Synopses & Reviews
These discs have been recorded in stereo under studio conditions by native speakers, male and female, with assigned roles. The Japanese is the normal speed or very slightly slower than that heard in daily conversation. Great care has been taken to present the most representative pronunciation of each individual word and to preserve the natural flow of spoken Japanese. In imitating the model speakers, the student should pay close attention to pronunciation, pitch and intonation.
The dialogues, which are most frequently in question-and-answer form, have been recorded so that one person's voice comes from the left speaker and the other person's from the right speaker. If stereo playback equipment is used, the volume on one channel can be lowered, allowing the student to take the part of the muted voice. The student can alternately practice either questions or answers and test himself or herself on mastery of both roles.
For each lesson, the following parts have been recorded: Opening Dialogue (or Text). Key Sentences and Exercises in the Practice section and Short Dialogue(s). Lessons 10 and 20 have only reading passages on disc.
To the Student
While listening to the Opening Dialogue, the student should try to imagine the scene being enacted and follow the flow of the conversation. Then after practicing the new words in the vocabulary out loud, he or she should imitate in a clear voice the model speakers on the disc.
The Key Sentences are important grammar points in the lesson, and should be mastered thoroughly before proceeding.
The Exercises are recorded in their entirety. After learning the new words in this section, the student should use them in his or her oral practice.
The supplementary Short Dialogues are similar to the Opening Dialogues. Once these have been mastered, words and patterns already learned can be put to use in expansion drills.
Having completed the lesson, the student should return to the Opening Dialogue and listen to it again. It is at this time that taking the role of one of the model speakers can be most effective, and the student should practice until he or she can do this fluently.
To the Teacher
Since classroom time is limited, it is important to devote as much of it as possible to drilling students in the dialogues and exercises. The discs can best be employed to augment classroom work, either as preparation before class or as review. As a minimum, students should be expected to practice new vocabulary by listening to the disc while memorizing the meanings of the words. Optimally, they should master the Opening Dialogue, Key Sentences and related vocabulary as soon as possible during review of the lesson.
About the Author
THE ASSOCIATION FOR JAPANESE-LANGUATE TEACHING (AJALT) has been recognized as a nonprofit organization by the Ministry of Education since 1997. It was established to meet the practical needs of people who are not necessarily specialists on Japan but who wish to communicate effectively in Japanese. In 1992 the Association was awarded the Japan Foundation Special Prize.