Beginning Japanese for Professionals: Book 1
Emiko Konomi, Portland State University
Copyright Year: 2015
ISBN 13: 9781329996779
Publisher: Portland State University Library
Conditions of Use
The book covers all aspects of language learning. It comes with audio recording, which is indispensable when learning a new language. The audio files are easily accessible to us teachers and students alike --- The students will no longer have to... read more
The book covers all aspects of language learning. It comes with audio recording, which is indispensable when learning a new language. The audio files are easily accessible to us teachers and students alike --- The students will no longer have to say, "I don't have a CD player." I do not see the alphabetical glossary that's usually at the end of the book (unless I missed it) -- However, each Lesson has a great list of new vocabulary so that the students can build their own sentences upon. If you need the glossary for your students, though, you can just copy & paste and rearrange the words in alphabetical order to create one easily.
Very accurate with minimal typos.
I find this to be the newest, most up-to-date OER material for beginner Japanese. There are no obsolete contents (which unfortunately some expensive textbooks still do), and the lessons were filled with grammar points and vocabulary that go with tech era and Japanese pop-culture.
The grammar explanation is very concise and to the point. I think it is one of the strongest parts of this book. Additionally, the author would briefly point out the difference between English and Japanese when necessary. Often times, this does the trick for students who just can't seem to get a grasp of Japanese word order etc. It's nice that the romanized characters (roma-ji) is used throughout, which makes it easier for many students to head start. Having to reading Japanese "kana" often slows down and discourage students in the beginning. Of course, if you choose to use only kana throughout, you could adapt & adopt easily.
The whole book is so well composed - Lesson 0 starts with the intro to Japanese sound / writing systems, greetings and frequently used phrases. The rest of the book (Lessons 1-4) follow the same format -- the lesson opens up with a simple dialogue on which base the students can build various conversations upon.
Each Lesson is divided into smaller sections, such as drills, individual exercise, and pair-practice exercise. This allows you to easily plan your lessons if you're a teacher. Another helpful section, I thought, is the one called "Practical Applications" - prompting teachers to conduct group activities. I also thought that the "review" section towards the end of each Lesson was especially clever with insightful questions that they could answer in English.
The smaller sections in each Lesson are numbered well and/or labeled consistently. This is very helpful for the learners to get into a routine and a habit of practice.
There are great options available for us to choose from: The author has made the materials in PDF, Word, and Webbook. I think that Word would be a great option if you are thinking of adding some visuals (clip arts for example) or add colors to the tables / charts.
Very fluent and easy-to-understand explanation. It's also just the right amount of the explanation that the beginner students would need without getting overwhelmed.
No contents of culturally offensive. With this being a world language textbook, the content is, on the contrary, cultural enriching.
I want to thank the author for making this available for educators and students to use for free. With the great deal of "push" to switch to an OER rather than expensive / traditional paper textbooks, I am sure that this will be a life saver for many teachers. So generous! Arigatou gozaimasu!
The text can be used for self-study, online or in-class course. The pedagogical focus is on oral communication, and the text provides comprehensive topics to teach students the practical language skills to successfully interact with Japanese... read more
The text can be used for self-study, online or in-class course. The pedagogical focus is on oral communication, and the text provides comprehensive topics to teach students the practical language skills to successfully interact with Japanese speakers in a workplace.
Table of contents is complete and 'Before We Begin' section provides helpful information about the structure of lessons. Although glossary is not included in this edition, instructors can easily adapt this text to create their own. No index.
Culturally important expressions are included and explained, allowing for further lessons and learning on cultural and pragmatic expressions.
Contents are timeless and practical. Learners can continue to advance in levels as the authors provide Book 1, 2 and 3.
The text is easy to navigate.
It includes 10 lessons, each lesson consisting;
-Drills and Exercises (mechanical drills, translation activity, role play)
-Grammar Review (self assessment)
Although the textbook does not indicate where and how to access the audio file, it is available through the University's page.
The version include only a few minor errors such as missing letters and furigana.
The lessons are not overwhelming. It does not include much visual aids and can be supported with other sources to create more comprehensive lessons.
Well organized, and the order of the lessons are logical. Each lesson follows the same structure as stated above.
The version has a minor issue of alignment of text.
no grammatical errors
The text includes cultural expressions and phrases that are often seen and heard in real life settings.
The textbook provides enough information and structure to elaborate further. With supplemental sources, this will be a great book to use to teach/learn practical Japanese skills for adult learners seeking to work in Japan.
