2 responses

  1. Igiri
    February 2, 2013

    I think JapanesePod101 is probably good at beginner’s level, but I’m somewhere between Intermediate and Advanced and I have been disappointed. I need much more systematic practice of both grammar and vocabulary, and for the differences between the spoken language and the written language to be pointed out. The Advanced Audio Blog didn’t work for me, because it’s essentially someone reading a piece of written Japanese. The discussion by native-speakers that followed the audioblog was potentially useful, but was not well exploited as a learning device. I think it would have been better if the blog had been treated like a piece of conventional reading comprehension material, supported by help with grammar and vocabulary. The spoken discussion section could then provide reinforcement of key points, and when appropriate demonstrate differences between the written and spoken language. Also, I didn’t find the flashcards very helpful for kanji and vocabulary learning. For these latter, I have come across a good program, Read the Kanji (readthekanji.com), which introduces kanji in context level by level, using an algorithm to provide systematic practice, and the program also gives feedback on progress. I think JapanesePod101 could learn a lot from the Read the Kanji approach, and make a really valuable contribution to computer-based language learning. I should add that I’m an independent learner, based in the UK, and I have been trying to find useful language-learning websites to help me revive my Japanese which I learned more than 40 years ago. Any help is welcome!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      I definitely like readthekanji.com. It is an amazing little tool for learning vocabulary quickly and smoothly. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with an IME as well.

      I think jpod101 has a hard time being the catch all for digital Japanese practice. They always want to keep pretty standard so that everyone benefits, but then if you keep to the path you aren’t able to focus on specifics like you said. Great background material though. I still listen to the advanced audio blogs from time to time because it is more convenient while I’m walking around or riding the train or something.

      If I have time to sit down, I’ll read an essay or something to practice my reading.

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