Here’s a breakdown of the first Chapter of 中級へいこう in case anyone is considering using ths book and wondering what it’s like. It is fairly short, only 10 chapters. The first chapter is 12 pages long, and I am working on page 8 right now, so I have a ways to go. (This doesn’t count the vocabulary pages, which are in the back of the book.
Page 1: A few sentences about fast food and a table for you to list four good points and four bad points about fast food.
Page 2: An essay about fast food that uses some new grammar and vocabulary. For me, this essay was at a great level. I had to work at it, so I was learning, but I didn’t have to work incredibly hard at it, so it wasn’t too frustrating. There is an accompanying cd which has the essay read at normal speed.
Page 3: A list of the vocabulary words without translation, a fill in the blank vocabulary exercise, and some questions to answer bassed on the essay.
Page 4: grammar points
Page5: grammar exercises
Page 6: A short essay to write on a specified topic, a fill in the blank with the right counter exercise
Page 7: Grammar exercises and a short essay to write on a specified topic
Page 8: Grammar exercises
Page 9: Grammar exercises
Page 10: A checksheet just like in Minna no Nihongo. You have sentences. At various points you have to choose one of two words or phrases
Page 11: The same essay that was on Page 2 but with some blanks in it. I think that you are supposed to listen to the essay read on the cd and fill in the blanks. All I can say is, you better write fast.
Page 12: An essay to write on a specified topic
So…the homework is definitely longer than Minna no Nihongo, even up to twice as long. You get grammar practice, which usually involves writing sentences, you have to write several short essays on different topics, reading practice, dictation practice, listening practice…pretty much a complete package.
It is similar to Minna no Nihongo – which was a great book for my learning style – only on a new level, so I like it a lot. So, time to get page 8 done, I guess. What with family obligations and a geocaching expedition that I am not going to skip, I may not get the entire chapter done this week, but that’s fine. There’s no rush. The goal is to learn Japanese, not to race against some imaginary clock.