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Japanese Graded Readers: Level 1 (5 books and Audio CD) (Japanese Edition) (Japanese) Pap/Com Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4872176247
ISBN-10: 4872176243
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Cheng & Tsui; Pap/Com edition (May 15, 2006)
  • Language: Japanese
  • ISBN-10: 4872176243
  • ISBN-13: 978-4872176247
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Holly Hudson on November 28, 2009
This series is absolutely brilliant. If you've tried to learn to read Japanese you know that there are very few books available that are simple enough for a beginning reader to read, but that are not children's books. (And you may also be aware that children's books are not appropriate for serious study because the language in them is so different from adult language and the grammar is too complex.)

These boxed sets of slim volumes look like gorgeously illustrated children's books, but they are written in normal Japanese and are geared towards foreign language learners. The vocabulary and grammar slowly builds as you move up in level. The text is repetitive to aid in remembering and the illustrations are great for aiding understanding. I haven't had to pull out a dictionary yet even when encountering new words because the context and illustrations provide the definitions clearly enough.

And the stories are so engaging! I almost cried at the end of one, others are uplifting. Although the sets are expensive, I feel they are worth every penny. I hope Amazon decides to offer these so that I can add levels 2 and 3 to my wishlist, until then you can find them at White Rabbit Press (use google) or at Kinokuniya in New York.
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Hopefully a new era of language learning has arrived. Once, teachers pounded helpless beginner brains with vocabulary and grammar via a pedagogical pile driver. Learning a language this way, without any real, useful or interesting context, creates an association of language acquisition similar to the digestive tract's association with ipecac. Many flee in terror, vowing to a perpetual mono-linguistic celibacy. Almost in defiance of these "old ways," a cascade of easy readers has recently flooded the market in various languages. These present real language in real contexts and heighten the desire to learn to an almost rabid extent. After all, if one doesn't keep learning, one doesn't find out how the story ends.

The Japanese Graded Readers series from Ask Digital provide an exemplar of this genre. Ranges of difficulty span from level 0 to level 4. Each level also contains sub-levels within it, so the gradation has an even more subtle granularity. Not only that, each sub-level contains approximately 5 books within it, making for an easy to follow Matryoshka doll hierarchy. As expected, complexity rises from the lowest to the highest level and each book build on its predecessor.

This series actually began with level one, but later, perhaps gripped by prequel-mania, a retroactive level zero appeared. Though level zero isn't incredibly simpler than level one, it nonetheless reinforces basic vocabulary and grammar.

Level one begins with the simplest story of all (even arguably simpler than the first story of level zero): Onna no ko (or "Girl") in which an unhappy girl finds herself thrust from her rich life full of stuff into a small apartment with almost nothing. Regardless, in classic morality tale style, she finds happiness.
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These are a great way to test your ability to read and understand Japanese. The stories are interesting and read like children's stories. I think they're great. These are about what I would expect a kindergartner or a first grader to be able to read in the American school system.
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I thought it was a bit expensive, however it arrived quicker then expected, in excellent condition, great packaging, the books are made of a nice sturdy design. The art inside is very well done, and the reading level is perfect for me! Not only that, the seller gave me some cute stickers and a little note for me. It was a great buy! Thank you teriyaki store!
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