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Kegger
December 9th, 2010, 11:56
Woo! I finished the first test (insanely painfully).


Any other beginners out there? :)

Omoplata
December 12th, 2010, 01:18
Woo! I finished the first test (insanely painfully).


Any other beginners out there? :)

Hey there, yeah I sent the 1st test back at the end of last month. I'm struggling with the second book slightly though.:redface:

Antonath
December 13th, 2010, 09:56
If it's the same course as last year, the first book is fairly simple (most people got 90% on it), but they get progressively harder from there, and mire themselves in obscure grammar that no one ever uses in real life.

Enjoy!

Azrael
December 13th, 2010, 12:50
Who's Claire?

Antonath
December 13th, 2010, 13:39
She's the person who approves all new JETs. Didn't you meet her at the Keio Plaza?

Omoplata
December 13th, 2010, 21:33
but they get progressively harder from there, and mire themselves in obscure grammar that no one ever uses in real life.

Yeah, it's the same course.

Kegger
December 14th, 2010, 09:05
argh I noticed my spelling mistake as soon as the page refreshed, but didn't know how to edit it.

Thanks for reminding me, I completely forgot about the second book. ¬_¬

jerseywonder
December 15th, 2010, 17:45
How long does everyone spend on each lesson? I know it's divided up so in theory you do one a day, but I find I can get through three in one sitting ... however, obviously not much sticks at that rate. But once I've done the filling in the blank exercises and made a couple of notes, I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to do - it feels finished, and it's boring just staring at the same pages for hours on end! Besides listening to the dialogues over and over, how are you guys studying?

Kegger
December 16th, 2010, 09:04
Wow. my strategy was just to get through the books. You guys take it seriously. I should take a leaf out of your books.

Smart.fm is fun \o/

Admiral Kelvinator
December 16th, 2010, 12:16
I did the intermediate last year and am doing the advanced this year. I also tend to get through about two days in one sitting. In my opinion, the clair books are good for grammar and expressions, but not so hot for vocabulary and kanji. I would also recommend a supplement to the course, such as flash cards or Anki or watching animes or whatever you like to do, because the clair books by themselves aren't going to cut it if you want to take the JLPT.

jerseywonder
December 16th, 2010, 12:44
Smart.fm is fun \o/

This sounds really familiar; I'm sure I've heard people mention it before but I don't know what it is .. please enlighten me!

I've made a playlist on my ipod of all the beginner book dialogues I've listened to so far, and I just put it on shuffle and hope that somehow I'll absorb the vocab - hmmm.

Also, it's so annoying that the beginner course is entirely in romaji - anyone else find it stressful?!

Kegger
December 17th, 2010, 08:55
This sounds really familiar; I'm sure I've heard people mention it before but I don't know what it is .. please enlighten me!

I've made a playlist on my ipod of all the beginner book dialogues I've listened to so far, and I just put it on shuffle and hope that somehow I'll absorb the vocab - hmmm.

Also, it's so annoying that the beginner course is entirely in romaji - anyone else find it stressful?!

Yes, it stresses me out a lot. Furthermore, it's very much mainland Japanese, which is rubbish for me since everyone around here speaks Okinawain Japanese/dialect and looks at the books going "Wtf, it's in romaji...wtf are these words/points...is this japanese? we would never say x"

Ah well, only 5 books left to go.

Smart.fm is a place you can set goals, and helps you learn japanese vocab. You can pick if you want romaji or not, and it repeats stuff...RL's link is useful to describe exactly what it does.

MixedNuts
December 19th, 2010, 00:16
To be quite honest I didn't take the CLAIR course books too seriously. I started out by doing 1 lesson per day but I got lazy after they started making you write essays (in the advanced course in addition to the multiple choice questions, they also have you write short essays. I'm not sure if the intermediate course does). I think I was just annoyed by the topics they wanted us to write the essays about and there was no criteria listed on how the essays would be scored or how long it should be or if they were checking for kanji knowledge (there are some "example" essays on the CLAIR page but still...). Later on though I decided I wanted finish what I started so I submitted all my exams at the end of the year for the last deadline and surprisingly passed the course. (Unless the rules changed in the past couple of years, you can miss the monthly deadlines and still pass if you turn all the tests in by the final deadline...I think they allow fewer mistakes though if you go this route). But if you want to learn anything meaningful and not be a procrastinator, DON'T do this.

I found the CLAIR books to be lacking a bit on examples and explanations. I think if you want to get the most out of Japanese study, it would be helpful to couple the course with some reference books like kanji or grammar point dictionaries. And, if available, take a Japanese course in your area or find a Japanese speaking buddy who can help you with your questions or help you practice speaking.

Omoplata
December 22nd, 2010, 10:39
I think if you want to get the most out of Japanese study, it would be helpful to couple the course with some reference books like kanji or grammar point dictionaries. And, if available, take a Japanese course in your area or find a Japanese speaking buddy who can help you with your questions or help you practice speaking.

This seems like pretty sound advice. I'm just looking at the CLAIR course as supplementary now.

Just looking at the 3rd beginner's book, it'd be helpful if they gave slightly more literal English translations. :rolleyes:

Antonath
December 22nd, 2010, 13:05
If I recall the beginner books correctly, I remember more than one chapter where the Japanese phrases used a word I knew had a specific meaning, but that meaning was nowhere to be found in the translation.

Omoplata
December 22nd, 2010, 13:11
I sincerely hope the rolling eyes denote sarcasm.
Yeah, they were meant to.

Mr.Sato: What? Snowball fighting isn't a sport,is it?
Haruka: Even so, I like it a lot.

Reading six books of this must be worth a certificate. :o

arcthemonkey
December 28th, 2010, 12:11
Can anyone comment on what happens if you just... You know... Stop doing them?

The beginner's course is miserable, and I can't help but feel that at best it will teach me bad habits. I just don't want to deal with it any more. It's taking time away that I could be using for actual Japanese study!

So yeah, what happens if I Just forget about the whole thing? One person told me that there is absolutely no consequences, and that he was even able to do the course again the next year!

Antonath
December 28th, 2010, 16:04
Yeah, I gave up on the course after about two books. What I did was send in the tests (knowing I was going to fail) so I got the results back. That way, I can study the books at leisure later, and have the results to check with. Probably not going to happen, but it sounds like planning!

The courses are offered each year, with no criteria for having completed one before (ie I could take the beginners this year, even if I had passed the advanced last year).

MixedNuts
December 28th, 2010, 23:31
It's taking time away that I could be using for actual Japanese study!

This is how I felt. I am more interested in learning how to have conversations with people than memorizing some kanji or rarely used grammar points. I haven't seen the beginner's books so I don't know how helpful the material is.

Most of the people I know and I think ALL of my predecessors gave up on the clair course and quit. I'm not sure if it has any "consequences"...I think they said they may refuse to let you sign up for courses in the following years, but maybe they just give you a scolding before enrolling you again.