What kind of material is Kumon Japanese K It is not the ancient texts that should be focused on


Japanese (language)

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What grade level is Kumon Japanese K for?

Kumon Japanese K is equivalent to high school level Kumon Japanese K. The J, K and L materials are divided according to the scope of study rather than grade level, with the J and K materials dealing with classical Japanese and the L material with Chinese literature.

In addition, students who have completed these materials in the second year of junior high school can receive a trophy as a "highly advanced learner".

What kind of material is Kumon Japanese K?

From Kumon Japanese A to I, each material was divided into I and II, and it was necessary to complete 400 printouts to advance one letter of the alphabet; from Kumon Japanese J onwards, there is no I and II division and the number of printouts to advance to the next letter of the alphabet is 200.

Now let's check the official information on the Kumon Japanese K materials.

The Kumon Japanese K materials are a step up from the J materials in terms of "reading critical texts based on material study". Acquire the ability to accurately grasp and summarise the arguments (central information) and evidence (peripheral information) of the author (critic) in relation to the material sentences. Cultivate the skill of "grasping the argumentative process of a critical text and then summarising the arguments etc.".

The students use ancient texts as materials to understand the argumentation of critical texts.

The ancient text is a tool for improving reading comprehension.

It is noteworthy that the treatment of ancient texts is not that close.

In the K materials, we will continue to deal with ancient texts as in the J materials. The material also deals with well-known works such as Manyoshu and Kojiki. This makes us aware of the fact that the texts are ancient texts, but Kumon's aim for the K materials is not to mention that the texts are ancient texts.

Examination preparation for the ancient Japanese language tends to focus on vocabulary and grammar, but Kumon does not necessarily seem to emphasise this. This is a trend inherited from the J materials.

Instead, the focus is on "critical reading based on material study".

In Kumon's ancient texts, the ancient texts themselves and their modern translations and explanatory texts are presented as a set.

Up to the I material, single sentences have been read. You have been trained to understand the relationship between sentences and sentences, paragraphs and paragraphs, and to decipher the meaning of sentences. In contrast, here you will be reading multiple sentences. There is the original text and there is the commentary. The ability required here is to understand the relationship between the different texts.

In many cases, kobun and kanbun are often treated as independent subjects from modern texts. However, in the Kumon Japanese language, the ancient and Chinese texts are also integrated into the teaching materials as a step towards improving reading comprehension.

In K materials, the text is read together with literature.

Literature and critical texts exist separately. While this is a new concept in Kumon Japanese, it is taken for granted in the form of books and articles. There is basically no such thing as a book without literature present.

I have previously described H-materials as 'teaching materials that confront the difficulty of reading'. The idea was that if the author has some kind of specialisation or background, even if the text is written for the general public in a plain narrative style, the author's unspoken assumptions will make it uniquely difficult to read.

In other words, a text for the general public is a text with fewer implicit assumptions. It is designed so that even those who lack expertise or knowledge of the subject matter can understand the content to some extent by reading the text.

However, the higher the level of content handled, the more implicit assumptions are made. Since there are dozens of references for one text, and dozens of references for each text, from a certain stage it is no longer the case that "I happened to know all the literature = tacit assumptions from the beginning".

If you don't know the implicit assumptions from the beginning, you will have to learn new implicit assumptions from the literature. Understanding one text is connected to reading multiple texts.

The 'critical reading based on material study' from the J-material is the first step towards reading the author's tame texts.

Old texts are reading comprehension oriented. Memorisation of knowledge is not sufficient for examinations.

On the other hand, there are some things to bear in mind.

It is best not to place excessive expectations on the acquisition of the knowledge side of the ancient texts.

The ancient and Chinese texts in the J to L materials are only treated as subjects for "critical reading comprehension based on material study". The ancient texts are accompanied by modern translations and explanatory texts and do not necessarily require memorisation of knowledge for reading comprehension. The knowledge aspect needs to be studied separately when studying for examinations.

This gives a significant advantage in terms of reading comprehension. This is because by coming into contact with representative works of ancient and Chinese literature with explanations, students can acquire prerequisite knowledge of the works and historical background, which is difficult to acquire in exam studies. However, in ancient and Chinese literature, especially in less difficult questions, reading comprehension is rarely required and knowledge questions often account for most of the marks.

In the short term, learning K-materials may not lead to surprisingly high marks.

The need to read literature is beyond the university entrance exam.

Reading and writing with reference to literature is essentially an area dealt with at university. It is most likely that university is where you learnt how to cite literature.

