Language "Study"

Even in Japan, it seems, nobody really knows how to teach Japanese… >.<

Here I am in Japanese class, feeling a mixture of confusion, anger, and frustration.  Maybe not so much anger, but when the confusion and frustration mix it feels a lot like anger, so…

Yeah.  This class is every bit as disheveled as my Japanese classes in Boulder were!  I am now convinced that the sole reason Japanese is listed as the second-most difficult language o learn in the world has primarily to deal with the way it’s taught!

Take a French/German/Spanish class, and you’ll be given worksheets with relatively clear-cut directions and exercises designed for good practice at getting used to new vocabulary and grammar.  In Japanese?  We have readings which present new vocabulary (not all of which is presented as new, the trials of changing programs, perhaps…) and grammar, but we don’t seem to be talking about anything terribly useful.  That is, the teacher will say in Japanese what the grammar means, or how to use it, but God only knows if everyone understands it!  We have worksheets with words and blanks that they hand you, and expect you to just fill in the blanks.  This might work in German, where the grammar works about the same as in English, but in Japanese you can often put different particles in the same places and get different meanings; thus, I have NO clue what they want me to write in the blanks.

Sure, I could open the book and copy what’s written there, seeing how that’s what they did (and then removed parts and put in blanks instead); but in so doing what on EARTH would I be learning?  I’d prefer to have directions like:  “Here’s a reading passage, ask me about words you don’t know, and your assignment is to understand it in its totality.”  It would be more clear what the purpose of the class is were this the case.

And in understanding the grammar, you will of course have to see other examples of the same grammar and how it’s used.  You’d need to know about the words, and the phrases used in the writing.  Why not do that for a week, and at the end of the week we can have a test over the short reading, what it says, when it uses this grammar thing, what does it mean, etc.  I think that’s what our test will be like anyway.  Just, the way they’re going about it seems completely useless; a waste of time.

Maybe it’s just me.  Probably it’s just me. >.<  But I’d do better at this whole “study our curriculum” thing on my own without the group assignments and conversation.  Seriously, is it just me who thinks this?  Is everyone else in this program fine with the way the class is taught?

*sigh*  I don’t even really mind dong it on my own outside of class…  Just, if I’m going to do everything on my own ANYWAY, why do I waste three hours in class every day?

Later in the day, o add to the overall weirdness, there was, in fact, a bird in the lunch room during lunch.  This is especially weird because the lunch room, while having doors that open to the outside, is in the basement of the building.  You have to take exterior stairs down to get there, so this bird had to have flown DOWN the stairs and through a set or two of double-doors to get in!  Man, today was just one of those crazy days, I think… >.>


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