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jacklostinred
October 16th, 2014, 18:58
Disclaimer: I know the books/course are terrible but the deadlines help me focus on actually studying.

Anyhow, Clair sent out their newsletter. In the letter they list dates which the course starts(Oct 8th) and when the first test is due(Nov 15). The problem is that I haven't received anything (email/books/letter) telling me how the course will be run this time around (2nd year/intermediate). Has anyone heard anything about it or gotten any paperwork from Clair about the course?

hypatia
October 16th, 2014, 23:18
I'm enrolled in the beginner course. They sent an email out with log in information to the website. I almost missed mine because gmail sent it to my spam folder. No physical textbook this year. It's all electronic

webstaa
October 17th, 2014, 09:43
Everything is online this year, as they dumped the physical textbooks (they were ok, but not great - clearly designed for the ALT that has one free hour a day...) They've moved everything online, so check your spam folder.

Supposedly they'll actually be teaching functional Japanese, so you can ask for and understand things properly with the half-bastardized keigo that people use around the staff-room.

pasmo
May 11th, 2015, 17:14
That's great news that they stopped wasting so much paper every year.

x_stei
May 12th, 2015, 01:10
Where does one find this..?

webstaa
May 12th, 2015, 08:31
Where does one find this..?


ALTs will be enrolled in the CLAIR course by their supervisors when you get to Japan.

Gizmotech
May 12th, 2015, 08:56
ALTs will be enrolled in the CLAIR course by their supervisors when you get to Japan.

ALTs will be given sign up papers by their supervisors when they arrive in Japan, and be assisted in filling them out.

CLAIR has nothing to do with its administration.

x_stei
May 12th, 2015, 10:17
Okay, cool. Thanks guys!

webstaa
May 12th, 2015, 11:47
CLAIR has nothing to do with its administration.

Definitely true. Do they even have CLAIR branding on the website/resources now?

Gizmotech
May 12th, 2015, 11:52
I dunno. I told em to stuff it two years ago and haven't looked back since.

When the papers come for signup they are CLAIR branded, but I think that's just to give clair your info and the permmission to pass it on. Hopefully they've cleared up the paperwork this year to make it clear what the paperwork is for.

Saga
May 12th, 2015, 12:13
Just to clarify - you aren't required to sign up for the CLAIR courses and can opt out, right? And what level do the lessons/books go up to, about? I'm thinking it might be good to have some external motivation to study Japanese.

Gizmotech
May 12th, 2015, 12:14
If you chose not to do them, you have to indicate why you're not and how you're studying Japanese (if you still need to study). You are expected to be learning Japanese during your term here.

I played along for the first two years then bailed two years ago because I was making more progress studying in my own way and talking with locals in bars. I found the textbooks amazingly frustrating once I got enough kanji under my belt.

Ananasboat
May 12th, 2015, 12:27
Just to clarify - you aren't required to sign up for the CLAIR courses and can opt out, right? And what level do the lessons/books go up to, about? I'm thinking it might be good to have some external motivation to study Japanese.

I was asked if I wanted to sign up. I said no. Then my supervisor (and this is the case with pretty much every person in my area who did the same thing) signed me up for it any way and kept hounding me on why I wasn't doing it. For my level, it was too easy and the program was annoying enough for me to not want to trudge through to complete for show. For others it was way too hard (like, they had a grasp of hiragana and that was it, but this was around 2nd year grammar) and they couldn't finish it. It was just weird.

x_stei
May 12th, 2015, 12:51
I was asked if I wanted to sign up. I said no. Then my supervisor (and this is the case with pretty much every person in my area who did the same thing) signed me up for it any way and kept hounding me on why I wasn't doing it. For my level, it was too easy and the program was annoying enough for me to not want to trudge through to complete for show. For others it was way too hard (like, they had a grasp of hiragana and that was it, but this was around 2nd year grammar) and they couldn't finish it. It was just weird.

I have a feeling that my Japanese might be too advance for this. :/. Doesn't seem like opting out is a good idea huh?

Jiggit
May 12th, 2015, 12:53
I have a feeling that my Japanese might be too advance for this. :/. Doesn't seem like opting out is a good idea huh?

ESID. I never did a page of it after being signed up, no one at work commented. When they asked me if I wanted to do it again I just said no and I was having my own Japanese lessons. That was the end of it.

Ananasboat
May 12th, 2015, 12:55
I have a feeling that my Japanese might be too advance for this. :/. Doesn't seem like opting out is a good idea huh?

I mean, take a peek at the course work, but if you don't feel like it's going to be helpful don't take it. From what I heard from the CIRs in our area there was a big CLAIR push to get people to take the class, which resulted in supervisors just signing up their charges without their consent. What I found out was that it DOES actually cost money for the BOEs that you work for if you're enrolled in the class. So, if your supervisor asks you why you haven't done any of the work, bring up that you don't want to, and that you'd like to be removed from the lists. They may grumble a bit, but it's their loss if you don't end up taking it and they don't fix it.

