I’ve just realized how much of a procrastinator I am. All these Japanese textbook reviews should have been done ages ago and it’s only because D-Day is getting nearer that I’m forced to get back into the groove of things.
Like I’ve mentioned several times, I like studying Japanese using Korean textbooks and therefore my collection has almost nothing in English. Personally I have zero liking for Minna No Hihongo so I avoid that series. As usual, scroll down for a summary if you don’t want to read through the whole review!
KUJAP is actually the Japanese textbook (+1CD) produced by the Korea University Press and it is used in Japanese lessons conducted in the university. I bought it a few years back because I wanted to take the Intermediate Japanese class during my exchange in KU and I bought it in advance to study and make up for that gap. Previously I’ve finished some form of elementary Japanese class back in my university and there was a hugeeeeeee gap to bridge before I could attend the intermediate lessons in KU.
I really like the book a lot! You can attribute most of my foundation in Japanese to this book and hence I see it as a very good bridging resource if you have dabbled in Japanese here and there and are looking for a book to push you up to the intermediate level.
Each chapter starts with a dialogue (which is actually interesting and useful), followed by a glossary list. Furigana is included, so it makes life a lot easier.
This is followed by the grammar section where each chapter typically introduces 3 – 5 new points. To be honest, grammar points are not explained in detail and “explanations” usually consists of the structure of the grammar point plus the Korean equivalent. However, they made up the lack of explanation by having quite a number of example sentences. Didn’t have much problems with a lack of explanation so it’s not a major minus point.
This is followed by the exercise section which actually includes … relevant and doable exercises. No “write an email to your friend” kinda activities, but drills and exercises where you have to apply the grammar points. Enjoyed doing them and it does help in making you more familiar with each grammar point!
hehe didn’t take me that long to finish the entire book (30 chapters). By the end of it you should be in the intermediate level! The book is relatively well paced but challenging at the same time. I was switching between this and the TOP 일본어 series (review up soon). The TOP series is a little easier so whenever I get stuck here I’ll work on the TOP series until I feel comfortable enough to tackle the KUJAP book again. Worked for me!
All in all, a great Japanese textbook from a university and MUCH better than the ahem so called intermediate level classes we have here. *cough*
Looking back, I think I was super hardworking since I wrote in extra notes, new vocabulary that I looked up in the dictionary, attempted all the exercises etc. All in pencil though, plus a bit of highlighting. If you are really interested in the book, let me know, I’m willing to let it go for cheap since I don’t need it anymore. 😀
What I like about it:
- clear structure
- well paced but challenging at the same time
- relevant and doable exercises
- interesting dialogues
- well designed
What can be improved:
- more explanations for the grammar points
On a side note, bought my favorite pens again! I usually use the 0.4 but they were having promotion for the 0.5 ones. Buy one pen, get a free refill!! So essentially I bought 4 for the price of 2 😀 And I got free post-its too!! Cute!