Materials

There are several textbook series out there that do a good job in taking you through the Japanese language in a structured fashion, though they do so in different ways. 

The two most popular series (Genki and Minna no Nihongo) are written in English, but have a long history and are well respected course books.

It will be up to the student to see with what book you would like to work, and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Genki

Genki means something along the lines of 'healthy' or 'energetic' and the series of books under the Genki banner sure are enthusiastic  in dishing out lots of grammar at a high rate.

 

Pros:

  • Very detailed explanation of the grammar.
  • Added cultural notes help you understand the language better in relation to the culture.
  • Listening exercises are made with students in mind.

Cons:

  • Information per chapter can be overwhelming.
  • Some valuable grammar sometimes end up in the vocabulary list.

Minna no Nihongo

Minna no Nihongo in Japanese comes down to 'Japanese for everyone' and this series is also the one that's being used at Leiden University.

 

Pros:

  • Bite-sized chapters.
  • Has extra books for reading exercises and grammar practice.

Cons:

  • Listening exercises can be a bit too fast at times.
  • Main textbook is Japanese only.

Marugoto

Marugoto has the association of 'entirely' or 'completely', meaning that these course books will take you through the Japanese language in a comprehensive manner. Many classes in group setting opt for marugoto.

 

Pros:

  • Japanese based on ready-to-use practical situations.
  • Simple grammar at a low pace per chapter. Ideal for those who also work full time.

Cons:

  • Vocabulary, listening exercises, and grammar explanation all needs to be found on the internet. 
  • Japanese more for practical situations rather than understanding the grammar behind them.

 

 

Let's Learn

When it comes to learning the writing systems (of which Japanese has three that work together) I always advice using the books from the 'Let's Learn' series to get accustomed to hiragana and katakana first.

These books do a good job in teaching you the correct writing style of these basic syllables.  



Methodology

My aim is to develop a teaching method the student is most comfortable with and takes into account your wishes and Japanese proficiency.

The private lessons can consist of the following:

 

  • Translating sentences from English into Japanese
  • Testing to see if you understand the grammar through oral exercises
  • Grammar explanation
  • Listening exercises
  • Reading exercises
  • Daily conversations once a certain level of Japanese is met
  • Role play

 

Homework consists of mainly studying the grammar, trying to keep your vocabulary up-to-date, and making exercises in a workbook. I will also ask you to translate English sentences into Japanese so that we can discuss these in class.

Naturally I am very open to the student's input too, so let's make a great lesson together!