Jiggit
May 12th, 2015, 13:02
which resulted in supervisors just signing up their charges without their consent.

How many asshole ALTs is it going to take for them to realise that this trick doesn't work on foreigners? They expect:

Bossman: "we didn't tell you about this but it's already been decided so..."
NewJapaman: "Oh... I see... I guess I have to then"

But you try that with an American on a temp job and it goes like this:

Bossman: "we didn't tell you about this but it's already been decided so..."
Guy Jean-kun: "Sounds like someone else's problem, smell ya later!"

Ananasboat
May 12th, 2015, 13:16
How many asshole ALTs is it going to take for them to realise that this trick doesn't work on foreigners? They expect:

Bossman: "we didn't tell you about this but it's already been decided so..."
NewJapaman: "Oh... I see... I guess I have to then"

But you try that with an American on a temp job and it goes like this:

Bossman: "we didn't tell you about this but it's already been decided so..."
Guy Jean-kun: "Sounds like someone else's problem, smell ya later!"


Yeah I don't know. The CIR was like, "you're the 10th person to complain about that this week. What were they thinking?"

And really? Americans? Most of the ALTs in my are are from the UK** and they've been signed up and have ignored the classes same as I have. Nice generalizations.

Edit: **By UK I mean people not from the US. Lol. Typical American.

Jiggit
May 12th, 2015, 13:18
Oh well, English people are a bunch of lazy, miserable arseholes, what would you expect?

I just said Americans because they're all about their individual freedumz.

x_stei
May 12th, 2015, 22:58
Yeah I don't know. The CIR was like, "you're the 10th person to complain about that this week. What were they thinking?"

And really? Americans? Most of the ALTs in my are are from the UK** and they've been signed up and have ignored the classes same as I have. Nice generalizations.

Edit: **By UK I mean people not from the US. Lol. Typical American.
Everyone who isn't American is from the UK eh? Haha.


Guy Jean-kun
Very nice!

Zolrak 22
May 13th, 2015, 06:02
Everyone who isn't American is from the UK eh? Haha.


Very nice!
Just like everyone who's American must be from US. [emoji14]

x_stei
May 13th, 2015, 12:34
Just like everyone who's American must be from US. [emoji14]

Touché!

Ananasboat
May 13th, 2015, 15:05
Just got asked if I want to take the intermediate class again this year. I said no, but my supe for some reason thinks it's mandatory. That's probably why she signed me up for it anyway last year. "Why don't you want to take it?" "Well, it was kinda easy and I study on my own anyway..." "Oh, it was easy? Want to take advanced?" "Well, I am, but I'm doing it on my own..." "I'll call them and see if it's okay."

Oh bureaucracy.

Jiggit
May 13th, 2015, 15:08
Try telling them you're taking the JLPT because the JET course won't be recognised by anyone.

Gizmotech
May 13th, 2015, 15:11
There is definitely a way to not sign up for it.

That being said, I haven't seen anything about the language course yet, just got the info for the TEFL grant though. (god what a waste of paper that was)

Ananasboat
May 13th, 2015, 15:16
Try telling them you're taking the JLPT because the JET course won't be recognised by anyone.

That would require me to either lie or actually take the test. I'm the least arsed to sit down and study like I've got a deadline. I'm not ready to face homework. I actually told her that a couple seconds ago, and she was like "homework desu ne..." Quit judging me lady.

Gizmotech
May 13th, 2015, 15:24
That would require me to either lie or actually take the test. I'm the least arsed to sit down and study like I've got a deadline. I'm not ready to face homework. I actually told her that a couple seconds ago, and she was like "homework desu ne..." Quit judging me lady.

My proof for not studying is:

Which teacher was sitting with the PTA old men, drinking them under the table, and schooling them on Japanese history... IN JAPANESE? That's right. Fuck clair courses. Seriously, I COULD learn teinei again and know how to suck my principals cock officially and properly, or I could just go to a bar after work and try using Japanese the old fashioned way... with peeps!

Ananasboat
May 13th, 2015, 15:33
My proof for not studying is:

Which teacher was sitting with the PTA old men, drinking them under the table, and schooling them on Japanese history... IN JAPANESE? That's right. Fuck clair courses. Seriously, I COULD learn teinei again and know how to suck my principals cock officially and properly, or I could just go to a bar after work and try using Japanese the old fashioned way... with peeps!

Seriously, I swear I only learn any Japanese these days after drinking heavily. i have the best conversations with people.

Dat nomunication.