In addition, most questions for university entrance examinations are single passage readings, which are designed so that the content can be understood by reading that passage alone. Even Japanese language questions at the University of Tokyo do not involve reading multiple passages, but instead require knowledge of a number of 'implicit assumptions', reading speed, etc.

Therefore, when considering optimisation for university entrance exams, it is possible to think that learning with K-materials is an excessive advance. This is a skill that will be useful once you enter university, but it is not necessarily essential at the stage of university entrance examinations.

The ability to read literature is useful for university entrance exams.

Although the ability to read literature is directly beyond the scope of university entrance examinations, there are areas where this ability is indirectly useful.

When you read books for the general public, you are basically hardly aware of the references. This is because they are designed so that you can read them without being aware of them. However, every book has an original bibliography, and new texts are written in a way that develops the claims of the bibliography.

In the K materials, the relationship between the text and the literature is presented in a very simple way. This is because, while there are dozens of references in a book in the world, the text and the bibliography are basically one-to-one in the teaching material.

Therefore, as you go through the material, your child will get some idea of how the book or article is formed.

Of course, it is not essential to know how the book or article is formed. It is possible to understand the text without knowing. However, knowing the origins of the text will deepen your understanding of the subject many times over.

When you are served a dish, you do not need to know the ingredients or the chef to taste it. However, if you know the origin of the ingredients and the background of the chef, you can feel the story behind the creation of the dish and enjoy it more deeply. The same goes for idol songs. You can enjoy listening to the song alone, but by learning about the idol's personality and the path to success, you can enjoy the song many times more. At work, people who understand the background of instructions and can move with a certain degree of flexibility are more valuable than those who just do what they are told.

In the same way, knowing the origins of a book or article can lead to a higher level of understanding.

The key to attacking K-materials is assertive experience

Based on the above, it can be said that the key to success in K-materials is the experience of self-assertion.

The importance of output was mentioned in the explanation of the G material as something similar to self-assertion: the G material introduces contractions and requires the ability to compose long sentences, so output is effective.

The self-assertion mentioned as a key point in the K materials has a different nuance.

The relationship between 'the text and the literature' is one that we see in everyday life.

Reading the text so far, you may have felt that reading both the text and the literature is a very sophisticated thing to do. However, this relationship between text and literature does not exist only in advanced texts.

For example, when you see a news story about a celebrity having an affair, you tweet that cheating sucks. This is no different from the relationship between text and literature. My friend seems to like that boy. Heh, I like that type. This too remains a relationship of fact and opinion. When you hear the word 'reference', you may feel defensive, but it doesn't mean that what you are doing is something very special.

So once you get used to the uniqueness of the ancient texts, it is possible that you will understand the K material more easily than you think. When complaining or swearing with friends, or when playing with adults in secret, you can say how you feel and what you want to do. If you have lots of experiences like this, you will realise that expressing your opinion based on someone else's opinion or facts is not something special.

Opportunities for self-assertion are to be found in friendships.

Parents can prepare their children for opportunities for output. For example, if you watch the news and ask your child to express his or her opinion on what he or she thinks, you can create an opportunity for your child to express his or her thoughts.

However, the number of assertive opportunities that arise in friendships cannot compare to those prepared by parents in terms of frequency. There are dozens of people in the same class, and many times and ways to spend time during breaks and after school. This is because there are dozens of opportunities a day to express what you want, who you think of and what your position is.

To give your child these opportunities, you do not necessarily need any special encouragement from the parents. Rather, it is more important not to over-involve them. When you have already decided what to do and how to evaluate someone, there is no need for your child to think about their own opinions. The need to think for themselves arises because they and their friends have the right to decide what to do and how to feel about it.

If the emphasis is on input, then free time, such as during breaks and after school, should be used for studying. Making effective use of skimming time is a basic way of ensuring study time. If studying for exams has started in earnest, there is no objection to this approach. However, if you want to give them the opportunity to assert themselves, there is great value in free time where they are not set in stone what to do.

Think about what the child doesn't know the answer to.

If your child has progressed through Kumon to the K materials, he or she will have accumulated a considerable amount of input. He or she has read a lot of texts so far and understands what adults are saying very well. If you ask them for their opinion on a slightly more difficult social issue, they may give you a reasonable opinion.

However, because they have so much information, there are only a limited number of situations in which they need to think for themselves. If you know the answer, you will not have the opportunity to think to get the answer.

What are the areas in which your child, who has learnt so much, does not yet know the answers? Thinking about this may shed a different light on what is often seen as inefficiency or waste in terms of input.