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Thread: Japanese before applying

  1. #1
    Member ishawwite74's Avatar
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    Default Japanese before applying

    Quick question... how many of you actually did study Japanese before applying?

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ishawwite74 View Post
    Quick question... how many of you actually did study Japanese before applying?
    I'm just putting it out there that I know about 5 words and managed to get in. Through the entire Japanese part of the interview I just kept saying Gomennasai...

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ishawwite74 View Post
    Quick question... how many of you actually did study Japanese before applying?
    I knew some hiragana and katakana, and I could introduce myself. That's about it. Thankfully our consulate is offering free language courses and the sensei is super helpful. Over the course of two weeks, I've learned all of the hiragana, and can ask very basic questions and hold very simple conversations. We're focusing on grammar right now- particles and how to use them in sentences, how to conjugate verbs, etc. We have classes until the end of June.

    If your consulate isn't offering classes, you should check your local college or community center to see if they are offering any Japanese classes. In the very least, grab a book and get together with a few of the JETs in your area. Even if you only manage to learn to read a few characters, it's better than nothing.
    Last edited by Little Bean; May 21st, 2014 at 22:54.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    All I know is how to order off a menu in Romaji and I was selected. However, language immersion (especially if you're forced to learn) will be far more helpful than books.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedirust View Post
    All I know is how to order off a menu in Romaji and I was selected. However, language immersion (especially if you're forced to learn) will be far more helpful than books.


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    Immersion isn't always the best way, after all "a drowning man can't learn to swim". I recommend the Genki books to anyone starting from scratch. I used both Genki 1 and 2 at University and found the format really easy to follow. I hope to reach an intermediate Japanese level whilst on JET! N3 would be a dream

  6. #6

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    My Japanese is around lower intermediate level, and when I was asked questions in Japanese at the interview, I completely blanked out. I'm pretty sure they thought I wasn't as good as I said I was. Glad I got shortlisted anyway.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimathen View Post
    My Japanese is around lower intermediate level, and when I was asked questions in Japanese at the interview, I completely blanked out. I'm pretty sure they thought I wasn't as good as I said I was. Glad I got shortlisted anyway.
    Likewise. I took 4 semesters in Japanese at uni, and thought to put intermediate because I theoretically knew enough material for said number of words and said number of Kanji. But that didn't mean I remembered all of the ones that were used. Blanked out on it as well.

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  8. #8
    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by itsabird View Post
    Likewise. I took 4 semesters in Japanese at uni, and thought to put intermediate because I theoretically knew enough material for said number of words and said number of Kanji. But that didn't mean I remembered all of the ones that were used. Blanked out on it as well.

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    Fix that info at the bottom of your post! You are no longer an alternate.

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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    With pleasure! Fixed now. Wasn't able to do it through Tapatalk (at least I couldn't find out how anyways).
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    Member Shelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ishawwite74 View Post
    Quick question... how many of you actually did study Japanese before applying?
    I studied Japanese throughout high school and for 3 semesters in uni. I put down semi-advanced since I'm at N2 bordering N1 level.

    Back in topic, I'm expecting a letter today with my placement results!
    2014 Short-listed, Sydney (≧∇≦)/ Yamaguchi-ken

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    I didn't study Japanese before applying. They asked me what I was doing to learn Japanese during the interview. I said I was focussing on learning French. I'm teaching English in a French province in Quebec. They then asked me how I was learning French and I listed how I was involved with the community. Now, I'm studying. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears. I already studied hiragana and am studying katakana right now.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Candy View Post
    I didn't study Japanese before applying. They asked me what I was doing to learn Japanese during the interview. I said I was focussing on learning French. I'm teaching English in a French province in Quebec. They then asked me how I was learning French and I listed how I was involved with the community. Now, I'm studying. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears. I already studied hiragana and am studying katakana right now.
    I'm sure you already know this one, having learned another language, but make sure you work on the listening and speaking as much as the writing and reading. It won't be a problem once you're in Japan, but while out of Japan you have to look for content to help you with those sections, as you won't be having many Japanese conversations outside of Japan.

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  13. #13
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    I recommend the Genki textbook. I'm enjoying it right now and it's available on Amazon. In general, start by learning hirigana and katakana. It'll be a good start. Then I suppose just keep learning vocabulary as much as you can.

    There are almost assuredly many people here that have more knowledge than I do though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    I recommend Genki as well - its published in Japan, so you might find it quite a bit cheaper over here if you want to wait.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement Discussion

    Pro tip. When studying hiragana and katakana, write it out a bazillion times. The connection between the written form (procedural memory) and the visual makes it much stronger. You should have it mastered in no more than two weeks tops. Also, constantly say the sound out as you write it.

    As for books, also recommend genki as a solid starting point. It won't help you speak here right away, but it'll start getting the grammar structures and particle use down in your head so you can progress here.
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    Default Re: Japanese before applying

    I studied it informally for a while.

    I used Genki and Japanese for busy people along with ANKI, the app. I still use Anki even now. See what works for you, most people think that Genki is probably the best book to start with, personally, I found it boring and went with Japanese For Busy People but that`s just me. I watched a crap ton of J dramas to practice listening. My listening was pretty good when I arrived here but everything else wasn`t great.

  17. #17
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese before applying

    Another voice chiming in for Genki. I started out using some off brand Japanese for Busy People type of lesson book but changed to Genki later. I found it a lot better than the other lesson book I had. My only complaint was that there's a lot of pair or group activities, since it's a college textbook, that can't really be done if you're studying by yourself. I moved straight over to JLPT books after I finished Genki I, so I can't really comment on Genki II.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Japanese before applying

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    Another voice chiming in for Genki. I started out using some off brand Japanese for Busy People type of lesson book but changed to Genki later. I found it a lot better than the other lesson book I had. My only complaint was that there's a lot of pair or group activities, since it's a college textbook, that can't really be done if you're studying by yourself. I moved straight over to JLPT books after I finished Genki I, so I can't really comment on Genki II.
    Just curious, which JLPT books did you use? I've done Genki, but I've never used any textbooks that were specifically for the JLPT and I'm up for suggestions.
    2014 Shortlist - Atlanta

  19. #19

    Default Re: Japanese before applying

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    Another voice chiming in for Genki. I started out using some off brand Japanese for Busy People type of lesson book but changed to Genki later. I found it a lot better than the other lesson book I had. My only complaint was that there's a lot of pair or group activities, since it's a college textbook, that can't really be done if you're studying by yourself. I moved straight over to JLPT books after I finished Genki I, so I can't really comment on Genki II.
    Genki II is similar to Genki I, just a bit tricker . I am in the process of revising Genki II in the hope I can take the intermediate Japanese course that JET offers. I don't want to start from scratch, I am confident on the basics, but I don't know if I have covered all of the grammar that the JET beginner course includes. Have you studied any of the JET Japanese courses?

  20. #20
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese before applying

    We always get a range of people; iirc about 1/3 to 1/2 of new jets in my prefecture the last couple of years couldn't speak Japanese at all, and there were a few people on the other end of the spectrum who were basically conversational when they got here. Study abroad seems to help, but it's not a requirement (or a guarantee) for Japanese ability.

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