortable with hiragana and katakana before you come to this book. I expect that in a classroom, the teacher would spend as much time as necessary to introduce the kana. And being fairly systematic, they leave it to the teacher to go about it however he/she sees fit. As an example, in an early activity, the book challenges you to write your English name in katakana. But it doesn't go into any detail about how to convert sounds which aren't in Japanese to katakana.

2) Also, the book doesn't have English translations of the dialogues, or many of the vocabulary words. This is obviously not a problem in a classroom setting. It's possible to look up words one at a time in the dictionary in the back, but leaving them out in the chapters themselves just seems like evidence that their target audience is classroom students.

3) The website component has extra materials but you have to be part of a class to make use of it. The teacher has to make a special account and then when you create your username, you have to pick which teacher is yours. So self-learners are missing out on some amount of content that they paid for.

4) I don't like that all exercises are relegated to the Workbook sold separately. I thought the Workbook would be only for additional practice, and that the main book would have some exercises too. But so far it seems like all the exercises in the main book are clearly intended for classrooms where you would talk with your friends in pairs.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up at boarders for 20% off since it's liquidating and I love it. don't believe what those other reviews say about needing a working knowledge of hiragana before starting this book. this book offers complete alphabets with phonetic translations, the CD rom that comes with the book helps you out with the more difficult sounds. You DO NOT need to join a teachers class to gain full access to the online materials. the only thing you need to join it for is the games section because that is hosted by a third party website designed for school use. you could pay 150 bucks to gain access to it but you don't need to. the content that is readily available to you even before you make an account on the website offers kana and konji flash cards and kana workbooks with some activities. there is little translation for you in the text book itself when it comes to the dialogue and some vocab but it offers pictures so it makes you work your brain more which will help learning. also this book teaches you to read and write as you speak so you use more of you senses while learning which helps retain information. also I find if I'm stuck on a word I can almost see what it looks like in japanese and all of a sudden I can remember it!
This book is meant for classroom use so some of the exercises in it are kind of awkward, the work book would not be a bad buy but I don't think you need it if you just steadily work on the content in the book. get down the vocab and suggested hiragana before progressing to the next chapter, a chapter a week maybe. there is no quick and easy way to learn a language but this is the best i've come across yet.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am using this book without a teacher and, even though it was designed for a classroom setting, have found it very helpful.
-It uses very little Romaji and gradually weens off of that. When it is used in the beginning the letters are much smaller than the kana which is very important if one is planning to truly read and understand Japanese.
-The dialogues seam very natural, not a "this is a pen" talking but actually conversational talking. To keep on the lesson if something has not already been learned and doesn't have to do with the session then it is said in English.
-The journals are also helpful. They teach more novelistic Japanese along with the manga and conversation taught in the dialogues. In addition they make a textbook seam more like a story which makes it much easier to keep reading.

My only cons aren't really important ones:
-The dictionary in the back of each session doesn't cover words found only in the dialogue or journal but this can easily be remedied by something like Google Translate or another dictionary. iPhone has a nice free one called Kotoba! which helps when I don't know a word.
-The art is HORRIBLE. Someone who isn't into art probably wouldn't care but my friends and I are all very into art and laugh at the art in each section. "Can I do that? Just get a picture and paste an already-used pose on top of it and make money instead of drawing everything every time?"

All in all I think this is good for even the very beginners. The first things it teaches are the alphabets and the CD gives everything I sound to pair it with. If you are going to self-study don't expect to just read the book and get everything though. To self study with this you must take notes and practice everything multiple times.
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