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Harz Jorden’s Japanese Course

  Tags: Japanese
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
dmner
Newbie
United States
Joined 4284 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 4
04 March 2009 at 2:56am | IP Logged 
Dear Dr. Alexander Arguelles,

On your website and youtube you posted reviews of different language learning texts and programs (Assimil, etc.). I have watched a few, and noticed, as you noted, that most of the programs have gone towards "phrase books" instead of the grammar oriented programs of the 50's. I recently started taking language courses at University, (I also watched your classroom video, there is only a max of 6 students allowed per class) and the program that we are using, although specific to the language it seems to be a program like the ones from the 50's and 60's. The program that I am referring to is Japanese: The Spoken Language by Eleanor Harz Jorden. The cassettes are entirely in Japanese with the exception of "CC1/2..." and "Drill A/B/C/D/E....". I am wondering if you had seen the course or heard of it and if so your opinion. On a side note, I greatly appreciate all the work you have done on your site and on this forum. It has truly changed the way I am attempting to learn languages.

-Trevor Adams

PS: I am not trying to advertise the course I am just wondering the Professor's opinion

Edited by dmner on 04 March 2009 at 3:01am

1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5796 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 2 of 4
05 March 2009 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
Dear Mr. Adams,

Eleanor Harz Jorden is an extremely respected scholar of the Japanese language so her courses are bound to be very thorough. They do indeed employ an older style audio lingual or pattern drill methodology that is generally seen as being outmoded, although I myself am actually developing an increasing appreciation for it, particularly for subjectively difficult languages such as Japanese. That said, I would generally prescribe those kinds of exercises for self-study or a language lab, though with your optimally small class size they could conceivably function quite well as a means of instruction. It really depends on your teacher. Is he using this course because he has found it to be a tried and true classic, far superior to any trendier innovations, or is he using it because he is a stick in the mud who has never deviated from the course from which he himself learned? When you are learning in a classroom setting, the instructor tends to be a more important factor than the textbook.

Sincerely,

Alexander Arguelles
2 persons have voted this message useful



dmner
Newbie
United States
Joined 4284 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 4
05 March 2009 at 8:28pm | IP Logged 
Dear Dr. Arguelles,

I thank you for your reply, in case you are interested. The professor is a native speaker who also teaches a traditional course (Genki I believe) at another University. The course taught at Drexel splits the speaking and writing into two different sections (reading is part of speaking though) in order to get the students speaking. Although she believes the cd is "annoying" she stands by its effectiveness. I thank you again for your reply.

-Trevor Adams
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4356 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 4 of 4
14 March 2009 at 3:14am | IP Logged 




Hello Trevor,

I just thought that I should give my opinion about the JSL program.

            
     I have respect for the author of this program very much. Anyone who creates any type of language program for teaching others to learn the language, I have respect for them.

      I believe this JSL program will give the learner a strong foundation of the listening aspect. There seems to be a lot of drills with core conversation which is a good thing.It's very good to have certain knowledge for certain scenarios.

       This JSL program is taught at The University Of Ohio State as well.I'm not sure if it's taught the same way at your school, but from what I've learned and experienced, this program is not ideal for students who are serious about learning the language. It's ok for those students who are just wanting to take the course for fun or get the credit to meet some prerequisite, but for a serious learner, I wouldn't recommend it.

       If one plans to take this JSL program, they should also use other resources at the same time because the JSL won't help you gain fluency in the language even after studying for 1 year.If a language is taught properly, the student should be able to obtain basic fluency within a 3-6 month time frame. This won't happen with the JSL program.

        I've met students who've taken 101-104 level at The Ohio State University. This is a year worth of language. I tried to have a basic conversation with these students, but they couldn't respond to simple questions like : なんで日本語に興味がありますか(Why are you interested in Japanese?)、 日本に行ったことがありますか (Have you ever been to Japan?)、 大学を卒業の後で、何をするつも ですか)(What are your plans after graduation?) I mean these are very basic questions one should learn in like the second week of studying the language. There's nothing wrong with the student's ability of course, it's just the way the language is being taught to them. I believe if these universities would like their students to attain a nice fluency in the language before going to the country, they would really have to change their teaching methodology.1 Year is a long time and I believe a student would be able to learn A LOT in that time frame.

        I've mentioned before about using other resources along with this JSL program, but I think that would be difficult to do. I say that because, the instructors who are part of this program basically keep the students in a robotic state. If you have any questions not pertaining to the lesson, they won't help you and they will tell you to just focus on what is being taught. I feel that, for anyone who spends money to learn a foreign language, they should have the right to ask any questions regardless.

        I'm not bashing the JSL program, I'm just telling you the truth about it. From my observations as a polyglot, I can tell you that this program isn't effective enough for the serious learner who aspires fluency in a short period of time. I hope you're having fun with this program though. Take care my friend.

Moses McCormick











dmner wrote:
Dear Dr. Arguelles,



I thank you for your reply, in case you are interested. The professor is a native speaker who also teaches a traditional course (Genki I believe) at another University. The course taught at Drexel splits the speaking and writing into two different sections (reading is part of speaking though) in order to get the students speaking. Although she believes the cd is "annoying" she stands by its effectiveness. I thank you again for your reply.

-Trevor Adams



1 person has voted this message useful



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