BifCarbet
May 13th, 2015, 15:42
My proof for not studying is:

Which teacher was sitting with the PTA old men, drinking them under the table, and schooling them on Japanese history... IN JAPANESE? That's right. Fuck clair courses. Seriously, I COULD learn teinei again and know how to suck my principals cock officially and properly, or I could just go to a bar after work and try using Japanese the old fashioned way... with peeps!

proven, timeless method

Cbill1
May 13th, 2015, 16:20
FWIW, people are giving a lot of horror stories about their advisers strong-arming them into it, but mine literally couldn't have given less of a shit.

When the CLAIR paper came, he dropped by my desk, asked me if I wanted to do it, and I explained that I'd rather opt out since there was my own track of things with Japanese that I wanted to focus on instead (and my Japanese was good enough at the time I probably wouldn't have gotten much out of it anyway). He agreed, and looked at me with relief and gratitude because he didn't have to do the paperwork.

Ananasboat
May 13th, 2015, 16:23
FWIW, people are giving a lot of horror stories about their advisers strong-arming them into it, but mine literally couldn't have given less of a shit.

When the CLAIR paper came, he dropped by my desk, asked me if I wanted to do it, and I explained that I'd rather opt out since there was my own track of things with Japanese that I wanted to focus on instead (and my Japanese was good enough at the time I probably wouldn't have gotten much out of it anyway). He agreed, and looked at me with relief and gratitude because he didn't have to do the paperwork.

Last time though I wasn't even strongarmed, she asked me, I said no, but she signed me up for it anyway.

Least this time there's a happy ending (I think) she called and said I was studying on my own so I didn't need to take the course.

pasmo
May 15th, 2015, 23:33
Oh well, English people are a bunch of lazy, miserable arseholes, what would you expect?

I just said Americans because they're all about their individual freedumz.
Can confirm.

Lorenzo
May 16th, 2015, 00:36
Had an audible laugh at Guy Jean-kun, that's brilliant.

I'll probably sign up for the classes, since I don't know any Japanese. Hopefully it's not too difficult. There seem to be plenty of excellent resources out there for learning Japanese either way.

Mechking
May 16th, 2015, 09:51
I'm 50-50 on the idea of joining the course. I would rather spend my time working towards the JLPT and having the freedom of choosing which aspects of Japanese I want to study and when. I took classes at uni in Japanese so I understand the benefit of structured classes, but I am just not sure right now.

webstaa
May 18th, 2015, 08:11
I'm 50-50 on the idea of joining the course. I would rather spend my time working towards the JLPT and having the freedom of choosing which aspects of Japanese I want to study and when. I took classes at uni in Japanese so I understand the benefit of structured classes, but I am just not sure right now.

Pretty much what I did - I grabbed a copy of Tobira and showed them the difference in level etc between the CLAIR books my pred left and other textbooks. They were pretty satisfied by that. Although I still have no real intention of taking the JPLT anytime soon...

Gizmotech
May 18th, 2015, 08:32
Tobira is an excellent book to illustrate how limited the CLAIR courses are.

Ananasboat
May 18th, 2015, 11:14
Man, Tobira is a great textbook.

Ace
June 2nd, 2015, 04:55
I know this is an ESID thing, but how helpful are your JTEs or people in the community to tutor you in Japanese in this situation? I would assume that a language exchange thing would work better than the CLAIR route.

BifCarbet
June 2nd, 2015, 05:14
Yo, Ace. I just want to share my philosophy on studying Japanese, one that has always worked for me. I'm not saying this is revolutionary or uncommon. It's just my observation, and I know it's not original. Again, I'm not postulating on anyone's practice habits. I don't know what y'all's methods are. I'm just sharing mine. When I say "you", I'm not talking about Ace or anyone else in this forum.

I treat simply living in Japan as a language exchange. Every interaction is a lesson. My teachers are postal workers, colleagues, students, cops, etc. If someone really wants to learn Japanese, they have to own it. Instead of asking for English shipping instructions at the post office, then grabbing a Japanese textbook to study when you get home, it's better to ask for the pamphlet in Japanese, figure it out, and then do the transaction in Japanese. Making a habit out of that is the best way to study and learn. You can use English when doing this too, and you don't need to master any words for it. Navigate the situation and find a way to get the job done. You can reduce the complicated Japanese as much as you need to with the help of the attendant. If they're busy and won't have it, oh well; just do it next time.

I think that thinking of studying Japanese as something you are constantly doing instead of something you get on your bike and go to a class or a club to do is the best way. I always found that the foreigners who learned best were the ones who weaved it into their lives, as opposed to dedicating an hour a week or 30 minutes a night to it. I think the same goes for English speakers in Japan. The best ones are the ones who try to incorporate it into their lives. People who traveled, tried to be my friend, and watched American TV shows usually spoke better than those who just participated in conversations clubs.

