What kind of material is Kumon Japanese F It's a comprehensive reading course that captures the coherence of the text.


Japanese (language)

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What grade are the Kumon Japanese F materials for?

There are two main guidelines for the progression of Kumon materials.

The first is the approximate grade for each material: the F materials are at a level equivalent to grade 6. However, there are not many people who start Kumon at grade 6, and the impression is that the volume zone is those who learn the F materials at around grade 4 or 5.

Another guideline is whether or not the students are at a "high advanced level". Kumon awards those who are learning more than three grades ahead with the "Highly Advanced Learner Award" in the "Highly Advanced Category". You can receive this award if you complete the F materials in grade 3, so if you are learning the F materials before grade 3, you can assume that you are making fairly rapid progress.

What is the content of Kumon Japanese F?

The Kumon Japanese F materials are divided into F I and F II. Let's first check the F I one.

Develop the ability to accurately grasp what the directives in a sentence refer to. Cultivate the ability to interpret in line with the expressions in the text (paraphrase, example, description, metaphor). Cultivate the ability to write answers that correspond to the format of the questions. Of the 181 Kanji characters in the sixth grade, 90 new Kanji characters are studied to expand vocabulary. In addition, students review the kanji learnt in FI using idiomatic phrases as a starting point.

Students learn various forms of paraphrase, such as indicative, paraphrase, example, description and metaphor.

This is followed by FII material.

This is a comprehensive study of reading with an awareness of the coherence of sentences, which has been developed from D I to F I. Students develop the ability to read and understand sentences with a greater sense of cohesion. Of the 181 Kanji in the 6th grade, 91 new Kanji are studied to expand vocabulary. In addition, students review the kanji learnt in FII, using idiomatic phrases as a starting point.

It can be seen that D to F progressed along a single theme of 'capturing the coherence of sentences'.

The F material is a summary of the theme of 'sentence coherence'.

Kumon sometimes deals with themes that straddle more than one grade, apart from the division by grade (alphabet).

For example, between grades 7A and 5A, the theme of reading aloud is dealt with; between grades 4A and 2A, hiragana; between grades A and C, basic grammar; and between grades D and F, the theme of sentence cohesion. These themes are only one part of the material, and although there are other things studied in parallel, the larger picture is one of cohesive sections dealing with a single theme.

It is worth noting that the further back in the cohesive section, the more minor concepts within the theme are dealt with.

In sections 4A to 2A, hiragana is dealt with, but in the order of the parts of speech: nouns in 4A, adjectives and verbs in 3A, particles and voiced and unvoiced sounds in 2A. You can see that even within the same hiragana theme, they gradually deal with less frequent and more difficult ones.

In the same way, this F material is a summary of the 'sentence structure' material covered in D to F. Therefore, it can be said that it covers more difficult material than the material covered in D and E.

Concepts covered are more minor than those in D and E

What concepts are covered in the F materials?

The D materials dealt with the concepts of '5W1H' and 'question and answer', whereas the E materials dealt with 'characters' actions and feelings', 'facts, thoughts and opinions' and 'cause-and-effect relationships', which can be said to be the main topic of the text.

The F material deals with 'directives, alliteration, examples, descriptions and metaphors'. Of course, these are important topics, but they are definitely more minor concepts than before.

These concepts are not as difficult as the major concepts. Determining what the indicative 'it' refers to is no more difficult or important than, for example, reading 'the actions and feelings of the characters'. So basically, the cost of learning it will not be high.

However, there are exceptions. This is when there is little or no exposure to minor concepts.

If you are reading a story, it is unlikely that you will pay any attention to the 'actions and feelings of the characters'. In a Japanese language class, the teacher will probably ask you and it is difficult to enjoy a story while ignoring the feelings of the characters. However, this is not the case when it comes to 'indicative language, alliteration, examples, descriptions and metaphors'. Even if you don't understand the meaning of 'it' in a sentence, you can still decipher the meaning of the sentence to some extent.

Therefore, in some cases, it is possible that you have not been aware of any of the directives, paraphrases, examples, descriptions or metaphors. When these concepts are introduced in F materials, it may feel more like confusion than difficulty, and this can be a barrier to learning.

It is important to have a good experience of reading simple books.

What is important here is not so much the experience of reading difficult books as the experience of reading simple books with a good understanding of the concepts.

The concepts that appear in the F materials are minor, but this does not mean that they have never appeared before at all. Even in books at lower primary school level, descriptions and metaphors are present.

For adults, these expressions are not skipped because they are simple sentences. But for children, especially those who are learning ahead of time, the books they are reading are challenging. They are so occupied with understanding concepts and answering questions that they do not always have a good grasp of the detailed expressions.

This is not a problem specific to children. It is a problem of the book's difficulty level. Even adults, when reading a difficult text, are too busy trying to grasp the main idea. It becomes difficult to pay attention to metaphors, descriptions and paraphrases. Similarly, a child who is reading a text at the very limit of his or her comprehension will not be able to pay attention to the finer expressions.

However, if it is a question of the book's difficulty level, it is not difficult to deal with. You just need to reduce the difficulty of the book.

If a child is reading a book that is too easy, parents can become concerned. If they are still reading picture books in primary school, it is easy to think that somehow they should be reading more proper books. However, by reading simple books for the current grade level, they can read with more leeway. This gives them the extra time to pay attention to detailed expressions and to think about the theme of the book. It allows you to read independently.

When you are able to read independently, the effects are not limited to understanding minor expressions. You will be able to read more deeply and find books more interesting. And if they feel they have read enough simple books, they will naturally become interested in the next level of books. The opportunity to read enough of such simple books is important to get through the F materials.