I thought it covered the necessary topics very well. read more
I thought it covered the necessary topics very well.
The information is relevant and could be easily updated.
Very simple and clear explanations.
Easy to read. Some better spacing could help in certain areas.
I like the general organization of the chapter presentation. It was easy to follow.
In the Cue/Response section, two columns were created for the English and Japanese. However, the English would run into the Japanese column probably because of the page setup. See page 40.
I found the listing of double adjectives inconsistent with teaching the -te form.
I think that if this book is retyped for better spacing and with better fonts, it'd be great to use as a textbook or as a supplement to other classes. I am ambivalent as to introducing the verb forms first or the copula form first.
Also, would it be more advantageous to having a glossary? I would like to create a glossary that separates nouns, adjectives, -na adjectives, adverbs and verbs. In addition, I'd do a glossary of general expressions and one for etiquette, maybe a separate book for all volumes.
I am looking forward to using the exercises for role playing in class.
Topics ("Can Do" points) are part of the introduction. Lessons are arranged by practical theme. Each dialogue, drill, excercise, and vocabulary list aligns cultural linguistics and grammatical points with the theme of the lesson. read more
Topics ("Can Do" points) are part of the introduction. Lessons are arranged by practical theme. Each dialogue, drill, excercise, and vocabulary list aligns cultural linguistics and grammatical points with the theme of the lesson.
Steps are taken to include Mr. and Ms. equally/simultaneously. There is no mention of stereotypical actions, occupations, or behaviours for gender, national, or other identity.
This text is limited to slightly formal, proper Japanese, appropriate for those visiting Japan for work rather than tourism, and as such does not include slang or teen language. This does ensure it will remain relevant for many years.
Great effort is taken to explain each grammar point, verb conjugation, cultural observation, and vocabulary option. Examples are plentiful and clear.
The Table of Contents is detailed and informative. Each lesson (0-4) is patterned in similar and consistent manner.
As this is a language text it is sequential, therefore does need to be used in a sequential manner. Still, within each lesson and on each page it is visually clear, divided into sections, and does not use "enormous blocks of text". Subheadings are numerous and helpful.
Themes are logical and chronologically reasonable for individuals visiting Japan; Greetings, Introductions, Common Expressions, then events such as meeting new people, becoming familiar with one's work (school), neighborhood, etc., and working in cooperation with others. At each junction cultural notes are given to ensure the learner will communicate in a culturally appropriate and comprehensible manner.
Visual and linguistic clarity is consistent throughout the Introduction and each ensuing Lesson, 0-4. Very few images are included, however those are undistorted and easily understood.
As a language text, grammar is a major thread through each lesson of language study. All points are carefully stated.
Though this text is in no way offensive, thoughtless, racist, or indicative of stereotyping, it has virtually no non-textual images or pictures, and no photographs of people. There is some effort made to represent gender and age diversity.
As one with a background in Art and one who tends to be a visual learner, at first glance I felt the absence of images was a concern. Still, as an educator I have used many texts with dated images, and realize the lack of images here allows the instructor to choose images (and cultural enrichmenta) with which to enrich the text. This is an exciting opportunity and I would look forward to doing so.
Table of Contents
- Lesson 0 Greetings and Common Expressions
- Lesson 1 New to the Office
- Lesson 2 Meeting People
- Lesson 3 Settling down
- Lesson 4 Project Team
About the Book
This textbook is designed for beginning learners who want to learn basic Japanese for the purpose of living and working in Japan. Unlike textbooks written primarily for students, whose content largely centers on student life, this book focuses more on social and professional life beyond school.
As a beginning level textbook, this book includes many elementary grammar patterns (Japanese Language Proficiency Test Levels 5 and 4), but the vocabulary and situations are selected specifically for working adults. Explanations are kept concise so as to only cover key points. The main focus is on oral communication and the accompanying audio is to be used extensively. This textbook can be used for self-study, as part of an online course, or as a traditional college course.
About the Contributors
Emiko Konomi received a PhD in Linguistics from Cornell University and has been on the faculty of the School of Business Administration at Portland state University since 2014. Prior to joining SBA, Emiko taught in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at PSU. She also has extensive experience training Japanese language instructors at various teacher-training programs across the country. Currently Emiko teaches all levels of Japanese to students in the Masters of International Management program.
Known for her passionate teaching style and dedication to quality teaching, Emiko received the 2011 and 2015 John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teaching Awards from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her academic research focuses on Japanese linguistics and pedagogy.