The resources to which a JET participant is exposed are basically unlimited. Buying groceries is studying, as are reading a map, talking to a kid, and using the restroom.

Ace
June 2nd, 2015, 05:34
Yo, Ace. I just want to share my philosophy on studying Japanese, one that has always worked for me. I'm not saying this is revolutionary or uncommon. It's just my observation, and I know it's not original. Again, I'm not postulating on anyone's practice habits. I don't know what y'all's methods are. I'm just sharing mine. When I say "you", I'm not talking about Ace or anyone else in this forum.

I treat simply living in Japan as a language exchange. Every interaction is a lesson. My teachers are postal workers, colleagues, students, cops, etc. If someone really wants to learn Japanese, they have to own it. Instead of asking for English shipping instructions at the post office, then grabbing a Japanese textbook to study when you get home, it's better to ask for the pamphlet in Japanese, figure it out, and then do the transaction in Japanese. Making a habit out of that is the best way to study and learn. You can use English when doing this too, and you don't need to master any words for it. Navigate the situation and find a way to get the job done. You can reduce the complicated Japanese as much as you need to with the help of the attendant. If they're busy and won't have it, oh well; just do it next time.

I think that thinking of studying Japanese as something you are constantly doing instead of something you get on your bike and go to a class or a club to do is the best way. I always found that the foreigners who learned best were the ones who weaved it into their lives, as opposed to dedicating an hour a week or 30 minutes a night to it. I think the same goes for English speakers in Japan. The best ones are the ones who try to incorporate it into their lives. People who traveled, tried to be my friend, and watched American TV shows usually spoke better than those who just participated in conversations clubs.

The resources to which a JET participant is exposed are basically unlimited. Buying groceries is studying, as are reading a map, talking to a kid, and using the restroom.

That was beautiful man. Definitely good food for thought. If this was reddit, I'd totally throw some gold your way.

I guess I'm so used to it now because I'm not in Japan that I really try to immerse myself with Language exchange groups and classes on the regular. I feel lucky to live somewhere that I can interact with Japanese people and try to weave it in my life than living in a place where there aren't any native speakers or people fluent in Japanese in the area at all.

BifCarbet
June 2nd, 2015, 05:42
Right on. Thanks.

And I don't think exchange groups and classes are useless, by any means. If you can sit down with someone and ask questions, and they're excited to answer, help, and practice, that's totally a good thing.

webstaa
June 2nd, 2015, 08:23
Formal study always helps too. When I don't know a kanji or word, often times I'll end up asking one of the Japanese (kokugo) teachers if a JTE isn't around. Or I'll have to look it up myself. Usually I just ask by whoever doesn't look busy sitting closest to me.

Usually I freak out the teachers by not knowing some basic/simple kanji compound in comparison with being able to speak the language pretty well.

acpc2203
October 18th, 2016, 14:11
Is anyone taking a class this year? Apparently they changed it from the awful stuff last year and you can still register so I was wondering if it was any good.

Frap
October 18th, 2016, 14:16
i already declined a while ago lol

Ananasboat
October 18th, 2016, 15:28
It looks a lot nicer, but I haven't heard anybody screaming about it on the facebook page like last year.

acpc2203
October 18th, 2016, 15:51
Well i'd guess the enrollment is way down due to last year being awful.

acpc2203
December 7th, 2016, 12:40
Well I signed up for the late term one, the class is completely different from the one last year. Seems to do a much better job of explaining things.

OatsCurrySummer
December 7th, 2016, 13:08
Damn I wish I had signed up for it now.

acpc2203
December 13th, 2016, 14:40
Having done about half the course I think it is pretty solid. The online textbook is pretty nice by itself but they also have videos for each grammar point explaining and giving examples (They also have a phone app). Uses way too much hiragana which is annoying but at least it isn't romaji I guess.

acpc2203
June 7th, 2017, 11:03
Finished the course a while back, might take the next level later this year but now have a nice system with a couple anki decks, slowly going through an intermediate textbook, and practicing writing kanji with those books for elementary schoolers.

webstaa
June 7th, 2017, 13:53
Interesting, I'm using some old tri-lingual Kanzen master N3/N2 books. I wonder if I should sign up for the next one then.

OatsCurrySummer
November 2nd, 2017, 12:12
This course is laughably easy, and it shouldn't be considering how shit my Japanese is. Am I really going to be able to take N3 after this?

acpc2203
November 2nd, 2017, 16:36
Probably the N3 isn't really that hard.

Gizmotech
November 3rd, 2017, 04:29
If it is laughably easy, welcome to the shit I opted out of when I was a JET.

It will be a cold day in hell when CLAIR gives JETs a reasonable Japanese learning program, as this is the group which has hindred English EDU for 70 years!